The days when you could self publish a book every two years and gather a huge following are long gone. The blockbuster authors of fifty years ago would struggle in today's bookselling market. Today's author has to use creative book marketing tactics to find and keep an audience. Here are ten unique methods for finding new readers and keeping them buying your new books.
1. Up Your Game
The days of selling one book every couple of years are gone, unless you're one of the few bestselling authors around with millions of patient fans. You're not Diana Gabaldon, so you can't get away with one large book every five years or so. This doesn't mean writing badly, but it does mean writing every day and sticking to a schedule.
2. Play the Long Game
If you hit the bestseller list right away, good for you. Most likely, that's not going to happen. If you want to find fans and keep them, you have to be in it for the long haul. Have a five year plan. Heck, have a ten year plan, and seriously stick with it.
3. Diversify Yourself
One book will gather a certain amount of attention, but what if you added a blog, a short story collection, a novella in an anthology and an audiobook? Each one hits a different type of audience, giving you the opportunity to increase your fan base every time.
4. Keep Your Costs Down
Sure, you want to make money with your writing, but be reasonable about it. Today's reader won't try an unknown author's first ebook for $12.99. Not when there are so many free samples out there. Give your potential readers a taste to bring them in, and they'll willingly pay for the rest of your catalogue.
5. Be a Human Being
Social media is just that: social. Don't open accounts and turn yourself into a marketing machine. Let readers get to know you and connect with them on a human basis. Talk about your coffee mug collection or your Maine coon cat obsession. You'll find others who identify with you, and they'll buy more of your books because they feel a connection with you.
6. Ask for Help
Stuck for a character's name? Can't decide how to kill off an obnoxious villain? Take a poll, ask your fans, get opinions from the hive mind. If readers feel invested in what you're writing, they're more likely to follow your work closely and spread the word among their friends and family.
7. Share Secrets
Make the people who read your blog or Facebook page feel like they're in on an inside view. Give previews of book covers to your group before letting the general public see them. Post clips from your current novel, letting them in on scenes with their favorite characters.
8. Ask Their Opinion
Make your audience feel like they're a part of your work. Ask their opinion about plot twists, scenes you're stuck on and directions you're considering taking the work. You don't have to take their advice every time, but letting them know you value their opinion goes a long way toward solidifying your fan base.
9. Do What You're Good At
If you have a hard time blogging every week, don't start out with a blog and let it dwindle away. The same goes for posting on social media, doing speaking engagements or speaking at writing retreats. Play to your strengths and your readers will always see your good side.
10. Have Fun With It!
Being an author isn't supposed to be torture, it's a great way to make a living. If you're forcing yourself to work through the motions, your readers will sense it and find someone more entertaining to follow. Find a fun way to connect with fans and they'll enjoy your work even more.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!