Marcia Fine is an award-winning author of seven novels. With the only satirical series about Scottsdale, she caused a sensation in her own community by garnering a first prize for humor/satire from Living Now awards. Turning toward a serious bent, she has written four historical fiction novels that have all won prizes. Her interests are family stories that reveal secrets (Paper Children; Paris Lamb) and scholarly research about the Sephardic Diaspora (Blind Eye; Hidden Ones). She lectures internationally to organizations who express interest. Check out her FB pages for: Sephardic Journey, Paper Children, Paris Lamb and Jean Rubin.
Your new novel has arrived and you are thrilled to examine your cover, thumb through the interior and feel the glow of satisfaction that you have accomplished a great feat. For a few minutes anyway. Now you have to reach out to others so someone buys your book. How do we do that?
I’ve watched so many debut authors, or even those who have many books, wait for something to happen. Does it?
Writing is a lonely sport. It’s necessary for us to get out and interact with people, especially readers. How does one do that? Here are some ideas I have tried that worked; however, I must add that there’s no one single thing that catapults your book to the top rankings for sales. You have to try everything!
Many authors have fears about being judged, yet it is one of the best ways to achieve recognition. You enter for discoverability! Readers are overwhelmed with choices. When you garner an award, it adds to your credibility. It creates interest about your topic and you can use “award winning author” in your publicity. Search online or in Poets&Writers for lists. Tip for winning: follow the directions exactly. So many do not and they are eliminated before the book is ever read. And, when you do win, don’t paste stickers all over your cover. It is a distraction from your art work.
2.Stage events in unconventional places.
My novels have been launched at art galleries, furniture and clothing stores, libraries, restaurants, happy hours, even a macaroon shop. I have sold more books at these venues than book stores. Owners are delighted to have traffic in public places. Plus, they have lists of people to invite too! I like to give a brief talk because it introduces me to guests. We keep refreshments to a minimum.
3.Engagement with social media.
I am not an expert in this arena; however, it is necessary to be part of the online community. From Facebook to Linked In to specific sites that pertain to your genre or topic, readers want to know who you are and what you’re up to in the author world. Best bet is to build up sites with friends and their friends. Each of my historical fiction novels has its own page on Facebook. It’s a good place to post relevant articles and interact with readers. Start the buzz early!
4.Create a newsletter.
My newsletter comes out 3-4times a year. I share novel progress, including details of research, book tours, my favorite books and photos from signings. Everywhere I speak I take a clipboard and ask them to sign with their name and email. Almost everyone does when I tell them I won’t bombard them. It is a great way to stay in touch with your readers.
Yes, that’s easier said than done. A good review draws readers to you. They want to know what you have to say or be entertained. Start with local reviews. Drop off a copy of your book with pertinent information on how to reach you at local papers or a professional looking press release. Many sites online teach you how to do this. Sometimes smaller papers are hungry for copy. Ask author friends if they’ll write and post a short review on Amazon or other sites. Once you have a few reviews, choose a few lines you can use as a blurb for your next edition or post on social media. The goal is twenty-five reviews because that is what “the experts” say you need to be noticed.
Marketing for an author can be overwhelming. If you accomplish these five steps, you are on your way! Self-expression is important. Never give up! There’s great camaraderie with other writers when you participate in groups. Support other authors and their efforts to have their voices heard. We all benefit.