My Book’s Been Published: Now What?

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Bonnie Schroeder started telling stories in the Fifth Grade and never stopped. After escaping from the business world, she began writing full-time and has authored novels, short stories and screenplays, as well as non-fiction articles and a newsletter for an American Red Cross chapter.

 

I am about as far away from being a book marketing expert as you can get, but I am slightly less clueless than I was three years ago when my first novel was published. At that time, I had no website, little knowledge of the power of social media, and Goodreads to me was a nifty place where I could learn about other authors’ books.
Things have changed a bit since then. I doubt you’ll ever see my name on the New York Times Best-Seller list, but when my second novel was published, at least I felt like I was doing a decent job of getting the word out.
Here are some tools I recommend all authors have in their marketing arsenal:

 

  • A website. I took the easy way out and hired a genius website designer to create mine, and she’s been worth every penny. However, you can do it yourself, and a lot of my fellow authors on this blog have created very attractive websites on their own. They’re smarter than I am—most of them write mysteries as further proof of that.
  • An Amazon Author Page. This is a great way for people who buy your books on Amazon to connect with you, learn a bit more about you, and perhaps discover another of your books to add to their library. It’s easy to do, and Amazon’s Customer Service is awesome if you run into trouble.
  • A Goodreads Author Page. Another very simple thing to set up and attract readers. In addition to displaying your books and biography, you can sign up for “Ask the Author” and answer questions from followers. You can stage a “Goodreads Giveaway” to promote a new book. You can also blog. When I remember to do igoodreadst, I copy posts from this blog onto my Goodreads blog, so I get extra mileage from it. When you have an “author event,” you can promote it on Goodreads. And unlike certain other websites that are mighty picky about who can and cannot review books, Goodreads lets you review your own books and give them five stars if you want to. What’s not to love about Goodreads?
  • A Facebook Page for your book(s), separate from your personal Facebook Page. You can post writing-related articles and photos from your author events. It’s a terrific way to publicize those events, too. I used it to invite Facebook Friends to my recent book launch and got 19 acceptances in just the first day.
  • Book Clubs. If you haven’t joined a book club yet, you’re missing out. Virtual or in-person, this is a fine way to connect to readers. I joined my book club long before my first book came out, because I wanted to learn what readers like and don’t like—and I just plain love to read. The club introduced me to books I might otherwise never have considered, I made some wonderful friends, and they’ve supported me when my books came out by choosing them for reading selectiBook Clubons. Book clubs are a terrific way to get your book noticed, but you can’t just wander in to any old club and ask them to read your book. You need to build a relationship first—but that’s half the fun! There are book clubs at most libraries and independent bookstores, and if you don’t find one, consider starting one yourself. Readers are everywhere; might as well make them potential readers of your books.

 

There are hundreds of other book marketing techniques, of course. I’m still trying to crack on the code on getting advance reviews. You can also hire a publicist if you have money to burn.

For someone like me, who just wants to give my books a fighting chance to find an audience, the steps laid out above have been easy to master and have given me the sense that I’m doing something besides crossing my fingers and hoping.

 

16 thoughts on “My Book’s Been Published: Now What?”

  1. All good ideas, and great reminder on the Goodreads. Need to get my act together on that front. Thanks for the inspirational kick in the you know what! And much success on Write My Name in the Sky–excellent book which I highly recommend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Promotion is that one thing nobody wants to mention in writing class because it is so nebulous. Not everything works and big promotions cost big money. But doing the basic things you mentioned are so necessary because if readers can’t find you anywhere, they won’t seek you out twice. And there is great satisfaction in having accomplished these first goals. They are doable. Good post, Bonnie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, GB. Yeah, promotion is the elephant in the room, but even big-name authors have to get out and promote their work, or no one will find it. And since few of us are raking in the big bucks on our books, promotion has become more and more do-it-yourself. At least these small things make me feel like I’m doing something to get the word out.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great advice for any author who’s just starting out. I’ve done all the things you mentioned, and I’ve been a Goodreads author for quite a while, but I still haven’t figured out how that website works, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting, Evelyn. Goodreads can be a little tricky; I just try to learn one aspect at a time, and they provide some online help (if you can figure out the right search terms, ha ha.) But it’s a process, for sure.

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  4. Yes, Anne-Rene, it does stretch our brains, which I suppose is a good thing. Once you get the hang of it, it’s kind of fun, though.

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  5. Thanks, Linda! I HAVE learned a lot, but I have a lot more to master. You are a good example, with your various blogs and blog tours.

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  6. Bonnie, an excellent post! You are brave to jump right in and do all you can to market your books. I really admire you. A talented wordsmith AND marketeer. I’m forwarding this to some newbies who are struggling with what do do first.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great tips that are easy to overlook. Also, don’t forget to set up your Author Central page on the other Amazon websites (UK, France, etc.). Once you have your main page set up, it’s really just a matter of copying and pasting. Every little bit helps, right?

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      1. Even though some of the pages are in other languages, they all have the same format, so it’s easy to guess at what to paste in which box. And who knows, there may be a French reader out there just waiting to discover you! 😋

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