Think of self-publishing book marketing as a marathon, not a sprint. Plan the journey, prepare to work, pace yourself, and not become discouraged when you the bear jumps on your back. Your second wind is right around the corner.
Unlike blockbuster books like Harry Potter, which sell 90% of their copies in the first 90 days of release, an independently published book is often the opposite––not surprising since titles like Harry Potter make up a percent of a percent of all books published. It takes time to build awareness. Sales may start slowly, but can climb over time if you persistently market your book.
If you’ve yet to nail down a specific marketing plan, I suggest starting in your own hometown. Build a following. Attract the interest and readers of people in your inner circle before you focus on your neighborhood. Then, focus on your neighborhood before concentrating on your city. Next your state and region, etc. This is known as the ripple effect.
It applies to both online and traditional marketing tactics.
Thinking of marketing as something other than a sprint, or a laundry list of items to get through (“Poetry reading, check! Social media account created, check!”) is the wisest advice I’ve heard all year. Thinking of your marketing as you think of your other relationships–as more than just the sum of its parts, or the sequence of events–is important. Every action affects every other action, and the changes are cumulative or even, sometimes, exponential! Think, instead, of your marketing strategy as a whole, and a whole which is best contemplated as a web of interrelated components which all touch each other and all affect how the other components play out. Some pieces need to come before others in order for them both to work, and sometimes a misstep with one component will lead to a cascade of problems in the others.
Another great image to keep in mind is the ocean. Yes, the ocean operates under the same physical principles and constraints as a ripple in a swimming pool–but would we really compare their behaviors and say they’re the same thing? There’s more at work than simple scale; the ocean works on its environment in a multitude of ways, and one of its most impressive qualities is its ability to wear anything down–given time. The ocean is interminable, it is unstoppable, and it is unwearying in its work upon the seashore. Wave after wave after wave can lead to an entirely new shoreline, right?
So as we head into Fall, think about ripples and oceans. They are the same thing … except they aren’t. Steal from both. Steal the cumulative effects of the ripple (and the interrelationships of the web) and steal the repetitive unstoppability of the ocean. This is your arsenal against the soporific atmosphere of midsummer.
You are not alone. ♣︎
Do you have ideas to share? Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line in the comments section, below.
3 thoughts on “In Your Corner: Self-publishing Ripple Effect Marketing”
I think one of the best marketing activities you can do is content writing.
Since I put my first book out in 2014, I’ve learned a ton about what gets people buying my books, and for me at least writing similar things on my blog has helped more than almost anything else.
Now that we’re dealing with ‘Social Distancing’ and so many live and in person events are being canceled I find content writing an even more important tool than ever.
Another thing my clients and I have found important has been podcasting.
I started my own podcast after seeing what great results being a guest on other podcasts had.
Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet with that, I’m looking for the right tool to use to make certain my podcast is heard everywhere possible.
One last thing, it’s not enough to just post links to your books on Social Media. You must engage.
I’ve got nearly 2000 friends on Facebook and while I don’t chat with all of them all the time, I do engage with a large portion of them regularly.
The same goes for your blog and for guest blogging.
You must make certain you’ve got your comment notifications turned on and you must be willing to answer every one of them.
Also make sure your sharing options are available.
Whether you’re on all the Social Media platforms or no makes no difference.
Since you can’t possibly know which Social Media platforms your blog followers are on you must have all of them at the ready so if someone likes what they read and wants to share they can.
I can’t tell you how disappointing it is to me when I’ve read a great post only to find I can’t reblog so my blog followers can read.
Interesting! Bookmarked to read thoroughly at later date.