Author Marketing 101
Part Two: *Visibility*
First, take a deep breath and have a quick look at the number of new book titles published this year. Yes, I’m afraid it’s true. When your book comes out, it joins a massive pool of other titles published in the same year. This is without even taking into account all the other books that were published in previous years. These days, publishing a book is like chucking a single grain of sand into the sea and hoping to find it again. So, if you want to actually sell any books, it’s really important to understand how to get them to be visible. You want your book to be an interestingly shaped shell that people might stumble across, rather than just another grain of sand. One of the key things you need to know about is how people’s buying habits work. Who buys the most books? How and where can you help them find yours? A lot of us tend to buy books online these days, but you can also send your books out into the world yourself. If you are publishing with a traditional publisher, when you negotiate your contract, you will get a discount on your own books. Make sure you ask the publishers whether they will remove the ‘no resale’ clause that is in most standard contracts. (They usually will – it’s no skin off their backs.)
Another way to get visibility is to understand how searching works, and how you can get your book seen in ‘Top 10’ lists and other highly visible places. Study the categories on Amazon – you are often better off in a niche category than in a bigger one where your book will get buried. If you self publish your book you get the chance to add your own categories and key words, so take time and think carefully about these. Your title is part of search visibility too – there are all sorts of complicated algorithms going on in the background. Book covers play a key part in visibility – you want a cover that looks clear and striking at thumbnail size, because that is how a lot of people see books these days. The other side of visibility comes via your public presence, but that’s a big topic which merits a section of its own. So on that note I’ll leave you with a useful link, a useful book, and a piece of advice: Throw off your Cloak of Invisibility and deck yourself out in a Coat of Many Colours.