You can’t start your marketing from the moment you hit the Publish button. You need to prepare well in advance. Here are five key tasks to complete:
1. Finish your book
You need to have your book complete and ready to roll at least a month before publication. So many authors don’t do this. Even if you’re putting it up for pre-sale, have it finished first.
2. Write your blurb
This includes your Author Profile blurb and your book blurb. Depending on the sites you use, there may be different amounts of text allowed, and you’ll be cutting and pasting this material constantly. One recommended approach is:
- a 140-character, 1-2 sentence tweetable “elevator pitch” of your book
- a succinct, one paragraph summary of your book
- a longer, 2-3 paragraph description of your book
3. Create a website
A free WordPress or Wix site is fine to begin with – they’re simple to set up. This will be the start of your author platform, that you can later expand with your own website, blog, social media accounts, and so on.
4. Start a mailing list
Even if it’s just an Excel sheet for now, collect the details of people who have shown interest in your book or requested a review copy. Down the line you can try a platform such as MailerLite, Mailchimp or Mad Mimi.
5. Join Goodreads
Goodreads is the largest site for book readers in the world. It’s also now owned by Amazon. Sign up as a Member, and as soon as you can (eg once your book is listed for pre-sale) you can apply for an Author account. Search for relevant Goodreads Groups in your genre or area of interest – most will have special forums where authors can promote relevant books and offer review copies.
There’s a variety of opinion as to whether you should put your book up for pre-sale on Amazon. For a first book it may be more advisable to, because it helps you set up the above tools early, as well as join Amazon Author Central (which is critical for self-published authors).