This is a guest post by Chart House Press freelance writer Kimberly Crossland.
It’s happening! The ink is about to hit the paper, and the story you’ve had inside of you is finally coming to life.
Whether it’s your first, second, or tenth book, every time you write a book the experience is exhilarating. You’ve spent hours perfecting the outline, crafting the story, and now it’s time to see your hard work pay off. But where do you start?
One of the biggest challenges authors face is figuring out what to do once their dream has become a reality, and their story is in print. You know you have a great story to share, but until you can get your book in readers hands, you haven’t made any impact with your story.
No matter whether you write fiction or nonfiction, every book needs to be promoted first so that it can be read. That’s the tricky part.
Many writers get so caught up in the hype of hitting the print button that they forget to think about what happens once their first shipment of books lands on their doorstep. If you’re getting close to printing your book, here is a simple flowchart that can help you promote your work effectively.
A Flowchart for Success
The basic idea of a flowchart is to create a process where one action leads seamlessly to the next. For example, once your story is published, you want to make it easy for people to find it. Then, you want to make it easy for people to buy it. The process continues so that you make money, and your dreams of being an author come to life.
Before you start your flowchart, there are a few things you should consider about your customers.
- What will my readers be searching for when they find my book?
- Why will my readers choose my book over someone else’s book?
- Where do my target readers search to find stories like mine?
The answers to these questions will be useful as you create your flowchart. The goal is to understand what your readers do before your book reaches their nightstand so that you can increase your chances of them seeing your title and buying your book.
Putting the Pieces Together
Once you have a better understanding of your target reader, you can put the details in place for how you will promote your book. Here is a simple flowchart to guide you when determining how to promote your book:
- Start where your customers start. If your readers search for you online, create a website for your book. If your readers start by visiting book fairs, plan your booth space to promote your book.
- Make your book irresistible. The title of your book is compelling, but what else is it about your book that will make people eager to buy? Give your readers an excerpt of your story. If your book is non-fiction, give them a few takeaways they can expect to get from reading your book. If your story is fiction, hook them with your enthralling plot.
- Harness your readers to get more readers. Once someone has finished reading your story, you have evangelists who can do the legwork for you. Include your current readers in your framework for promoting your book to get these people to spread the word about your writing. Ask for a review that you can use on your website, or make it easy for them to share on social media. The simpler you make it for people to talk about you, the more they’ll start stirring up new readers for your book.
Having an action plan in place is a critical step toward sales success. Create your promotional framework before you publish. This will help you hit the pavement running when your book is in print, so that you can get more readers, and make more money as an author.