Don’t Know How to Market Your Book? Start in Your Own Backyard

market in your backyard

The No. 1 question I receive from writers is “How do I get published?” The most common question after that is: “How do I market my book?”

That first question is far more straightforward to answer, and an easier task for most people. Getting a book published remains a fairly consistent process regardless of who you are, where you live, how much money you have, or what type of book you’ve written.

Marketing, on the other hand, has an incredible number of variables that depend on knowing your reader (your target market) and what resources you have to reach them.

In my latest column for Publishers Weekly, I discuss how to begin formulating a marketing plan that is not only effective, but doable, based on where you’re at today. Here’s how it begins:

When I hear professional publicists and PR people offer advice to authors, one theme that comes up again and again is: start where you are. Use the power of your community—and the people you know—to gain momentum.

This is a strategy that does not receive enough serious consideration by traditionally published and self-published authors in their pursuit of bestselling books. Traditional authors can become overly focused on national media attention or industry reviews; indie authors can become obsessed with Amazon rankings and optimization. It’s not that those things don’t have a role to play, but national attention and great rankings are sometimes the result of doing a great marketing and promotion job within a community that knows you. It’s often easier to gain traction that way, and encourage word of mouth to ripple further out as a stepping-stone to the more difficult PR wins.

Read the entire column, Go Local: Marketing Books to Targeted Communities.

Posted in Marketing & Promotion.
Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. She also has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (March 2018).

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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4 Comments on "Don’t Know How to Market Your Book? Start in Your Own Backyard"

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JeffO

Funny, I just touched on this in my own blog this week. To summarzie, while I have yet to achieve publication for fiction, I write a monthly column in a local weekly as part of my day job. I also get interviewed on the radio occasionally to promote events/activities. It’s amazing how many people read the weeklies and hear the interviews. (It’s also amazing how easy it is to get on the radio here, but then again, I live in a rural county without a huge amount going on)

Mathenge Maina

I very insightful and inspiring post.

What most writers (at least the ones I know) fear being judged by their friends and hence they will opt to promote to people far away.

I will be sending this link to my author friends to let them know it works.

Thanks Jane.

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