I promised some posts on advertising and immediately we’ve got Karen Chase, creator of Brand the Author (Not the Book), who brings a wealth of expertise to this matter. Her first historic novel concerning the signing of the Declaration is Carrying Independence, chosen as quantity 12 of the highest 100 indie novels by Shelf Magazine in 2019. Welcome, Karen.
Writing is usually a reasonably solitary enterprise. Publishing, nonetheless, will not be. Editors, proofers, designers, and extra, be part of us in getting a e book to market. But as soon as the jubilation of our e book launch is over, we historic novelists —whether or not self- or traditionally-published—typically discover ourselves alone once more and affected by PPMB.
What is PPMB?
Post-Publishing Marketing Blues. It’s that second when most authors notice all these e book advertising duties—writing blogs, newsletters, e book talks, promoting, giveaways, publicity, and many others.—are our duty, and if we don’t deal with it e book gross sales will trickle to a drip. Call it disappointment. Call it confusion. Call it the “I wanted to be a writer, but I don’t know squat about marketing” blues. Marketing has been my day-job for twenty-five years, but fairly frankly even I curl into the fetal place on the notion of Amazon promoting key phrases.
What is an answer to PPMB?
We want to take a look at advertising as a collective process. Just as psychologists will inform you about despair, one technique to fight PPMB is to create a supportive social community. For historic novelists particularly, I counsel different authors discovered on our personal historic novel cabinets. Therein is a advertising collective, but it surely requires us to reframe the way in which we describe authors and books comparable to us/ours.
Authors and books should not aggressive
Agents and publishers love for authors to present “comparative” or “competitive” e book titles. While that’s useful in figuring out the place our e book would possibly sit on cabinets, it’s completely unhelpful when it comes to advertising. Why? Readers aren’t combative about books. “Competitive” assumes readers will at all times select one e book or creator over one other, however unlikely select each. Yet readers could be each loyal and exploratory. Consequently, we’d like to be each loyal and exploratory, too. And that begins by placing our fellow historic novelists into two new classes.
Authors who’re “complementary”
A complementary creator is extra typically a big-deal author who inhabits your identical period or themes. Do you write Tudor-era historic fiction? So does Phillipa Gregory. She is analogous in some (or many) methods, however you don’t know her, and particularly due to her standing, you seemingly can’t join along with her. And but, you completely need her readers to decide up your books. You need her followers to fall in love with you, too. Consequently, you want to watch her and her followers (no, not stalk) after which mimic (no, not steal) the strategies of her advertising resonating most with these readers. Is her largest engagement in Instagram or on Facebook? Does she attend conferences the place you would possibly sooner or later converse? Are extra of her followers in America or the US? You wanna do identical to she do. Fish in the identical water. It’s plentiful.
Authors who’re “cooperative”
Cooperative authors, nonetheless, are the kind you possibly can simply join with who share the identical readers. Lars Hedbor and I each write Revolutionary War fiction, so we will —and have—labored collectively so as to broaden our particular person readership. Along with different historic novelists, we’ve performed giveaways collectively. He offered a blurb for my newest e book, and we’ve been on a panel collectively. I refer readers to him on a regular basis, and we’ve even shared concepts about advertising—what’s working, what isn’t. Even although we’ve got actually “worked together” on advertising duties a number of occasions, his insights and our sharing have affect. They cut back a few of our efforts to develop our readership whereas collectively we broaden the dimensions of our collective fishing pond.
Where to discover cooperative historic authors
Within the historic novelist world there are simple strategies for locating like-minded authors. I’m a member of the Historical Novel Society, and it’s by way of them I’ve met some actually wonderful and gracious authors keen to share assets. Literary societies like HNS and likewise my native James River Writers have been fertile floor through their conferences, on-line teams, and even their newsletters and e book bulletins. The secret is to not be shy, and to politely ask for a chat to begin issues off. Ask for a telephone name or zoom chat. Be genuine.
How to work with cooperative authors
Definitely, we should acknowledge a cooperative relationship will not be constructed on give-and-take. It’s constructed on graciously strolling the advertising street together. After my first novel, Carrying Independence launched, I reached out to an creator I assumed is perhaps cooperative. While she rapidly outlined how to assist her launch her newest e book, which I did, she was non-responsive when my shoe was on her foot. To keep away from such disappointments, I’d suggest having that good quaint grownup dialog first. Clearly state what you’re providing to do for them, and ask what they in return would possibly do. And if somebody provides one thing—like an area of their publication—provide one thing in return of equal or larger worth. A shared advert on social media. Or maybe give away a duplicate of their e book to your readers.
A ultimate phrase on advertising for historic novelists
While writing conferences bolster our writing chops and networks, understand that different authors aren’t our greatest readers. (Ahem, we’re all writing right here!) Our finest readers are tremendous followers of the period. Consequently, we’d like to go to occasions outdoors of writing-related conferences, and plop ourselves smack dab in the course of the place these tremendous followers get all moony. Renaissance gala’s. Regency balls. Reenactments. War memorial occasions. You might discover different authors at such occasions, otherwise you would possibly suggest panels and occasions at these conferences along with your cooperative authors. Split desk prices. Share publication sign-ups. Create e book bundles to promote collectively. Be artistic. Be beneficiant to your followers.
The outcomes of all this cooperative advertising
Surely an final result is extra readers who discover you and fall love along with your books. Although fairly actually, I believe that’s the second finest final result. The first is that you just discover a group of like-minded cooperative authors who make this entire advertising factor rather less painful and an entire lot extra enjoyable. For that, we will all say an enormous Huzzah!
Many thanks for sharing these useful insights, Karen. Being with like-minded authors who’re ready for some ‘quid pro quo’ in addition to friendship is an actual pleasure.
Follow Karen on her Facebook Author web page or through her Chasing Histories publication at KarenAChase.com.
Brand the Author (Not the Book) by Karen Chase
If you need to write books and publish long-term, you want a written creator model to get your books in entrance of the appropriate readers. This is the one creator branding workbook that makes use of confirmed steps to information you thru constructing your written creator model.
This easy-to-follow (and infrequently enjoyable) step-by-step workbook-developed by an creator and branding professional-will aid you construction your individual written creator model plan.
This workbook will information you thru steps to:
Structure sensible hours for writing versus advertising
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Outline how to join along with your focused readers higher
Select your creator platform instruments (digital, social media, and extra)
Prioritize a plan to construct your creator platform instruments
Establish requirements in your creator brand, graphics, and supplies
Create a model that’s distinctive, constant, and genuine.
At the tip of this complete but easy information you’ll have a strategic written creator model plan.
Whether you’re about to launch a debut novel, or you have got a dozen printed books, this workbook will aid you stand sturdy and say, I Am the Boss of My Author Business!
FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY
M.Ok. Tod writes historic fiction. Her newest novel is THE ADMIRAL’S WIFE, a twin timeline set in Hong Kong. Mary’s different novels, PARIS IN RUINS, TIME AND REGRET, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED can be found from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. She could be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her web site www.mktod.com.