Once upon a time all a writer had to do was write. She poured her heart into her pages, presented them to an editor, focused on rewrites and let the publisher’s marketing team worry about promoting her soon-to-be-released title.
But, those days are long gone. Downsized publishing houses, shrinking promotional budgets and the creation of the indie author has given rise to a new era in publishing. Penning, promoting and publishing is no longer reserved for the elite author, it’s available to every writer.
This means that today, writers must be their own advocate. They must behave like entrepreneurs, donning the hat of writer, publisher, producer, and marketer.
While authors are well adapted to creating great products (ei: books) and are quickly learning the ins and outs of publishing, marketing and promotion often remain an elusive task. The trouble is, it’s pretty hard to make money penning, publishing and promoting your books if you don’t understand marketing. Because without marketing:
- You can’t grow an audience
- You can’t grow a brand
- You can’t grow sales
In other words, without marketing, readers won’t know who you are, they won’t find your books and your writing will never pay the bills. [clickToTweet tweet=”In order to grow an audience, build a brand and generate sales, every author must learn to be a marketer.” quote=”In order to grow an audience, build a brand and generate sales, every author must learn to be a marketer.” theme=”style1″]
Marketing has always been perceived as this dirty little thing we have to do (and if you want to find out more about why it doesn’t have to be this way, check out Buy My Book). But guess what, writers are natural born marketers. Writing and marketing have a lot in common, it’s very hard to be a good writer who is a bad marketer, and vice versa. In fact, writing and marketing could be considered two sides of the same coin:
Marketing is relationship oriented.
Marketing seeks to achieve a mutually beneficial relationships by satisfying the needs and wants of the customers and generating revenue for the business.
Writing is relationship oriented.
Writing seeks to achieve a mutually beneficial relationships by satisfying the needs and wants of the reader and generating revenue for the author.
Marketing is storytelling.
Marketing seeks to share a message that hits an emotional chord and resonates with the customer.
Writing is storytelling.
Writing seeks to share a message that hits an emotional chord and resonates with the reader.
Marketing is pervasive.
Marketing seeks to engage customers whenever and wherever they interact with a company.
Writing is pervasive.
Writing seeks to engage readers whenever and wherever they interact with an author.
Not only are writers adept storytellers, we know what it takes to draw a reader in, capture their attention and leave a lasting impression. And in the end, isn’t that what great marketing is?
When you can begin to see marketing not as a separate facet of your writing, but a holistic part of your writing, you can begin to shift your focus from marketing as that-thing-you-have-to-do to marketing as that-thing-you-were-born-to-do. All it takes is applying the skills you already use to produce great books to the marketing message you will use to engage your readers, grow your brand, and ultimately, sell more books.
Marketers have been telling stories for years through advertising, but the art of writing those stories as effective pieces of content is a challenge few are trained for. To be an effective marketing storyteller, means to understand the critical elements of writing. Today’s strongest marketers will craft compelling stories that intrigue, engage and connect with consumers. Today’s strongest content marketers will be authors!
Got a question or want to share some book marketing strategies that are working for you? Send me a message and let’s chat about it!