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Promote your novel using your own unique voice

Your novel is about to be published and you just googled ‘Promoting a Novel”. Then you became dizzy and disoriented reading all the articles. Novelists have an especially difficult time weeding through advice on book promotion because most is for nonfiction. Here’s a hint: fiction writers can build on their uniqueness. Promoting the highly individual, specific story in a novel isn’t the same as promoting ways to build a business or to gain Twitter followers. Developing your strategy and brand as a novelist requires, well, the highly refined writing skills it takes to become a novelist in the first place. And add to that the instincts of a marketer. It’s a tall order! Here are my five strategic ideas. You can apply them on any social media or conventional media platforms you like.

One, know your audience and focus your ads & posts

Aim your posts to your specifc segment of readers. Have you (like me) written a time travel romance? Use Facebook ads or boost your key Facebook posts to interest readers who love a love story. You can select your audience by interests as well as demographics. when boosting a post or creating an ad. This really does pull people in to reading your posts and blurbs for your book. Use Twitter to widen your network too, but don’t count on it to generate sales. Instead, it helps build your author brand. I find Facebook the best for my writing and identity as an author. Fellow writers and authors, avid readers of women’s fiction, and my own network are all most likely to be on Facebook. But everyone’s different.

Two, post repeatedly around the same themes.

Since my book is a time travel love story, I post around romantic themes and the settings in my book: why people love stories of romance, travel and history; is time travel theoretically possible. Most of all I try to post around the hook for my novel: Would you give up everything, even the time in which you live, to be with your soulmate?

Three, be active on at least two social media platforms, but don’t spread yourself thin.

Be sure to use your favorite platform regularly to post your book ads, seek and give book reviews to other authors. And be regularly active, be a genuine person appearing on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or wherever you most enjoy hanging out. It’s so easy to spot authors who are only on Twitter to relentlessly tweet their book ads, or those who aren’t familiar with the easy, conversational ways of Facebook and use their author pages to slam us with promotions. Be active in promoting, but space it out and sprinkle in liberal amounts of appreciating other peoples’ books and posts. Be a human having fun! This article on Draft 2 Digital has some tactical ideas for being active in various¬† social media. Their comments on promoted Facebook posts are golden, including using Canva or a similar design site to layer your book cover onto an attractive background for social media posting.

Four, Join or create an author community relevant to your book.
I’m a member of the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association and Authors18. They’ve been invaluable in not only supporting my book promotion, but creating a community of mutual support through the joys and woes of being a writer and a published author. Someone in one of my groups asked the other day if any of us missed the days before we were published writers? That tells you why you need a community of support! And you can ask them to do all sorts of things that help bring visiblity to your book — from liking your posts to leaving Amazon reviews. Be sure to reciprocate! Jane Friedman has a powerful thought about community in this article. She says “start where you are”, as in make the most of your own networks at the beginning of promoting a book.
Fifth, a strategic question to consider
The final piece of strategy for selling your novels — especially for authors promoting books that don’t fit easily into a genre or category — is to be true to yourself in your writing and your promotions. Be yourself, and be out there. And here’s a bonus: I just discovered a writer’s site that makes me feel inspired and has lots of great articles. Mandy Wallace covers the writing of fiction very thoroughly and with some great tools for writers.
Gifts of Writing - Author Rachel Dacus's Giveaways

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