A special welcome to Anne Garboczi Evans who tells us her secrets for building platform!
My New York Times Bestseller Marketing Plan
Whether you’re an Indie, self-published, or Traditional author, we’ve all heard the doom-inspiring line. “In this economy, publishers don’t have the budget to market new authors.”
So in this market or sink world, we’re all looking for ways to make our book stand out. Problem is, if you haven’t made it big yet, chances are you also don’t have much of a marketing budget. But you do have one tool at your disposal—your pen. Use it wisely and you can skyrocket your book all the way up to the New York Times bestseller list. Or at least, that’s my hope, because I want my name on that list. J
1. Guest Blog:
Guest blogging will exponentially increase your book exposure since, it not only provides links to your blog, but also drives up your Google search engine results. How do you get guest blog slots? Find blogs that attract the kind of readers that would like your book and start shooting out guest blogging requests.
2. Write Online Articles:
Very similar to guest blogging, writing articles for online publications gets your name out in cyberspace. Thought Catalog takes articles on almost anything. It appeals to the 20s and 30s crowd and has a lot of “10 Steps to Dating” or “Why I hate Twilight” type articles, but is aggressively trying to build its current events reach.
3. Write about Current Events:
Even if you normally avoid news like the plague, (yeah, that’s me), other people love it. Writing about current events is one of the fastest ways I’ve found to expand author platform. Find something, anything, in the news that interests you and write an opinion piece. Here’s a list of 100 Conservative Websites, many of which take opinion pieces. I use them because my target audience tends to be rather conservative. If you write for a liberal crowd, I’m sure there’s a comparable list of 100 websites.
4. Be Edgy:
Tick people off. Seriously, do it. If everyone completely agrees with you, no one will read your articles. Many authors try to only write about things that everyone agrees on so as not to drive away readers. This is the wrong approach.
Write, “the sky is blue.” Everyone agrees. Nobody cares. Write, “gun control.” Nobody agrees. Everyone cares.
There are six billion people in the world. Your biggest marketing problem is not offending so many people that there’s no one left to read your books. Your biggest problem is that no one knows you exist.
(Note: Do not antagonize literary agents or publishers. There are very few of those and you need them.)
5. Make Your Own Online Space:
No matter how many people read your articles, it doesn’t help your author platform unless they’re directed back to your site. An author blog is a “must” as well as a Facebook fanpage and Twitter. Once your book is published, you’re going to have to use Goodreads for book giveaways and the like. If you have spare time, feel free to experiment with the other social media out there, pinterest, instagram, linkedin etc.
6. Start Small:
This is the most important step. Many authors get discouraged because the New York Times doesn’t want their editorial. If you’re a brand-new author you probably shouldn’t be querying the New York Times in the first place. (Though I did try it.) Query tiny blogs.
After you do guest posts for a hundred tiny blogs, query a small website. Do articles for a hundred small websites and you’ll get a query accepted at a medium website. Blow through a hundred articles at those medium websites and you’ll get a query accepted at a big one. Get a hundred articles published on big websites and you’ll get attention in huge print and TV media like the Washington Post or Fox. Get media attention from a hundred huge media outlets . . . and you really don’t need my advice anymore. Though if you’d like to offer me a promo spot in gratitude for my excellent advice, I won’t be saying no. J
Anne Garboczi Evans is an author with Hartline Literary Agency. She is currently working on a world religions book entitled, No Fear: My Tale of Hijabs, Witchcraft Circles, and the Cross.
Sound like she knows how to stir things up?