You finally did it!
You’ve written your first book! There’s been blood, sweat and tears, and now an euphoric high as you hit the final save.
Now what? You’ve been so focused on telling the best story you know how you haven’t thought much further ahead. In fact, you were only half convinced you’d ever see this day. But you’re a champ and now you’re here. What’s next?
Obviously there’s the whole deal of finding an agent. That will take some time.
In the meantime there are things you need to be doing right away to ready your best seller for the masses.
First things first…
Build your online presence
Let’s start with the basics. One of the first things agents who are interested in representing you will look for is your online presence.
Are you active on social media? Are you published elsewhere? Do you already have a following? These are all things you need to be developing now, before you even approach an agent. Start by putting yourself out there.
Get your name out there!
Have you published anything online? Written a guest post for a blog? Something else? If so, you’re a rock star! Keep it up!
If not, don’t despair.
Start now but start small. While getting featured on a well-known website is great, make sure you have realistic expectations. Get some practice guest blogging for smaller blogs before offering a larger one your expertise.
It’s kind of like building your resume. You wouldn’t go from being a cashier at Home Depot to suddenly landing a corporate career at Nike. There would be many jobs in between the two that eventually get you to that salary job at Nike.
Select a few small blogs you’d like to get featured on and start there. You can broaden your horizons after you see success there.
Build your brand
Do you have a website, blog or somewhere today where you are regularly writing? If not, you should.
Having your own writing space shows you’re serious about writing. It also serves as a portfolio of sorts. It’s like a living and breathing resume that an agent can quickly peruse to see if they like your writing style and if you’d make a good fit.
If you’ve published stuff online elsewhere be sure to link those posts on your website as this will add a little more credibility to your site.
Attract a following
Easier said than done. I know.
Nevertheless, this is a battle every writer must fight, even if you do land that dream publisher. If you already have a book contract, you know this to be true. If you don’t, this will help you get ahead of the game and make you more attractive to an agent.
Having a strong online following will make the publisher’s job easier. When you’re trying to secure a book deal, making the publisher’s jobs easier makes you a more desirable candidate.
So start now! Don’t wait until you’ve sent your first query letter to “figure that Twitter thing out.” The number of people who are impressed by an egg head and one post?
Same goes for Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, or whatever other social media platforms you end up using. (I’ll post more on selecting the right ones for you later.)
The point is, start getting involved and growing your following now!
Once you get that down and have a few followers, start promoting your content. The blogs you have on your website or posts elsewhere are great examples of things you can promote. This helps not only build your brand, but increase your following so that when you’re published you can use your social media handles as a platform for marketing your book.
Alright, that’s marketing your book 101 for authors. Next, we’ll dive a little deeper into how to build a strategy.
Candace signing off from a hipster coffee shop in Austin. *Sigh.* Time to put in the extra evening hours for her real marketing job.
Photo credit: Books by Pascal Maramis/CC BY
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