Tips for marketing
This is an entirely new field for me. When I completed Aegis Rising, I told my dad, “Alright, I’m done!” He said, “Actually, it’s just the beginning.” I learned very quickly that one half of the publishing process is writing the book, and the other half is marketing and publicity. My dad spearheaded the marketing effort and I tagged along to pick up what I could, and here are some of my observations: As independently-published writers, it is essential that we learn as much as possible about the workings of the 800-pound gorilla in the publishing universe, i.e. amazon.com, to build our author platform. Have a website to support your work and design a media kit, and do press releases. Network with local libraries, local bookstores (if you have print version of your novel available), book clubs and writers’ groups. Reach out to local media to share compelling news about your work. Create a book video teaser and/or trailer to put on YouTube and other video-sharing websites like Vimeo. Reach out to book bloggers as well to talk about and review your book. Set up an author account on Goodreads and promote your book there. Search for book-promotion sites, then test and select the ones that work for you. Keep track of and analyze your sales data at regular intervals and change/fine-tune strategies and techniques accordingly.
Tips for social media
From my observations, social media is icing on the cake for your marketing strategy rather than the driver behind it. Social media isn’t really going to sell your books, but it is a great means to make your brand known. With that said, it is essential in today’s marketing landscape that you have at the minimum the following social media channels set up: Facebook, Twitter and Google+. As I mentioned, while social media may not drive sales, it’s the kindling you put in place in anticipation of your book catching fire, at which point it may convert and begin creating sales!
Tips for writing
Here are some techniques I’d like to share: Have a vision for what you want your book (or series) to look like, even down to the cover design and synopsis; create the arc of the story and allow sufficient room within this arc for creative “wanderings”; have your story timelines and novel timelines outlined, as well as create chapter capsules (which are the content of each chapter summarized in point form); make bullet points for the key elements of each chapter, then use those when you start writing; utilize mindmaps to visualize connections for the events and characters, and use storyboards for more complex scenes. I hope you find these useful!