I’d like to sell 1000 copies of a self-published book this year.
It’s a side project, the book isn’t written yet and I have no idea how to market it. There are a million ways to fuck this up.
Fauzia Burke wrote a book in 2016 about online marketing for busy authors. She suggested figuring out your personal brand, building a website, maintaing a mailing list, starting a blog, growing a social media presence and a hiring publicist. All sounds great but I’d hate to see the what she recommends for people who aren’t busy.
Rob Fitzpatick comes to rescue here in ‘Write useful books’ with four things to reliably promote a book:
– podcast appearances (not sure I have much to say yet)
– amazon ads (more of a boost than a strategy)
– event giveaways (I don’t know people in the space)
– which leaves building an author platform by writing the book in public
Writing in public means writing the book as you market it: Sharing your research as you go, posting excepts and key ideas, and revealing your process as it comes together.
To make tangible progress I need concrete weekly tasks to check off, so:
1. Read one book a week.
2. Summarize what I learned in a post.
3. Share the summary as a response to relevant questions on Twitter, one subreddit and one forum. I’ll end each post by asking people to send me an email if they are interested in beta reading my first draft.
4. Help one reader make progress with the problem I’m writing about each week.
There are many useless rabbit holes you can explore when trying to promote something. These 4 tasks feel like a meaningful starting point. Whether they lead to people sending me emails, we’ll have to see.
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