March 4th, 2013 | by Beth Barany
Welcome to guest columnist, fantasy author, J. Michael Squatrito, Jr. He goes by Mike. Here’s his take on what you need to know about book marketing.
Congratulations, you finished your book and you want to get it published.
However, did you realize that you need to market your book extensively once the writing is done? This is especially true if you self-published like I did. With three epic fantasy titles out in the marketplace, and a fourth in the works, I think I’ve figured out a little something in the world of self-marketing and social networking. And, I hope what I write here today will help you on your way to getting your book out there.
First and foremost, get yourself a website. Secure a domain name, I use GoDaddy.com for mine, the-overlords.com, and then find a provider where you can build your site. AllFantastic.com helped me with my sites, but there are plenty of others out there as well. Be sure that your domain name is something easily recognizable and pertinent to you and/or your story-line.
Remember, your website is going to be the portal to you and your book. Be sure your site contains information on how to purchase your books, blurbs about your titles, a little bit about you, and an events calendar to keep fans up to date about book signings and everything you.
OK, you now have a web presence, but do you have a following? Sure we all have friends, relatives, and co-workers who are excited to hear that your book is complete, but what about the rest of the world? It’s time to hit the social networks! The first thing that I did was to create an Overlords Newsletter, which started as a simple Microsoft Word document that I cut and pasted into an email. The newsletter stated what was happening in my world of writing, the status of my book, and a way to keep everyone in the loop about my project. As time passed, my fan base began to get bigger and I quickly outgrew my simple cut and paste project.
MailChimp.com is a free newsletter generating service company that offers a host of template designs to craft a fantastic newsletter for you and your fans. It is very easy to import subscriber lists, create campaigns, and schedule newsletter releases. Plus, everything is free as long as you stay under 12,000 sends per month. When you’re first getting started, staying under 12,000 sends is pretty easy.
Great, the website looks awesome and now we have a snazzy-looking newsletter. What’s next? Joining all of those social sites that the kids are on all day, that’s what!
Be sure to set up accounts on Facebook (create a Fan Page), Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn at a minimum. I also have an account on Goodreads as well. Again, everything is free and set up is quite simple. Another great free site is HootSuite.com, which allows you to add five free social networking accounts and will post a message to all of your networks at the same time. This is a must if you need to get a message out to your fan base quickly without having to log into every account.
Is there more you ask? Well, yes. You can set up a blog via blogspot.com (part of the Google suite) where you can post about anything you want and direct your fans to those postings using HootSuite. You might also want to get into videotaping your events and posting them to YouTube (yup, another account to create!) so that the whole world will see the face behind the book.
As you can see, like I tell the would-be authors at my workshops and events, writing the book is the easy part! Marketing the book is definitely an art within itself and can be very time consuming. But, it’s a lot of fun to connect with friends and fans alike, so get out there, have fun, and smile, smile, smile!
Mike has been writing The Overlords series for over fifteen years. Currently, he lives in Tiverton, RI with his wife Lea, and their children, Devin and Samantha. Mike speaks at middle and high schools, colleges, local libraries, and writer’s groups where his sincere hope is to inspire everyone he meets and to get their creative juices flowing. Mike’s sincere hope is to help people attain their dreams.
When not working on the Overlords series, Mike is very active in fitness and sports. He continues to play baseball where he is a knuckleball pitcher for the Narragansett Brewers that won the 2008 National Championship in Phoenix, AZ. He also is the head coach for his son’s Babe Ruth team, runs 4 to 5 miles on a regular basis, does interval weight and cardio training, and takes Vinyasa yoga classes twice a week. Did we mention that he is an engineer, too, working on Homeland Defense projects? Contact Mike via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org