WHY YOU HAVE TO DO IT
After you have written your book, you can't stop there! The challenge many writers have is they don't view themselves as marketers. Once they put down their pen, they think they can hand off their book to the publisher and call it a day. However, as any successful book writer knows selling books is a hustle. The one thing all professional writers have in common is they have all sold multiple copies of books. In order to be a profitable author, you need to be able to get people to buy your product. You need to sell your books.
The best advocate for your product is yourself. You can't leave selling to someone else. You can hire someone to help but you can't outsource it all. Unfortunately, the art of selling is something that many people do not know or do not consider themselves experts at. Therefore, we have a tendency to shy away from learning how to do this type of work.
We may hire people to publicize our book for us. We may ask others to market our product for us. But there is a problem with this, no one will love your product more than you do. No one will believe in your product more than you do. You have to believe in your product in order to convince others to believe in it also!
Learning how to market is important because it is pivotal to not only craft a great product but also to make your product known. Selling a book is a skill that authors who wish to be successful must learn.
How can you learn how to market? Fortunately, there are many avenues to learning. You can learn from yourself (trial and error). You can learn from others (taking business courses). You can learn from a variety of techniques, and don't have to limit yourself to a single one. Trying multiple tactics is sometimes necessary to get your book in front of the right audience.
IDENTIFYING YOUR AUDIENCE
Once you have committed to selling books, the next step is finding the right audience to sell your book to. Your audience is the demographic that would enjoy reading your book. Who wants to read your book? The person who wants to read your book is someone who enjoys the contents of your book or derives some kind of benefit from having experienced reading it.
Where does your target audience reside? Where do they reside in groups? In order to get your audience to buy your book, you need to make them know about your book. In order to get them to see your book, you have to infiltrate their territory. You have to frequent the places they frequent. You have to show up at the clubs they attend. For example: If you are trying to sell a young adult novel, it may be wise to join some young adult book clubs. There are many communities of readers available online, such as on Good Reads and Library Thing.
MAKE THEM WANT YOUR BOOK
In order to get your target audience to want your book, you need to make them want your book. You can do this a couple of ways. You can show them a book cover that is tantalizing. A great book cover will capture their attention and pique their interest. Once you have their attention, you can show them more. You can tease them with the contents of your book, a promise of what is inside.
On Amazon, there is a feature that allows authors to offer sneak peeks of their book contents to would-be buyers. The purpose of this free sample is to give a taste of your book contents to the potential reader. This is why it is considered extremely important to have a captivating opening hook. You want to be able to lure the reader into your world. You want to get them to want to stay and be a part of it!
MAKE IT EASY FOR THEM TO GET YOUR BOOK
Once you have attracted the right audience, you need to make it easy for them to get your book. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can provide easy links to access the point of purchase for your book. If you are selling on a distributor, such as Barnes and Nobles, you can provide a link to the sales page. You can also do things like lower the price of your book to make it affordable to as wide of an audience as possible. Many book stores offer discounts on new products to try to entice would-be readers to give a book a chance when there is a limited time offer.
In short, marketing is not a thing that should be left to just pros. Marketing is something that is valuable for writers to know how to do themselves as well. If the end goal you have is to be a profitable published author, then you need to learn how to do the profitable part of writing.