Thursday, October 22, 2009

Look at me I'm an author (What do I do now/)

Look at me I’m an Author
(What do I do now?)
You are now officially a published author, congratulations!! You are holding your book in your hand. That really nice (not to mention expensive) photo of your self is smiling back at you from the back cover. As you stand there basking in the glory of one of your greatest accomplishment, the daydreams begin to flood your mind, the daydream of the mansion with a swimming pool and the eight car garage. Then something begins to awaken in your spirit, because of this multi-paged volume you hold in hand your status has moved to a new level. You can now legally use your new title “Author.” Your long awaited dream has finally come true. You think to yourself ‘My time has finally come.’ But has it really? Or is the clock just now beginning to tick?
Now that you have succeeded in writing and getting your work published, whether it was self-published, POD or by a traditional publisher what’s next? How will my book get into the public eye? Unless your book was picked up by one of the major publishing houses that pay out a six figure royalty, with a movie deal already in the works before you even finish writing the book, then you still have a way to go. There is still quite a long road to travel before you make it to the finish line of success.
This is something that I had to learn, and if you are like me, a first time author that had lived a certain lifestyle, but not one that had anything to do with the publishing industry. You probably are pretty naive about what to do next. You may have thought like I did that well I have a book so the publisher will make it happen and within a few months I will be on the New York Times best seller list. Stephen Spielberg will be calling me any day now for the movie rights. Only to find out a few weeks after my books release date that if I really wanted my book to succeed, I had to be the CEO of my own marketing firm. Sure your publisher may set you up with a marketer but guess what you are not the only author that they are representing in the company. They are not on your personal payroll. So there will be times that you think they are not doing anything. I had the strange idea that once I had gotten my book published, the publishing company (I had a traditional publisher), would then get busy selling my book across the world and I could just sit home with my laptop and turn out page after page of my next novel. I had decided I could probably turn out two to three books a year, boy would I be rich and famous!!! Then reality set in and I quickly learned that if my book was going to succeed it was up to me to use every method available in order to get my book into the public square so to speak.
Being a first time author without any real knowledge of the industry, the prospect of marketing my own book was very overwhelming and down right intimidating. I soon learned if I wanted to jumpstart my sells I needed to know a little about marketing. You must also understand, now that your book is released your status has once again changed; you are now a book marketer. If you work at it hard enough you can become not only an author and book marketer you can actually become a marketing expert (but don't hang your shingle just yet).
So now where to I start in marketing my book? One of the very first places to start is in your own backyard. I know that you already knew that, but there are something’s that you may not have thought about. If you live in a small town or community as I do, you may believe that it would be useless to do a lot of marketing in your area, WRONG!!!
Start by deciding your niche market. Who is most likely to be interested in your book? For me it was churches since my book is a novel with a strong spiritual message. I needed to contact the people that would most likely want to read the book. By all means Do Not overlook the small congregation churches, remember they have family in other places and not only that most churches belong to some type of denominational association or other entity. If the pastor and members are impressed with your book they will recommend it to others and before you know it the word has spread across many states if not the whole country and sometimes other countries. If your book is a Christian book find out when there are going to be special events like conferences or seminars and ask if you can come and set up your book table. A lot of times they will even ask you to speak at their events especially if your book is on a subject that could fit into their event. Find the niche group that will be most interested in what you have to say. Are your niche targets young mothers, athletic types, fitness buffs? maybe your work would interest the more mature person. Whatever your niche group may be target their clubs and organizations.
Next look at your public library, contact the president of the friends of the library volunteer organization and let them know that you are a new author from the area. The volunteer’s are always looking for speakers to come to their meetings this will be of benefit to both you and the organization you have an opportunity to talk about your book, make some sales and the organization has a speaker for their meeting.
In future articles I will address other means of marketing that can help you establish yourself as an author and get you where it is that you need to be in order to succeed in a highly concentrated field.
Engaging the Sons of Darkness can be purchased at

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