by Kathryn Jones, @kakido
Strange but true. You may find that writing your mystery novel is easier than marketing it afterwards. Besides that fact that there are many things to do--you just don't have the money to spend on high priced marketing, but still want your book to get out there.
And you want to sell more than 10 copies.
What should you do first?
Get those reviews.
At least a month or two before your book is released, gather up reviewers who are interested in reviewing your book. Reviewers can be found by the bucketfuls online, through books sites, author sites, and review sites, but don't take just anyone who says they can review your book. Make sure that the reviewer is interested in your book by sending them a query with the details of your book: I have included a synopsis (the sort that would be on the back cover), my book's title, when my book will be released and by what publisher, and any other information the reviewer needs to make a decision. Once I hear from the reviewer I send my book. Many will take a Kindle or pdf version of my book, which saves time and money.
Make up Some Postcards.
Postcards with your book on one side and your synopsis and contact information on the other is a great way to market your book when you're away from home. It's easy to hand the card to a stranger and say a few quick words about your book, and the process is a lot less intimidating than trying to talk about your book without a prop. Postcards are inexpensive and are great to use at book signings too!
Share Your Love of Writing.
If you haven't already, begin your own blog. Make it about writing. What have you learned? What helps can you give others? Offer to guest blog for others and be willing to do interviews. Many blog owners are interested in doing interviews and the process is simple. Query the blog owner and ask to be interviewed. If they like what they see they'll send you a list of questions that you fill out and return to them. Be a speaker at a writer's workshop or conference or create your own experience and invite writers or readers to attend.
Offer Free Books.
Readers love FREE and you can get more readers than ever by offering your book on Kindle free during the first week your book comes out. You may also consider offering a print or Kindle version of your book to a lucky winner. Many blogs offer these contests.
Do a Video Trailer.
Yes, there are many companies that will offer to do a trailer for you but usually at a pretty hefty price. Do your own through animoto.com or voicethread.com. Come up with ways to share your work through places like Pinterest and YouTube. See two of my videos here:
Marketing may appear a bit "scary" to you, at least at first, but you don't need to be afraid to get out there and market your book. While some of your marketing will require you to speak up and be heard, the best news is that much of your promoting can still be done online--where most of your readers shop.
Kathryn has been a published writer since 1987. She has published various newspaper stories, magazine articles, essays and short stories for teens and adults. She is the author of: “A River of Stones,” a young adult fiction novel dealing with divorce published in 2002, and “Conquering your Goliaths—A Parable of the Five Stones,” a Christian novel published in January of 2012. One of her newest creations, a “Conquering your Goliaths—Guidebook,” was published in February of 2012. “Scrambled,” published in September 2012, is her first cozy mystery. Read her first chapter here: http://www.ariverofstones.com/scrambled.html
Kathryn graduated from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Mass Communication and a minor in Creative Writing. Her studies included work in creative writing, public relations and journalism. Recently, she has opened the doors to Idea Creations Press, a publishing services company that caters to writers and their writing, publishing and marketing needs.