© 2014 Andrea Merrell
When I first started writing, I didn’t consider the complexities of getting published or establishing a platform. Fortunately, I was blessed with great advice: “Find a critique group, attend writers’ conferences, and network, network, network.” As an editor, I pass along this advice to my clients and stress the importance of promoting their books—whether traditionally published or self-published.
With the recent launch of my first book, Murder of a Manuscript, I have now moved into the marketing arena. There is still much to learn, but here are a few suggestions that have produced positive results:
- Create a website or blog where people can “meet” you—this is a must for writers.
- Use Facebook and Twitter to spread the message. There are many social media options, but talk to other authors and find out what has worked for them.
- Generate guest blog posts with giveaways and links to your book. Don’t be afraid to ask. Most people are happy to have guest bloggers.
- Recruit beta readers to post Amazon book reviews.
- Sell your book at speaking engagements and through church and local bookstores.
- Don’t forget the power of word-of-mouth advertising.
- Hire a publicist if you can afford the investment.
I’ve found that most people (myself included) don’t like to self-promote. That’s why networking is invaluable. People willing to help you will have a list of contacts. Those contacts will have a completely different list of contacts. Use this ripple effect to your benefit.
Jabez cried out to God and said, Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! (1 Chronicles 4:10 NIV). That’s what happens when we network and build a platform.
A beautiful devotional, heartwarming novel, or well researched how-to book will not sell without proper marketing. If you believe God has given you words that will benefit and bless others, get busy and trust He will enlarge your territory. Do your homework and develop a plan. Seek counsel from seasoned professionals in the writing and publishing industry, then do what works best for you.
The most important thing is to pray and seek direction. Believe God every day for divine appointments, connections, and favor. He will give you creative ideas and open doors of opportunity.
** For more writing and editing tips, check out Andrea’s new book, Murder of a Manuscript, (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas 2014) now available from Amazon.
Andrea Merrell is Associate Editor for Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.She has led workshops at the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, Writers Advance Boot Camp, and The CLASS Christian Writers Conference. Andrea’s new book, Murder of a Manuscript, is available from Amazon. Her next book, Praying for the Prodigal, will be released by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in 2015. To learn more, visit Andrea’s web site, The Word Shoppe.