I’m going to be a published author guys! My heroic fantasy novel Song of the Wild is going to be published by Kyanite Publshing in the Spring of 2021.
But what do I do now? I know there are a lot of authors who have the same questions. I know a lot of authors with several books already published are asking these questions. I don’t want to wait. I want to get ahead of this, and have my audience ready to go when my book comes out. That’s the ideal, right?
Also, I suppose I should define what I mean by success. It can be so many different things. My biggest dream would be to be able to join the SFWA which means a certain level of sales. So the goal is 1,600 copies sold in one year. There are lots of reasons why that may be a pie in the sky goal, but it’s something to shoot for.
I Need a Plan
So I know I want to map this out, so I’m not caught off guard when things come up, as they inevitably will. I also want to automate as much of this as I can so I don’t have to stay on top of it at every moment.
At first I assumed this meant amassing a major social media following. But the more I read, the more I understand that it’s actually about getting people’s permission to stay in touch with them as you go. My main sources so far for this type of marketing have been Tim Grahl, Nick Stephenson and Jane Friedman.
Your First 1,000 Copies
I was introduced to Tim Grahl by a podcast he started with Shawn Coyne called Story Grid. (BTW if you have trouble with story structure, you need to listen to it.) He’s written an easy to read, easy to follow, step by step guide on how to do permission marketing, Tim’s term for building an audience. He lays it out in four easy phases, and uses clear language to explain the process. This book is a must have.
Your First 10,000 Readers
I haven’t delved too deeply into these videos and blogs yet, but just the experience signing up for the videos showed me a lot about the value of automated responses. The videos are also fun and relatable. The idea is still the same, build up your email list, a permission based audience. But his main thrust is offering free e-books or something that will entice your readers to sign up.
If you haven’t discovered Jane Friendman’s website, you are missing out. She has blog posts on everything from the writing process, to query letters, to marketing and anything else you can think of. She has a lot of guest bloggers from many different industries. I have gotten so many tips and tricks from this site, I can’t recommend it highly enough. She has posts breaking down what your website should have, and how to dress up your social media profiles.
Two YouTube channels that have been a great help as well are Alexa Donne, and iWriterly. Both have extensive experience in marketing and publishing and are willing to give real talk about money and the business side of writing. I highly recommend them both.
Stay tuned for how all of this influenced my plan, and what I chose to use to dress up my website.