The Best Damn Creative Writing Blog ran a wonderful article over the weekend talking about book marketing and why some campaigns to get new readers fail. The first issue the article raised is social media. Certainly social media has changed the landscape in regards to marketing. If used well, social media makes it far easier for writers to market their book or manuscript in progress. But the article makes some valid points in regards to social media. First, it mentions that some writers simply don’t use this tool. I’m always surprised by this. Nowadays, especially in the world of poetry, presses and publishers simply don’t have the funds to launch advertising campaigns for writers. So why not make use of the free services blogs, Facebook, and Twitter offer in regards to promoting a new chapbook or full-length collection? Social media provides the opportunity to gain new readers and have open discussions with other writers.
However, the article also points out that a writer needs to be careful how he or she uses social media services. Don’t just use the tools to push your work or sell your book. As the article points out, the goal of social media should be to provide potential readers with a level of engagement. Convince them you are interesting. Pique their interest, and that should help get your work read by others. But remember no one wants to get bombarded with messages regarding where to buy your book or where to read your work.
The article also mentions that it’s crucial to invest time in one’s self. I think I underestimated this point prior to the release of my chapbook, Front Man. I didn’t realize how much time I would spend marketing the book, setting up readings, sending the book out to reviewers. As I had mentioned earlier, presses and publishers simply don’t have the funds to launch marketing campaigns for most writers anymore. So, it’s mostly up to the writer to do the hard work. The book won’t sell if no readings are booked. It’s as simple as that. Make time for these marketing strategies. It’s also a great way to build further connections.