Monday, June 27, 2011

Promotion Begins With the First Word

I was supposed to have a guest post today, but since that fell through, here's some promotional considerations during the writing phase of your book.

Promotion Begins With the First Word

Marketing is often a writer’s greatest challenge. The sooner you can begin planning your promotions, the greater your chance of success. And marketing should begin with the very first word.

Before pouring your heart and soul into your efforts, consider the marketability of your work. Explore bookstores off and online to determine if your niche is too small or genre too large. Examine the competition in depth. Most book purchases are determined by either subject matter or the author’s reputation. Do you have enough status to be considered an expert in your field? Does your book fill a need? If writing fiction, will the hook of your story be powerful enough to make you stand out from all the other authors in your genre? Remember, no one book appeals to all people, so know your target audience. Take all of this into account before passionately writing a book you cannot sell.

Tie-ins play a key role in the success of a book as well. Start asking yourself now – who would endorse my book? Favorably Mentioning specific products, companies, individuals and locations may garner endorsements. A celebrity endorsement, whether from an actor, an athlete, or another author, can increase the credibility of your work. Don’t forget organizations, non-profit groups or even political parties that might recommend your book or even use it for a fundraiser. The setting of your story might be of great interest to the people who reside there and in fact could be your target audience. Consider all of these aspects as you create your work.

Be aware of the length of your book. When exploring the bookshelves, look at the average length of books in your genre. Will yours be too long or too short? Page sizes and fonts will vary, so think in terms of word count. Research your genre thoroughly and be aware of the maximum and minimum word counts. Publishers and agents don’t want to see a book from an unknown writer that’s over 100,000 words - some want it closer to 80,000. Watch your word count even if you intend to self-publish.

The promotion process begins with the writing phase. If you do not prepare during this time, you may find it difficult to market your book or entice the interest of a publisher. Write success into your book right now!


  1. Thanks Diane on the tips, I am thinking of having a second poetry book published's just finding the time to sort out which poems are suitable( if any) so these tips are invaluable,


  2. This is some great advice. I just finished my 58,000-word YA novel, only to find out now that 80,000 words is what they want for YA. Wish I'd done what you said here and figured that out beforhand!

  3. I usually shy away from putting products in my writing but you give a really good point about using it to garner promotion and backing. Great post.

  4. Yvonne, anything you write is wonderful.

    Susan, and I would've made mine shorter! We live and learn.

    Clarissa, I've never capitalized on product placement, but it's always an option.

  5. Diane, these are some good points to ponder.

    I think it's always good to know what is selling in the market and particularly within your genre.

    Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

  6. Good point about choosing to write a marketable book to begin with! If we pour our heart into a book that is probably not going to sell, we need to know right off the bat if selling it and sharing it is important to us (or if we're content just writing it for ourselves.)

  7. Every time you write something like this I wish I'd known you before I wrote my book and then I want to hire you to market me. Awesome.

  8. Really timely info here. Thanks!

  9. You're right - we really were on the same wave length today! Knowing what your audience enjoys and wants is a great way to prepare yourself!

  10. I think that "knowing your target audience" can save a writer a lot of heart ache. My trilogy explores a highly controversial issue, and if I've written it well, it will appeal to the intended audience.

    I've had some feedback from two paid professionals that said the audience is too limited, and there is no overt author bias on the subject. I sincerely appreciated the feedback that it doesn't "preach" an opinion, and disagree with the "limited audience".

    Maybe I'm just stobborn in my own biases on the topic.

    But I did try to make the products I used neutral, everyday type references. And the social workers/DV counselors as professional as possible without delving into their repective POV.

    Forgive me if I'm a little glad your guest post fell through; this was a timely and helpful post for me. I like the issues you bring to mind.


  11. Sia and Elizabeth, I think that it's really important!

    LOL - thanks Karen.

    Donna, glad it helped.

  12. Great points. I'd love to have a NY Times best selling author endorsement on the back of my debut novel. :)

  13. Diane,

    Boy did I need this advice when I had my first book coming. Still, this is good advice any time and stuff all writers need to remember. It's hard to spend ages working on something that has no potential market.

  14. AnonymousJune 29, 2011

    I was targeting my book to 60,000 words but will be looking into whether I have to change that word count! Timely advise D. Thank you.

  15. AnonymousJune 29, 2011

    EXCELLENT advice. Thanks for sharing this.
    Yikes. My mental rolodex doth overfloweth. But there is SO much to know, and you have helped me be mindful of some very important aspects!