Overcoming Authors’ Biggest Obstacles

Overwhelmingly, one of authors' biggest obstacles is visibility. Millions of books published each year, which means making your specific book stand out is going to take some dedicated work.

Author Sean Platt says, “Many writers see publishing their book as a finish line, but really it’s a starting point.” He recommends writing a few books and entering the market with a small catalog of books, which will make it easier to stand out from the competition.

Platt isn’t alone in his thinking. Author Jessica Wilder recommends the same thing. “The best advice I can give is that when push comes to shove, the best marketing you can do is to publish the next book.”

Here are some things to consider when tackling one of authors' biggest obstacles:

• Make your book stand out. Your book needs to be well-written, well-edited and have a fabulous cover if you truly want to compete. Once you’ve done this, you will need to market your book to find the ones that are right for you.

• Identify and build your audience. You should probably start to build your brand and audience in advance of publication. This can be done by networking with authors and readers on social media and in person, so use others to combat one of authors' biggest obstacles.

• Create your own website. Fill the site with interesting information, articles, etc. to keep people coming back. You’re now in the entertainment business, and people expect you to engage them. This is also a great place to expand on information about your characters, write blogs related to your book, and let readers know more about you and what you’re writing next.

• Get reviews. Getting reviews before publication is a great idea. Plus, if the comments are great you could even use them on your book cover. Getting reviews after publication is a great way to help influence potential readers to buy your book. Another reason to gather reviews is many promotion sites won’t work with books without a minimum number of reviews.

• Remember the power of free. Well-publicized book giveaways can bring lots of new readers to your book, help to increase your Amazon ranking to boost your level in searches, and potentially increase paid sales. If you have a giveaway but no one knows about it, your book won’t benefit.

• Utilize social media. Experts say a book cover needs to be seen seven times before a reader will recognize it. There are Facebook groups that allow members to post news. You could also build your own group page or investigate utilizing Facebook ads where you only pay when people click through to your buying page.

• Communication with fans. Be sure to communicate with people who show an interest in you and your book. People want to know the person behind the book, but sure you’re available and friendly. It will be far easier to sell your book(s) to someone who already likes and/or trusts you. You don't have to combat one of authors' biggest obstacles alone.

• Put yourself out there. Whether it’s on social media or in person, get out there. Contact local clubs to see if they’d like you as a speaker, look for internet radio shows and offer to be a guest, write guest blogs, and let your local media know you’re an author and available for interviews, etc.

• Be consistent. Marketing is not a one and done thing, it’s ongoing and cumulative. Block of time every day that is devoted solely to marketing your book.

*Information for this post was gathered from many sources, but I found this one particularly helpful: Marketing for Writers

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