If you’ve found this site and have clicked this page, I’m assuming you have already come to terms with the fact that marketing, promotion, and publicity is your responsibility; whether you are published by a traditional publisher or are your own boss as an indie publisher or author. The good news is that book discovery, while time consuming, is often quite rewarding – both in financial remuneration and access to your fans.
Yes, you will have fans. You will cultivate relationships with readers, give them access to your process, personality, and perspectives. But before you get fans, you have to build your web.
I call it a web because much like those eight leg spinners, we authors have to construct something that catches readers and brings them closer to the center of our world, typically a website or your book’s Amazon page. Book discovery is more or less the process of building this attractive web in order to transform you from an unknown author to someone with a legion of dedicated brand loyal readers each willing to spend hundreds of dollars on your products.
And yes, you will have products, plural. A book is a means to an end. It is a business card – a prologue, introducing your story. You must pay off this prologue with exciting, engaging content that keeps your audience tuned in, wallets at the ready.
For those of you who think that there is little return for all the effort, I give you Exhibit A: J.A. Konrath. Mr. Konrath, has been a trailblazer in the realm of self-publishing and has sold 632,501 self-pubbed ebooks since 2009, earning him $912,138. Even more amazing than these figures, is how Konrath has documented his learning’s every step of the way on his fantastic website: A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing.
Do I have your attention now?
Good. Now, let’s get to the basics of book discovery.
The first rule of book discovery is believing that you have what it takes to be discovered. Having what it takes simply means that you understand what you need to do to captivate your audience, why you should expend your time and energy at these efforts, and how to leverage the tools of book discovery for optimal effectiveness. I’m going to take you through these what’s, why’s, and how’s in explicit detail so you leave this site armed with the information you need to become the next breakout book star.
Many book marketing experts start their spiel explaining the need for authors to build a platform. The basic concept is that until you have a platform, you will never build an audience. I couldn’t disagree more vehemently. None of the authors I have had the pleasure to work with had a platform when we began working together, but through our combined efforts, soon they found themselves being e-mailed by excited readers on facebook and goodreads; receiving reviews on Amazon.com from strangers; and selling thousands of books in their sleep. Your job is to build a web that enables you to be discovered by the “right “readers and gives them the reason and incentive to either support you with a like or follow or with the purchase of your book (s). The insights I am providing on this site are readily available to any author willing to learn, but what most book marketers and authors don’t get is that when it comes to marketing any product, intent is everything.
Your intent as an author should be to cultivate an audience one reader at a time, and give them a reason and a message to spread to their network. Notice that I don’t say anything about book sales in the above statement of intent. Book discovery is a long-term proposition, not a get-rich-quick scheme. If you plan to become rich overnight, you may be better off continuing to query literary agents in the hopes of landing a lucrative publishing contract (that are fewer and farther between these days). If you are willing to build a skyscraper a beam at a time, then continue reading.