If you have ever taken the first step into the abyss we call publication, you may have realized that turning your manuscript into a bestselling book is not an easy process. Turn a blind eye to the hundreds of quick method peddlers that title themselves as “publish in a week”, or “write the novel in a year”. The roads to publishing seems daunting but the truth is, publishing is not your monster—marketing is your foe.
To begin you must consider your audience above all else, for they are who will ultimately get you from “barely known” to “bestseller.” Finding an audience is about ten percent what your genre is and ninety percent getting attention. People need to see you more than your book; they know you’re an author, now they need to know why they should care.
Walk into just about any coffee shop today and you’ll meet a handful of supposed “writers.” This has become commonplace. You, however, must show why you are different than the rest; as an author, and as a person. How did you get into writing? This is the most common question you’ll get, and you should have a quick answer. What is your book about? For a number of reasons, this is a hard question for many authors. A big one is that we are too close to the story or world we have built, and often can’t give a short summary of it for people we meet. To build an audience willing to support and buy your works you need to, though.
So when do you start this obstacle course of grunt work to pull in the masses, or advertising? It depends on you and how you want to sell. If you are only selling hard copies, then start when you’re almost finished with the manuscript. As you end the book begin printing and set up distribution—take you social media apps with you. Give people pictures, share your excitement if they see you that way, more will be curious. It also tells them this isn’t all talk. You have the backing to your name now, and with that turn yourself into your brand. When people talk to you or see your web pages they should see a commonality.
As an author, we are allotted very little personal space. Once you have your brand established, you have to keep it up. Gain followers—even traditional publishers won’t look at authors no one knows about—though once you have an audience, why would you need anyone else?