Congratulations you’ve written a book! You are an author. I’ve got some news for you…
SELL! SELL! SELL!
ANTHONY LOBAITO AKA L A MICHAELS
Congratulations you’ve written a book! You are an author. I’ve got some news for you. You may wish to sit down. Are you sitting? Good… Guess what? You’re not only an author, but you also now work in the world of advertising and marketing. What are you advertising? Oh, nothing important really… Just that book that you wrote. Yeah… I know. Oh, I know it is a good book. I’m sure of it. Does your Ingramspark or KDP account sales charts agree with that assessment though? It’s just us talking… Let’s be honest with ourselves here. You’ve sold ten copies. That’s a big achievement. However, your grandmother, uncle, brother, and parole officer (that’s your business not mine) don’t count as much as that random person who bought it in Winnipeg. You know grandma is going to support you. You would hope your brother would support you. I have no idea what kind of a relationship you and that parole officer have… But Winnipeg person? That’s a legit sale… We both know you want more of those!
Self-promoting is not easy. My go-to for years has been artwork. I’ve hired gig workers from various platforms and made them into semi-regular artists. Here is the thing though. That art can be the most incredible thing ever. You still need to advertise it. Where are you going to advertise it? Social media. I know you are about to click off this screen. Stop. I know… Nobody likes social media. Facebook for me is where I watch drama unfold from people, I haven’t spoken with in ten years. Twitter is chaos personified for all that use it. Instagram… Pictures. TikTok… There could be dancing. YouTube? Well, there is a reason we write down our thoughts instead of broadcast them… Guess what though? You’re an author now and you want to sell books.
You need to come up with a regular schedule. At this point it is second nature for me to post when I am in self-PR/ marketing mode for both myself when it comes to books and brands that I work with. I’ve exhausted the art of hash tagging. I’ve gotten into arguments with people who don’t have a hashtag or under hashtag. It’s going to be a lot of extra writing. It’s going to be a lot of saying the same thing repeatedly but instead of copying and pasting it having to rewrite it to go after a specific audience of a specific platform. You also must figure out your audience. As an indie author at least, you get to pick what category your book goes into. Are you writing Young Adult Contemporary? Potentially, you are writing romance. If you are just say you are. The more accurate the better. That said, when you list your book don’t find the most obscure category possible just so that your book looks like it is higher on Amazon’s purchasing guide. Authors and readers alike know what you are doing. We know that your “supernatural, LGBTQ, YA, Hispanic, etc…” novel is not as niche as you are labeling it as unique and one of a kind as you claim. That isn’t to say that it isn’t special and it isn’t different than the norm. It’s just probably not THAT different.
This should go without saying… Don’t advertise in a way that you wouldn’t be comfortable with Aunt Karen on Facebook witnessing. You might think that you have no issue with this considering that your book might go there with certain themes. However, your book advertisements are going to be seen by a larger audience than the people who will buy it. That’s the truth. People are going to see your advertisement and make assumptions based on the picture, video, and text alone. If you can’t handle Aunt Karen and her Facebook pals maybe commenting something nasty about it then change up your advertisement to something that you can handle.
“I’m traditionally published… I don’t have to advertise my book!” That’s a lovely self-delusion to have. You most definitely need to do some form of advertisement. Unless your book is “IT” this quarter your book might get prime placement on Amazon, be on a display at a Barnes and Noble, and appear on a few sites. That’s going to be about it though. Here’s a reality that a lot of traditionally published people might not realize… Traditional publishers buy your book to help regulate the competition of whatever book they are trying to make the “IT” book. It should also be pointed out that if your intention is to be picked up by a book agent or traditional publisher… You better be an influencer of some sort. Again, your book is probably better or at least on par with whatever is number one on Amazon and whatever is being pushed by all the sites right now. It really doesn’t matter if you don’t already have the following. The sad part about it? You ever notice how a lot of established brands and or influencers have the title of author attached to them when it’s clear that they didn’t write the book themselves or if they did… Yikes… I’ve read a lot of Youtuber memoirs written by a lot of people under the age of 30 and most of these books have more pictures than words in them. It’s no different than your favorite actors peddling kitchenware when they’ve never discussed a passion for cooking or Lisa Rinna wearing adult diapers in her 40’s… Sorry, you need to have an audience for traditional publishing in this day and age.
Make sure your advertisement matches the tone of the book. One of my favorite ad-campaigns I have done is for my short novella “Our Private World Apart” the title is a combination of “Our Private World” and “A World Apart” two short lived 60s’ soaps. “Our Private World” was a spin-off of “As the World Turns” which is famous for having the opening credits of a globe spinning around and ending with the “O” in “world” being the globe. I paid homage to this with this campaign. Here is the issue… “Our Private World A Part” is a story about two teenagers in a relationship stuck on different continents for the summer. The campaign makes it look like I wrote a Sci-Fi novel. It was a lesson. I still love the short video for that campaign though and it is one of my most liked posts on Instagram.
The name of the game really is selling your book. It’s going to be up to you to decide how you want to go about doing that. There are so many different things that you can do. There are countless other stories that I can get into to both encourage and discourage you from certain campaign options. Whatever you do don’t waste your money on a certain blue bird app on ad’s… UNLESS you already have an audience on there that is going to help share that post. I believe in you! Now go figure out what the password for your Instagram account that you made five years ago and change the name of your socials to all match!
About the Author
Anthony Lobaito A.K.A. L.A. Michaels is the current Director of Public Relations in the 3BX Marketing department. Michigan born and raised with two year stint between Wichita, Kansas and Rock Hill, South Carolina, Lobaito is the published author of seven novels and counting. Outside of his professional life, Lobaito is an avid pop culture junkie, comic book fan, music lover and cinephile.