GETTING THE BUZZ GOING
Now with one of my releases behind me, and now having twelve books published along with a new one out in just over a month, I know a little something about getting the buzz going before release and keeping it there afterwards. I am talking as someone who doesn't have a huge fanbase, let's be upfront about that from the start. However, I am actively building my fanbase and reaching new readers. I'm also trying new things to try and engage with my audience and part of that is a bit of trial and error. So while I don't have the following of some indie authors, I'm not right down at the bottom of the pile either.
I've talked a bit about this on my youtube channel, but I thought I would talk some more about it here as they seem to reach different people. So what I'm going to do is give you five tips that I've found work for me to get the word out, and the hype and buzz started for a release. You may find that they don't work for you, or that you need to adapt them to your own situation, and that's completely fine.
#1. - THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS TOO SOON
One thing I picked up very early on (though not early enough) was that you need to start as soon as you have an idea. The moment you start writing your book, get the buzz started. There is no such thing as too soon. I know a lot of people worry that there will be problems if they don't finish the book, or if they decide to go a different way, or if it takes them years to finish it - which just an FYI is pretty normal - and my answer to that is that people are going to want to know your story. You won't wake up one morning famous, but you will draw attention and that will help spur you on to finish, go through betas and edits and all of that jazz. On top of that, it gives you support and a fanbase to build on even if you're not sure if you're going the traditional or indie route.
#2. - DO YOUR RESEARCH
This is a huge point. So many people will go into the publishing world and not know what's needed of them, or what to do and where to advertise, how to find an editor, how to start a social media presence and all of that jazz. Make sure you know ahead of time what you need to do and how to do it. Whether that's going the traditional or the self-publishing route. You need to know about beta readers, about critique partners, you need to know where to look for cover designers and what is expected of your cover for your chosen genre. You need to know how to choose your genre and all of that jazz. All of this will help you make sure you are hitting your target audience and getting the right buzz going for the work you're doing.
#3. - ADVERTS ARE FRIENDS
I don't just mean things like Facebook ads or Twitter ads. I mean combining all of them together to make sure you're hitting the right people. I mean finding out what works best as an advert, what keywords to use and why, what kind of graphics and all of that. This can help you spread the word. Part of this is making connections which you do by starting early. You find yourself author buddies who either write in a similar genre to you or have a similar target audience to you and then you work together co-promoting. You have to decide for yourself who and where and how, but getting the buzz going means spreading the word.
#4. - SOCIAL MEDIA HELPS
I recently did a vlog on social media (found here) and one thing I was very clear on was that social media is not really optional. You don't have to have a big presence, but you do need to have some presence. It's the way of the world and people wanting to reach out to you, whether they be authors or readers, are going to want to have some way to connect. Whether that's having a website and the bare minimum of socials, or whether you have as many as you can handle, you have to find what works for you, but creating a buzz around releases and other promotions means being able to connect with the world. And for that social media is the easiest way.
#5. - ENGAGE WITH YOUR READERS
The biggest tip of them all is that you need to engage with your readers. Whatever route you choose, a lot of the promotional stuff is going to be on you unless you're a big name and generally speaking most people don't start off as big names. You need to be actually talking with people. It's all well and good to only talk about your book and release, but the majority of people want to have something more than just buy links. They want to get to know you, they want to get to see a part of you outside of the fact that you're a writer. So talk to people, engage with them, make friends and with that, spread the word. Not every tweet and message has to be completed with a buy link!
So those are my five tips of getting the buzz going when it comes to a release. As always, these are what works for me and they might be something that works for you, or you can add your own spin on it. Do you have any ways you like to get the buzz going before a release? Lemme know in the comments!
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