I've had a multitude of careers. I am an attorney, an author, and an independent film producer. I was a prosecutor, a public guardian, and a motion picture literary agent. I've been pubbed by a major house with a ginormous marketing budget, and I've indie pubbed. I've hired publicists, gone on book tours, and tried to publicize myself. Yet even with this vast and eclectic mix in such varying and interesting forums I feel that I know next to nothing about how to successfully market a book.
But these 5 things I know for sure when it comes to marketing my books.
1. WOM sells books. Word of Mouth--this is the only thing that any publicist or marketing guru will admit to knowing beyond any doubt sells books. I am much more likely to pick up a book that a friend of mine raves about than a book about which I've heard nothing.
2. Write Great Books. Seems so simple right? It's not--at least not for me. I am well into the double digits with the number of books I've written and I struggle each day to make this book--the book I am writing now--better than the last. This is my ultimate goal--that each time a reader picks up one of my books they can say (a) this was worth my money (b) this was worth my time (c) I enjoyed this book! I want the last book I wrote to be the greatest marketing tool it can possibly be for the next book I write.
3. Rely on your friends. We writers are in this boat together. I know who you are--my compadres, my compatriots, my soeurs de coeurs--and you know who I am too. I am here to shout your successes from the rooftops as I know you will do mine. I do this not for my own benefit, but because I adore you, and your talents, and I know how tough this business is and I need to feel I am in this with people I enjoy.
4. Twitter/Facebook/Blog but DO NOT let social-media take over your life. Social-media is meant to be a tool--social media is not writing and can in fact become a detriment to authors. Our time is precious. It takes loads of time to write a solid book--for me every minute is crucial because often I am scrounging for writing time around my career as an attorney and also the beloved (on a good day!) responsibilities that come with being a mom and a wife.
5. Get a GREAT cover. I may not buy a book based on a cover, but I will certainly not pick up a book to look at if I don't dig the cover. I think this is particularly important when an author indie-pubs. A professional looking cover helps the reader--even unconsciously--to believe that this is a well-written, professionally edited book. You want the reader to start from that point--then, dear author, DO NOT disillusion them.
Hollywood Girls Club series. She wrote Can't Buy Me Love and Courting Trouble. She is also legal counsel for the Women's Fiction Writers Association. Hollywood Hit, the latest installment of the Hollywood Girls Club series publishes summer 2013. You can follow Maggie on facebook, her blog, or twitter. She is eternally grateful for each person who buys and reads her books.
Cover designs by Kim Killion of The Killion Group.