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Writers need to beat their fear of marketing in order to reach their readers writes Ota Iseghohi, in a new regular blog post taking a brief look at how to get on the marketing wheel.

Marketing is key to reaching your target audience and promoting your book, however, many writers understand little about the ‘M’ word.

In general terms marketing consists of networking, advertising and publicity, and this why books, particularly ebooks, are not just sold on a whisper. A business brain, or more commonly known marketing professionals, can help writers face the dreaded ‘M’ word. However, the changing landscape in the publishing industry now means that many writers, like me, are self-publishing which means having to handle the marketing side ourselves. The most important thing I’ve realised is to not let the thought of marketing overwhelm you. Think about what is your novel’s unique selling point and ask yourself how intensely you have researched your target audience.

Ever since the vampire novel Twilight and the movie chain, you can imagine the variety of vampire novels that were published, many were supposed to make it big hot off the press, and instead ended up on the shoe pile. If you are self-publishing you need to think like a publisher to avoid being on that pile. As writers and creatives we romanticise our work, yet in reality why should that particular publisher or your audience invest in your novel – Translation….your product and its unique selling point. What do you believe the predicted return of the book will be? Look at similar novels to your piece, how well did they sell and look at why? Pay attention to the fine detail like what was taking place around that time. For example, a novel about the psyche of a terrorist around the time of the September 11 bombings in America would generate a lot of interest. People were scared at the time, they wanted information and an understanding of why it happened, answers which the federal government couldn’t give them at the time.

So alongside paying attention to fine detail which can certainly help market your book, a great complement to marketing is social media. Social media is a great way for giving your work a platform and to meet your readers. Using web-based applications such as forums, blogs, twitter and so forth can instantly increase the marketing drive for your book.

Now I’ve only given a snapshot to overcoming some of the hurdles associated to marketing, but what about you? Do you have tips for creating a buzz to promote a novel?

Photo taken by Mary Lee

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