Today, I’m celebrating the launch day of my latest book (with Sandy Silverthorne), Thank God for Cats! How God Speaks to Us Through Our Feline Furbabies! I’m sure plenty of readers really hope for their own book’s acceptance, contract and publication.
Writing Tip for Today: Read on for tips on launching a book.
Know Your Audience
The mantra to know who your readers are permeates everything a writer-for-publication does. From original idea, revisions, more revisions, pitching agents, landing a deal, going through the publishing process and finally holding your book in your hands, your audience means everything.
Self-publishers or hybrids must understand the audience even more acutely. Too many writers say their book will appeal to “everyone” or keep their audience far too broad. Yes, it’d be nice if “everyone” loved a book, but in most cases, you need to cultivate a narrow, specific readership.
Read the genre you write. Read a lot, and the best work you can find. Locate readers through social media or online groups of those who love a certain genre. One caution: When building your audience, be careful that all your contacts are not other writers. Writers tend to glom together, but each writer has to compete with the rest. And writers don’t always hunger for the next book of your genre. They, like you, want to sell their own books.
When I released a nonfiction book at the height of the pandemic, I thought that since I’d cultivated relationships in Facebook groups, I’d have plenty of readers. I was wrong on that front. Most groups on Facebook do not allow any kind of self-promotion, including links or other advertisements.
Although I was writing great related content for these groups, I was frustrated by not being able to post even my book’s title in most of them. Instead, I’ve had to cultivate one-on-one relationships with group members to get around these rules. Obviously, this is a lot of work for relatively small reward.
A better way to promote your title might be (at this writing) Book Tok (Tik Tok) or Instagram, where you use photos and videos to promote your book. Twitter can be OK but be sure for all these platforms to use targeted hashtags.
Cultivate a specific readership. If it involves cats, so much the better.
As Thank God for Cats! releases today, I will be approaching venues where I can speak, for free at first. I make a list of local venues and send out emails. In my case, I’ll ask both local church groups as well as animal welfare organizations to allow Sandy and I to speak or hold a signing.
To sweeten our chances, we’ll hold a giveaway of sorts. We already held a “Why I’m Thankful for my Cat” contest, and the winners will receive a book and a drawing of their kitty by Sandy. Be ready to think of ways your event can stand out. Remember, readers are often asking, “What’s in it for me?” Reward them!
Although our book has a publicist (wonderful thank you Broadstreet!), you can either hire your own or else immerse yourself in the strange ways of Amazon or other online distributors. Learn all about key words, helping to place your book alongside “Frequently bought together” books and other tricks. Sandy and I hope you’ll love Thank God for Cats! as much as we do. And OK dog people—buy the cat book so we’ll get the OK to do the Thank God for Dogs! version. Here’s a link: https://www.amazon.com/Thank-God-Cats-Through-Furbabies/dp/1424565499 Get yours today!