Today’s post is a guest post from author Carla  Lindgren Coates

carla-coates-photoAs I am approaching my first book launch just days away, I have learned a few things and I now realize that just because your book is on doesn’t mean it will sell.  There is a whole lot of promotion and marketing that needs to take place.

The biggest lessons I have learned in this process are these:

1.  Network, network, network!  You need to get your book and name out there.  Thank God for social media.  I can’t imagine what this would have been like before internet!  You need to be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, at the very least.  I highly recommend joining as many Author groups as possible.  There are many authors who are launching their books, for some it may be their first time, but others are seasoned best-selling authors who will provide you a wealth of information and support.  If you have a question, you will most likely get all the answers you need.  Also, I am overwhelmed by the number of people I have met on social media who are interested in my book and willing to support me.

2.  Help out other authors.  Look for win-win opportunities.  If someone is doing a book launch, do what you can to support him or her and they will likely return the favor.

3.  Another thing I have learned from this as well, not everyone will support you or be interested in your book, even though you may think it’s the best literature ever written and you should be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, not everyone will agree.  There will be some who you think will support you that don’t, but there will be many that you never thought would that do.  Don’t take it to heart.    You will attract all the right people and all the right readers to your book.

4.  There are many different ways to market a book, Social Media, newspaper, radio, etc.  Use as many as possible.  Luckily for me, I live in a small town and writing a book is “news”, but this may not be the case if you live in a big city however, so be prepared if they don’t think your story is a story.  I have also learned that email is not as “effective” as it may have been in the past.  You will approach a lot of people to help you, but only a small percentage will respond.  The more creative your campaign, the better response you will get.  I have learned recently that guest blogs and virtual book tours seem to be the new rage with selling your books.  I will be doing more research about these in the next few weeks.

5.  Finally, I am very fortunate that I have developed personal relationships with several best-selling authors who have held my hand and given me pointers along the way.  Although in the end, I still needed to make the choices that were right for me, the assistance they gave me was remarkable and without their guidance, I could have very easily given up.  There are many ways to market a book.  There is so much information and so much to learn, it can be very overwhelming.  There have been many times during this process that I have had to just step back and take a breath.

This is a very exciting time; don’t worry if you can’t do everything everyone suggests.  You don’t want to get stressed over it.  You now have a book; you can learn as you go; it doesn’t all need to be done by launch day.  Your book is something you will have forever and you can market it for the rest of your life.  Try different things later when you have the time and energy to focus on it.  You will never know everything; new strategies will always present themselves.  Go with what’s comfortable and achievable for you right now and enjoy the ride.

Carla Lindgren Coates

Author of Through Thorns I Thrive