Buchhandlung Der Duft nach Vanille

How do I get my book into book shops?

Buchhandlung Der Duft nach Vanille

Image: More and more authors – like tredition author Birte Stährmann – find their way into the big book shops.

Do you want to conquer the world of brick-and-mortar book shops? Then  have a look at our guide!

After many hours of sitting at your desk, your book is finally finished. Now it is ready to find its way to the readers. But how do those readers find your book? How do books find their way into book shops after being published? And how could it end up in one of the highly desired window displays of a book shop? This isn’t just a valid question for self-publishers. In this article, we would like to tell you about the factors that will help you to get your book into actual book shops and noticed. We would like to help you to make your dream of a display that attracts readers come true.

 

 

 

 

  1. Content is the be-all and end-all
  2. Shine brightly by presenting yourself and your book professionally
  3. Wie bringe ich mein Buch in die wichtigen Buchhandelskanäle? Unterstützung beim Vertrieb suchen
  4. On- und Offline-Buchhandel: Das Potenzial digitaler Kataloge nutzen
  5. Zielgerichtet und überzeugend an den Buchhandel herantreten

1 Content is the be-all and end-all

Buchhandelsmarketing richtig machen

Image: Present current and innovative topics to book sellers.

The most central success factor for your presence in book shops is the topic of your book. Book sellers want to present current and trending topics to your readers and their customers. They don’t want works they already have lying around in one form or the other. The tracks for your success have already been put down before you even start writing, not only after publishing! Inform yourself about trends and do some thorough research on whether your topic offers enough potential to a book shop.  Authors who introduce a book that treats a topic or a certain aspect of a topic for the first time tend to be the most successful. Especially non-fiction books and self-help books are  continuing to be a trend for the book trade. While fiction still makes out the majority of all book releases, single titles have a hard time getting the spotlight on them as there is so much competition.

2 Shine brightly by presenting yourself and your book professionallyn

Durch professionelle Präsentation im Buchhandel glänzen

Image: Self-Publishers only have a chance against the competition when they stand out with professional and innovative content and presentation.

Nothing is more annoying to a book seller than a customer coming back with a book he already bought and wanting a refund for it.  Reasons could be spelling mistakes, a lack of value, or a lazy presentation of content and cover. So don’t make it harder for the book seller than it has to be. There is an actual flood of books on the book market. In addition to original content, it is also important to provide a professional and appealing package that is free of mistakes. Don’t make the mistake of not using a professional editor and proof-reader after finishing your book. Also invest into a professional cover that is suitable for your target group. Often, books that have innovative and exciting content fail because authors were stingy when it came to editing and cover design. Don’t add to the prejudices that are already out there against self-publishers when it comes to a lack of quality content, many mistakes and unattractive covers. Push them out of the way by providing a professionally edited text with a great cover.

3 How do I get my book to be presented in the most important book sales channels? Look for support for distribution

Neuer Gesetzentwurf zum Buchpreisbindungsgesetz

Image: When you choose a service provider, make sure you choose one with very good and extensive connections to the book trade.

As an independent author, it can be difficult to get your own book into the usual trade channels. You’ll lack the necessary connections to online shops and offline trading channels. If you work alone, it’s almost impossible to get your book into the bigger book trading channels as you usually will lack the necessary distribution network. A book will end up on Amazon, but won’t be represented in offline shops or the big book chains – or the other way around. It is important that you get some professional support for your book’s distribution. Make sure that the service provider you choose will list your book with all important suppliers (i.e. wholesale) and that it has an ISBN that can easily be accessed.

In addition, it becomes more and more important to not only distribute your book within the borders of your own country – but also beyond. Choose a service provider that has international connections, otherwise this will turn into a problematic issue later on and will limit your reach (which in turn means fewer readers will be able to find your book).

Profit from our extensive connections to the book trade

4 Online and offline book trade: take advantage of the potential of digital catalogues

Online - Buchhandel

Image: Use the opportunities offered by digital publisher previews to gain an extensive reach within the book trade.

While digital publisher previews are a recent addition to the book market, this new way of accessing the book market becomes more and more powerful. Digital publisher catalogues like Edelweiss offer book traders the useful opportunity to fulfil their own needs and those of their clients in a timely manner, e.g. for research, reader requests, and more. Classic publisher previews are losing their ground and – also because of cost issues – become less attractive. What does this mean for you as an author? Simple: You can’t afford to not use this connection to the book trade. You will not only be able to distribute your book in a direct and fast manner, but there are also other advantages for you: additional information like dates of readings, news or additional media content can easily be made accessible to readers and book traders. The more relevant information a book trader finds about a topic his reader is looking for, the more likely it is that he grabs that book and passes it on to his customers. By using digital publisher previews you will gain a wider reach than a single display in a display window could ever give to you.

5 Approach the book trade with a purpose and convincingly

5.1 Get in touch with the book trade

Professionell im Buchhandel auftreten

Image: Direct contact to the book trade is the alpha and omega of book trade marketing.

Many authors dream of seeing their book in the display windows of a particular shop. Nothing comes from nothing. That should be the motto of first-time authors. It can happen that book traders approach new authors and request their book from the publisher. However, if you consider that there are tens of thousands of new releases each year, it’s like winning the lottery to get your book into a display window without putting in some hard work. If you want a certain book to be displayed in a certain book shop, then you need to be confident and show some initiative. You need to introduce your book to the book shop of your dreams by presenting it professionally and convincingly.

5.2 Choose a suitable book shop for your own book

Do you have a favourite book shop you like to browse in? Or is there a large book shop chain in which you would like to see your book? Stop! The book shops you prefer personally aren’t necessarily the right address for your own book. First, you need to have a really good look at your book and create an in-depth profile of your book. This includes defining your target audience. Only then can you look for a suitable book shop to display your book in. Think hard about which book shop would be ideal for your very special book. Unlike the big chains, many of the smaller book shops focus on certain topics or genres. Only if your book matches the topic, genre, writing style, and equipment of the store, is there a point in approaching that particular book shop.

 

5.3. Professional book presentation

Die professionelle Buchpräsentation

Image: A professional presentation of your book sets the tune.

First of all, you need to think about how and when you would like to approach the book trader of your choice. Have you already set an appointment with the book trader to present your book? If yes, you need to focus on how to present your book in an attractive manner. Nothing comes across as more unprofessional than a chaotic, unprepared author who turns up without a plan and plenty of loose papers in his hand. You will waste a book trader’s time if you turn up like that and then spend a lot of time discussing the ideas within your book. What counts here is: KISS (keep it simple and short). A professional folder including your own book, a suitable author photo and maybe some press articles and/or a press release, or a flyer in your hand leave a far more professional impression.

During a short conversation, you should be able to confidently explain why it would be an advantage to the book trader to display your book instead of others.  Is your book a regional title that could be interesting for local readers? Or do you discuss a completely new topic within your book? You might want to practice your presentation in front of some friends. You should be able to present the most important aspects and special points of your book in five minutes. You should not need more time to convince your conversation partner of the worth of your book and that it would be a great addition to their book shop. You need to develop an idea about what your conversation partner is thinking. Does he show no interest or does the book simply not fit into his store? Don’t be pushy but thank them for their time and then collect yourself at home, thinking about what you could do better next time.

Often, book traders prepare special themed tables, e.g. for big events like a soccer world championship. If your book fits the theme, tables like that are another great opportunity for you. Or maybe the book shop of your choice has a focus on local or seasonal content, like current diet trends or self help books? It is important that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the program of the book shop to think about possible placements for your book in advance. It doesn’t make sense to market your book about soccer during the last game of the world championship. Book traders plan their moves well in advance and look for suitable literature. If you happen to turn up at the right time, your book will be displayed in the shop.

 

5.4 Which factors are of special interest for book traders?

There is no secret formula for being displayed in a book shop, but there are some golden rules which help to score you points with the book traders. You should keep the following tips in mind when you introduce your own book:

  • Content and presentation have to be convincing
  • Make sure your book is of a high quality
  • Current or seasonal topics are especially popular
  • Use your regional connection / being an authentic author as a convincing sales argument
  • Summarize what makes the book interesting, new, and different.
  • Supply professional info and marketing material
  • Being able to easily order the book via the usual trade channels is very important for book traders
  • Mention it if your book has previously been discussed in the media or been talked about in a radio show
  • You might get some support from your publishers, and they might announce events. This, in turn, is good advertisement for the book shop!

 

5.5  Get connected to the book trader by planning a reading

Lesung

Image: A reading event is a good connection point to the book trade.

Organizing a reading is a good opportunity to connect with book stores and create a platform for the marketing of your own book. Talk to a suitable book shop, maybe one that currently has a suitable themed table, whether they would be interested in doing an event together, e.g. a book presentation and/or a reading from your book. But don’t only get in touch with the big names for such events. Often, you have better chances with a small book store that matches the theme of your book instead of approaching the big names that are approached by all other authors.

You might also want to think out of the box instead of only focussing on readings in the usual book shops. Why not choose an extraordinary way for your book? Test the guts of your book. Maybe you could decide on a totally different location for your reading or even create a special event for your special topic? Some tredition authors have come up with great ideas that made them stand out from the crowd. Susanne Friedrich, for example, presented her book in an Italian restaurant. It is important to be creative and unique if you would like to get the attention of book traders and in turn get the attention of readers.

We wish you all the best and a lot of success with the marketing of your book!


Successfully marketing your book – III: Facebook Marketing

Soziale Kanäle für das Marketing nutzen

Copyright: JMG / Pixelio

Part III: Social-Media-Marketing – Facebook

A large percentage of all internet users is connected to at least one social network. While there are many popular social networks out there, e.g. Twitter, Google+, LinkeIn, Instagram, and more, Facebook remains to be the most popular choice. And contrary to common belief, it is not only youngsters that use Facebook. People from all age groups can be found on Facebook: from teenagers to pensioners. You will find all sorts of people on Facebook – and this is one of the reasons you cannot ignore it as part of your marketing strategy for your book. Facebook offers a great opportunity to win more readers and gain attention for your book. However, it is vital that you use a focused approach to keep yourself (and your book) from getting lost in the Facebook jungle.

Pre-considerations:

  • What is the target group of your book? Social networks that are used privately are great for fiction books. But when it comes to non-fiction, especially non-fiction about specialised topics, professional networks like LinkedIn are also very good choices.
  • Which networks do you already use privately and as an author? Use the platforms you already know to start your book marketing activities because it helps if you already have contacts and are comfortable with using the network.
  • Research: Search social networks for users and discussion groups that suit your book. The more connection points there are, the more effective your marketing will be.

 

Facebook – dive right into it, be part of it

Facebook is more than just a place for people to chat about what is happening in their lives. There is hardly a business that does not use this platform for marketing and polishing their company’s image. Freelancers and creative people can also use Facebook to get attention. So what should you do as an author?

  1.  Make your own profile stand out

Fill out as much of your public profile as possible. Outline your activities as an author and tell people about books you have published. Of course, you should not forget a link to your book’s page in the tredition-shop. A powerful background image, photos from book presentations or readings are not only decorative kitsch but will make your more approachable as an author. Of course, regular posts to your circle of Facebook “friends” about what you are doing as an author (what topics interest you, what are your next book plans, when do you do readings, etc.) are vital.

  1. Be active in groups

Active communication with other Facebook users and authors is important and valuable – not only to make people notice you, but also to profit from other authors’ experiences. Some example of groups are:

  • Self-Publishing: In self-publishing groups, you will mainly find authors and publishing service providers that will talk about topics surrounding the world of self-publishing.
  • Groups for authors/writers: groups that are generally aimed at authors and writers will often talk about writing strategies, how to improve your writing, how to get published and other general topics about writing.
  • Groups of writers of particular genres: In these groups, you will find more focused information about how to write books in particular genres, e.g. fantasy or romance.

Talking in groups is very valuable, however, you need to make sure that you do not get lost in endless and fruitless discussions as some topics will be talked to death with uncountable comments, many of which hold no value at all. Make sure your own comments are always valuable, otherwise you might ruin your own reputation.

  1. Your own fan page

In addition – or as an alternative – to your private user profile, authors can also create their own fan page. We would actually recommend you to use a fan page instead of your private page. Your private page can only have a maximum of 5.000 friends (and surely you hope to find more fans than that). While people will also be able to subscribe to your public posts, it might be easier to simply set up a fan page. Then you can keep private things private, and you do not have to worry about always double-checking whether you have used the right setting (visible to friends only, public post, etc.). Think about how you want to do this right from the start. Some fans might not be very happy if you accept fans as friends in the beginning but then later on only allow fans on your fan page.

Pressemeldung schreiben

Successfully marketing your book – II: Introduce your book to the press

Press relations author

Image: Introducing your book to the press is the first step to your book success.

Part II: Press Relations – Introduce your book to the press

Of course, the press talking about your book would be the ideal case – but it usually is the exception for authors. Even titles from big publishers hardly ever manage to stand out from the large number of new releases. tredition writes a professional press release for every single book. The PR is sent to over 200 news and press portals. In addition to that, it is recommended that each self-publishing author becomes active in a focussed and targeted way. You need to inform press and media about the release of your book – even when you do not have any contacts to the press to begin with.

  • Good preparation for press relations is essential: Depending on a book’s genre, topic, and target audience, there are different media outlets that are suitable for a review. National daily papers and printed magazines usually get so many review requests that you only have a small chance of getting their attention.
  • Make your moves in a targeted manner: You need to research special-interest-media for which the topic of your book might be particularly interesting. Do you write about philosophy, as an example? Then you might want to address magazines, internet portals, and blogs that deal with philosophical questions.
  • Professional cover letter / email: Create a cover email or letter with an impactful author image, a short description of your book as well as a short CV. Offer them to be available for interviews on request. Make sure your letter is short and to the point. Offer only essential information about yourself as an author and your book.
  • Create an email distribution list with magazines, blogs, etc. that might be interesting for your book. Then you can send your cover email to all of them at the same time.
  • Review samples: Specifically ask papers and magazines whether they would be interested in reviewing your book. We will be able to help you with sending your review copies of your book.
  • Local flavour: You will usually have a better chance with local or regional papers in your home region. They will be more interested in reviewing your book or introducing you as a local author, esp. if you have lived in the area since your birth r for a very long time. In addition, it will also help if your book has regional influences.
  • Become creative: The inboxes of editors are already overflowing. So you need to think of innovative ways to get some attention for your book. If your book, for example, has a lot of humour, then you might want to open your email with a joke or a cartoon. If you have created any kind of multimedia content for your book, like videos, you should also put them to use.
  • Use social networks: Search for media contacts on the networks you use (Facebook, Twitter, Xing, LinkedIn, etc.). Look for contacts that might be interested in your book and then contact them.
  • Think before you act: Don’t send a follow-up email immediately after sending out your initial message. It will usually not go down very well and won’t give you better chances of being reviewed.

In part III of our series, we will talk about the vast field of social-media-marketing and how you can use it to win more readers for your book. Keep your eyes open!

Schriftsteller werden leicht gemacht

How do I become an author – and make a living with writing?

How do I become a professional author?

Image: There are certain rules that can help you to make the dream of being a published author come true.

Is writing actually a proper job? And can you learn to be a proper author? Many authors who already have their own manuscript lying around in a drawer somewhere, often have the same question at the beginning of their career as a writer: How to I become an author? And where and how do I learn to become a professional writer? Yes, author is a job. You can’t really “learn” to be a writer as such but there are certain rules that can help you to make the dream of being a published author come true.

Our blog article will reveal those rules to you. They might sound simple, but only the ones who are truly dedicated to their book will be able to follow them right through to the end.

 

1 The first step to becoming an author: Put your book project in action

You have finally finished you book manuscript after many hours of writing? It seems like the biggest chunk of work is behind you. But for most authors, this is the point at which most authors start to feel a little nervous. After all, this is the point at which you need to make your book work. Don’t underestimate all the work that comes after finishing your book.

Only the right approach, including the creation of a targeted exposé, addressing the book industry in the right manner, and much more, determines whether your book will eventually make it to the book shops or whether you will fail and your book will continue to lie in a drawer without ever being read by a large audience.

What do you need to do? First of all, you need to get to know the book industry and its conventions, think about your ideal reader and the regulations surrounding book publishing. Then you need to create a detailed to-do plan for your book and its future.

 

Kann ich vom Schreiben leben

Image: Be self-critical and judge your skills objectively!

2 Can I make a living with writing? – Be self-critical!

First, you should take your book and have another good look at it from the perspective of a reader. Be critical. Do you think your book is good enough to convince other people of your writing talent? Only very few writers can live from writing alone.  You should keep that fact in mind when you think about becoming an author and only rely on the income from your book sales.

Be realistic and judge your own book from a different perspective. Check whether you have the potential to compete with tens of thousands of other books that are released every year. Your book has to be of a very high quality to have a chance on the market.

If you are convinced that your book is good enough, you have to put all your energy into your publishing and marketing plan. Maybe your book has the certain something readers have been waiting for all these days. Look for some beta-readers who will have a good look at your book and provide you with honest and critical feedback.

 

how do I become a professional writer

Image: Develop your own literary voice.

3 How do I become an author? – With your own literary voice

Work on your own writing voice. You should not copy another author’s style and voice. You need to develop your own voice which will make your work stand out from the crowd. That is the only way to convince readers. You also shouldn’t just have one book. Create your own routine, so that you will write regularly, avoid writer’s block, and provide successive books – don’t turn into a one-book-wonder. Many successful authors publish books regularly to keep their fans happy. Over time, they create a big pool of readers that is looking forward to more reading material.

4 Searching for a publisher – don’t send your exposé out randomly

You want to find your book a home with a publisher? Then you need to know your book and its target group very well. Write it all down: What is the genre of your book? What are its stylistic features? What is the theme? Who will be interested in reading it? Etc.

After you have all of that information, you can start looking for a suitable publisher. You need to do some proper research because it would be a huge mistake to send your book to all possible publishers.

Think about which publisher would be a good home for your book, i.e. where would your book have chances for success? You shouldn’t just choose publishers that cross your mind or that you personally like.

Looking for a publishing house

Image: Don’t send your exposé out randomly

Each publisher has certain specialities, i.e. focuses on a certain genre or a certain type of writer. A crime novel won’t make it with a cook book publisher even if the main character likes cooking. A language course won’t make it with a fantasy book publisher unless it’s a book about Dothraki. A book for children should go to a publisher that focuses on publishing books for children, etc.

Also be aware of the conventions in certain publishing houses. A conservative publisher won’t appreciate an exposé that is too creative, while a more modern and open minded publisher might take the bait.

Instead of looking for a publisher yourself, you could also hire a literary agent who will target the right publishers for you. Literary agents are popular with publishers because they help them to filter the good manuscripts from the avalanche of new manuscripts they receive every day. Literary agents are kind of like matchmakers for authors and publishers, and you can profit from their expertise and knowledge.

 

5 Discover all opportunities: Should you use a traditional publisher or become a self-publisher?

advantages self-publishing

Image: Consider all opportunities of Self-Publishing.

You don’t always have to go down the traditional path. Advancements in technology created a variety of possible publishing methods to make your dream of being a published author come true. You can either be a traditionally published author or become a so-called indie author who self-publishes his or her books.

Self-Publishing has the big advantage that your books can be on the market within a relatively short time frame. You won’t have to send your manuscript to various publishing houses, waiting weeks if not months for a reply. You will also have more power over what is happening with your book. Authors also appreciate that the rights will remain with them when they choose the self-publishing path. There won’t be any complicated contracts requiring you to sign away the rights to your own story.

You will also have full control over your book’s marketing and sales – but of course this also means that you will have to take over all the responsibility for the success of your book.

 

6 Learn to live with rejections

live with rejections

Image: Be self-critical

You have to be persistent if you want to be successful as an author. Even books like “Harry Potter” have been rejected more than once before they made it. Now Harry Potter is a multi-billion business and books by J.K. Rowling sell without needing much advertisement.

You need to be self-critical but you also have to learn to deal with other people’s opinions. And they might not always be nice. It is unlikely that your book will be accepted with open arms by the first publisher you send it to. But you need to keep going and not let other people stop you. Don’t ignore critics though and improve your text, your appearance or other weaknesses that might make it harder for you at the beginning of your career.

 

7 Author = Do I need to register my own business?

Once your book is published and you start making money with it, you need to think about making it official and organize things like your taxes. After all, you don’t want to make the news as a tax-evading author. If you want to make a living as an author, you will most likely register as self-employed. You need to do this within the financial year in which you first started to earn money with your book. So you don’t need to rush unless the financial year is almost over, but also do not be too relaxed about it. It is always better to get all the paper work out of the way as soon as possible so you are able to focus on what really matters.

If you do not feel confident about doing it all on your own, you can hire a financial advisor or even an accountant.

 

Buchmarketing

How do I market my book? – Get your book noticed with targeted advertisement

marketing your book

Image: There is no secret formula for universal book success. But there are some important rules that can help you with marketing your own book successfully. Copyright: Fotolia

Tens of thousands of new book releases flood the market every single year. There are some bestsellers among them – and plenty of debuts from unknown authors. On one hand, this means there is a great selection for readers to choose from. On the other hand, it means that there is immense competition for every single author.

In addition to unique content, professional editing, and attractive design, a book needs targeted marketing to make readers aware of its existence. If a reader does not know your book exists, he or she will not be able to develop an interest in it.

Tredition will show you how to come up with effective and targeted marketing strategies for your own book. This marketing instruction will teach you everything you need to know to turn your book into a success. You will be able to win readers’ attention and eventually make money with your book.

 

 

Each year, there are more writers fighting for the attention and money of a limited pool of readers. While reading is still amongst the top activities to do during your spare time (though watching TV and playing online games is a lot more popular), the immense amount of competition means that an author has to put a lot of effort into getting noticed, especially if you have no big publisher to do the marketing for you. Stephen King, James Patterson, and J.K. Rowling don’t have to do much to get their books sold – but it will be a long way until you can dream of that kind of success.

The path to success for your first book will not be an easy one (it also wasn’t easy for authors who are now famous – so don’t be discouraged), but it will be a lot easier if you know what you need to do. And that is what we will talk about in this article.

 

The main ingredient to successful book advertisement: the marketing plan

the marketing plan

Image: The secret behind a successful book project is to begin with marketing as soon as possible by using a marketing plan. Copyright: Fotolia

You shouldn’t wait too long until you start thinking about advertisement for your book. You could even being with developing a “battle plan” before or during the writing process. This will include a step by step plan on how to do the marketing for your book – basically it is a to-do-list for your marketing.

You won’t be able to simply copy someone else’s marketing plan off the internet. Your book is unique and needs a unique strategy. Also keep in mind that a collection of poetry needs different marketing than a non-fiction book about becoming a writer. You need to think about which marketing strategies make sense for your book, and how you can include them in your plan with detailed guidelines and deadlines for their implementation.

It also makes sense to start getting in touch with potential fans, the press, and bloggers before you publish your book. If you already have a pool of interested readers and people who would be interested in writing about your book, then it will be easy to distribute your finished book to them right away instead of having to do all the research after writing your book.

 

Before you start: Know your target group

Know your argeted audience !

Image: Targeted book advertisement is only possible when you know your audience. Copyright: Fotolia

Even though you’d like as many people as possible to read your book, you will never write the kind of book that appeals to every single reader on the planet. If you want your marketing to be effective, you need to know who you readers most likely will be. Have a look at your book from the perspective of a potential reader.

What is the genre of your book? What is its title and what kind of readers might be interested in this kind of book? Who will find the style and plot of the book appealing?

If you have written the book with a specific reader in mind, you will already have a good idea about your target group. It is often recommended that you write as if you are telling the story to a certain individual (which would be your perfect, ideal reader). We also mention this in our guide on how to write your book.

Once you have your target group, you need to analyse it in-depth. Where does your target group spend a lot of time? I.e. do they prefer Facebook to Twitter? Do they spend a lot of time browsing through the boards on Pinterest? Do they read certain publications?  It is important to know as much as possible about your target group, otherwise it will be very hard to place ads in the right places. It is easy to spend a lot of money on advertisement without reaching the right readers. If you, for example, have a cookbook full of vegan recipes, it would not make much sense to place ads on a website about furniture!

 

Consistency: Being persistent pays off when it comes to book advertising

It has been a long journey. You have written your book, it has been edited and proof-read (preferably more than once). It finally is on the market. Most authors are happy at that point and often neglect the importance of marketing. Of course, if you are a famous author, you’re books will sell automatically – but let’s just assume that you’re not Haruki Murakami or Danielle Steel.

A book will only turn into a consistent success when its author constantly works on its success. Imagine your marketing strategy like fireworks. They look great while they are up in the air – but after a while, they are gone and you’ll have to start another one.

 

Book marketing means telling stories on all channels

selling stories

Image: Use your talent for telling stories also when it comes to marketing your book! Copyright: Pixabay

After you have started working on your marketing plan and learned more about your target group, you will need to think about which channels you would like to use for your marketing.  You need to present your book on various levels: with words, images, and even sounds.

Use cross-media marketing actions, i.e. communicate with your reader on multiple channels that are somehow connected to each other. They should entertain and inform your reader at the same time. The best results always lead the reader back to your book and encourage its purchase without being pushy and obnoxious. Offer value to your readers by giving exciting content about yourself and your publication to them.

Once you have written a brief but appealing press release about your book, you can also use it for other purposes. Don’t just let an interesting author interview collect dust on your website. Publish it on blogs and other websites, make it accessible on your social media profiles. Use your talent for telling stories for the marketing of your book.

Some interesting questions you could answers in interviews are: What kind of challenges and experiences did you have during the writing of your books? What kind of story is told in your book? Or: What do people learn by reading your book? What is the advantage of reading your book?

The art of using cross-media-marketing is to spread your content over as many channels as possible to reach as many potential readers as possible.

 

Marketing for books: offline or online? Online is King

The online market place still has not overtaken traditional book stores when it comes to sales – but more and more buying decisions are made online these days, even when it comes to the purchase of traditional books.

This means that you need to use digital platforms, blogs, and social media as much as possible as many of your future readers will use them to learn about new and interesting books. Social media ads, blog marketing, online readings, book trailers: the possibilities are endless – and even better: you do not need many resources to use them.

Your acquaintances, friends, and family, and even your readers can also forward and share your content to other people (and that is free marketing!). Have another good look at your book and its content. What kind of marketing actions could work for it? Feel free to think out of the box. You don’t always have to go down the path everyone else is taking. Be brave enough to stand out. Original marketing usually attracts more attention, and more attention means more potential sales.

 

Take advantage of multipliers: Press and blog marketing

 

Press

press- unandd Blog marketing via multipliers

Image: Use the power of multipliers to make your advertisement even more effective! Copyright: Pixabay

Even though online media is becoming more and more relevant than traditional media, you should never underestimate the power of journalists, newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and TV channels. They still have a huge audience and are great places to get some attention for your book. Reviews by the press will usually lead to reviews from other sources. Journalists often ask about authors who already have been reviewed or written about or only learn about new authors and books from their colleagues.

So how do you get started? First of all, you need to find your target group and create a suitable media distribution list for it. After all, not every kind of media channel is suitable for certain genres, topic, and readers. The better you prepare, the better the outcome will be.

Research suitable media channels, news portals, papers, or special interest magazines. Write up an email about your book and attach a press kit about your book. This press kit includes: a short book announcement, a press release as PDF, a meaningful author profile and a high-definition cover image. The best case scenario is that your email creates curiosity about the book and encourages journalists to write about it. Don’t send this out randomly though! Note: It doesn’t have to be The Times, USA Today, or the Wall Street Journal. Those large newspapers only have limited space for reviews and articles about literature. It is unlikely that they will “waste” it on someone who is a total stranger to them.

Start with local papers and try to become featured by them as a local author. Be confident but don’t harass members of the press. Depending on which paper they work for, they get dozens if not hundreds of review requests every single day. Offer additional material like review samples, author interviews, or copies of your book for competitions to make your book more attractive to them.

 

Blog marketing

Blogs have become one of the most important tools to reach readers online. Authors have various options to introduce their book to a large audience and get their attention. Be creative: Announce the release of your book to bloggers that would be a good match with your book by sending them your press kit. Offer review samples to important literature blogs in exchange for book reviews, Offer copies of your books for competitions. Supply blogs with author interviews – or go on a blog tour.

During a blog tour, different blogs that cover the same kind of topic present your book within certain time frame in different ways: e.g. book talks, author interviews, reading samples, competitions, reviews, and so on. Of course, this requires some planning. You will need to win the interest of suitable bloggers and then arrange the time line for your blog tour. Beware: Bloggers hate nothing more than being showered with unwanted and unrelated information. Make sure that you do some research on various bloggers before you get in touch with them. You need to know the blog, the blogger, and the target group of the blogger. Don’t just send your press kit out to random bloggers.

 

 

Approach your target group: Advertisement on social media and in book communities

social Media marketing

Image: Social Media like Facebook offers tons of marketing options for authors! Copyright: Pixabay

Social media channels offer many opportunities for authors to advertise their book, to exchange information with other authors and network with them, and of course to get in touch with readers. You should already start to build your loyal fan base or readership while you are writing on your book. They will anticipate the release of your book and will want to read it as soon as it is out if you do the job right.

 

Facebook

If you want to reach many readers, you won’t get around having a social media presence. Create a profile on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and more. They should all be connected to your website (if you have one – and you should!).

Authors also have the opportunity to create a fan page for their book on sites like Facebook. You can announce your book’s publishing date on this site, but you can also use it to keep people updated on your writing progress, provide writing samples, create competitions and get readers to interact with you in many different ways. The aim is to keep people interested in what you are doing. Social media makes it easy to give new material to potential customers regularly.

Fans can use your site to connect to each other, ask you questions (and then get really excited when you reply to them), and become eager to read your newest release. You can use the site to tease your readers by showing them the book cover, providing a book trailer, or giving them one or the other reading sample from the book. Look at TV series for examples: Game of Thrones starts teasing people for the next season as soon as one season is over. Fans will eagerly devour every little bit of information they can get.

Facebook also offers you the opportunity to create ads or so-called sponsored posts that will appear on the newsfeeds of potential readers. Of course, it is once again important that you know your target group – otherwise you will waste your money and might even get angry messages from people who feel annoyed by having your ad on their newsfeed.

Facebook is also useful for interacting with other authors and readers. Join some suitable groups in which writing and publishing are discussed. Learn from people with more experience and make connections that could be useful later on.

 

Use other social media channels: Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest…

While Facebook is the most popular social network and offers useful tools for authors, it is a good idea to also use other platforms if they are suitable. The golden rule is to not spend time on platforms where you won’t find any readers. It is not about your own personal preferences but about your readers.

You might not like Twitter but your research has found that many of your readers get their information about books via Twitter. Then there is no way around it: You need to be on Twitter, too. You can use tools to plan your posts and schedule them to be published in certain intervals or at certain times. There is no need to be present all the time. Twitter can do a lot of the work for you, but first you need to learn how to use it!

The same applies for social media sites that focus less on the written word but on images like Pinterest. If you are publishing a cookbook, then Pinterest can be a good way to get in touch with readers by creating your own boards with images from your book.

Have a look at the various networks out there and think about whether they could help you in finding new readers or not. And if they could, then you need to be on them.

 

Build a community as soon as possible

There are numerous portals, forums, author groups as well as the so-called book communities in the world wide web. Those enable authors to network with other authors, talk about their book, communicate with readers, and get recommendations and advice. Use these groups to tell people about yourself and your book. One of the most popular communities is Goodreads (with which you can also reach readers on a variety of social networks).

Book communities like Goodreads are a wonderful meeting point for book lovers. New releases are announced, reviewed, commented on and recommended. As an author, you can’t afford not to know these communities well. You need to create your own profile and create book shelves for your own books, host book readings, write your own recommendations, and be active in suitable book groups.

 

Book shops and events

events and book releases

Image: tredition author Hans-Ueli Regius during a book release event in St. Gallen.

Large online retailers like Amazon make life harder for traditional book shops. However, traditional book shops are still the most important distribution channel for books in most countries. Authors should know about this – and take advantage of the opportunities book shops offer to authors. Create contacts to book shops and make sure physical copies of your books are well presented in suitable book shops.

This means – again – more research. You will need to find out which book shops would be suitable for your book. At the beginning, you should focus on local book shops around you. They can present you as author from the region, or local author. Book sellers often prefer to present local writers. If your book is unusual or has something special to offer, then your chances of getting a god spot in a book shop are even better.

It is important that the content of your book is great and that the cover is appealing. No matter what is said: people DO judge a book by its cover and general design. Personal contact to book sellers is important. Go to them in person, take a copy of your book and your press kit with you. Introduce your book to the book seller, be confident but not cocky. The first impression counts, and this is your chance to create a long lasting contact to the world of book shops. You can arrange book readings or book presentations in book shops which will help you as well as the shop. Offer some copies to the shop and provide them with information on how to order more copies.

 

Author readings

Author readings are a great moment to personally connect to your readers. But a successful reading needs to be planned well. You should put a lot of thought into where and when to organize a reading for your book.

Did you already find a suitable book shop for your book? Then talk to the manager and organize the event. Once the date is confirmed, you need to plan the details. What should happen during the event? What happens when? Introduction of the author, reading of certain passages, author interviews, questions from the audience, with or without music?

A good way to connect to readers and getting them to buy the book is to have a book signing session after the reading.

Of course, you need to get people to turn up for the event, too. The book shop will advertise the event in their store, but you will also have to use your own channels to get people to show up. The bigger the audience, the better.

Also think out of the box: Does your reading necessarily need to take place in a book shop or would there be a more unusual setting that is suitable for the topic of your book? Creative events will get more attention – and if you have a very special event, you might even get the local paper to turn up.

Online readings

Of course, the internet is also a possibility when it comes to book readings. You can film a book reading at home or in another suitable setting and then upload it to YouTube, Facebook, Google Hangouts and other appropriate channels.

Online platforms make it easy to organize events that reach many people without having to consider their location. If you have an international audience make sure that you get the times right and be precise about which time zone you are talking about. This is especially important when you do live streams.

 

Use your publisher’s expertise – Use your publisher’s marketing as your foundation

tredition marketing services

Image: Use your publisher’s marketing as the foundation for your own marketing strategies!

Work together with your publisher when it comes to the marketing for your book. Ask them what kind of marketing they can and will do for your book – and then ideally use their work as a foundation for your own strategies.

Our marketing includes work with the press (one press release for every book, distribution of of free review samples), Social-Media-Marketing, blog marketing, release of your book within book communities, specific book marketing for non-fiction and scientific books, and will make your book discoverable on search engines.

In addition, our tredition-blog regularly provides detailed articles about marketing topics, author interviews or reports about authors in the book industry. You can get plenty of advise and tips that can help you to prepare your own marketing plan. Take advantage of our publishing expertise!

Have fun with implementing our tips and adjusting them to your own needs.

We hope your book will be a hit!

 

Buch schreiben Tipps Autor werden

10 simple steps to your own book: How to become a successful author

Writing a book, advise

Picture: There is a lot to think about if you would like to see your first book on the shelves of a book store or listed on Amazon.

Did you always want to write your own book but had doubts about whether you had it in you to become a proper writer? Maybe you love writing but have no clue on how to get started on a book. In this article, we will tell you what you need to do and what the success factors for becoming a popular author really are.

Our step by step instruction will lead you from the first step of finding an idea through to the writing process and to the important step of becoming published. You will learn what you need to consider when planning and writing a book – and what you should avoid if you do not want to ruin your chances of finishing a promising manuscript.

For many, it is nothing but a dream: to hold your own book in your hands. But does it have to remain a dream? Maybe you already had one or the other idea for a book in your head. The problem is that you are not sure whether you have enough talent to be a writer, and you also do not know where to begin. You most likely have the motivation, all you lack is the right strategy.

You need to learn how to get started and how to turn your dream into a goal. Have people ever told you that writing is something you either have a talent for or not? That you cannot learn how to write? Forget what the naysayers told you. Writing is something you can learn just like any other trade.

Tredition offers authors a detailed instruction for writing with useful tips and success factors. It will help you to make your dream of writing a book come true. You will also learn how simple and easy it is to publish your book.

 

1 Before writing the book: Read, be inspired, and collect ideas

Writing books guide

Picture: Inspirations wait everywhere for you.

Many famous authors were eager readers and spent many days in libraries or reading at home. They got lost in the worlds their favourite authors created and read their favourites again and again. A large number of popular novels was inspired by the works of others. And that is not a modern occurrence. Even the so-called classics like Shakespeare got some of their ideas from older sources. A modern example is the epic story of the “Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin, who has no issues with admitting that other writers like J.R.R. Tolkien inspired him to become a writer himself.

What does this mean for you? It should inspire you to read – and then read some more. But do not read mindlessly. Every now and again ask yourself why you love certain authors and what they do to make their stories stand out from the rest. How do they write action scenes, how do they write dialogue? How do they build their world and how do they bring their characters alive on the page?

Once you have decided that you would like to become a writer yourself, one of your first actions should be to get a supply of notebooks and pens. You will need them. Always keep one notebook with you when you go out because many good ideas can come to you while you are out and about. No matter how good your idea is, they can be like dreams. You will think “It is so unusual, I will never forget it! I don’t have to write it down!”, but then you wake up in the mornings, and you can’t remember a thing. Don’t risk it. Write down ideas as soon as you have them.

Another notebook should be your constant companion when you read. Use it to write down quotes and things that inspire you from the books you read. Also write down what kind of stories you are drawn to and which genres you usually read. What fascinates you and why? Is this something you could write about, too?

It is a bit different when it comes to non-fiction, of course. In the case of non-fiction, you should ask yourself why a certain author makes a topic more interesting than someone else who writes about exactly the same thing. I am sure you have made the experience that one history book can put you to sleep while the other one about the same era is just as exciting as a novel! Try to see the difference in writing styles and make sure that you do not eventually make the same mistakes as the writer who puts readers to sleep (unless you want to write a book that helps people to get rid of their insomnia).

Go to your local library and browse through their shelves, or visit book stores. Inspiration is everywhere. There is such a huge selection of books that can help you to get your creative juices flowing and find the idea for your own book.

 

 

2 Create a writing routine

writing routines

Bild: Daily routinges are essential für successful writing.

What do Haruki Murakami and Stephen King have in common apart from being successful writers who sold millions of copies of their books? They have a writing routine. Murakami gets up very early every single day and writes. No excuses. Stephen King does not stop until he has written a certain amount of pages every single day. No excuses.

You can look at a variety of popular authors and will find that almost all of them have a writing routine. The routines can look very different from each other. Some write first thing in the morning, some write late a night, others write at noon. But it shows one thing: Writers write. Just like bakers bake and teachers teach. A teacher can feel down and frustrated but still does her job. A baker might  be in a bad mood but still bakes. If you want to be a writer, you need to show dedication to your craft.

Create a realistic writing routine, i.e. one that you will be able to stick to. Try to plan at least one hour of writing into each day. If you have time to watch soap operas and play silly games on your smartphone, then you have time for writing. If you already start making up excuses in your head, then writing might not be what you truly want to do.

Writing is like all other jobs: Good results need hard work and dedication. You need to turn up. Your book will not write itself on its own. It might sound tough – but that is just the way it is. If you want to have a chance at becoming as successful as Stephen King, you need to work like Stephen King.

 

3 Find your genre and your topic – discover trends, don’t chase them

ideas for books

Picture: Discover trends, don’t chase them.

Be creative when it comes to finding your topic. Ask yourself: What would you and/or your friends like to read? Try to look at topics from the perspective of a reader. You don’t have to write vampire love story number 10,000 or the next Harry Potter. Trust in readers and give them something new to think about and enjoy. You will hardly manage to write Harry Potter than the original author, and you won’t be able to write Murakami like Murakami does. Be yourself. Be inspired, but do not copy others.

A general rule is that you should take enough time to research your topic – no matter whether it is fiction or non-fiction. Have a look at what the competition in your chosen genre is doing and whether you can learn something from them. Ask yourself which books fall into the genre you want to write in. Then check what you like about other authors and what you could do better than them. Also ask yourself of which kind of book there already are too many. Readers might slowly start to get sick of certain stories.

Topics for stories can be found in a variety of places: look at the news, read magazines, and listen to conversations to find out about current trends and trends that are upcoming. There are also many blogs and conventions that are all about the trends of the future. Keep yourself informed and look for topics that could be the next trend in literature. Readers enjoy new, creative ideas and love learning something. When you research, you simply have to turn on your brain cells and become like a seismograph for new trends.

Research can be a lot of fun. You could visit technology conventions, or exhibitions in science museums. Information and inspiration can be found everywhere, you only need to keep your eyes open.

 

4 Learn creative writing

writing courses

Bild: It is possible to write creative writing.

Yes, writing can be learned. Not everybody has a natural talent for writing, but that does not mean that you have no chance to become a successful writer. Even talented writers will benefit from learning more about creative writing.

You can choose to learn from some of the best books about creative writing, or you can enrol in a course about creative writing (either online or at a local school/university). These books and courses will teach you how to turn an idea into a book, how to structure a book, how to write different kinds of books, and much more. You can even take courses or read books about certain genres and what makes them different from others.

You will also learn about how to deal with writing blocks and other common problems writers often face. It can be very useful to know about these things before you actually have to deal with them – and often the knowledge alone can help you to avoid certain writing problems.

You might have a great idea in your head, but it is all for nothing if you do not have the right tools to tell it in a way that engages your audience – and fortunately, this is something everyone can learn.

 

5 Create a concept and structure for your book

Exposé

Picture: Create a concept and structure for your book, that helps your writing routine.

Plots, story lines, thematic structures. It might sound a little complicated and like a lot of work. Fact is that many authors fail when it comes to turning their ideas into a book. The problem is not a lack of motivation but a lack of structure.

You need to have a well thought through and detailed structure for your book BEFORE you start writing. Imagine it like the skeleton of your book. You will use it to flesh out your story and it will always help you to know where which part of the story needs to go. A structure will help you to keep your plot logical, plan connections, and to not lose sight of where you are going.

In the case of a novel, your structure is an overview of what is happening with your characters, i.e. where are they, what are they doing, etc. In a non-fiction book, your structure will help you to have a logical order, so you don’t have a chapter about history from the 14th century followed by a chapter about the 21st century, and then the 2nd century.

6 Your writing to-do list

Now you have an idea, a routine, and an outline/structure for your book. The next step is to divide the writing process into smaller goals. Smaller goals will help you to keep motivated and to not feel overwhelmed.

Your goals need to be realistic, i.e. achievable within a certain time frame. You could, for example, turn each chapter of your book into a writing goal. Set yourself a deadline for each chapter, i.e. one week. You can also divide the chapter into smaller daily steps. It is up to you and the book you have in mind. Just make sure that you have deadlines that are neither too stressful nor too lax.

Put it all down in writing – and don’t forget to reward yourself a little once you have managed to tick off some of the goals.

 

7 Keep your audience in mind while writing

What are your own expectations when you are looking for a good book? Most likely you want it to be entertaining, teach you something, or surprise you with an unusual plot. Keep in mind that you do not only write for yourself but also for an audience of (hopefully) many readers. A good idea is to imagine what your ideal reader would be like. Feel free to give him or her a name and certain characteristics. Think about what that reader would expect, what she/he likes, and what would keep that person glued to the page.

Then write your book as if you are telling the story to that person. Or as if you are trying to teach that reader something (in case you are writing non-fiction). This will help you to find your own voice and to better connect with your target audience. Don’t forget that it is also good to sometimes shock your reader by not giving them what they expect. George R.R. Martin is a good example for this. Readers of his novels often do not get what they want – but yet they always come back for more.

 

8 Keep marketing in mind: if nobody knows about your book, nobody will buy it

how to market my book

Bild: Start early with your marketing plan.

It is never to early to start thinking about marketing for your book. The biggest part of your work as a writer is obviously writing books – but marketing is also important if you would like to be able to call yourself an author. There is even the term authorpreneurship which defines writers as the heads of a small business, i.e. their own book business.

In the past, marketing has been the job of the publisher. They took on the risk to publish your book, and also wanted to make sure that their investment pays off. It all changed in the era of self-publishing and social media. If you publish your book on your own, you will need to create your own writer’s platform, which can include a website, a blog, and a variety of social media profiles.

It is a good idea to start thinking about what kind of marketing would be most effective for your book. Marketing tools range from giveaways, entering book competition, building a reviewer network to buying ads on social media. There are hundreds of tools out there and you’ll need to check which ones work best for you.

You are the author of your book which means that you are the person who knows the book best. Use your knowledge to create a marketing plan that is effective and will reach as many potential readers as possible. Each book needs its individual marketing strategy, so you can’t just copy someone else’s.

Tredition also offers you some help with marketing. We offer a marketing bundle that will help you to get started and reach many new readers.

 

9 Make your book shine – editing and proofreading

Have you ever cursed a writer because they had a great plot but constantly misused the words “their” and “they’re”? Or “your” and “you’re”? Have you ever been fascinated by a side plot but then the author never picked it up again and you never found out what happened to some minor characters that had exciting plots? Have you ever been annoyed because a book did not display nicely on your Kindle?

Then you know how important editing and proofreading is. Never publish your first or even second draft as it is. You will never be able to find all of your own mistakes. There is a good reason for the existence of professional editors and proofreaders.

It is not enough to ask a teacher to look over your book – unless they are an expert in the genre you are writing and know about what counts when it comes to editing. Also keep in mind that there are different kinds of editing. Choose wisely what you spend your money on.

Editors will find logical mistakes in your story or non-fiction book, and will also be able to give you advice on what you need to improve to make your book more enjoyable. Editors know what they are looking for – you should take their advice seriously unless it completely feels wrong to you. Then you could always get a second opinion.

Proofreaders will check your book for spelling and grammar mistakes. This is very important. Readers are terribly annoyed by spelling mistakes. Check out reviews on Amazon. You will find that authors with spelling mistakes get a lot of bad reviews. Once a reader knows that you do not take spelling and grammar seriously, they will never buy one of your books again. There is a lot of competition on the market. You cannot afford to NOT pay good proofreaders and editors.

 

 

10 Get some reviews before you publish your book

You are almost there. Your book is as good as it can get. But before you publish it, you should get some real readers to read your book. These are usually called your beta-readers. They can be friends and family – but keep in mind that they are often too scared to be honest. They do not want to hurt your feelings. You might only get praise from them – and some might just pretend to have read the book!

A good idea is to get some strangers to become your beta-readers. You can find them on Facebook pages, via Twitter, and blogs. Beta-readers can be found easily. They are eager readers who are happy to give their honest opinion in exchange for getting a book to read for free.  If there is a lot of negative feedback, you might want to work on your book again.

And then you are ready for publishing!

 

We hope that our guide to writing your own book has been helpful to you. If it helped you to get started and work your way through all the steps, we congratulate you! It is not easy to go all the way to the finish line.

It is our aim to help new authors to get their books on the market. It is easy and fast to publish your books with us on multiple channels (from eBook to printed books). If you are still looking for a home for your book, then have a look at the options we offer here (hier bitte entsprechenden Link einfuegen).