It was Easter 2018 and everything seemed to finally fall into place for my first children’s book Love Has Wrinkles to be published after years of dead ends. A friend of my son’s had taken the photographs and they were perfect. I had been referred to the perfect graphic designer to format the book and design the cover so that it could be published. Within two weeks it was finally available for purchase.
I was convinced that I had overcome the largest hurdle and things would be smooth sailing. I could finally work on the next book and just wait to hit the bestseller list. How would I have known that this actually would have been the easiest part? As a first time author, there was so much I didn’t know I didn’t know.
In trying to finalise Love Has Wrinkles for publication I was more focused on the technical aspects of compiling the book. I had not looked into the type of marketing required to build an audience that would drive sales. This has been the most challenging part of this journey. It required an immersion into all things marketing and asking for help, lots of it.
My 3 key takeaways for authors new to self-publishing :
1. Start marketing your book before you hit publish. I did not consider this before releasing my first book. My friends who are in the music industry understand this concept well. They advised that you must have an audience to sell to. Great advice.
2. Be consistent. Post at regular intervals. However, in addition to advertising your books also discuss your other interests and activities. Allow your audience to get to know who you are. Consistency also affects your placement in social media feeds.
3. Use boosted posts. The extra advertising helps significantly. Not only does it allow you to be more visible and to increase your audience, but it also allows you to refine your target audience. You are able to experiment with different demographics to see which ones are the most responsive.
I hope this offers some insight for anyone just starting out and makes the process a little easier.
If there any other suggestions that you found particularly valuable, please include in the comments below.