I love this platform and I love how helpful the writing community is. We are all here to deliver value to people and share our knowledge with the world. As writers, we know it’s not about competition. We are here to support, uplift, and encourage others to write and follow their dreams.
While this is excellent, I have found a lack of fiction writing help in these articles (before you take arms against me, I know it does exist here, but this platform is heavily focused on the non-fiction writing genre).
Marketing a fiction novel is significantly different than marketing non-fiction writing. True, both fiction and non-fiction require elements of storytelling, but being able to directly market your fiction book is a unique challenge, especially as a self-published fiction author.
Here are five ways you can market your fiction novel to generate more leads.
Write a good book
I’m not going to go into the details about how to write a good book (the nitty gritty of telling a good story, having good characters, and using story structure).
There are absolutely some musts that you need to incorporate into your work to make it pass a reader’s eye test — yes, readers do judge books by their covers. They also judge by how long you can hold their attention, whether a character is believable, and if your book even fits in their preferred genre. Again, these are all things you should learn about elsewhere.
Still, you need to write a good book in order to share something worth reading. If you don’t love your own book, how will anyone else give it love?
Ask for reviews
Reviews are critical for success as a self-published author. It helps Amazon see that our book is worth some attention.
One of my biggest regrets in my first book is not putting a CTA at the end asking for a quick review. I’ve gotten so many texts and emails from friends and readers saying they liked my book but they didn’t review it on Amazon.
I know it’s hard to market your own work and ask for feedback but think about it — you just delivered 300 pages of a great story and helped them escape from reality for a second. Asking them for a review that takes about 2 minutes is not really a huge deal.
For non-fiction writers, this is a ‘duh’ point. Your writing has to deliver something of value to the reader — weight loss tips, how-to’s, instructions, thought-provoking essays…
Fiction writers have the same mission, though it comes in a different way.
While we aren’t delivering these self-help novels directly, our writing does make an impact. What is the theme we are trying to convey? What message is our character list trying to tell?
Maybe our value delivered is just an escape from reality. Maybe it’s a tale of the human psyche. Whatever that value is, name it and make a point to share that when you post your work.
Utilize your platform
“But I’m a brand new writer with nothing published before!”
I get it. I was there too. At one point, I had zero novels on the market and one day I just posted my first book to Amazon (for the record, I don’t suggest this if you want more success).
While I had a platform, it was the opposite market of who I wanted to target. I had built up a platform from my college and professional softball days who wanted softball updates, not fiction novels.
So, I built a new one. I created a website, I blogged, I followed and shared writing material, and I capitalized on Amazon and Goodreads author profiles. Creating all of these things, while time-consuming, helped me build a small audience of my targets.
It takes time to build up those follows (and, more importantly, the interactions). Just like I regret putting my book out just for the hell of it and not putting a CTA for a review, I also regret not building my platform this way. I have no idea who has read my book (unless someone tells me) so I can’t reach those people again to tell them about new things.
Interact in the community
This writing community, non-fiction and fiction, has been critical to my success as an author. I’m constantly learning and trying to give back to the writers, established and budding, who have interacted with me or given great advice.
Make a point to spend some time on forums, in the comment sections, and in writing groups online or in person. Connect with writers who are in and out of your genre, who are older or younger, and who are at different points in their writing journey.
Learn, grow, and give back. Tell others when you have been impacted by their words. Leave reviews, share posts, cheer when others have success, and share your journey with others.
When you’re active, people see your name. When your supportive, others will be supportive of you. When you share excitement with other people’s accomplishments, they will return the favor with yours.