The good news is that during the pandemic, people are reading voraciously. Apocalyptic sci-fi and romance offering temporary escape are selling out, books about race and social justice have surged since summer, and children’s nonfiction and activity books are popular now while families are home, learning together. E-books have taken off while audio books have declined, because many of us aren’t commuting to work.
The hard news is that because there is very little room for anything but the virus in the media, it’s a tough time for a debut author to get attention. Even so, many writers are going for it, and IngramSpark Self-Publishing is running strong. Authors are getting their books to market via Amazon. The question is, what happens when they get there? How do you market your book during a pandemic?
The most important asset you have as an author, aside from talent, is your platform: your community of potential readers and your ability to influence that community to purchase and read your book, and to recommend it to others.
But before you broadcast your book, you must first define your brand as an author – and know your target readers. Who are you, and what are you trying to say with your book? What is your overarching goal? Do you want to entertain, or inform, or change something in our culture? It’s important to really think this through, and to know your voice.
Your voice is most effective and powerful when it is authentically who you are. Whether you are writing nonfiction, fiction, or creative nonfiction, your voice is what carries your story. An editor or reader can help you spot inconsistencies in your voice and style, and can be very motivating as an accountability partner, giving you deadlines.
Even before your book is finished, you can start reaching out to readers – start with your friends and family. Kelly Corrigan read aloud from her draft of The Middle Place to her friends and family. Her reading was so moving, it went viral and Kelly went on to become a best-selling author and speaker.
So, use this time to finish your book, and when you’re done, let us in on it. Your readers will amplify your voice.