So why did you write that book, and what happens now?

As anyone who has written a book knows, the real work begins when you've completed the thing. It's the marketing that makes you crazy.

     No one prepares you for the challenges you'll face in the marketing phase of your book. Creating a 'To Do' list to get your book out there is probably the most efficient way to begin systematically conquering what initially seems like an insurmountable task. To help you with this phase of your writing, I'll share my own list with more to follow in the weeks ahead. Here's what you need to do, say the experts, to sell your book:

(1) Build a platform. What's a platform, you might ask, as visions of hammers, nails, wooden planks and even a noose, dance through your head. Not to mention the dread of all that labor just to get the thing built. OMG! No, a platform is simply a way promote your brand, or the image you want people to see when they think about you, the author. For example, if you're a memoir writer like me, trying to sell your captivating account of romance between persons of a certain age, you need to promote that image. Start your platform using the following tools:

  • Facebook - Facebook has a Bookmobile section, which I accidentally stumbled upon. Not only can you post your book here, but you can also post events to promote it. The site is quite user-friendly, and if you spend some time there, you might even learn to post friends' books there. At least that's what I'm working on now. 
  • Readings - Best accomplished through joining groups like your local branch of the California Writers Club, an organization of writers helping writers. Other opportunities for reading may include your writing group, local library, booksellers, coffee shops, restaurants, and specialty shops.
  • Print on demand publishing companies are growing more competitive as this publishing method becomes more popular. Amazon has created innovative ways to promote your book sales, including online e-reads with short-term freebies for world wide exposure
  • Creating your own website and/or blog spot is another way to get yourself out there. Google potential sites, free and otherwise, and get started. You're a writer now. Next step: publicist.

Yes its party time for writers in today's cyber-world, so walk right in, sit right down and start the ball a-rollin'.