Writing your novel – The trepidation phase



Thank you for sticking with me all week. You’ve made a PACT to write your novel; you’ve procrastinated, accelerated and consolidated. This post is aimed at those who have self-published.

Once you have a a published novel the marketing is all down to you. It’s an area that you should approach with some trepidation.

I’m not claiming to be a best-selling author, however I know the mistakes I made with my first novel in making an assumption that people would just buy it. That doesn’t happen. You need to influence people to buy it. If you use the six weapons of influence model by Robert Cialdini and apply it to book marketing then there are a number of things you can do. These techniques have started working for me. It’s a slow process and you need to keep at it – dogmatic determination is key here. Let’s break down the six weapons…

Social proof – when people buy something these days they want to see what other people think about it first, so you need reviews. Ask people who have read your novel if they would consider writing you an honest review. Amazon get very twitchy about reviews which aren’t genuine and the last thing you want is to get removed from the biggest bookstore in the world. There is nothing like that feeling when you get your first unsolicited review, especially if it’s good. Don’t be disheartened by a bad review. You are never going to please everyone. You may have a desire to respond, however rise above it and leave the review as it is. If people like your book and see a negative review they will feel compelled to add their own to balance things out.

Commitment – if people say they are going to buy your book then hold them to it, in a non-aggressive way of course. If you interact with someone online and they seem interested then send them the link straight away, don’t assume they will go and find it. It doesn’t work like that for most people, but if they have the link in front of them then they are more likely to click on it.

Reciprocity – there are many writers out there at the same stage of their writing careers as you. They have a regular day job, but would also love for this to be their full-time profession. Read their work; review it and mention it on social media, then ask them politely to do the same.

Liking – engaging with your audience regularly with social media will build your profile. Find other ways to showcase your work. At best you’ll write a novel once a year so get some short stories or blogs out there so people don’t forget you. Don’t assume that social media is the only answer. Get out there and meet people face-to-face as well. There are writing groups and book groups everywhere. Join a few and see which ones you like.

Authority – if you’re going to spend any money during this whole process then save it for this. Research well before advertising as there are a lot of people offering the world and they just want your money. Ask your fellow authors who they use and most importantly, what has worked. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on this if you get it right.

Scarcity – lower the price of your book for one day or weekend only, or even give it away. On Amazon, if you’re exclusive to them with your e-book then every 90 days you get five free promotion days. It all helps in making you visible.

So that’s it. All of the above have the potential to add more sales and get more people reading your book. It needs to be consistent so make it part of your routine, or it will seem like a chore and before you know it you’ll be stuck in procrastination phase, only this time with a published book. Trust me, I’ve been there!

I hope you found this collection of blogs useful. Always eager for feedback, so do leave your comments below.

About Nick Lennon-Barrett

Originally from North-West, England, moving to London as an adult and carving out a career as an HR and L&D professional. The writing bug was always there as a child, yet it wasn't until my 30s that I finally did something about it. The joy of working in HR is that you're never short of character inspiration! I'm an enthusiast of both crime and comedy fiction so when I decided to write my first novel my aim was to combine these two genres tackling topical issues in a dark comedy murder mystery. This was the start of the DCI Fenton Murder Trilogy.
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