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Book Review: Let’s Sell Your First Book by Amrita Chowdhury

Hello internet friends and fellow writers! I’m really excited to share this book with everyone interested in marketing themselves online. Because we live in a digital age and being found on the vast interwebs requires real strategy. This book is aptly called “marketing 101 for brand new authors.” It is for writers but I suppose other bloggers could get some use out of it too. (Just maybe not the last chapter.) There is real knowledge and strategy for attracting a bigger audience in this slim volume.

I stumbled upon this ebook as I was researching marketing strategies. I re-branded this blog (formerly Hayley’s Haberdashery) to encompass all of my writing and reading pursuits. I streamlined all my social media accounts and started to really amp up creating content. It’s been about a month doing this and my traffic has grown steadily (not much but some). Of course, there is more that I could do to network but I’m focusing primarily on my writing and creating my own content.

Book Review by Hayley Elizabeth on Let's Sell Your First Book! 101 Marketing for Brand-New Authors
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You can read more about the book here on the author’s website. I’m not sure how much Chowdhury is taking her own advice (which is vast, I must assure you) since I was the first to rate this ebook on Goodreads. But hey, I found it helpful and I would definitely recommend it to new writers!

This ebook is divided into three chapters: before, during, and after. It really is a great guide that you can follow as your work through writing your book. You might have seen that I finished writing the first draft of my book (happy dance!). So, as I work through draft two, I’ll be taking the advice of chapter two of this ebook. And after my beta readers have read my manuscript, I’ll be following the advice of chapter three.

Chapter 1: Before You Start Writing

The first chapter is about identifying an audience for your work and building your platform. It’s all about social media and making a presence on the internet. Creating all the different types of social media accounts and figuring out which ones work for you.

For example, I’m most active on Instagram and Pinterest. While Goodreads I update and my Twitter account I have yet to tackle. I’ve chosen the two social media sites that I 1. like the most and 2. attract my audience (young women mostly). So, these are ones I focus on the most.

The best time to start marketing your brand is last year. Chowdhury emphasizes the sooner the better. It’s all about getting people to know who you are, follow your brand, and eventually buy your product (in this case books). That means start to market yourself and get yourself out there even though you might be years away from publishing a book.

Blogs are really essential for writers. What better way to showcase your writing than by… writing. Plus, eventually, you can transform (or tweak) your blog to encompass an author website. So later it can become a real showcase of your life and work. (Or that’s my plan anyway.)

Chapter 2: While You Are Writing

This chapter is about stretching your platform and spreading your work. Content, content, content. That’s the bottom line. This is really about honing in on your brand and consistently publishing content.

But it’s not just about you anymore. This stage is really about networking too. Interviews, guest blogging, and connecting with fellow writers! All the while, continuing to write your book.

Chapter 3: After You Finish Writing

This chapter is broken up into three sections: preparing to publish, spreading the word, and after you publish. This chapter was long and for good reasons. There is a ton of work to do after you finish writing your book. It starts with beta readers and then goes on and on. ARC copies, cover design, media kits, conferences, appearances/book signings, author website… See how easy it is to become overwhelmed!

The great thing about this ebook is that it does take you step-by-step. Start with 3.1 and slog through the process of spreading the word. Because it takes time more than anything and really can be quite tedious.

Overall

I’ll be referring to this often when I start to undergo the publishing process. There are long lists of helpful websites and resources. I’ve tried some of the links and they are out of date which is a shame. She even includes a free media kit template! This type of resource is invaluable and unbelievably helpful. The free template of the media kit alone was worth the $3.99 this ebook cost. I think writers both self-published and traditionally published can find this guide useful. It really does go step-by-step.

My recommendation is to read it through once, generally getting acquainted with the material and the advice. Then as you write, work through this book, keeping a list of things to do within the section. I did this! I read chapter one and made sure to do all the steps before moving on to chapter two. Luckily for me, I’d already started looking into my own marketing strategies so chapter one was more reassuring than anything. I created this blog a year and a half ago when I moved to Spain to teach English for the year. (I have a wealth of travel posts and photoblogs!) So, I had a decent headstart on figuring out how to blog and create a website.

It’s a ton of work marketing yourself. To follow all of the advice is seriously daunting. But I think the point is that you have to do at least some of it if you want to sell more copies of your book.

Is it working? How am I doing building my brand? I’d love to hear in the comments about what resources you found helpful for marketing yourself in this digital age.

Happy Reading (and Writing)-

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