7 Things To Do Before You Advertise Your Novel by Keri Kruspe

7 Things To Do Before You Advertise Your Novel by Keri KruspeLet’s welcome back monthly columnist Keri Kruspe as she shares with us “7 Things To Do Before You Advertise Your Novel.” Enjoy!

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We’ve endured over a month of 2021, and it’s still turning out to be a bumpy ride. Not just for me personally, but for those of us who are aspiring new authors. 

As I’ve outlined in previous articles, my overall plan is to leave my secular job and live off my writing career. 

So, to that end, I started thinking, how do I know if I’m ready to advertise? What are the challenges in doing so? 

After a little research, here are some ideas I’ve come across so I can audit myself to see if I’m ready. 

Of course, if you have any suggestion that should be added to this list, don’t be afraid to leave a comment!

Before I get into the “nitty-gritty,” the number one advice given was to make sure my “Brand” was obvious for all to see. 

Assess Your Author Brand–It’s Strengths and Weaknesses, So You Can Advertise Your Novel 

Brand

In marketing terms, what is an author brand? 

Is it something that we need or can we skip that and continue with our career? 

In May 2019, Beth Barany wrote an article here on the Writer’s Fun Zone describing author brand. 

“… your author brand is the promise of an experience the reader will get every time they read one of your books, encounter your marketing material, like your website, your social media, your visual material (digital and physical), and any other aspect of your professional author self.”

To use myself as an example, I am first and foremost a romance writer. 

While that might differentiate me from other author tropes (i.e. mystery, science fiction, horror, etc), in the genre of romance, it leaves me wide open.

Just on the surface, there are some sub genres within romance—

  • Contemporary
  • Historical
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Erotic 
  • Religious/Spiritual
  • Paranormal
  • Young Adult

And guess what? The type of romance I write isn’t listed there. It’s under “Paranormal,” but I have to drill down further. I actually write with the moniker of “Science Fiction Romance.”

While a reader may consider themselves a romance aficionado, someone who appreciates the religious/spiritual genre will not necessarily want to read an erotic novel. 

In order to separate myself from the thousands of romance writers, I’ve branded myself with the claim: “Author of Otherworldly Romantic Adventures.” 

Here I’m hoping to attract romance readers who like a little extra something in their stories. 

I feel the word “otherworldly” can be either sci fi or paranormal, while adding the word “adventure” gives it a little extra “umph” because my heroes and heroines go on a roller-coaster ride as they fall in love. 

Author of Otherworldly Romantic Adventures

Once you have your brand in order, what do you do with it to advertise your novel?

Why, everything, of course! 

Your brand should flow with your website, your author pages (i.e. Amazon Author Central, Bookbub, Goodreads, etc.) And don’t forget to add it to your signature on your email. 

There are other “signals” that a reader might find if they researched you. 

  • Does everything you have out there paint a favorable light for your brand? 
  • Are you convinced you’re maximizing your potential and reaching those readers who are interested in what you have to offer before you begin to advertise?

And now… time for a quick audit to verify readiness.

An Audit To Verify Readiness So You Can Advertise Your Novel? 

You have precious few seconds to capture someone’s imagination. 

Readers won’t go very far before they decide to buy or not. 

They don’t have time to examine every element of your retail page (like on Amazon, Bookbub, B&N, etc). Especially new authors. 

It won’t matter if you run the best ad in the universe if what you point folks to a mess that’s all over the place. 

To that end, you’d want to make sure you have as much in sync between retailers and the personal brand you’ve created. 

In order to see if you’re ready to advertise, let’s take a look at those seven aspects of what you have to offer before your try to get folks to “click” and purchase your book:

Book Cover

:: Where the reader’s attention goes first. 

  • Does it scream your genre from a quick glance? 
  • Is it eye catching and professional?

Price and Format 

:: These are the two elements every retailer shows prominently. 

  • How does your book compare to others in your genre? Too high… too low? 
  • Look at the top ten wherever you sell your book. 

Review Stars

:: The review stars are right there next to the cover and title of the book. 

  • Be assured, if you have any “bad” reviews, they have to scroll down a bit to read it.

Title and Subtitles 

:: In my genre of scifi romance, the subtitle is one of the most important aspects of the retail page displaying my books (see below):

Empath on AMZ

  • Is your title genre-appropriate and catching?
  • If appropriate, does your subtitle do its job of telegraphing the unique characteristics of your book?

Blurbs 

:: By the time a reader decides to read the blurb, you’re halfway there.

  • Just be aware that a lot of folks won’t read the whole thing. Some will skip and go to the next tidbit. 
  • Make sure those first words count!

Editorial Reviews 

:: Like all of us, we want a sure thing. And what better way to get that from an unknown author/book than to check out the reviews. 

  • The best kind of review is from a known endorsement under the editorial section.

Detailed Review content 

:: Lastly, there are individual reviews down the page. 

  • Most readers take the average of them at face value and don’t scrutinize the comments. 

Final Thoughts on How to Advertise Your Book 

thoughtful womanIf you’re happy with your audit and you feel you’re ready to plunge into the ad biz (like Amazon ads, Bookbub ads, or Facebook ads, etc.), here are some parting thoughts to help you tighten things: 

  • Try to have 25 reviews. (50 is recommended. Something I’m still working on.)
  • Best if your reviews have at least 4 stars average.
  • Strive to get some Editorial Reviews from tough author friends — those familiar with your genre.
  • If nothing else, ignore everything but keep an eye on your profit. Are you making more than you’re spending? If you sell on Amazon, their reports aren’t always up to date. A good way to check your daily sales/KDP reads on Amazon is an app called BookReport. It will sync with Amazon and give you an up-to-date analysis of what you sold or is read through Unlimited that day or within a timeframe you set. 

I’d love for you to share what you think about starting or continuing your ad campaigns. I myself still have a lot of work to do!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Keri KruspeKeri Kruspe has been an author since the age of twelve and has always been fascinated with otherworldly stories that end in Happily Ever After. Author of Otherworldly Romantic Adventures, Keri’s first series is An Alien Exchange trilogy. An Alien Exchange is the first book in the arousing Alien Exchange sci-fi romance series. If you like sexy aliens, feisty heroines, and fast-paced action, then you’ll love Keri Kruspe’s steamy space adventure.

Keri now resides with her family in the wilds of Northwestern Michigan. An avid reader, Keri enjoys good wine, good food, and watching action/adventure movies. You can find her most days immersed in her fantasy world of writing or traveling with her hubby in their RV, discovering intelligent life here on Earth. For goodies, news of upcoming releases, sign up for her newsletter at www.kerikruspe.com.