How To Market Your Book Before You Start Writing It

How To Market Your Book Before You Start Writing It

In this post, we’re looking at how to market your book before you even start writing it.

Whether you are traditionally published or self-published, you will have to market your books if you want to sell them. Marketing starts even before you being writing your book.

6 Ways To Market Your Book Before You Begin Writing It

  1. Take Writing Courses 

‘There’s a book inside everyone!’ Learn your craft well and practise it so that you can create a well-written, well-crafted story. The more you know about characters, voice, language, plots, arcs of characters and plots, structure, tone, tropes, genre etc., and the more you practise it, the better will be your own work. Until you have a good product, you’re wasting your time and your money when it comes to marketing.

Best Advice: If you think you know everything, you will never grow as a writer or a creative. So take every opportunity to learn something new about the craft.

  1. Read The Best Authors In The Genre

If you want to compete with the other authors in your genre, you need to familiarise yourself with the best of them. If you write light Regency Romance, readers will judge your novels against Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. Yes, there are many other authors who write excellent light Regency Romance, but Jane and Georgette are the gold standard. By reading their books you will learn the requirements of that genre.

Yes, you can carve out your own genre, your own niche, your own language and style. Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, even David Bowie spring to mind. Before Diana Gabaldon wrote her novel Outlander, time-travel historical romance wasn’t ‘a thing’. Now, it’s very definitely ‘a thing’. But all of these people, original as they are, met genre requirements in their own unique way.

Best advice: Be brave, be daring, be unique, but first know how to write well before you begin twisting the genre and its tropes. 

  1. Understand Your Genre’s Look And Feel And Write To That

Spend time researching the best-selling books in the genre in which you want to write. Look at their covers, titles, and blurbs. What do they have in common, and what do none of them have? You may discover a niche within your genre that your book fits into perfectly. What does this have to do with marketing? Book sales. You may get more readers by writing a book that fits within that niche.

Best advice: Make researching your competition a habit, and learn as much as you can about the psychology of design and of writing blurbs

  1. Understand Your Reader – Part 1

This is really part of number 2 and 3 above. Even if you love the genre, you are not your reader. The most important question you need to consider before you start writing, is what shape of stories do readers of your genre and niche want? The shape is often described by the cover. Many authors have ‘dude, where’s your shirt’ covers. These books promise a different type of story to those whose models are fully dressed. Your cover needs to describe your book and respect the niche in which it belongs. You may want to create a WIP (work in progress) cover to inspire you and keep you on track.

Best advice: Know the shape of stories your potential readers really want and how the cover describes that shape.

  1. Abandon Your Book For 3 Months

Once you’ve typed ‘The End’, print out your novel and put it in a drawer you seldom open. Then, start a new book. Don’t under any circumstances open that drawer or computer file! Three months will give you the distance you need from the story. It will cease to be the most precious thing in the world and will, instead, become something with which you can be utterly ruthless in the edits and the book cover design. Three months is the time it takes to be able to kill your darlings the next time you encounter them on the page!

  1. Build A Great Pre-Publishing Team

Build greatness into your work right from the start. With a great team on your side you will be able to produce the best product. They will support and encourage you when writer’s blues hit.

On your pre-publishing team you will need brutally honest alpha and beta readers. Develop a thick skin as quickly as possible as these people read the book before you publish and give you feedback on plot – especially plot holes big enough to fly the Millennium Falcon through, characters – what and who they loved, what and who they hated – not because they were heroes or villains, but because they were exceptionally well-written, nuanced, and relatable or whether they were badly written, two-dimensional, and unrealistic etc.

Best advice: Don’t ask your mom to do this.

The Last Word

What has any of this got to do with marketing? Habit. Once you get into the habit of creating the best work possible, it becomes easier to develop the habit of learning how to market that work in the best way possible and following through. These tips work for all genres, including Romance.

P.S. Do you want to learn how to write romance? Sign up for our romance writing course: This Kiss

Elaine Dodge

by Elaine Dodge. Elaine is the author of The Harcourts of Canada series. Elaine trained as a graphic designer, then worked in design, advertising, and broadcast television. She now creates content, mostly in written form, for clients across the globe, but would much rather be drafting her books and short stories.

More Posts From Elaine

  1. How Important Is Backstory In A Romance Novel?
  2. Setting & Description In A Romance Novel
  3. How To Pace A Romance Novel
  4. 9 Must-Have Ingredients In A Romance Novel
  5. 5 Things To Remember To Do When Publishing A Romance Novel
  6. 5 Things To Remember Not To Do When Publishing A Romance Novel
  7. What Is The Meet-Cute And How Important Is It?
  8. 5 Things To Remember When Outlining Your Romance Novel
  9. 5 Ways To Get You Through The Middle Of Your Romance Novel
  10. 5 Ways To End Your Romance Novel

Top Tip: Find out more about our workbooks and online courses in our shop.

Posted on: 29th August 2022