How Early is Too Early for Marketing

How Early is Too Early for Marketing

Hey, we got our first question from someone, which means people are actually reading. Woohoo!

Okay. Now that we got that excitement out of the way.

Q: What is a good timeline for marketing your book, especially if it’s your first one? How early is too early to start sharing quotes, introducing characters, reel aesthetics, etc, so that you don’t burn your audience out, but still create hype?

 A: It might be cliché of me to say "it's never too early", but it is mostly true.

My guidance is once you know that this book is 99% sure to be finished and published, start marketing. Especially if this is your first book.

Why? Because from the very beginning of your author career--as soon as you don that title and call yourself an author--you are setting up reader expectations. And in my opinion (I haven't done any studies or polls or anything, so don't @ me if you disagree) the biggest thing readers care about--more than characters, writing style, plot, pacing, cover, whatever--is reliability.

Yes, readers can be forgiving. Many can be, in fact. But you want to always--or as often as humanly possible given the amount of crap that can go wrong in life--show your readers (or potential readers, as it were) that you will do what you say you will do.

We, readers are notoriously impatient, and we have new books vying for our attention all the time. The last thing we want is to get excited about a book that might never happen.

Now this doesn't mean you have to have a release date, but I'd urge you to have a month or season and year in mind before marketing. Even if you're still drafting, have a goal in mind. Deadlines are good for you. Trust me.

So... when to start? Start as soon as you have promised yourself you will see this book to the very end and have a publishing goal in mind (because if your book is appealing, readers are going to first ask you when they will get their hands on it, and it's best to have at least a rough estimate you're aiming for, even if that goal might have to change).

"But, won't I annoy people if I start talking about it a year or more in advance?"


I mean, you might annoy some people, but those aren't YOUR people anyway. At least not yet. Some readers refuse to get attached to a book until it's available, and that's perfectly fine. Those aren't the readers you're targeting in these early stages of marketing. You're looking for those readers who like to feel connected to the author, want to see behind the scenes, and want to feel invested in this book coming to life.

The key here is to make sure the book isn't the ONLY thing you're sharing on social media. Keep sharing other stuff like what books you are reading, etc. This will help keep the obnoxious level down a bit.

Also, vary what you share about the book.

Share the popular tropes they'll find.
Post aesthetics.
Share your writing playlist if you have one.
Post updates on your writing progress and how things are going.
Share unedited quotes as you're drafting.
If you commission art, share that (though I always recommend this be one of the last things you spend your publishing money on... it is a fun thing to have, but it is a nice-to-have not a must-have to publish your book and if money is tight, hold off.)

I digressed a little there.

Here are the basics of what I recommend for early marketing:

  1. Committed to publish the book
    Word count updates
    Author life behind the scenes stuff
  2. Have a release date in mind
    Character profiles
    First draft unedited quotes (sparingly)
    Tease the title acronym (if you have it)

As you get further along in the publishing process, then you'll increase frequency of posts, do your cover reveal, set up your street team, choose your ARC readers, etc etc. 

At this point in the process, I don't recommend running any paid ads. You'll just be spending money with no way to earn a return.

I really hope this helps. And if not, submit your question in the form, and I can either email you or write another post to clarify/answer.


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