Monday, June 29, 2015

Marketing Your Book

The book launch is over! My baby got off to a fantastic start thanks to all who were involved:
16 faithful FB friends promoted my new release.

At the weekend I attended a lecture on "Marketing your book." First up I learned that I should have done this long before my book was even finished. In case you stumble and fumble around as I did, I am recommending strongly to do this when you have plenty of time ahead.

Marketing and communications consultant, RaffaellaMarie Fenn offered a seven step approach to sell more books, and she revealed the details in her presentation, “Marketing Matters—Seven Steps to Getting Your Book into Readers Hands.” In Marketing Matters, Marie presented these practical ideas published authors can put to work immediately. Here's the gist:
·      Learn to write an actionable marketing plan that will increase your chances of book sales.
·      Unearth your own unique “brand” and then use it in every aspect of your book marketing    efforts.
·      Discover audience segments that will help light a fire to your book sales.
You may have a wonderful idea for a book, even have written a fantastic manuscript but have you identified your target audience? If you're writing for a niche market, you want to target that in your further marketing and advertising plans. Plan a year ahead where you give talks, readings, signings etc.

Filling in her hand-outs will keep me busy for  awhile. They ask probing questions which I are not entirely clear in my head after the fact of having published several books. If you are like me, you probably stumble along and pick up tips and ideas up along the way.

Here's the opinion of a friend, the inimitable Sam Murphy, author of several self-help books:

As difficult and exhausting as writing can be, nothing compares to the challenges and sheer misery of self publishing. Just the huge numbers of electronic avenues makes this experience quite daunting. (I run into that word quite often). And as many of us have come to realize, it's not just the sheer numbers of Internet sites, it's the TIME you need to spend on them to make yourself credible. That's the REAL killer. I'll spend at minimum, a full day agonizing over THIS composition.
And so we Google: “How do I promote my new book?” Up comes millions of sites with easy sounding names, like “How to Sell a Million Books With One Click of a Button,” or “Make sure you become a member of the following 438 sites you can post on to make you book a bestseller,” and “Here’s a complete list of book bloggers that will review your book and make you wildly successful.”

Of course, The “One Click of a Button” leads you to websites that are impossible to navigate and probably useless, but for the sake of just one sale, for the next day or two, down the rabbit hole you go. The 438 sites? Let’s just politely say that it’s not that they are not interested in your life; they are just interested in theirs a little more. And then there’s the bloggers who will review your books - for only $29.99, but it will take about 3 months, and they have so many restrictions, and they always seem to be yelling at you, but that’s OK because most of them no longer exist or they inform you that they are not accepting new submissions until the Fall of 2015.

So here you are, all excited and duly proud of yourself for having completed something that you devoted weeks, months, even years to and you can't even get your sister to buy one and give it a five star rating on Amazon. You should be having this HUGE celebration with all your friends. Instead, you're fumbling around like a teenager in the back seat of your old man's Chevy, trying to add some kind of Pin to a Board on a site that you REALLY don't care about, and then Googling one inactive “Will review your book for free” site after another.  And it's TWO O'CLOCK IN THE GODDAMN MORNING!

But you've checked your numbers and you're 497,364 in Amazon's Best Seller Rank. So you text and you tweet. You create a fan page. You blog. You Skype. You Pin, and you Tumble. You contact every "friend" you have, and have them contact every “friend” they have, and every “friend” they have, and so on down the line. "Yes," they say, "I'll get me a copy of that new book you just published. I'm gonna read it, review it, and give it a whole passel of stars." Two days later and now you're 798,621. in Amazon's Best Seller Rank.
And so you text and tweet some more looking for support and ideas. But as much advice as you get; you write. I consider myself a writer. Maybe not a very lucid one at the moment, but a writer nonetheless. I have stories inside of me. Having them stay there while I attend to other business only makes them fester and this will ultimately lead to some really bad juju.
By nature I am not a tweeter or a texter, a Pinner, or Tumbler. I don't try to StumbleOnto anything. Don't much care for Skyping, and I secretly hate all of my "friends" on Facebook.
So here I sit, trying to promote my book on one more site, and it's now 3 o'clock in the Goddamn morning. I just keep repeating to myself, "I'm a writer..., this will work..., I'm a writer, this will work..., I'm a writer…"

Siggy Buckley
Sam Murphy
PS. Strangely enough I couldn't find Raffella Marie Fenn on Amazon...

1 comment:

  1. Great article, Siggy!!!! I enjoyed reading all the steps you've done. I have a proposal :) What do you think about forming a book tour team? We will start soon a new project for helping writers and authors. This will be a "chapter" included in our project.