Friday, February 19, 2010

If you don't do this...By Kathleen Gage


If you don't do this, you are not serious about marketing your book
by Kathleen Gage


YOU ARE INVITED TO ASK QUESTIONS VIA THE COMMENT SECTION OF THIS BLOG-KATHLEEN WILL BE AVAILABLE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS THROUGHOUT THE DAY, 2/20

Ask most authors why they write and they will likely tell you it is respond, “To make a difference.” Regardless of whether they are fiction or nonfiction authors, something drives us to get our message out.
Unfortunately, a great many authors will never have more than a handful of people reading their works other than family and friends. This is directly related to their lack of knowledge and understanding of their need to promote their own books.
Prior to all the choices available due to the Internet and Social Marketing the greatest limitation in marketing was time and money with money being at the top of the list for most authors.
Because of Social Marketing what is possible is far easier and much less costly than ever before. One would be foolish not to take advantage of even a few resources available literally at their fingertips. A few minutes a day of focused online marketing effort can increase your visibility and book sales in leaps and bounds.
In the past one plus one equaled two. In the world of online marketing this is not at all the case. Online one plus one equals lots of other ones who are spreading the word for you with the press of a button. That is, if they like what they see and if they believe what you have to say is worthy of their button pushing.
Although very much talked about, Social Marketing is also very misunderstood. Take Twitter for example. Lots of authors don’t bother with it at all because they have no clue as to the real (and far reaching) benefit.
Truth be told, there are many trains of thought regarding exactly how to use twitter. Recently, I attended one of the top Internet marketing conferences where a main topic of conversation was social marketing. Not only did I have the opportunity to share the platform with experts like Willie Crawford, Jeff Herring, David Perdew, Denise Wakeman, Lynn Terry and Kevin Riley, I also sat in on a few sessions as a student.
If the names I mentioned aren’t familiar to you, a quick google search will show you just how knowledgeable these experts are in the areas of Internet and Social marketing. Each brings a wealth of information to the table. While one expert said, “I use Twitter to connect with people and be very casual without any overt promoting,” another expert said, “I overtly promote on Twitter and it works for me.” Who’s right? Actually, both.
The one who overtly promotes has such an incredible following that people know him, like him and trust him to the point that they look forward to his promotions.
As an author you might be wondering what this has to do with promoting books. Actually, everything. And here’s why. With Social Marketing you have global reach to potential readers. However, to make your efforts worthwhile, you must be strategic in what and how you use the Internet.
Blogs are the hub of what your social marketing efforts should include. From there, everything else feeds into your blog. You can build a wonderful following with your blog by writing and posting short articles, post excerpts from your books, put book trailers for your fans to enjoy and much more.
In that the blog is the hub, the idea is to drive every other part of your Social Marketing position back to a specific location like your blog.
Here’s how it works. Say you post your book trailer on YouTube. You then use the embedded code from your YouTube video in a blog posting. Once you have the blog posting done you do a tweet about the video with the permalink in the Tweet so that you are driving readers back to your blog.
You can also take the blog permalink and post on your Facebook wall to drive people back to your blog. If you belong to groups in Facebook, you can post a short note about the video with the permalink driving people back to your blog.
To optimize your YouTube position, be sure to put the permalink from your blog posting at the beginning of the video description. Use the http:// at the beginning of the link so it is live. This way, with one click readers are right back at your blog.
This is a process that can be done in literally 15 to 20 minutes a day. To really gain visibility for you and your books, add this to your daily activities. Within a very short period of time you will definitely see an increase in your blog traffic.
Your blog must be optimized in order to gain the greatest benefit when someone visits the location. Set it up in a way that people know what the blog is about, that you are the owner, and some way for them to subscribe to your blog. Without these essential elements you could miss readers for future books you write. Miss readers, you miss buyers.
About the author
Kathleen Gage is an Internet marketing advisor who works with spiritually aware speakers, authors, coaches and consultants who are ready to turn their knowledge into money making products and services. Find out how you can learn from Kathleen on how to become more visible and sell more books using the Internet through her Street Smarts Marketing VIP Club at http://tinyurl.com/y8jokrz


PART II

Attention authors! Sell more books for less by utilizing Internet systems
By Kathleen Gage


If you’re like most authors you have a very important message you desire to share with as many people around the globe as possible. Unfortunately, many authors never sell more than a handful of books because of one primary reason; marketing and promotions of your book.

I have been an author for many years and I can assure you, hands down, a well planned and well executed online promotional campaign can open up incredible opportunities both in the short term and the long term.

Below is some essential information regarding what you can do to begin your book launch.
Online book launches can be a springboard into other opportunities such as additional product development, speaking and consulting jobs and increased expert status.

There are three phases to a successful campaign

Phase I Pre launch preparation
Phase II Launch
Phase II Post launch

Checklist of what you need to do to launch your campaign

Create a budget for your launch
Select the date of the launch
Complete your book before the launch date
Register your book with Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com
Secure Joint Venture Partners
Secure appropriate, high value bonuses
All web design work done
Copy write various pieces of information for the campaign
Automate your process
Develop a backend plan for multiple streams of revenue
Take time before your book is published to plan your book launch. The more thought you put into marketing and promoting the book, the more likely it is that you will have a hugely successful book on your hands.

About the author

Kathleen Gage is an Internet marketing advisor who works with spiritually aware speakers, authors, coaches and consultants who are ready to turn their knowledge into money making products and services. Find out how you can learn from Kathleen on how to become more visible and sell more books using the Internet through her Street Smarts Marketing VIP Club at http://tinyurl.com/y8jokrz

25 comments:

  1. How do we expand our Twitter following to get more potential readers? Is there a trick to getting followers?

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  2. How would I go about getting my new book listed with college-campus bookstores? I believe Flashing My Shorts, a collection of 164 quick-read flash stories, would be just what college students would like to read in their few-and-far-between leisure moments!

    Salvatore Buttaci

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  3. What if you have zero money for a budget? I've done everything suggested by anyone and anything I could find on the internet, but without any money to even send books to reviewers, my book has not done well. Is it just not possible for your book to fly if you don't have the bucks to back it up?
    Sincerely,
    Julie Achterhoff

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  4. It was great sharing that platform with you Kathleen. I love your energy. Like you're walking on coiled springs.

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  5. Thank you for all the comments and questions. On the question on Twitter. There are many ways to get followers; some are automated while others are not.

    You can have your Twitter link on your website, blog, in your sig file, on your FaceBook page and any other social network you belong to.

    Regarding college campus bookstores, this is not something I have a lot of experience with, but I would assume a good place to start is to check with any colleges and universities in your area on their buying process. It is likely you will find out a great deal by doing this.

    With zero budget this does create a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. With one of my books we presold our book in our local market. Depending on the genre would indicate whether or not this is a doable process.

    We got sponsors for an event where the ticket into the event was the purchase of the book. It is a sales book so it fit the business community very nicely.

    Write a list of all the possible organizations that may be interested in helping you to promote your book based on a market match; your readers, their market. If there is a good fit, put a proposal together as to why a partnership could benefit all parties concerned.

    Hope this helps. Good luck to all.

    Kathleen

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  6. Hello Kevin. It was so much fun hanging out with you and sharing the platform. You rock!

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  7. Love the title. It really makes me feel like I should ask a question... um, what do you do if you begin to feel marketing burnout? I've been going hard, promoting my work, and I've found little time to do much else, including write. How do you suggest I structure my social networking time?
    (That was two questions, which means I really care.) :)

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  8. On the question of marketing burnout the answer would be "get help". Again, I do know many authors are on a limited budget, but there does come a point we have to make decisions on what we can get help on.

    There are so many VA resorces available at incredibly reasonable prices.

    Another thing to look at is the ROI on the time we are putting into our marketing. If something we are doing is not time effective for what we get in return, decisions have to be made.

    To spend hours on something that gets only minimal results is something that needs to change.

    One of the reasons I began the VIP Club that Phil mentioned is because far too many people spin their marketing wheels with very little result. I wanted to be able to help others (especially authors) lay a very solid foundation to gain the greatest results on their efforts.

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  9. Can you suggest a clever way to get people who know me to order my book! I sent several e-mails to about 200 folks in my directory. Maybe some ordered, but none of them are writing back and saying so. Short of cutting them out of my will, what can I do?

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  10. Kathleen, I know that being 'out there' is key. But some authors have very limited time to promote. If you could pick just one social network, where you would devote most of your time to marketing, what would that be?

    And (2), aside from social networking, what other activity, e.g. blogging, emailing, etc. would you say is the most important activity for an author?

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  11. Hi Kathleen,

    Great post! Thanks for doing this.

    I agree with Jen about the frustration with the impact marketing my book has had on my time for writing. I try to allocate, but I always end up feeling guilty about what I'm not doing at the moment.

    I have a couple of questions I'd like to ask about signings:

    First of all, what is the best way to approach a book store. I had a couple of successes and thought it was easy. But when I tried to schedule the third one in a different city, I had a few rejections.

    The second questions is: How should I publicize in an area that isn't my home city? My first reading (the launch) was very successful, primarily because I sent out invitations. But I don't know how to do that in an area where I don't know many people. And posters don't seem to help except at the place where the signing is to be held. I've listed the event on local calendars. That might have done some good, but I'm not certain.

    Any suggestions would be great.

    Thanks,
    Steve

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  12. This was very interesting, but I didn't totally understand everything that was involved. I just got my book in the mail a week ago yesterday, and am set to do a virtual book tour the first 10 days of March. I have also hired a marketing firm to do more internet marketing for me. Hopefully, between what I do and what they do, my book will reach many more hands than it would if I'd be alone in my marketing.

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  13. Could you give us some cheap VA resources?

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  14. Salvatore, sometimes the people we think would be the first to buy our books are not the ones who do buy. It may be the ones on your list are not a good match for the genre.

    Depending on the genre of the book you may be able to find organizations, associations and businesses who would be interested in buying in bulk. With one of my sales books I was able to sell in bulk to a few companies because the book was a good fit for the sales teams. However, rather than simply asking, I did research to find companies who would be a good fit, those where I knew sales managers and directors and put together proposals that showed a lot of benefit to bulk purchases.

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  15. I can't say that any one social network is a one size fits all. It really depends on the genre of the book. For example, LinkedIn would be a great fit for corporate type books.

    Facebook is an excellent social network if you stay actively involved. With any social network it is key to remember the "social".

    As far as what other activities authors would benefit from, blogging, blogging, blogging. In case I didn't get my point across, blogging. LOl

    Seriously, blogging has a lot of benefit. As mentioned in my original post, your blog should be the hub of all you do. Because of the SEO potential a blog has so much to offer.

    The key with your blog is to make sure you are using keywords and utilizing your permalink for each post you make. Tweet it, FB it, Youtube it, etc.

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  16. Steve, I think the balance can be a frustration for all authors. One way around this is to schedule in your marketing time. Something that will make a world of difference is to commit the first hour of your day to marketing. No email checking during this first hour. The challenge with checking emails the first part of the day is we go off on wild goose chases and before we know it half the day is gone.

    Try this strategy for 2 weeks. For the first hour, market. My sister is a fine artist. I made the recommendation of marketing the first hour of the day instead of checking emails and within a couple of weeks she had some incredible opportunities that showed up due to her focus on marketing.

    I can promise you the results will amaze you. It is a discipline but well worth it.

    On approaching bookstores, try the independents. They likely will be much more receptive than the large chains. However, if you take time to get to know the manager of local chain stores, they may very well be open to a signing.

    With the independents you might brainstorm ways to market to their existing clientele. They may be willing to do an insert in their monthly mailing (if they do one), do media releases, partner with the local chamber, etc.

    When you can show benefit for them helping with the promotions they are more likely to jump at the idea. After all, they want the foot traffic.

    Also, find stores that would match the genre of your book and see if they would host a signing. For example, if you have a book on dog training, why not contact local pet stores to see if they would be interested in a signing.

    Try www.fullcalendar.com for marketing to the local media. The cost is $20 for media release distribution. Considering the reach in some markets it is well worth it.

    I did an event for a teen program and utilized Full Calendar and was really pleased with the results I received from people learning about the event in the local media.

    You can also utilize social networks like Facebook to market locally. Do a search for people in your area and connect with them. Rather than simply promote to them, build your network and create value. This way, when you promote they will be more receptive.

    Also, your local chambers will often sponsor speaking engagements and let you sell your books back of the room.

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  17. Katie, Virtual book tours can be very effective for a number of reasons. One, SEO. Two, building your following and readers. Three, you can often drive blog readers to your own blog thus building your traffic.

    Best of luck with your marketing firm. Often, we do need outside help to get the word out. It can be a daunting task to do it all ourselves.

    The key to all of this is to have a long term vision and plan. It is not any one thing that brings the success we desire. It is a combination of many elements.

    Sounds like you are definitely on the right track.

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  18. For VA services, less of a fee is not always the best route to go. However, you can find plenty of people looking for virtual work on Craigslist. It's important to be very clear on what you need. Otherwise you can waste time and money. I speak from experience on this. Years ago I knew I needed help but had not clarified in my own mind what I needed. Now I have lists that help me and whomever I hire to stay on track.

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  19. You are most welcome Julie. I appreciate the questions and comments.

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  20. I want to thank Kathleen for taking the time to be with us and for answering questions. It is clear that getting your book published is just the beginning. Whether by a small press or a large one, authors must remember that they are the primary tool in marketing their book. If you write it, they will not come, unless they know about it.

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  21. It has been my pleasure. Thank you to everyone who left comments and questions.

    Kathleen

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  22. Kathleen, all of us at ATTMP thank you for your invaluable help!

    Salvatore Buttaci

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  23. You are most welcome Salvatore. Marketing books is one of my passions and seeing authors get their message out, make money and live happily ever after is even more of a passion.

    There is so much opportunity for authors when people know about their works.

    It was truly a delight and pleasure to participate in this interactive format.

    Kathleen Gage

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