1001 WAYS TO MARKET YOUR BOOKS. I figured it was about time I got the info right from the horse's mouth. Now that I'm part way into the book (and it is hefty, let me tell you) I understand what all the fuss is about. It is quite simply, the most complete book on marketing for authors that I've read. Obviously there is way too much information to include in one simple blog post, but over the summer, as I wade through the book, I plan to share a few nuggets.
Let's begin at the beginning:
1. Focus your efforts on your primary markets. Don't waste valuable time trying to do everything. This takes planning and it also means you will have to track your efforts, something I'm not necessarily good at.
2. Similar to # 1, try a few ideas at a time and get good at them. Too many irons in the fire lead to burn out and are ineffective.
3. Allow your book at least three years once you begin a committed and focused marketing campaign. This was a relief since so many people say if its not selling within the first couple of months, it never will.
And this was just from the introduction! Here are some actual strategies I plan to put into action.
1. Create a media list of key contacts. He suggest a list of 100. I'm not sure I can manage that, but I'm going to start a list, anyway. Then contact that list at least 10 - 15 times a year. This can be press releases, newspaper articles, memos .. you name it.
2. Carry your cards wherever you go. Now this, I can do. I've already started handing out more cards and other promotional stuff like bookmarks instead of saving them for book fairs and such. The lawyers office, the dentist .. you name it. Hand out a card. It's all about exposure.
3. Don't be afraid to talk about your books and the fact that you're an author. This almost seems silly, but many (most?) authors feel shy about their work and hate blowing their own horn. I know I do. Unfortunately, as Kremer says, you must take responsibility for the marketing of your own book. Have cards, copies of your books, brochures and other promotional material handy.
I also plan to pursue some of his tips on getting on best seller lists (other than amazon), getting exposure in major publications, and garnering more reviews. More about that another time.
This whole 'promote your books' thing can be daunting, but if approached methodically and with the right tools, it does have an impact. I like what Michael Hyatt had to say in the most recent issue of the ACFW Journal, however. Don't burn yourself out. Pick the top things that need to be done and do them. Save the rest for another day or delegate. Its not good to sacrifice other things that matter in life, like family or even the actual writing of new material, because all our attention is focused on marketing.