It happened again this week, actually several times this week, I received emails from authors who had hurled their work into the world without first developing a marketing plan. These authors fretted, hoped, prayed (maybe even vomited a little) as their sales didn’t move a single inch from the flat line. Then, and only then, did they take to Google, plug in “book marketing” and reach out to me.
Like many fledgling authors they did not realize that authors must invest a couple months (minimum) thinking about who is going to read their work and then how they will reach the prospective reader before they fling their title into the pool filled with 3 million other titles.
Dana Myles was one of my first students. Shortly after I released Stress-Free Marketing I partnered with bookstores across the Atlanta Metro Area. Together we did our best to help fledgling authors understand the importance of marketing. Even though Dana had already released a couple of books and was frustrated, she kept writing. Since then she has turned into a marketing machine. Take a look at her marketing plan for the month of February:
“My goal is to sell four books a day for the entire month of February.”
And how does she propose to sell four books a day?
Dana is offering to:
Do free appearances / readings / signings at your event (within a six-hour drive radius of the Atlanta metro area). I ask that you provide time, space, and the chance for me to sell books. I’ve done readings at bachelor parties and poetry slams. Let me know the theme of your event I will find something in my collection of writing that will be appropriate.
Give discounts on the paperback editions or free downloads for book clubs that wish to purchase for each book club participant. Purchase 10 or more paperbacks and I’m happy to meet with your book club, do a reading, Q&A, and sign copies for your club members.
Dana is requesting:
The opportunity to guest on your blog. You pick the theme / topic and word count up to 1000 words and I’ll write a guest post. At the end of my post I’ll include a brief bio and a link that would offer your readers a discount on the purchase of any of my books (paperback or digital) for seven days from the time the post appears.
An opportunity to guest on your podcast / web-based talk show or radio show. Same as with a blog, you pick the theme and topic and at the end of the interview, I offer your listeners a discount on the purchase of any of my books.
Space to set up a small display of books in your business. I’ve had success with a small display at my stylist’s hair salon, which prompted me to look for other places I can do the same. Along with the display, I’m available to come and do signings, Q&A, or just generally be on hand to chat with your customers and sell books.
Now, check this out. In return, Dana will gladly:
- Offer guest space on her blog
- Extend the many discounts and freebies previously mentioned above
- Work with you in any way I’m able, to aid in the promotion of your services / products / business
- Give you my eternal gratitude.
Do you notice that? The community she is offering. So why, why, do emerging authors not understand this? Writing is a community with enough readers to go around. What can you do? First, support Dana buy purchasing a copy of her book. She is using Smashwords as a central location for her book library. Download her books here. Learn more about her here.
Notice that Dana’s suggestion is a two-way street. She understands the importance of community, of SHARING information with others. And that my friends is why Dana is successful. She pays it forward, backward, inside and out. Now I must ask, what are you willing to do to market your work?
The FIRST step should be attend my workshop. Mercer University Press will release my next book this fall. Due to the time constraints of multiple speaking obligations, I am available for one marketing workshop this year. Only one. The good news is that Cat Blanco, owner of The Book Exchange, has partnered with me. Cat will over a unique perspective as a bookseller. Visit these links to learn more about the event. Hurry (and I do mean hurry) seating is limited. A copy of my book, Stress-free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author is included in the workshop price.
Here is the link to her website.
Here is the Facebook link to the event.
Here is the truth: If you do not develop a marketing plan you are wasting your time writing trying to sell your books to readers. If you do not know how to reach readers your can not sell you book. For those who cannot attend the event, here is a link to purchase Stress-free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author Purchasing a copy of this book, or attending the workshop, is worth your time.
Renea Winchester is the award-winning author of Mountain Memories; True Stories and Half-Truths from Appalachia. Please download her e-book short story collection today. Her first book, In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes earned her a SIBA and GAYA nomination. If you liked this recipe stay tuned. In 2014, Mercer University Press will release her next book titled Farming, Friends, and Fried Bologna Sandwiches. Email her through her website at www.reneawinchester.com