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Slow and steady really does win the book marketing race

I was reminded yesterday of a movie I’ve never seen. En route to a client meeting, I found myself driving down a busy street in Phoenix behind a tiny (at least he seemed tiny from my perspective) old man driving a motorized tricycle at about 18 miles an hour. Since I was making a right within a couple blocks, I made no effort to go around him, deciding it would do me good to slow down for a few minutes. Not so with some of the drivers behind me, many of whom couldn’t swerve into the other lane quickly enough.

slow and steady

To their credit, it is the holiday season, and many people seem to be in a rush these days. However, as I drove home later in the day in a completely other part of town, I again witnessed car after car zooming to beat the changing signals, streaking to jump ahead of the other drivers when they saw a bus or a lane closure ahead. I always find it comical when someone zips past me in a seeming huff (OK – that may just be my perception), only to wind up stopped next to me at the same red light.

I thought again of the man on the tricycle, which brought to mind the movie posters for The The_Straight_Story_posterStraight Story. Though I didn’t see it, my sister described it as “exactly what you would expect of a two-hour movie about a guy driving a tractor 5 MPH for 240 miles.” And that led me to a great reminder about book marketing. It’s an old idiom, so overly familiar to us that we may dismiss it as just too simple. But when it comes to successful book marketing, more often than not, slow and steady does, indeed, win the race.

OK – more the steady than the slow. But when you think about how many ways and places we’re being marketed to – experts suggest that Americans are exposed to an average of 5,000 marketing messages per day – it’s slow repetition rather than the slick, quick, explosive, one-time message that has the greatest effect. Sure, you can go all out on an ad in Publishers Weekly. You can pay to have your book listed in the catalogue for Book Expo America. You can arrange to hold your book launch at the base of the Eiffel Tower. And such tactics might work, short term.

However, things that will have a more lasting effect are:

  • Blogging daily or weekly, as opposed to as the whim strikes.
  • Showing up at your networking meetings every time – not just once in a while.
  • Adding every new person you meet to your database and sending a monthly newsletter – even when you don’t feel like it or “have time” for it.
  • Following up in a timely, appropriate manner.
  • Making a regular practice of social media instead of tweeting only when you’ve got a new book or event to push.

I heard a long time ago that bad marketing done regularly beats great marketing done occasionally, and I concur. Make the best book you can. Develop a website you can be proud of. Join a group blog – it will keep you accountable and probably drive more traffic. Retweet as often as you post original content. Repin and share and like with abandon. Most importantly, have a plan – and then follow it.

Here’s to slow, steady, consistent marketing efforts in 2015!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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2015 is RIGHT around the corner — are  you READY? If you haven’t begun 2015 Goalsmapping out your book marketing efforts for the New Year, it’s time to get started! Sit down with Laura – in person or via Skype – and review your book marketing plan. We’ll evaluate: what’s working, what isn’t working, and which new strategies you may want to implement for the new year (or your newest book). Regularly $150 for a 45-minute session. Marcie Brock special: $99 for the first five who respond. mktg@WriteMarketDesign.com

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january tip of day

January 17 Book Marketing Tip: Be consistent with your social media!

 

Woo-hoo! I’m delighted to share the news that the Write | Market | Design Facebook page has reached 500 Likes! Sure, there are pages with Likes in the thousands, but every one of them started somewhere. Thanks to all who’ve liked our page and shared the link. If you haven’t checked us out yet, come on down!

 

Here’s a bit of chronology:

 

Thanks to the best social media teacher in the world (Scott White, of PersonalPowerTraining.net), I was a very early adopter and jumped 500fblikeson Facebook back in late 2006. Back then, there were no Pages. The only option you had was to use your personal profile for business marketing, too. I did that, and have steadily built my “friends” to 2,565, with 109 subscribers to my personal page. The challenge has been bringing those friends over to my business page.

 

We were hanging out at 474 Likes for the l-o-n-g-e-s-t time. Then I started doing a few things differently.

 

ONE. I used to duplicate a lot of content between the my personal page and business page — but I do that less frequently lately. I’m very selective about what I post in both places, and I always post it on my business page first, and “share” it to my personal page. There’s a strategic reason for this: people on my personal page can see where the post originated, perhaps clicking over to my business page to see what other goodies I’m posting there.

 

TWO. I invited/reinvited a bunch of friends to like my page. They may have been people I never invited in the first place, or people who just never accepted an original invitation. At any rate, I had 7 additional likes from my own personal page once I sent these invites.

 

THREE. I changed the kinds of things I post. As you can tell from the title and content of this blog, I’m all about book marketing. My Facebook page is more representative of all aspects of self-publishing — although my posts did, for a long time, lean more to marketing tips. Lately, I’ve been posting a combination of humorous literary posts (see below), self-publishing/book marketing tips, and the occasional promo piece for my business. In short, I made the page more interesting.

 

film -book

 

FOUR. I started posting much more consistently — not just more often, but more consistently.

 

FIVE. In order to post more consistently, I started using Facebook’s scheduling feature to time my posts to go out at regular intervals throughout the day. To do so, go to your page and find the status box.

 

fb sched 1

Type your text or upload your image, as you normally would.
Then click on the clock icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the status box.

fb sched 2
Doing so will bring up a calendar. Choose the date on which you wish to publish your post.

fb sched 3
If you plan to stagger your posts, add the time you wish to publish your post.
Be sure to check that you have the a.m./p.m. correct.

fb sched 4
Click the SCHEDULE button.

fb sched 5

That’s it! Your screen will gray out and you’ll see a confirmation window
telling you that your post has been scheduled.

Of course, this is an inexact science. But I know I added nearly 30 people in little more than a week once I started changing the way I post and doing it more consistently. If Facebook isn’t your thing, I believe these strategies will work for you on many different social platforms. Next up, more interactivity!

Here’s to more consistency in your social networking!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Groundhog’s Day book marketing messages from Punxsutawney Phil and Phil Connors

Marcie - Groundhog Day

When you hear the words “Groundhog Day,” who are you more likely to think of? Punxsutawney Phil, THE groundhog for whom the day is named, or Bill Murray, star of the ubiquitous movie of the same name?

There are book marketing lessons to be drawn from both.

First, all is not as it might seem. The way Punxsutawney Phil is said to determine if winter is on its way out and spring is around the corner is by whether or not he sees his shadow. To me, it’s always seemed counterintuitive that Phil’s not seeing his shadow (cloudy day) means winter’s at its end, while seeing his shadow (sunny day) means 6 more weeks of winter.

So where might all not be as it seems when it comes to your book marketing? One place is in your results with things like blogging or social media. When you’re just ramping up and you’re not seeing many results (it feels like no one’s reading your blog and you’re not attracting many friends or followers on Facebook or Twitter), it may seem as though the effort is futile. On the contrary, my dear SBMs!* Push through the “it’s not working!” thoughts and keep on keeping on. Far too many bloggers quit, just as they were about to turn the corner on the traction they were seeking. Keep blogging. Keep Facebooking and Tweeting. Do your research, and get better at it, to be sure. But don’t quit.

Phil Connors (Bill Murray’s character in the movie), on the other hand, offers a seemingly opposite lesson. In realizing the futility of his effort to break the cycle of the recurring day (he wakes up every morning and it’s 6 a.m. on Groundhog’s Day AGAIN), he turns caddish behavior into an art form, seducing women, stealing money, driving recklessly, and eventually getting thrown in jail. Yet nothing changes.

You’ve more than likely heard the “definition of insanity”: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result. I’ve always thought it’s much less the definition of insanity than human nature; in clinging to what we know, we remain in our comfort zones. There’s only one problem with remaining in our comfort zones: It’s pretty much impossible to grow there.

So the second lesson is to selectively stop doing what you’ve been doing. Yes – I said keep blogging and keep posting your tweets and Facebook updates. But stop looking for reasons people won’t buy your book. Stop telling yourself there are lots of other books out there like yours, so why should people buy the one you wrote? Stop hiding behind the safety of exclusively promoting your book online and get out there to meet real, live people! STOP the thinking and behaviors that are sabotaging your success.

It’s not necessarily the best books – or products in general – that rise to the top, although a high-quality book sure helps. It’s consistency of message. Consistency of marketing. Consistency of posting. Consistency of touching your mailing list. Being there, being there, being there. Stay the course. Tap all the resources you have – and if you don’t have any resources yet, go out and get some.

Happy Groundhog’s Day to you – whether or not spring comes soon to your little corner of the World of Books.

Laura

*Savvy Book Marketer
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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Consistency: The key to LUCK in the book business

Today I was invited to contribute a tip for Mike Michalowicz, the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, on this topic:

How do you improve your luck (the odds) in business?  Do you have a single rule or tip that serves you the best in having things go in your favor?

My response:

There’s no better key to achieve success in business than consistency in all things. When you meet new people, follow up immediately EVERY time. When you’re building your social media presence, be there on a REGULAR basis. Using a blog to make a name for yourself? Post frequently and CONSISTENTLY. Be careful not to spread yourself too thin in terms of trying to do it all. Then, increase your luck by creating a pattern or plan and being consistent about it.

Let’s expand just a bit.

When you meet new people, follow up immediately EVERY time. One of the places more business people miss out on opportunities (i.e., sabotage their own luck) is by failing to follow up promptly. Whether it’s a new person at a networking event or the opportunity to speak, an amazing number of people let those opportunities fly right out the window by hesitating or taking too long to respond. Be the early bird and nab that client, speaking gig, or other opportunity!

When you’re building your social media presence, be there on a REGULAR basis. This means that instead of making a sporadic showing on all your various social media sites, you create a plan and contribute consistently. A participant in the Author Blog Challenge Facebook group shared this post from Search Engine Watch about how to create a social media calendar. Most useful if you want to be as effective as possible with your social media presence.

Using a blog to make a name for yourself? Post frequently and CONSISTENTLY. OK, if you’ve been reading the Marcie Brock blog for a while, I’m preaching to the choir on this one. If you’re new here, expect to hear it again and again. It’s frequent, regular posting, combined with the use of good keywords, that will help you make a significant impression on the search engines.

Be careful not to spread yourself too thin in terms of trying to do it all. If you’re a one-woman show, you’ve got to be sensible about your time and efforts. Increase your “luck” by creating a pattern or plan and being consistent about it.

Happy luck-making!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out and register today!

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Marketing a book is different than marketing a smartphone or a pair of shoes.

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

Up to this point, we’ve covered lots of marketing basics involved in becoming an SBM*We’ll soon be heading into some more specific techniques and trends in book marketing. Before we go there, though, it’s imperative that you understand this next piece: a successful marketing plan for YOUR book is going to depend on the specific audience for YOUR book.

While every marketing campaign must be directed to its target audience in order to succeed, books need particular care and attention because every book is different. Not only is the audience different from genre to genre (would you market  a romance novel the same way you’d market the latest Social Media Strategy guidebook?), but it can shift from book to book for a single author. Think about where the world was when David Baldacci’s first thriller, Absolute Power, was released in 1996 and where we are today. World relations are different; US leadership is different; the economy is different; the publishing industry is different. Does this impact Baldacci’s audience? You bet it does! And it also impacts the way he must market to his audience.

This goes back to our discussion a few months ago about knowing your audience, and knowing how to find and connect with them. Many readers are online, so social media strategies will work well for them. However, there are still a LOT of folks out there who would rather do it the old-fashioned way: see you at a bookstore; hear you on a radio interview, have a friend recommend your book; come across your postcard at their favorite coffeehouse. It’s essential that you know which strategy/strategies are the ones that will reach your readers.

Then, you know what to do. Get started, and stay active every day!

See you Thursday!

MARCIE

*Savvy Book Marketer

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Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine how close you are to SBM status, and where you may need a little extra boost.

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

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PREVIOUS POSTS

Thursday, July 21 – Book marketing is like brushing your teeth; you have to do it EVERY day!https://marciebrockbookmarketingmaven.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/book-marketing-is-like-brushing-your-teeth-%E2%80%93-you-have-to-do-it-every-day

Monday, July 18 Erratic marketing is just like once-in-a-while exercise. Results? Not so much

Thursday, July 15 – New mantra for procrastinators and perfectionists: DONE Is Better Than Perfect!

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Book marketing is like brushing your teeth you have to do it every day.

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

If you take nothing else away from these last few posts, please let it be the idea that your marketing efforts must be consistent. Are you old enough to have heard the expression “sounds like a broken record”? Records – shiny vinyl disks from which music flowed, once upon a time. No not CDs – bigger. Before cassettes. Before 8-tracks. Records. Look it up on Wikipedia. Anyway, they were played using a needle (yes, kind of like a sewing needle … oh, wait, never mind), and the needle sometimes skipped, causing the record to get stuck and the words to repeat.

My mom used to love to tell my sister and me we sounded like broken records when we’d whine about the things kids whine about. It used to bug me, but right now, I embrace the comparison because I really, really, really want you to understand the importance of consistency in your book marketing campaign. Honestly, if you’re not going to be consistent, you’d probably better not start at all. Every SBM* is willing to make a committed, consistent effort, no matter what else is vying for their attention.

What is the most consistent action you can take? Doing something every day. Not necessarily the same thing, so that you get bored, but commit to taking at least ONE step in your marketing campaign daily. Remember, your goal is to build a platform of people who are clamoring to buy your book as soon as it’s available. If your platform right now is on the teeny-tiny side, you’ve got no time to lose to start meeting people and telling them about your book. We’ve already talked about finding time vs. making time, and where/how to squeeze it all in. Just get committed and get started.

And then once you get started and have some momentum behind you, keep up the good work!

See you Monday!

MARCIE

*Savvy Book Marketer

__________________

Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine how close you are to SBM status, and where you may need a little extra boost.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

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PREVIOUS POSTS

Monday, July 18 Erratic marketing is just like once-in-a-while exercise. Results? Not so much

Thursday, July 15 – New mantra for procrastinators and perfectionists: DONE Is Better Than Perfect!

Monday, July 11 – Your book marketing efforts need to be as consistent as Lady Gaga’s hit songs

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Erratic marketing is just like once-in-a-while exercise. Results? Not so much.

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

Lately we’ve been emphasizing the importance of consistency in your marketing efforts. Compare it to other things you need to do regularly in order to sustain any gains or progress: brush your teeth, clean the house, exercise. Exercise? As a matter of fact, there are many natural comparisons between a strategic book marketing campaign and an exercise plan.

#1. Be AccountableA profound yet almost universal self-sabotaging aspect of human nature (even for aspiring SBM’s*) is that we’re more likely to be accountable to someone else than to ourselves. If this is you, don’t beat yourself up; recognize the problem, and set up an accountability system. At the gym, you can hire a trainer or find a workout partner to make sure you exercise, even when you don’t feel like it. Consider finding someone to help you with strategy and accountability for your book marketing campaign.

#2. Follow a Regular ScheduleExercise only works if you do it. Exactly the same thing is true when it comes to marketing your book. Send your e-mail/newsletters at regular intervals, post to your blog X times per week, calendar your social marketing time, etc.

#3. Exercise ALL Your Muscle GroupsA good workout regimen works all of the muscle groups on a a regular rotation. While you want to start with one book marketing strategy, eventually you want to integrate several techniques simultaneously. With the explosion of social media, lots of people seem to be forgetting all about offline tactics. The best plan is the one that integrates both on- and offline strategies.

#4. Don’t Overdo ItAn essential rule of the gym is knowing when enough is enough. The same is true of your book marketing plan. First, you must HAVE a plan. Then you must be sure you can realistically stick to it. Don’t shoot for the moon only to have your rocket fuel run dry because you overextended yourself.

#5. Maintenance Is Essential – What would happen if you began an exercise plan and then quit as soon as you started seeing results? You’d blink, and the results would evaporate. The same will happen with your book marketing campaign if you begin to neglect it as soon as it starts proving effective. The best time to market a business is when one is B-U-S-Y. Once you get going, keep going! Maintain your marketing progress for best results.

There are no two ways around it – marketing, like an exercise plan, requires time and effort. Lots of dedicated effort. But you don’t have to go it alone, and once you get going, it will get easier. Focus on just one step at a time, and add subsequent ones as you are ready.

Let’s keep each other accountable – share your success with us so we can cheer you on!

See you Thursday!

MARCIE

*Savvy Book Marketer

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Originally published by Marcie Brock author, Laura Orsini, at the Write|Market|Design blog as An Exercise Plan/A Marketing Plan: Lots of Similarities on August 3, 2010.

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Thursday, July 15 – New mantra for procrastinators and perfectionists: DONE Is Better Than Perfect!

Monday, July 11 – Your book marketing efforts need to be as consistent as Lady Gaga’s hit songs

Thursday, July 7 What gets MEASURED gets done, when it comes to book marketing

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