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january tip of day

January 3 Book Marketing Tips: WRITE things down, and POST your contact info!

OK — these are from the school of “this is so obvious we shouldn’t even have to mention it,” but as I’ve often said before, sometimes the things that seem like they shouldn’t need mentioning are the ones that need the most reminders.

Two incidents occurred yesterday to incite this post:

INCIDENT 1

I was trying to contact a speaker I know to ask if he was available to speak for one of my business groups in February. I’d mislaid his diggingbusiness card, so I thought, Of course his website will have his contact info. Yeah — not so much. Instead of any contact info — even an EMAIL address — his website has one of those contact forms where you type in your question or message and wait for the recipient to get back to you. Sometimes you wait … and wait … and wait.

I understand trying to prevent spam and unsolicited phone calls, but sometimes you need to consider the cost of doing business. Now, this is just my opinion, but I don’t use a spam filter because I don’t want to give anyone a reason to hire the next self-publishing consultant — and that includes making them jump through hoops to email me. I know this happens because I’ve done it, more than once. If you’re going to make me prove myself before I can communicate with you via email, you’d better be worth the trouble. But how can I know that if this is my first contact with you? Same goes for making it difficult to reach you by phone. More than likely, I’m onto the next speaker, plumber, chiropractor, etc. — and so are the people who are trying to reach you.

In this particular incident, I dug through one more bag and found this speaker’s business card, which does contain his contact info. But he’s lucky I had met him in person. What if I’d come across his website and wanted to call him in that moment? No-siree-Bob! I can’t help but wonder how many opportunities this guy misses out on because he’s so difficult to contact.

INCIDENT 2

Last night, the above-mentioned business group held a beer-tasting fundraiser which I helped organize. It was wildly successful, in that we met our $$ goals and everyone who attended had a great time. One thing I know about myself is that writing lists, while almost always beneficial, is not always my strongest suit. Thank goodness my co-organizer for the event is a bit more left-brained than I. She sent me a list of things that still needed to be done the day before the event, prompting me to make my own list. Yesterday, as I was consulting said list, I was sooooooo glad I’d made it. Sure enough, had I not consulted the list, I’d have left for the event without two crucial items that I was absolutely certain I’d remember.

Beer tasting

Lesson to you, my Savvy Book Marketer friends: WRITE IT DOWN. No matter what it is, chances are you’re too busy for one teeny, tiny detail to stick, even if you’re certain it will.

In another incident, my niece recently returned from traveling abroad. My forthcoming novel is about a man who travels around the world, so whenever anyone I know tells me travel stories, my ears perk up. In this case, my niece had been to Egypt and told the family a story that was utterly fascinating. I was so fascinated, in fact, that instead of listening intently and allowing the details to implant on the easy-to-access part of my memory, I was busy thinking, That would be a great detail for my novel. I should write it down. Nah — it’s so perfect, of course I’ll remember it. Ask me now what the detail was. Go ahead, ask me. I have absolutely no idea. And neither does Samantha, because the single detail I found most fascinating was just one moment in her months-long journey. Seriously — WRITE IT DOWN!

Write-it-Down

Here’s to making things easier on yourself!

Laura

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Are you playing Hide & Seek with the people who are trying to connect with you?

I’ve been on a bit of a rant lately about contact information – or lack thereof – because it’s SOOO

How about an old-fashioned phone call?

crucial to your marketing campaigns. Again, it seems so obvious that we shouldn’t have to talk about it, and yet, I see it again and again and again: people neglecting to make themselves easy to connect with.

This all started out with did a post I did a few weeks ago with this piece of advice: Make your blog user friendly by including your e-mail address up front where everyone can see it. Yes, it’s possible that someone would want to contact you directly, via a mechanism other than the comments.

Here are a few other REAL-LIFE examples.

WEBSITE

Most web designers know to include contact info somewhere on the website, but many miss out by making it way too hard to find. The best strategy is to include your contact info visibly, on every page. Please don’t do what I’ve seen so many websites do, which is bury the contact info on a Contact page that is buried on an About page that I’ve got to dig through a menu to find. Remember, you’re in the book business, so make it easy for people to do business with you!

SPEAKER HANDOUTS

I recently attended an event where a speaker did a pretty nice job with a presentation about SEO. She distributed handouts with good information the audience could take home and implement. But nowhere on the handouts did she put any contact information for herself. No phone number. No email address. No Facebook link. Not even her name. Good golly – was that a missed opportunity or what?!

MEDIA RELEASES

I attended a panel discussion a couple years ago where various members of the Phoenix media offered words of advice to the audience about submitting media releases. One reporter said his biggest problem was when the news releases didn’t contain contact information – and all the others on the panel immediately nodded their heads in agreement! Seriously? You’re contacting the media about doing a story or promoting you in some way and you don’t include your contact info? How is that possible?

Of course, today most media releases are done electronically, so at the very least an e-mail address is attached. But if you submit your release as a Word doc or a PDF attachment, make sure your contact info is on it! You can easily imagine these reporters’, editors’, and producers’ inboxes filling up with release after release from people just like you. If they decide to follow up on a particular release, they might just print it and dump the e-mail. If your contact info’s not on the actual release, trust me – they’re not going to go back into their e-mail trash and try to fish it out. They’ll just move on to the next release that does include contact info.

BUSINESS CARDS

OK. I get that we’re inundated with e-mail and some people misbehave when it comes to adding folks to their mailing lists. Unfortunately, handing someone a business card with an email address on it is often construed as tacit acceptance to be added to such a list. That being said, isn’t the whole idea of a business card to make it easy for people to contact you? Again, you’re in the book business, so make it easy for others to do business with you by including all of your contact info, including e-mail and snail mail addresses. Today, this especially means including your social media contacts. Save them the trouble of having to go to your website and hunt down some remote Info@MyBlog.com or Web@MyDomain.org address.

However, you needn’t be the person who lists every form of contact under the sun: Phone. Direct line. Cell. Home. Fax. Home fax. Pager. I’m reminded of Drew Barrymore’s scene in He’s Just Not That Into You when she does the rundown of how our myriad connections play out in dating scenarios.

DO NOT do this with your card!

OK you get the message. Remember why we brand and why we use particular colors or fonts. We want people to remember us. So when they do want to contact you, make it easy for them to reach you!

Happy connecting!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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