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Posts Tagged ‘lack mentality’

Leverage the power of your fellow authors to boost your marketing

It’s been a while since we’ve addressed the importance of an abundance mentality, versus a poverty or lack mentality. But it came up as I chatted with a fellow author at the recent Summer Author Event.

My thinking in putting together the Summer Author Event was that a collective is almost always more powerful than a singlebarn raising person when it comes to getting things done. Think about the barn raisings of yesteryear – and occasionally of modern times. The whole town would come together to help one farmer literally raise the structure’s frame from the ground to its permanent standing position. Now consider what might never have happened if one person – even one very strong, very organized person – might have tried to build a barn on his own.

While Americans live in a culture that seems to idolize the “can do” spirit of entrepreneurs and high achievers, it’s easy to forget that literally doing it on your own can be a long, lonely, difficult endeavor. This is true for authors as much as for any other business owner.

The gentleman mentioned at the start of this post expressed dismay at the thought that I’d like to have even more authors at the next event. “More authors just means more competition, which will probably translate to less sales for me!” He also insisted that he must sell his books at list price if he’s to make any money on them.

I challenge this poverty perspective on both counts.

FIRST – how many titles do you typically find in a brick-and-mortar bookstore? I’m guessing it’s at least a few thousand more than we had at our fledgling author book signing/meet-and-greet event. And how often do you find all the car dealerships, antique shops, and hotels grouped in close proximity in cities and towns around the country? We generally recognize that competition is a good thing. Not to mention that my friend’s historical novels were likely not competing with about 90 percent of the other titles at the event, as the remainder were from vastly different genres.

The more authors who come together in this event, the more people there are to spread the word, and the more people they have to invite. My list of 700 invitees vs. 50 people’s lists that amount to thousands – which will result in a better event for all of us?

SECOND – I asked the authors to track their sales, first noting whether they were selling at list price or offering special event pricing, and to record how many of each title sold. This was for tracking purposes: I wanted to know for next time which kinds of books did well, and at what price. I won’t say that people expect special pricing when they attend things like the Summer Author Event, but it actually can increase sales.

E.C. Brierfield, our best-selling author at this event, was really creative, putting PDFs of 4 of his novels on one jump drive and selling the whole thing at a flat price. Guess what he did? He sold out all 10 of those before most of the other authors had sold 2 printed books. Was it a special event price? It was a special event item!

How can YOU leverage the power of the collective to multiply your marketing efforts and increase your sales? For one thing, stop thinking of other authors as competitors. Look at them as colleagues, allies, and partners – and see if you can’t come up with a creative way to market your books for the coming holiday season!

Here’s to the power of the group!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below."Practical Philanthropy" book cover

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Check out Laura’s newest book, Practical Philanthropy: How ‘Giving Back’ Helps You, Your Business, and the World Around You. A percentage of all book sales is donated to Art4TheHomeless.org and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

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Other authors: Competition or collaborative marketing partners?

I’d like to emphasize that when a reader finishes a great novel, he will immediately begin looking for another. If someone loves your book, it increases the chance that he or she will look at mine. So there is no competition between writers. Another writer’s success helps build a larger readership for all of us.

— David Farland,
bestselling author of the Runelords series

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Human nature is frail, and one of the frailties almost any entrepreneur – including authors – seems to experience at one time or another is a lack perspective. This can show up dressed in any number of different ways:

  • “If you win, I’ll lose.”
  • “If someone buys your book, they won’t buy mine.”
  • “If you get invited speak, I won’t be asked.”
  • “If you get a good review, people will hate my book.”

If you’re honest, you can probably add a few of your own to that list.

Where does this nonsense come from? Well, as noted above, it stems from our human nature and the gremlins in our heads that tell us we’re not good enough. It comes from fear that the Universe is not magnanimous and generous and a failure to realize that there’s more than enough for all of us – whether in the form of money, sales, readers, fans, or opportunities.

That is why I love David Farland’s quote so much! “There is no competition between writers. Another writer’s success helps build a larger readership for all of us.”

So if we truly believe that another author’s success contributes to my success – and that there is no such thing as competition – how can we use that to our advantage when it comes to marketing? One great way is to get together with one or several other authors who write similar books and pool your resources for a collaborative marketing campaign. Put simply, this means you share the work, the expense, and the rewards.

Here are a few ideas:

1. Co-sponsor a book signing. Rather than just one of you footing the cost for the venue, food, etc., you share the costs and, more importantly, leverage your joint connections to reach a wider list of potential attendees.

2. Share collateral material like bookmarks, flyers, and business cards. If you print double-sided, one author’s promotions can appear on the “front,” while the other author appears on the reverse. Splitting costs might allow you to create a more professional product than either of you could have made on your own.

3. Interview each other on your social media sites. Again, this about sharing the wealth. If you’ve got 1,200 Twitter followers and your partner has 1,000 fans on his Facebook page, take turns promoting each other to your respective connections.

4. Create a joint blog. No one ever said that a blog had to be written by just one person. In fact, the large news and business blogs usually have many, many contributors. A joint blog with another author will enable you to expand your reach while saving you time and effort. If you each post twice a week, that’s double the effect you could have on your own in half the time.

These are just a few ideas to get you started – I’m sure if you put on your SBM* hat, you can think of many more.

You will want to take a few precautions, however. If the author you want to partner with is not someone you know, do your research and get to know them before you jump in with your partnership offer. Then, don’t be afraid to ask for references. Ask good questions to be sure that you’re both on the same page, in terms of your goals and willingness to do the work and split the cost. And always go with your gut. If you have an uneasy feeling about someone, listen to your intuition. Don’t just sign up because they’ve got lots of connections, or go along because you’ve already begun the process. Book marketing is your goal, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to look out for your interests, too.

Happy collaborating!

Laura

*Savvy Book Marketer

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

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A Savvy Book Marketer embraces the idea of giving freely.

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

We talked last time about having an attitude of gratitude. One group to whom you own an immense debt of gratitude is your readers – the people who buy your book, review your book, recommend your book, and eagerly await your next book. If you’re marketing your first book, you’re in the process of growing this group.

A quick, easy way to say, “Thanks for taking an interest,” is by giving away excerpts, sample chapters, and stories.

This act of generosity does several things for you:

  • Gives readers who don’t know you a chance to get to read your work for the first time.
  • Gives readers a chance to offer feedback – which you may or may not find helpful.
  • Lets you know if your message/story is resonating with your target market.

Some people have a hesitation to give away their work in advance of publishing it, out of fear that people won’t want it if they can get it for free. If that’s you, I encourage you to think differently about giving people free access to your work.

  1. It’s a lack mentality (aka poverty mindset) that says, “By GIVING you something, I LOSE something. It may be counterintuitive, but that’s honestly the surest way to keep your sales and success small.
  2. Although many people have published the entire contents of their book in a serial format on a blog or other writing platform before they successfully sold it in book form, I’m not actually suggesting you give away the whole book – just a healthy sample.
  3. HOWEVER, giving away the whole thing first CAN work. Master marketer Seth Godin is rumored to have given away 5 MILLION copies of his famous book, Unleashing the Idea Virus, before he sold one. Now, you have to buy it if you want it, and his “free giveaway” put him on the map as one of the world’s top marketers.
  4. The same Seth Godin has said that if you want your book to take off, you’ve got to give away at least 5,000 copies first.

Gone are the days when all you had to do was tell someone about your book to generate interest. Now, you must first create a relationship with them; then you must distinguish yourself from a crowded field. What’s the quickest way to do that? Give your writing away for free. We can’t just go about pushing our books at people anymore; we’ve got to interest them, court them – seduce them, if you will. Only then will they feel they know you well enough to plunk down their money for your book.

Embrace giving – it works!

See you Monday, when we’re going to preview 4 smart ways to embrace giving!

MARCIE

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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

Monday, August 1 Every Savvy Book Marketer has an attitude of GRATITUDE

Thursday, July 28 – Is your book a word-of-mouth worthy Purple Cow?

Monday, July 25 – Marketing a book is different than marketing a smartphone or a pair of shoes


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