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Posts Tagged ‘Summer Author Event’

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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Summer Author Event is TODAY!

After lots of planning, coordinating, and marketing, the Summer Author Event has come together quite nicely. If you are in the Phoenix area, please plan to join us at the Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N. 3rd Street, between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. We’ll have exciting book giveaways on the half-hour.

Below, you can see the interesting variety of items in the goody bags:

goody bag items

Our author participants range in genre from children’s books to business to spiritual titles to personal development and a wide variety of fiction.

Postcard back

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We look forward to seeing you today!

Laura

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PHOENIX-AREA BOOK LOVERS: Come out to meet me and 30+ other local authors for this one-of-a-kind book lovers’ event. Several Summer Author Eventfirst-time authors, award-winning authors, and authors of a wide variety of genres will be on hand to sell and sign books. Genres of all sorts – from fiction to spirituality to leadership to personal finance. The first 100 attendees to register will receive goody bags! Giveaways on the half-hour. Learn more and get your complimentary ticket at SummerAuthorEvent.com.

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

 

 

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Middle school students inspire fantasy author – guest post from Dan Trumpis

Fairies, gremlins, magic, monsters, and mayhem. If you’re a fiction fan, you’ll want to be with us TOMORROW, as the inaugural Summer Author Event takes place at the Phoenix Center for the Arts (1202 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix 85004). More than 30 local authors will come together in one place for a fantastic book signing/meet-and-greet event that promises to delight every sort of book lover. Genres range from all manner of fiction to spiritual works, children’s books, business books, personal development books, and everything in between. Join us from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. We’ll have giveaways from the authors on the half-hour!
Today, we are very pleased to have our third guest post from one of the SAE’s participating authors. DAN TRUMPIS is the YA author of Welcome to Harmony and Gwen Gladstone: A Tale from the Town of Harmony. If you’re in the Phoenix area, please be sure to come by on Saturday to meet Dan, chat with him up close and personal, and pick up his latest book!

trumpis books____________

Greetings.

My name is Dan Trumpis, and I am the proud author of Welcome to Harmony and Gwen Gladstone: A Tale from the Town of Harmony. Both are novels for middle-grade readers and full of magic and monsters. It’s been a long road getting here. I’ve spent years trying to find my voice as a writer. I didn’t intend to write for younger readers, at Trumpisleast not at first, but it was something I eventually settled into. Now, I’m proud to call myself a children’s author – even though quite a few adults have said they’ve enjoyed my books as well.

I think being a teacher definitely helped shape me as a writer. I got to sample a wealth of classic and contemporary children’s literature and experience the joy many of these books brought to my students. Like many indie authors, I tried to get published through traditional means. I got “teased” by a couple of agents. One of them even took a meeting with the head of juvenile literature at Tor. Sadly, nothing ever came from it.

That didn’t stop me from writing though. I thought about indie publishing for quite a while. At the same time, I began sharing Welcome to Harmony with my class and some other students at the school where I taught fifth grade. I got a great response, especially from the eighth graders at that school. They gave me such great constructive criticism for Welcome to Harmony that I immediately began a rewrite.

After that, I decided to plunge into the world of indie publishing, and I haven’t regretted it since. My plans are to write a series of books that take place in a common setting, the fictional town of Harmony, which will include a revolving cast of characters, all of whom are middle-school kids, each with a different supernatural ability. I’m currently in the midst of writing the third book. I have to be honest. It’s not going so well, but when I get low and consider giving up, I remember a great quote I read from Ray Bradbury.

“You only fail when you stop writing.”

I think that says it all.

I’m looking forward to the Summer Author Event at the Phoenix Center for the Arts. I hope to meet a lot of you there.

Dan Trumpis, author of Welcome to Harmony and Gwen Gladstone

Learn more about Dan Trumpis on his Facebook page: facebook.com/Harmony1855

We look forward to seeing you TOMORROW!

Laura

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PHOENIX-AREA BOOK LOVERS: Come out to meet me and 30+ other local authors for this one-of-a-kind book lovers’ event. Several Summer Author Eventfirst-time authors, award-winning authors, and authors of a wide variety of genres will be on hand to sell and sign books. Genres of all sorts – from fiction to spirituality to leadership to personal finance. The first 100 attendees to register will receive goody bags! Giveaways on the half-hour. Learn more and get your complimentary ticket at SummerAuthorEvent.com.

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

 

 

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Danger makes this author tick – guest post from K.L. Barnes

Are you psyched for Saturday? If you’re a Phoenix-area book lover, you should be, as the inaugural Summer Author Event takes place at the Phoenix Center for the Arts (1202 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix 85004). More than 30 local authors will come together in one place for a lively book signing/meet-and-greet event that promises to delight bibliophiles of all stripes. Genres range from all manner of fiction to spiritual works, children’s books, business books, personal development books, and everything in between. Join us from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. We’ll have giveaways from the authors on the half-hour!
Today, we are thrilled to have our second guest post from one of the SAE’s participating authors. K.L. BARNES is the author of the Maeve Tidewell series; Pay Attention, Pay the Piper, and Pay Penance. If you’re in the Phoenix area, please be sure to come by on Saturday to meet K.L., ask her questions, and pick up her latest book!

pay series

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My name is K.L. Barnes – Kris or Kristi to my friends and family – and I am an author. I’ve been working Barnestoward this for a long time, and it feels good to say that.

I always dreamed of being an author. When other kids fantasized about being on the big screen, or becoming a rock star, I wanted to write books.

It started with those fearless young sleuths, Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew, and let’s not forget The Hardy Boys mysteries. Boy, did they get into some tense situations. I spent a great deal of time in my youth thinking up my own suspenseful plots and harrowing escape plans, and fantasizing about my future as a real live tween detective.

Then as I matured, my interests changed, and romantic novels by authors such as Nora Roberts and Kathleen Woodiwiss held me in thrall.

What kept me reading and dreaming wasn’t the romance though, it was the danger. Those strong female characters and the solid, committed men who stood for them, were willing to risk everything to overcome any threat that might destroy their happiness. Maeve Tidewell and Ben Drake are just such characters.

You can meet them and experience their own selfless determination in the first three books of the Maeve Tidewell Pay Series; Pay Attention, Pay the Piper, and Pay Penance. We can chat about them, and they will be available to purchase at a special price individually, or as a set, at the Phoenix Summer Author Event on August 16th.

Now, I don’t write romance. I do write about relationships, love, and commitment to a certain extent, but you would laugh me right off the page if I tried to write modern romance.

No, I write about people who will risk everything, do anything, to see their loved ones safe. The same way I would. The same way you would, if faced with a deadly threat.

Life is like that. Maybe you and I don’t face life or death situations on a daily basis, but we do have to decide if we’re willing to fight, to sacrifice, to dig in for the long haul, if we’re going to have what we truly desire in life.

Dreaming up suspense, putting it down on paper, and having it read by people who love to read, takes a lot of time, sacrifice, and digging in. But believe me, it’s worth it.

For those of you attending the author event, you should probably know that I love people. I love watching people, talking with people, and connecting with people. And I am a hugger. If you come by my table and we connect, just beware.

Until we meet, I wish you well.

K.L. Barnes, author of Pay Attention, Pay the Piper, and Pay Penance

Learn more about K.L. Barnes at her website: k-l-barnes.com

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

Laura

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PHOENIX-AREA BOOK LOVERS: Come out to meet me and 30+ other local authors for this one-of-a-kind book lovers’ event. Several Summer Author Eventfirst-time authors, award-winning authors, and authors of a wide variety of genres will be on hand to sell and sign books. Genres of all sorts – from fiction to spirituality to leadership to personal finance. The first 100 attendees to register will receive goody bags! Giveaways on the half-hour. Learn more and get your complimentary ticket at SummerAuthorEvent.com.

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

 

 

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Escaping together – guest post from Matthew Cerra

Saturday promises to be an exceptional day in Phoenix, Arizona, as the inaugural Summer Author Event takes place at the Phoenix Center for the Arts (1202 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix 85004). More than 30 local authors will come together in oneCerra Empires place for a lively book signing/meet-and-greet event that promises to delight book lovers of all stripes. Genres range from all manner of fiction to spiritual works, children’s books, business books, personal development books, and everything in between. Join us from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. We’ll have giveaways from the authors on the half-hour!
Today, we are thrilled to have a guest post from one of the SAE’s participating authors. MATTHEW CERRA is the author of Empires Awakening, a debut fantasy novel. If you’re in the Phoenix area, please be sure to come by on Saturday to meet Matthew, ask him any questions, and pick up a copy of his book!

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Today one of the wonderful readers of my book sent me a link to an image on Facebook with a unique why I writequote (right), that after a bit, I realized had some truth to it. In some ways, being the writer of fantasy can easily turn into a very dangerous form of balanced insanity. If some random person were walking around your town describing dragons, unicorns, and creatures of a magical nature out loud for all to hear, they would undoubtedly be committed before they hurt themselves or others.

However as an author of fantasy, I am called upon to create a fantastic world that will actually lure people in with its beauty and enticing story. I must create an experience so immersive and engaging to the reader that they will want to leave reality behind for a time. I must create an experience that a reader will love and appreciate as much, if not more, than they do reality. I must also keep a firm grip on which world is real. That balancing act is exciting, and not entirely without its dangers.

I began writing when I was very young, though I am not sure when I began to compose entire stories. I know for certain I railroadswas reading as many books as I could get my hands on from an early age. I was a very early reader – before I turned four I could already read, driven to it by the book pictured at the right. As you can imagine, I had a thing for trains and railroads. Okay, I will be honest, I still have a thing for trains and railroads. If I ever become as well off as JK Rowling, I fully intend to buy my own steam engine, working, of course. It will be a Norfolk and Western Class J, for those wondering.

However, much of my reading was an escape. For much of the first 18 years of my life, things happened that created a need and a wish to get away. When I had the opportunity – which was infrequent, since I moved a great number of times – I took writing workshops and courses to help me get the insanity inside my mind out onto the page. For a time, I even participated in an email RPG. That amounted to a creative writing exercise where the first writer tags multiple people in a story thread and tries to push the story ahead, while at the same time giving those people a chance to fill in the gaps and push the story ahead in a cooperative fashion.

I think my greatest lessons from that process were both practical and social. I learned the great value in working with other creative individuals. I also think learning to let go is a very difficult process for some authors, for their words are sacred to them. My stories are my creations, my work put into the world – to have someone change that in a way I can’t predict or control is frightening! You don’t realize how attached you are until you hand something over to another and have no clue what they will make of it. It’s very hard to get used to that.

The even more important lesson I learned was how powerful words can be for us. Language is our way of bonding with others – friends, family, and love are created through language. That person you see every day on the subway or the bus may not mean as much to you as someone you have written with or talked with. Those words and the emotions behind them mean something. One of the writers I found to be an incredible blast to work with, and with whom I spent probably four years working, let me and a few close others know he had a terminal illness. I had never met the man in person; we had simply emailed and written back and forth for just a few years – but the loss of his presence and words really struck a chord with me.

Empires Awakening is the grandest story I have created yet. This is the largest world, with the most characters, and is a culmination of many different creative threads I have had dancing around inside my head for a decade. The biggest thing I want people to know see is my desire to bring them a glimpse of something wonderful. I will always take my time and craft a world or a place that strikes a reader with its beauty, its presence, and even its emotional toll.

Anyone who comes to my table at the Summer Author Event will be guaranteed an exciting and open, spoiler-free conversation. I am very friendly and want every reader to have the chance to be given a way out of reality for a short time. Hopefully, however, not for the same reasons I needed to escape. A few minutes witnessing beauty through the words put to page is something everyone could benefit from each day.

Matthew Cerra, author of Empires Awakening

Read and follow Matthew’s blog: http://zombiefear.blogspot.com

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

Laura

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PHOENIX-AREA BOOK LOVERS: Come out to meet me and 30+ other local authors for this one-of-a-kind book lovers’ event. Several Summer Author Eventfirst-time authors, award-winning authors, and authors of a wide variety of genres will be on hand to sell and sign books. Genres of all sorts – from fiction to spirituality to leadership to personal finance. The first 100 attendees to register will receive goody bags! Giveaways on the half-hour. Learn more and get your complimentary ticket at SummerAuthorEvent.com.

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

 

 

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Meet the participating authors from the SUMMER AUTHOR EVENT

If you’re in the Phoenix area, we hope you’ll come out and join us on Saturday, August 16th for the inaugural Summer Author Event. With 30+ local authors participating, from award-winners to debut authors, we’ve got a great line up for you. This is your chance for some one-on-one time with authors of all genres, from thriller and horror and contemporary fiction to children’s books to business books to spiritual books to personal development books and everything in between.

10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Phoenix Center for the Arts | 1202 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix 85004

The first 100 people who register at our EventBrite link will receive goody bags – provided they bring their EventBrite tickets with them to the event. No exceptions! There will be book giveaways on the half-hour.

Foothills Community Services, a nonprofit organization that feeds the homeless in Downtown Phoenix, will be on hand, vending water and treats.

Check out our video and get to know the works of our participating authors!

Look for guest posts in the coming days from a few of our authors!

I’ll see you there!

Laura

 

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PHOENIX-AREA BOOK LOVERS: Come out to meet me and 30+ other local authors for this one-of-a-kind book lovers’ event. Several Summer Author Eventfirst-time authors, award-winning authors, and authors of a wide variety of genres will be on hand to sell and sign books. Genres of all sorts – from fiction to spirituality to leadership to personal finance. The first 100 attendees to register will receive goody bags! Giveaways on the half-hour. Learn more and get your complimentary ticket at SummerAuthorEvent.com.

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

 

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The BEST book marketing tool? A REALLY good book

I conducted a basic book design workshop a few days ago. The attendees were diverse, but each one a novice to the design/layout/typesetting aspect of getting a book into print. Several have been attending the Meetup group I facilitate: Phoenix Publishing and Book Promotion. In spite of having attended the group for a while and the fact that we have been exclusively focused on the marketing for a good 3 months now, one of the gals asked: “How do I market my book? Where do I begin?”

Make a really good book!

Make a really good book!

That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? How do I find readers for my book, now that it’s written and I’m getting ready to print a few copies? I have said again and again – in this blog and at our Meetups – that you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you wait until your book is done to begin marketing it. However, that’s certainly the situation in which some authors find themselves.

So their goal, more often than not, is to build a platform from scratch. How do you do it? There’s no cut-and-dried answer. If you look at this list, there are dozens of ways to sell and market your book. Where should you begin? Should you attempt to do all of them? Let’s take the second answer first: OF COURSE NOT! As for beginning, you should begin wherever it makes sense for you to begin. First, who are your prospective readers, specifically? Then, what can you do to begin connecting with and developing relationships with those readers?

If you already have a Facebook following in the thousands, that might be the place to start. If you’re already dabbling at  blogging, maybe begin to tailor your posts to be about your book – or start a new blog. If you’ve got access to the media or are good at writing media releases, perhaps that’s a good place for you to begin. It’s going to be different for each author. Perhaps you want to start with reviews or a blog tour. Read the archives of this blog – we’ve covered hundreds of ways to begin building your platform.

However, before you begin looking
to external means to market your book,
make the best book you can possibly make.

This means you’re not taking shortcuts.

  • You’re writing a complete book with a fantastic story or compelling content.
  • It’s ordered in a way that makes sense and has an appealing design.
  • You’ve had it professionally edited and had a professional design the cover for you.
  • You’ve SpellChecked and double-checked every URL and phone number.
  • You have appropriate headers, footers, page numbers, and a Table of Contents.
  • You paid as much attention to the back cover and the spine as you did to the front cover.
  • You have a legitimate ISBN which you bought and belongs to you (not one from someone selling off ISBNs from their own set of 10).
  • You have created a publishing company, and your book bears your publisher’s mark on the spine.

This is a book that will run rings around the vast majority of the rest of the self-published books out there. And once you know you’ve got a good book on your hands, it becomes that much easier to share it with people, create buzz around it, and channel your marketing efforts into a sizable platform of fans who are willing to help you market because they are so excited about your book.

Here’s to a your great marketing success!

Laura

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PHOENIX-AREA BOOK LOVERS: Come out to meet me and 30+ other local authors for this one-of-a-kind book lovers’ event. Several Summer Author Eventfirst-time authors, award-winning authors, and authors of a wide variety of genres will be on hand to sell and sign books. Genres of all sorts – from fiction to spirituality to leadership to personal finance. The first 100 attendees to register will receive goody bags! Giveaways on the half-hour. Learn more and get your complimentary ticket at SummerAuthorEvent.com.

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

 

 

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Side-by-side comparison of self-publishing infographics

Just came across the infographic below on the left and was struck by two things: (1) the subtitle and (2) the fact that marketing is plunked in as the very last item.

The subtitle reads: “this is how self-publishing a book [is] done right from scratch.” I could not disagree more. The advice in this infographic is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! The problem is the fact that marketing is plunked in as the very last step in the process. How can a company that describes itself as “having its humble beginning as an online marketing service provider” miss the boat so completely?

I created the infographic on the right a couple years ago to make the precise point that a successful book MARKETING campaign must begin as soon as you start writing. If you wait to begin marketing your book until you’ve got a thousand copies of it taking up the space where your car should be in your garage, you’ve set yourself up for a massively uphill battle.

Smart authors:

  • Clearly define and identify their audience before they begin writing
  • Begin building their platform, using social media, email marketing, news releases, blogging, etc., as soon as they know they are writing a book
  • Design and launch their website long before the book is in print
  • Know where their prospective readers congregate and how to reach them (e.g., social media, Meetups, civic and social organizations, etc.)
  • Develop a relationship with their prospective readers, so that they are eagerly anticipating the books’s release
  • Identify an inner circle of close allies who will help them promote the book’s release

No matter how good it might be, your book is not going to sell itself. If you want more people than your mom and your best friend to buy it and read it, you have to embrace the role of book marketer. If you’re in the early stages of writing or publishing your book, the time to begin marketing it is NOW! But it’s never too late to begin. Explore your marketing options, make a plan, and begin. Wherever you are – BEGIN.

how to self-pub

Here’s to a your marketing success!

Laura

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PHOENIX-AREA BOOK LOVERS: Come out to meet me and 30+ other local authors for this one-of-a-kind book lovers’ event. Several Summer Author Eventfirst-time authors, award-winning authors, and authors of a wide variety of genres will be on hand to sell and sign books. Genres of all sorts – from fiction to spirituality to leadership to personal finance. The first 100 attendees to register will receive goody bags! Giveaways on the half-hour. Learn more and get your complimentary ticket at SummerAuthorEvent.com.

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

 

 

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20 marketing questions a smart self-publishing author must answer20 marketing questions every smart self-publisher must ask

Beth Bacon wrote a fantastic post for DigitalBookWorld.com that inspired this infographic. In the interest of not stealing it word for word, I’ve used her concepts but reworded them. Do yourself a favor and read Bacon’s whole post here.

While Bacon suggests that these tips are directed to novelists, I believe they’re equally applicable to nonfiction authors; simply substitute “readers” for “fans.”

While I think all 20 of the questions are important, I’d suggest paying particular attention to:

Question 6 about your book cover – does it fit the mold for your particular genre?

Question 9 about how much time you can realistically commit to marketing your book. The best book in the world isn’t going to sell itself – it will require a marketing plan and the effort to implement it. But it doesn’t have to be all at once. Even a little effort a day, consistently, can make a big difference.

Question 19 about having other authors in your support network. Do you? How supportive are you of them and they of you?

Here’s to a your great marketing success!

Laura

* http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/opportunity-cost.html

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PHOENIX-AREA BOOK LOVERS: Come out to meet me and 30+ other local authors for this one-of-a-kind book lovers’ event. Several Summer Author Eventfirst-time authors, award-winning authors, and authors of a wide variety of genres will be on hand to sell and sign books. Genres of all sorts – from fiction to spirituality to leadership to personal finance. The first 100 attendees to register will receive goody bags! Giveaways on the half-hour. Learn more and get your complimentary ticket at SummerAuthorEvent.com.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

 

 

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Targeted email marketing works better than generic blasts

Saw the infographic below on Pinterest the other day about the difference between generic email marketing and email marketing designed to generate leads.

Lead_Nurturing_vs_Email_Marketing

Then I had the perfect opportunity to put this concept into practice. A couple years ago, I had a gal approach me about helping to market her book of lessons about love, leadership, and legacy based on the teachings of Harriet Tubman. She didn’t elect to work with me at the time, but we agreed to stay in touch. Well guess what I saw on Facebook yesterday? This post about the anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s passing. So I dropped Karol a little note with a screen shot from my Facebook page:

HT birthday

All the note said was, “Thinking of you today.”

Now, I can see how authors might think this couldn’t possibly apply to them. You’re trying to sell books to a wide audience, right? How’s a one-on-one message going to work for you? I’m here to challenge that thinking a little bit.

First of all, who are some of the individuals it might benefit you to get in front of?

  • Managers of potential book signing venues (coffeehouses, hospitals, care homes, indie book shops, etc.)
  • Your local librarians
  • Folks who run civic, business, and nonprofit organizations in your community
  • Meetup organizers
  • Event planners

And if you were approaching any of these people, which do you think they’d prefer to receive:

(a) a generic email pitching your book/services/speaking to any and all who happen to be on your list

(b) a personalized email, tailored to the individual about a specific aspect of your book, way you can meet one of their stated needs, or simply an introduction

I’m no wizard with a crystal ball, but my strong guess is that Option B would have much greater resonance and impact on  your prospect. And that’s what these folks are: prospects. My friend Connie Kadansky, a fantastic sales coach and trainer, recently reminded my women’s networking group about something very important:

You are not just an author; you are a lead-generation specialist who happens to have written a book about ___.

When you learn to think beyond individual book sales, your influence and success will grow exponentially. This is true even for fiction authors. So how will you apply a tailored marketing approach to your book marketing plan?

Here’s to a your great marketing success!

Laura

__________________

PHOENIX-AREA BOOK LOVERS: Come out to meet me and 30+ other local authors for this one-of-a-kind book lovers’ event. Several Summer Author Eventfirst-time authors, award-winning authors, and authors of a wide variety of genres will be on hand to sell and sign books. Genres of all sorts – from fiction to spirituality to leadership to personal finance. The first 100 attendees to register will receive goody bags! Giveaways on the half-hour. Learn more and get your complimentary ticket at SummerAuthorEvent.com.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

 

 

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Are you getting your money’s worth for your marketing dollars?

Sometimes it’s challenging to know whether the very tempting marketing opportunities we come across are really worth the money. Take for instance the email I received from a client in Trinidad. She’s about to release her second book – its primary audience will be Western European and American businesspeople.

Here is her message, in its entirety:

What do you think about this for my book?

Frankfurt

The fact is, this is a tempting offer. The Frankfurt Book Fair is one of the top book events in the world! Which author wouldn’t want to take such an opportunity?

But is it really all the opportunity it seems at first glance? Here’s how I responded to my client’s query:

That is one of the THE top book fairs in the world, so it might be a good idea. However, here’ s what a book fair like that looks like:

Now imagine having a small pile of your books on one table. That’s the effect it would likely have. It might make a bit of a difference if you were listed in the directory, too – but the directory is about 400 pages long, so again, you’d have one line in the middle of all of that.

The biggest thing it might do for you is give you the credibility of being able to say your book was at the Frankfurt Book Fair, but I think there are probably better ways to spend your money.

Just my thoughts…

For someone with a bottomless marketing budget, throwing anything at the wall to see what sticks might be a workable strategy. For most authors, however, their marketing budgets are an important consideration when making decisions about strategy, tools, and opportunities. It’s crucial that before you plunk down your dollars, you give serious consideration to something known as the “opportunity costs.” Opportunity cost is defined as “a benefit, profit, or value of something that must be given up to acquire or achieve something else. Since every resource (e.g., land, money, time, etc.) can be put to alternative uses, every action, choice, or decision has an associated opportunity cost. … Such costs are not recorded in the account books but are recognized in decision-making by computing the cash outlays and their resulting profit or loss.”*

The challenge when it comes to book marketing is that every book is a little bit different, sometimes making it difficult to measure your book marketing ROI. What worked for one self-help book will not necessarily work for another self-help book. What worked for one author’s first novel will not necessarily work for the same author’s third or fourth novel. Sometimes analyzing opportunity costs is a trial-and-error process. Sometimes, though, it’s just a matter of asking the right questions of the right people.

Be sure to do your own due diligence before investing your marketing bucks. Be smart – don’t invest your car payment on a marketing gamble. Make a realistic marketing budget and stick to it. Know what your goal is, and how you will measure your success in achieving it. Sometimes it’s book sales; other times, it’s simply exposure for you, your book, or your business.

It’s possible that even the most promising opportunities will fall flat. Take those as learning opportunities. Maybe all that’s necessary is a little tweak in your strategy. Maybe you’ve misdirected your campaign. Maybe you failed to include a compelling call to action. Maybe it was just bad timing. Don’t get disheartened. When you do find something that works, do more of it!

Here’s to a your great marketing success!

Laura

* http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/opportunity-cost.html

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PHOENIX-AREA BOOK LOVERS: Come out to meet me and 30+ other local authors for this one-of-a-kind book lovers’ event. Several Summer Author Eventfirst-time authors, award-winning authors, and authors of a wide variety of genres will be on hand to sell and sign books. Genres of all sorts – from fiction to spirituality to leadership to personal finance. The first 100 attendees to register will receive goody bags! Giveaways on the half-hour. Learn more and get your complimentary ticket at SummerAuthorEvent.com.

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Goals are good, but they need to be REALISTIC

I always try to listen when the same question or lesson shows up in quick succession. Today’s was about realistic goals.

goals

At the end of July, I am hosting a live workshop in Phoenix: Learn to Design Your Book. Here’s the description of the event:

You’ve got the manuscript finished – now it’s time to actually make it look like a book so you can send it to the printer. But where to begin?

If you’re lost at this point, this workshop is for you!

We will cover:

• Book sizes
• Cover design
• Parts of a book
• Incorporating graphic elements
• Fonts
• Chapter headings
• Headers/footers/page numbers

If all that’s keeping you from getting your book printed is knowing how to lay it out, we’ll get you over that hurdle with this workshop. Bring your laptop, your final manuscript in a Word document, and a JPG of your cover if you have one – and come prepared to work!

Of course, this is an elementary workshop and will work best for fiction and simple nonfiction books without a lot of complicated graphics or design elements (e.g., columns, photos with captions, decorative margins, etc).

The most important part, perhaps, is the last section, explaining that this is an elementary workshop.

Today I received the following query about the event:

I have finished my second novel and received it from my editor. My cover guy is doing the cover this week. The document is 90% formatted for ebook and print. Last book I sent to Createspace for formatting and they did I great job.

I am not going to learn InDesign and yet want the final books to look good.

THE QUESTION: Will this one day session teach me to use InDEsign, Scriviner, Calibre, Sigil or ? to do the formatting?

WILL I LEAVE HAVING A CREATESPACE READY DOCUMENT? (spellings and all-caps as included in the email)

Please advise.
The expectations here are so grandiose that I was initially at a loss as to how to respond. First he’s not going to learn InDesign – but he wants to know if I am planning to teach InDesign in a four-hour workshop. Only a true savant would walk away from this session fully proficient at laying out a book. That’s not the goal. Between the workshop, the workbook, and an investment of time and energy, students should have a pretty clear grasp of how to get their book formatted for print. Here is my response:
What you leave the day with will depend on your own learning curve. More than likely I will use Scrivener, as they offer a 30-day free trial and their $40 price point is a low barrier to entry. It would be a fool’s errand to try to teach InDesign in a four-hour session.

I suspect you will be well on your way to a finished product, but this kind of work usually takes practice, refinement, and several passes before you’ll be ready to print to PDF and send it off to the printer. I might adjust my expectations or skip it altogether if I were you.

Next, I received a query about the Summer Author Event, a multi-author book-signing event I am hosting later this summer:

I am interested in attending the Summer Author Event (as an author of course) and I was curious what your previous attendance numbers were for this? I am JUST starting out (just had my first signing last Saturday) and and I just need to figure out could I expect after paying to get in to make that back and get more readers for my book.  

This author definitely has more realistic goals, but even he may have misplaced his focus. Here’s my response:

This is the inaugural event, so I can’t give you numbers. We will have nearly 30 authors participating, though. My goal is for each to do some marketing so we can bring in at least 300 attendees. As with many things related to book marketing, I personally believe it’s a bit short-sighted to focus exclusively on sales. For one thing, the quality of your book and your own ability to engage attendees will factor into sales, neither of which I have any input in.

And yes, you’d like to make your money back and then some, but even if you don’t, you will gain exposure, experience, and get to meet lots of other authors in the process. I will be sending out media releases and making postcards with every participating author on them. Would love to have you involved. We have about 4 tables left at this time.

This author thanked me for my fair response. I never heard back from the first guy.

Self-publishing is not for the weak-hearted. And it’s really important to have big goals – even a goal to write and publish a best-seller! But you’ve got to be willing to work to achieve those goals, often at the expense of other things. You need a plan, a system for implementing and adhering to the plan, and the commitment to see it through. If the plan appears stalled, you may want to rethink the plan.

What you can’t do is expect to achieve a best-seller with no effort – or having a completely laid out book on your first run-through. Is it time for you to revisit your goals to see where they fall on the realism scale, from certainty to pie-in-the-sky? Revising your goals to make them more realistic is not copping out – it’s advancing them to increase the likelihood of actually achieving them!

Here’s to a setting and achieving realistic goals!

Laura

__________________ Summer Author Event PHOENIX-AREA AUTHORS: If you or someone you know is an author in Phoenix, please consider participating in the Summer Author Event on August 16. This multi-author book signing and meet-and-greet will put you in front of hundreds of readers in a casual environment where you can sell and sign books. There are three levels of participation. The first 100 attendees will receive goody bags – and for just $25, you can put a promo for your book into the goody bags!  Learn more or register at SummerAuthorEvent.com.

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