Wednesday, August 25, 2010

AUTHORS: What's Your Marketing Strategy, Now That the Book Is Done?

AUTHORS: What's Your Marketing Strategy, Now That the Book Is Done?

I've been hearing a lot lately from authors, or about-to-be authors, who tell me they that it's the marketing that scares them.

I get that. You're a writer. You enjoy writing. You have an important message to share with your audience. You've put your heart, sweat, and soul into this book. You should be done. But today more than ever, just because your book is wondrefully written, perfectly proofread, beautifully laid out, and built with a creative cover that screams out this book's amazingness - nothing will happen to it unless people know about it.

That's why they ubiquitious "platform" is ever so important. Without a sizeable and significant platform, no traditional publisher will give you a second thought, regardless of the quality of your book. So what is a platform? It's your influence, your reach, your pre-existing audience, your exposure in the media. How many people already know about you, and how many are clamoring to get their hands on your book as soon as it rolls off the press?

Whenever possible, I encourag the authors with whom I work to beging thinking like marketers. The earlier this occurs, the better - even as early as the pre-writing stage.

Questions to Ask That Will Get You Started Thinking Like a Marketer
  1. Who is your audience? What are their demographics (age, education, marital/parenting status)? What are their psychographics (personality traits, values, attitudes)?
  2. What kinds of books, magazines, and Web sites do they already read?
  3. Where, how, and with whom do they spend their time?
  4. To which organizations and associations do they belong?
  5. How can you best gain access to them, both virtually and in real life?
  6. How big is your list? How can you begin/continue to grow it? With whom can you partner to help grow it?
  7. Who do you know that will help you promote your book? Spend some time combing through your network to determine how best to leverage the contacts you already have.
  8. What kind of pre-launch promotions will you do?
  9. What do you have planned for the actual launch of the book? Date? Venue? Invitations? Food? Will you do a reading or just a signing?
  10. Which venues OTHER THAN BOOKSTORES will you approach and suggest carry your book? What's it about? What are the obvious tie-ins? A novel about a quilting group is a natural fit for a quilting or fabric store. A book about releasing stress would likely work well in a spa or salon.
Social media is huge right now, but it is not the end-all for marketing, and it certainly should not be your only method.

If you'd like some help, I'm offering a complimentary 20-minute strategy session to the first two authors who contact me via e-mail. Make sure to put "STRATEGY" in the subject line.

You've worked too hard to let this book just sit in boxes in your garage. Get your marketing thinking cap on, and be smart about it! You owe it to the world to share your great information.

This is Day 36 in the 60-Day Content Challenge. I've been posting every day since I accepted the challenge on July 21st. See you tomorrow for the next post! Laura

Sign up today for Laura's next workshop, Want to Charge More? Start Writing! Or e-mail your writing, marketing, or design questions to Laura.

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