* Have you had a book published and don’t know how to market it?
* Have you been surprised to learn that today even traditional publishers expect authors to market their own books?
*Have you finally realized that nobody is going to buy your book if they’ve never heard of it?
I know lots of authors. I grew up amongst authors. I know authors who have been published every which way, from traditional to indie to Ebooks. And for most of them, unless they’re seasoned, it has come as a shock to realize that finally getting to hold their published book in their hands isn’t the end of the story. Next comes the hard part — book marketing. That’s when the overwhelm sets in. Even if you’ve been lucky enough to have a major publisher and an assigned publicist (a rare luxury these days), marketing is still a chore. One of the hardest working writers I know is a woman who was published by a big publishing house and did the full (often exhausting) book tour throughout the US and Canada. So there’s no escaping the reality of marketing. As Former President Bill Clinton is said to have commented about his first book: “I didn’t sell it because I didn’t promote it.” So you gotta promote your tail off.
To market, to market, to market.
Book marketing can be overwhelming. Even though my own book, The Therapist Writer: Helping Mental Health Professionals Get Published, contains forty-five pages of mostly DIY marketing ideas from A-Z, when I was faced with actually doing the things I wrote about, I didn’t know where to start. Soon after the book came out, I’d been widowed. I’d grieved. I’d moved. I’d adopted a needy and difficult feral kitten. And whenever I reminded myself that I “should” be marketing my book, I’d freeze. Where to begin?
When it comes right down to it, there are entirely too many things you can do to market a book! Well-known book marketer, Penny Sansevieri, author of Red Hot Internet Publicity, recently wrote a guest post on an agent’s blog called “50 Thing Under $50 Bucks to Promote Your Book.” Then there’s the huge book called 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, edited by John Kremer. Yikes. That book always reminds me of why I like small food markets: Fewer choices.
I knew I needed to zero in, so I decided to focus on only 15 ways to market a book — and that’s it. And, since they say the best way to learn is to teach, I scheduled a workshop for next (as of this writing) Saturday Oct. 26th called DIY Yourself Book Marketing: 15 Ways to Let the World Know Your Book Exists. During this workshop I shall attempt to teach authors and wanna-be authors how to market their books. Ha! What the planning of this workshop has forced me to do is to concentrate on 15 marketing technique and put blinders on for the rest. I’ll get to them, or some of them, another day.
The Top 15
If I were to go into each of my 15 top book marketing methods in detail, this blog post would scroll down to the floor. So I’ll list them and then you should Google them and determine which book, blog, article, website, or YouTube video gives you the best information. For example, my top pick in this list of 15 is Amazon.com because it’s the largest online bookseller, because it’s global, and because it offers authors a wide range of great marketing opportunities. Consider buying Penny Sansevieri’s Ebook, How to Sell Your Book by the Truckload on Amazon.com. Do this kind of research for each item on this list. It shouldn’t be that overwhelming if you keep in mind that it’s just 15 — not 1001. So here are my picks:
1) Amazon; 2) Blogging; 3) Bookstores; 4) Contests; 5) Elevator pitch; 6) Handouts; 7) Emailings; 8) Traditional Media; 9) Networking; 10) Press Releases; 11) Reviews; 12) Social Media; 13) Speaking 14) Videos; 15) Website.
You’ve Got to Start Somewhere with Something
Obviously, each item on my Top 15 list has sub-categories, and I know I’ve left things out, but you’ve got to start somewhere in order to get unstuck or unfrozen when it comes to book marketing. By keeping your focus on 15 instead of hundreds, you’ll see how one action can be used for multiple purposes (like your 30-second elevator pitch which you’ll end up using in many ways.)
Let me give/show you an example. Under #14, “Video,” videotape any talk or presentation you make, or set up an “interview” situation, and email it (or use Dropbox if the file is big) to a video editor and have them cut up your video into 3 or 4 short segments (under two minutes) and post the clip on Amazon, your website, your blog, your email newsletter, or put it up on YouTube, perhaps on your own channel. It sounds complex, but a good video editor can do it in a jiffy.
The clip below is one of five from a TV interview on I did on “Book Beat” about my book. It was swiftly edited, complete with titles and music, by L.A. area video editor, Mallory Jackson (Jackson.Mallory@yahoo.com). But of course these days where a talent lives often doesn’t matter since most things can be done by email. I’ve edited books for people I’ve never met. Here’s the clip:
*Workshop for Locals
If you live in the LA area and you want more details on these Top 15 marketing tools, you can sign up for my workshop on Saturday Oct. 26th, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm in Sherman Oaks, only $60.00. Sigh up at: http://www.therapistwriter.eventbrite.com.
(c) 2013 by Sylvia Cary, LMFT
Video editor Mallory Jackson