In Part One of this series, we discussed what you need to do to pitch and secure a book signing. Below, I’ve created a list of things you should do to prepare for your signing to make sure that your event goes off without a hitch:
• Publicity: You should be coordinating with the store to actively promote your book signing. Ask the store manager for a copy of the store’s media list that they use to distribute press releases so that you can both target the same people. This will also demonstrate to the store manager that you are committed to making this event a success. You should also contact the local media to promote the signing. Finally, don’t forget to submit your information to the Events or Author Appearances section of your local newspapers or events section of your city or town website.
I write a lot about online marketing tactics and how to maximize your presence on social media, your website, and Amazon. But today, I want to talk about something a little less virtual, and more reality-based. With Amazon beginning to open brick and mortar book stores, I’ve created a series to focus on how to pitch and plan a successful book signing. Here’s why these in-person events are still relevant: meeting people at a book signings brings a connection that virtual events cannot simulate. While I love doing video events, I am always eager to do something live; nothing can replicate the feeling of connecting to your audience and reader quite like a book signing!
In this series, we’ve talked a lot about the logistics of a good marketing plan (research, timing, and budgeting) to ensure that you have a successful long-term plan. For the final installation of this series, I want to talk about the best attitude to cultivate relationships and support your success. When you’re marketing, the right attitude can open a lot of doors and keep you motivated!
Attitude is Everything!
Do: Be Grateful
At any phase in your career, it’s likely that you need the media more than they need you. So what does that mean for your marketing efforts? If you book an interview, keep in mind that most media people don’t have the time to read your book. So, make it easy for them to promote you. I’ve found it’s useful to carry an index card with book highlights on it and hand it to them prior to the interview. After the interview is over, thank them, and send a follow up thank-you note after the interview.
The Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg and only 705 of its 2200 passengers and crew survived. With too few lifeboats onboard, many lives were lost unnecessarily. With a little creativity more people might have been saved. For example, what if the crew saw the iceberg as a sanctuary instead of a cause of death? They might have ferried people there. Unfortunately, we’ll never know.
There is an important lesson from that tragedy that can help us solve more problems. The lesson? When you look at something do not think of it only in traditional terms. The crew of the Titanic saw the iceberg as a menace to be avoided. They overlooked possible solutions hidden in plain sight, much like publishers overlook the opportunity for lucrative sales to buyers in non-bookstore markets.
One of the basic axioms of book marketing is that it takes multiple impressions on target buyers to induce them to make a purchase. The more varied these touchpoints the greater the impression and motivation to favorable action.
Successful book publishers market their books using an assorted mix of promotional media. The four parts to an assorted communication mix are publicity, advertising, sales promotion and personal selling. The weight of any one element depends upon the content, nature of your product lines, the author’s involvement in marketing, and the target buyers. As a general statement, publishers focus on publicity and avoid advertising -- print advertising in particular. They feel that if they do any advertising it will be in digital format thinking print communication “is a thing of the past.”
I know that giving something away for free may not seem like a smart business move, but let me explain. Free giveaways can be a very effective business tool when you think of those freebies as a marketing expense (the cost of exposure) rather than lost sales. Free promotions are a great way to get you exposure in front of your target audience, expand your following, and drive sales in the long run. The key is to know how to take advantage of free.