The Hot Sheet
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Jane Friedman and I have been observing the experiences of authors in the contemporary marketplace as it has developed over many years.
The impact of the digital dynamic, after all, hasn’t just rocked publishing. Like a good, stiff earthquake, it also has rearranged the landscape for writers—opening up new pathways to publication…and several pretty little trails that will lead your career right over a cliff.
But you’d think that at a time when free blog sites about writing are on every corner of the Web, the last thing you’d need to do is pay for a private subscription newsletter for authors. Right? Wrong.
When someone mentions Pinterest in conversation, a common image that comes to mind is an online bulletin board, paired with the now almost iconic logo. However, since its inception in 2010, Pinterest has become so much more than a simple online application for people to browse, save, and share content.
Recently, members of the American Christian Fiction Writers group held an email discussion focusing on the benefits of email newsletters. The main question posed was this: Are email newsletters as important of a promotional tool as some authors claim? In short, the answer was an overwhelming “YES!” Christian authors, Deb Brammer, Misty Beller, Valerie Comer, Randy Ingermanson and Catherine Castle weighed in to share their success stories, voice their concerns, and provide insight into just how helpful newsletters can be.
As an author, are you concerned about setting up a mailing list for your readers? Do you share a concern over any of the following perceived problems with mailing lists:
A core axiom of non-bookstore marketing is that you are not selling your book, but the use of your content to solve a prospective customer’s problem. Showing your potential buyers how to do that may take a little creativity.
Brainstorming – group thinking to find innovative answers to a particular dilemma – is generally used to stimulate ideas. Apply this technique to finding new ways to solve your prospective customers’ problems and you can develop a new source of significant special-sales revenue.
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.