I have always loved authors, which is why I’ve spent twenty years of my life devoted to helping them promote their books and ideas!
I admire authors for their passion, tenacity and, well…chutzpah. Writing a book – and getting it published – is truly for the spirited and dauntless.
Over the years I’ve helped countless numbers of authors to become known. I have even counseled hundreds through the process, starting with the decision to write a book and all the way to arranging for their publicity to promote it.
Unfortunately, few have any understanding of how a published book ends up in homes across America. I’m quite certain that most intend for others to read their book – not leave it for the grandkids to discover in the attic decades from now. Yet, too many have the idea that since any published author can list their book on Amazon.com, that’s all that’s needed for their marketing!
Six months and thousands of dollars later, they have an impressive stack of boxes in their garage, but have sold only a handful.
When I speak with an author who has this problem, I practice “tough love” and ask, “if you have no marketing plan or promotional budget in place why did you invest all that time and energy to even write your book?”
I’ve heard so many reasons why someone was inspired to write. Everything from the desire to share lessons learned from a major life experience, or the desire for financial rewards from dispensing professional expertise, to simply wanting to be a famous author. These are all totally valid reasons for wanting to write a book! (Actually, there are really no wrong reasons – unless your message is about hate or the suppression of others.)
If you’re experiencing a problem with the promotion and sales of your book – let me suggest two very basic ideas:
- Try to recall the reason you wrote your book in the first place, as it can be very motivating, and
- Decide and implement a plan that will let people know your book actually exists!
In addition to getting your book listed on the major online bookselling sites, like Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, you should at the very least also have a website for your book, proudly displaying any favorable reviews you’ve received from noteworthy individuals.
Make sure you have a Media page where you can post media coverage you’ve obtained. I can promise you that if someone visits your site and sees a list of publications who have mentioned you and your book in their columns, or talk show hosts who have interviewed you on their shows – it speaks volumes about how important you are and the value of the message in your book! These are just a few book marketing basics.
Getting your book media coverage is where I can help you most. Nothing beats quality interviews on radio and TV, and positive ink in newspapers and magazines for having a direct communication with your target audience.
The implicit endorsement of show hosts and editors has incomparable value – their audiences trust them and are favorably influenced by them.
And when you get the media coverage, you absolutely have to back it up with some marketing efforts. The value of being on radio or TV, or being written about in newspapers and magazines, is really a one-two punch. First step is getting the media to interview you or write about you. That’s great if you are quoted in the New York Times, but it’s here today, gone tomorrow. So, YOU need to take the initiative, and unabashedly promote the heck out it through your own circles: social media marketing, friends, family, business associates, etc. It’s called “repurposing.” This is truly how to compound the value of the media coverage you’ve obtained.