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Monday, October 26, 2009

Marketing Strategy 10: It's all about YOU

Do you want to know the secret weapon to selling your book?


Not the answer you wanted to hear? It reminds me of a parenting class I took many years ago. I couldn't wait! I was going to hear an expert's advice about how to "train" my children to be the obedient, little angels I always hoped they would become. The first words were, "Parents in order to have obedient children, you need to change yourself and the way you think about discipline."

Not what I wanted to hear!

As an author you too have to change your frame of mind. Your wonderful book isn't going to jump off the shelf into the hands of an eager reader unless you are enthusiastic about the product, topic or consider yourself an important element in the mix. Words have the power to do many things but without the author they are a set of letters with no order or reason.

You are the person who can not only put those words on paper to craft a story or teach about a topic, but to inform others about your work. How do you feel about your topic or story-line? Are you excited? Are you passionate? Do you want to shout from the rooftops (or at the very least send out 100-tweets) that your book is nearing completion? (Please do not do this, it is a joke!)

If you are not passionate about your work then no one else will be, either. If you are passionate, discern the reason. As an author you need to sell, sell, sell. Perhaps you mistakenly thought an author needs to write—write—write! You do, but that is half the job, as any editor or publishing house will tell you. It is a partnership, you and the publisher. Maybe you want to self-publish? If that is so, then it is all up to you.

Today’s reader is savvy and now with ebooks and ebook readers finally coming of age the market is going to explode. So much so that mainstream publishers are jumping on the vanity publisher band-wagon and creating a branch of their publishing arms to print books that authors pay to have created. Authors make money when books are sold and publishers are taking a gamble by investing their money into not only the literary work but the author. If the author has an online presence with a blog following or other social media contacts, this will work in the author’s favor if it is between two similar works.

Writer's often are not the most gregarious bunch. Really good authors spend time researching, studying, and writing their books. That doesn't leave much time for social networking, in person or online. Still, somehow, you need to convey your enthusiasm for your work and let everyone know. One easy and low cost way is through calling cards.

I create cards for the books I author as well as those I publish. This example gives you an idea of how an enthusiastic author can give out her card, leave it with a tip at a restaurant, and let everyone know about an upcoming title.

Regardless of the work you have done in creating your masterpiece, the work is not over until you have eager readers purchasing your products. This can only come about with a well laid out marketing plan. Do you have any insights that have worked in marketing your book? Any promotions like the one above? Please share your ideas with me.


  1. Our marketing plan has had to change this year since the economy fell apart and I am still honing it. People are so busy right now that they don't have time for the old ways of promoting yourself and so sensative to SPAM that they react negatively to direct talk of your products.

  2. Good ideas - thanks for sharing.
    ~ Bethany L.

  3. Buyers are definitely watching their money closely and looking for deals. When you figure it out, JoJo, let us know what works!

    And, thanks Bethany for your comment!

  4. I love Vistaprint for postcards. Once you buy postcards, they send you deals almost every day. Most of them you only have to pay postage.

    Morgan Mandel