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Marketing Tips

It's many a writer's dream to sell thousands of books and to gain recognition. However, not all writers write for that reason. Some have a story that they want, or need, to get out. I know of two authors who have written about wars - the Korean War and WW1 - not to achieve fame, but to ensure that generations will remember the suffering that many endured during that time. I know authors who have written personal, moving accounts of loss of children, or about their own difficult personal journeys as part of a healing process. Others write simply to quiet the voices in their heads which burble away at night keeping them awake.

Whatever the reason, the market is awash with literature, some good, some not so good and some absolute gems that deserve recognition but get lost thanks to the enormous number of books available. How can an author ensure that their book is discovered, read and enjoyed? The only way is through regular social networking and marketing.

Authors today need to be prepared to work as hard, if not harder, on their marketing techniques than on writing their scripts, or all that effort made in producing the book, will be wasted. If you can't afford a PR company or have the weight of one of the Big Six behind you, then you will have to make all the effort yourself. However, it need not be the chore it may seem. Planning and determination will reward you.

Make sure you have a PR plan of action to put into force as soon as your book is ready for publication. Draft press releases and send out to all local press, alerting them to the imminent release of your book but make sure that you a have a hook. Journalists get lots of requests from local authors so try to bring in a relevant topic at the same time. Does your book have a local angle? Does it deal with a theme that is currently topical in the news? If so, use that. There is no point in sending in a release that says “Local author publishes book”. Your email will end up in the bin. Make your subject header eye-catching.

Write a couple of by-line articles relevant to your book title and send them to magazines for consideration. Finish each article with your name and name of your publication. When I wrote How Not to Murder Your Grumpy, I also wrote several by-line articles on 'Irritable Male Syndrome' and the 'Benefits of Laughter'. These were picked up by national magazines and my book mentioned underneath the articles.

Always follow up all your emails with phone calls to chat to the journalists. If they are not interested, thank them for their time. Offer to send journalists free copies of your book for their own personal collection. They may enjoy your book sufficiently to not only write about you, but review the book. I sent one copy of Surfing in Stilettos to a young journalist for his mother. It earned me a lengthy feature in his newspaper. He then passed on my details to a much larger glossy magazine who did a two page feature on me. Politeness and courtesy always help your situation.

Create a more professional image by getting a proper public relations email address, one that links with your website.  Generally, something along the lines of pr@yourauthorname.com works well. If you’re feeling daring have a public relations person ‘sign’ emails from that address. My public relations person is my best friend. She’s actually a nurse. She agreed to let me use her name. I send out the emails to the press with her name at the bottom. That way, I can write about myself in the third person. If journalists contact her using the number on the email, I answer the call, inferring we use the same line and hinting they are lucky to catch me in.

Should you win an award, or are invited to do a book signing after publication, send a press release. Forge a relationship with your local press. You have to be bold but not too pushy. It takes many months and effort. The rewards, though, are excellent.

Last month, thanks to newspaper articles and local radio, my book got picked up by the bigger network. I did fourteen radio interviews for various BBC radio stations throughout the UK (and even some in the US, Australia and New Zealand) and book sales were boosted.

More importantly, I now have a list of excellent contacts. They know me and are very happy to interview me or publish pieces about me for my next release.

It can seem daunting but marketing yourself is worthwhile. Just remember to be polite, enthusiastic and above all, be yourself.


HowNotToMurderYourGrumpy-AuthorAfter completing a degree in French and English at Keele University, Carol Wyer became a language teacher in Casablanca, Morocco. She ran the EFL department at a private UK school (a non-magical Hogwarts), set up Language 2000 Ltd, teaching a variety of languages, including basic Japanese, and translated documents. Recurring medical problems forced her to give up teaching and become a fitness instructor. Thanks to older age, she now writes novels, articles and books that poke fun at getting older. Known for her light-hearted take on life, Carol has written two award-winning novels and now also tours giving talks on how to age disgracefully.


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7 comments:

  1. Thanks for this tips.Really great.It is well described.
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very welcome. Glad they are useful.

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  2. Such an informative post. Very interesting. Thank you.

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  3. Awesome post! about the professional marketing tips and marketing agency that offer various types of services such as branding, advertising, marketing at affordable cost by public relations company Singapore.

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  4. Great tips! I personally like the idea of using a friend's name then saying "they're lucky to be able to catch me" Ha~ very creative idea. It's specially nice to talk about your self and what you do in the third person. The points you mentioned actually boils down to one point, create a good network. One should not be afraid to reach out to people, especially people who might be of help. A good network leads you to a great marketing.

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  5. I also have marketing tips. Increase your website traffic and market your brand or product content and links to social network.

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