Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Marketing Your Book Can Be Fun!
Not all authors have a marketing and sales background like me, but that really doesn't matter. You too can become a fabulous marketer and you can even have some fun along the way. I know many of you are cringing as you read the word "marketing" and you are probably beginning to grumble under your breath, but it is true. Marketing can be enjoyable especially if you are a new author with a book about to be released.
Hosting a launch party for your book is a fun and creative way to initially get the word out, and who doesn't love a good party? Before my book was even half way through the publishing stage, I began to cultivate a good relationship with my children's librarian. Through this relationship I not only found a great supporter and friend, but I also found a place to host my party. At the suggestion of my librarian friend, the library agreed to allow me to hold my party in their multi-purpose room free of charge. They also posted information about my launch and told patrons whom they thought might be interested in attending.
Seeing that I was under a tight budget, like most new authors, I kept my party simple and inexpensive. Since I opted to throw a Birthday party for my book,I had magnets and pin on buttons made for party favors; I made cupcakes resembling some of my characters; I found a simple online origami craft for the children to do; I threw in some chips, punch, and pretzels, and I read from my book. My launch was in February and only about twenty or so people showed up because of the threat of bad weather, but we had a great time.
Once the novelty and newness of my new book wore off, I was left wondering what to do next. So I do what I do best, I started to research. I joined author groups for support and ideas, I read marketing articles, I began looking for outlets for my book. I told myself that if I was creative enough to write a book, surely I could think outside of the box and find marketing ideas; and that is how I decided to approach the manager of the local hospital gift shop. If you have a romance why not check out flower or candy shops and see if they might like to carry your book on consignment, If you have a western how about contacting Dude Ranches or farm and tractor stores, If you have a book about dogs or cats why not partner with the local animal shelter, and so on.
I have found that the key to marketing well and enjoying marketing is related to getting to know people. If you are friendly, if you are truly interested in getting to know other people, it will help you tremendously. Definitely get to know other authors with whom you can exchange reviews and interviews or promote each other by on the social networking sites like FB and Twitter. Most of my radio interviews and newspaper articles are a direct result of having gotten to know other authors who in turn gave me leads. Show people you are excited about your book and more then likely they will become excited as well.
Become an expert in some field related to your topic. As a children's author, I joined Goodreads where I review children's books. I also draw on my marketing background and often post about marketing opportunities that might be helpful to others. I look upon it like being a teacher. I am opening the eyes of the students to the wonders that have been shown to me by all those that came before. Instead of a chore, I look upon marketing as a scavenger hunt where I am in a constant state of searching for clues that lead to the treasure. They say the journey is half the fun, so start thinking of marketing as part of the journey and not just a necessary evil. Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!