Friday, January 14, 2011

Selling Yourself

As an author of a children's book with a degree in Business/Marketing, I understood from the beginning that I would have to work hard to promote myself and my book. Almost as soon as I received a contract for my first book, I began planning. I searched the internet almost daily for good review sites. I polished up my website and read articles on marketing, children's literature, social networking, blogging, brand building, and so on. I began looking for sites where promotional items could be ordered, and I made friends with fellow authors who knew the ropes.

Through all of this, I found one common theme, Sell Yourself. As an author no one will care about your book more then you. As an author, it is up to you to make people believe that what you have to say is worth reading. As an author, it is up to you to build credibility. In other words, you need to work at making yourself a household name brand that people can trust, which we all know is easier said then done.

The key to this is remembering it will not happen over night. Just as a child learns to walk by taking toddling baby steps to build up the leg muscles, you too can practice, practice, practice taking small steps until your author legs become stable and strong.

A good place to start is with your website. And yes, a website is a must! A website gives your audience access to you in a way that other social networking sites just can't do. It should be a reflection of your personality, the type of book you have created, and a place where people can get to know you. I chose a chalkboard theme for my website. To me this speaks of education, learning, growing, reading, writing, and structure. My site also contains essential ingredients such as a biography, contact information, synopsis of my book, events page, and point of purchase as well as non essential extras like book reviews, other authors I like, recipes, poems, and more.

Something else you can do is to mimic big businesses. If you do a little research, you will note that they all have some kind of a statement that sums up who or what they are. Call it a motto, a brand statement, a purpose statement, or any of the other numerous titles such statements go by; the fact remains, they all have one and so should you. Mine is "Kids Who Read Can Do Anything." I want to portray the type of person who isn't just interested in selling a book, but is interested in selling education, enrichment, confidence, and all the skills youngsters need to become productive and happy individuals! I want to be known as a person who cares.

So get out there and start selling yourself, and don't be surprised if you actually do become a household name because stranger things have happened. Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!