Being an author is awesome. There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you hold your newly birthed book in your hand. All the time, effort, energy, and money you’ve poured into this project has finally materialized. Then it hits you, now you have to market that sucka! IF you want to achieve success as an author.
Ahhh, there it is, the elephant in the room that no one really tells you about beforehand. They try, they really do, but the reality is that marketing isn’t a concept that many author experts share on a deep tell-you-everything level. It’s sort of like the difference between giving birth and actually raising said child.
I remember when I was pregnant with my first child, my son Tank. I read everything I could get my hands on that would give me the slightest insight of what pregnancy and giving birth would be like. My mom swore by Dr. Spock’s Baby and Childcare book and I did too. It was like the Bible for new moms. There were books, magazines, and cable TV shows around pregnancy and birthing—this was pre-Internet circa 1979 😊 but nothing really about the hardest thing you’ll ever do in your life—parenting.
So, I’m here to help you with the hardest part of writing your book—marketing. Unlike when I had my son, young moms have so many options and tools to help them with parenting today. It’s only right that I help you with your newly birthed or soon-to-be birthed book baby. So you can let the world know about it and sell as many copies, make as much money, and garner as much notoriety as you can dream of from this book.
Check out my Monday Motivation video for even more ways to be successful as an author.
Follow these 5 author marketing steps to have a successful book journey.
- Tell Everyone – starting right now!
If you haven’t started talking to people about your book yet and it’s just about to hit the streets, you’re already behind the eight ball. But the past is the past, start right now, TODAY!
- Draft an email
- Create a post
- Design a graphic
- Make phone calls
It doesn’t matter how you do it or what combination of methods you use, the key is to let everyone know about your book and I mean everyone, whether they’re in your target market or not. Why? Because even if your book doesn’t interest them, if you build enough buzz around it people will start talking about it and the ones who are interested will take notice.
This group of people that you’re telling includes your friends, fans, family, and followers.
No more secrets! Get the word out. The best way to do that is just start talking about your book.
- Why you wrote it
- Who the book is for
- What they’ll get out of reading it
- How to buy it
- When it will be available
Start with your everyday conversation and weave your book in there. It’s not like you’re pushing your book on people, you’re just talking about it. How many times have you brought up your children or your pet in conversations? You weren’t selling your kids or pets. You were just relaying some interesting information about them. You’re excited to talk about them and you want others to feel that excitement. Do the same thing with your book because you are excited about it. Aren’t you?
- Tell your audience about your book
Now that you’ve gotten the hang of talking about your book in casual conversation, it’s time to step up your game and talk to the actual people who want, need, and will buy your book. I’m not saying that the casual conversation people won’t purchase, but they’re kind of iffy. They may not even have any interest in your book, but again, they might.
But, you don’t have time to waste on “might.” Those conversations are great practice, but now it’s time to really dig into your author marketing success strategies and the main one is telling your target audience about your book.
Your target audience is filled with people who want, need, and will benefit from your book. Remember my story about the lack of parenting material—at least that I could find. Well, if parenting information that answered my questions, laid out a path for success, and made me feel like I was part of a larger community, and NOT all alone, was available to me at that time, my life would have been so much easier. But alas, I struggled and muddled, but I got through it. I don’t think I did a bad job, my kids turned out to be awesome adults. But what if I had found the information I was seeking, when I needed it?
That’s how you appear to your target audience. YOU are the one with the information that solves their problem and they can’t wait to get their hands on your book. When you look at it like that, it puts it in a whole different perspective, right?
Look, all I’m saying is don’t be afraid, embarrassed, timid, or shy about seeking out the people who make up your target audience. They are waiting for you. They are looking for you. When they find you, they will feel like they’ve struck gold.
How do you find them? Create content that answers the questions you know they have:
- Post on the social media platforms they hang out on
- Write blogs on your site
- Create videos on YouTube
- Speak at the groups they belong to
- Follow and interact with the influencers they follow
You’re moving right along with the plan. You’re talking casually to everyone about your book. You’re talking to your target audience in different ways. It’s time to go a little deeper.
We’ve established that your audience has questions and you have answers. But how do the twain meet?
Oh, I so love this part. Because this is when you get granular, when you discover the real real about your audience; their fears and what drives them. And its so easy to do, it’s ridiculous.
All you need to do to learn all the questions your audience has so you can be able to give them the answers and solutions they need is to ASK them. Ryan Levesque wrote a best-selling book entitled, “Ask,” about how what you think people want compared to what they really want can be eye-opening and game-changing and how you find out.
I read the entire book and it’s great, but it’s extremely granular. I mean, Ryan is clearly a genius and he kind of writes like it. So, if you purchase the book, get ready to give ALL your undivided attention to reading it. It took me almost a year to get through it. The book is awesome, but his style of writing is hard for me. You may not have that experience, but I did want to warn you.
Anywhoo, all you need to do is ask people. But there is a caveat to this. People don’t necessarily know what they want, but they do know the outcome they want. That’s where your imagination and innovation comes in. Henry Ford said that if he had asked people what they wanted during the horse and buggy era, they would have said faster horses. But, he took that answer and created the automobile. Is that a faster horse or what?
When you ask your audience what it is they really want, they may only be able to answer you based on what’s already around them at the moment. The solution isn’t their genius, it’s yours. Uber started because two friends thought it would be great to have someone drive them around. Exactly how that gave birth to the ride-share industry is beyond me. But, that’s not my genius, however, I’m glad they asked that question of themselves.
Do you get what I’m saying?
Because you know what your audience needs, you’re in the position to solve their problem, that’s why you wrote the book. But if you don’t present it in a way that answers the questions they have, they won’t buy into your solution. That’s why you need to actually talk to them. So you can understand what they really want and position your book as the answer. Ding! Ding!
Here are some ways to actually talk to your audience and get the answers you need.
- Create a survey
- Put up a poll in your group
- Ask your followers a question and direct them to (PM) Private Message/(DM) Direct Message you with their answer
- Invite them to a ZOOM/Skype call
- Send an email and ask them to reply back with their answer
These strategies may seem time-consuming and they are. However, the small amount of time you spend getting this valuable information will pay for itself 10-fold in how you can use those answers to better serve your audience.
- Be Flexible
Everyone learns differently, at different speeds. And people are attracted to different things. Knowing this helps you to cater your content—your book—to help your audience digest it.
Yes, pretty much everyone loves a good book. You love how it feels to sit in a comfy chair or propped up on the pillows in your bed and just read and read. However, with today’s hectic schedules, your audience may not take the time to sit and read your book for hours on end. Just thinking about doing that may even be stressing you out. So what’s an author to do?
Remember, you have the solution your audience is looking for. It’s your job, your duty to make sure you make your content available in as many ways as possible.
Thanks to technology, you can recreate your paperback book into an ebook, audiobook, slideshare, video presentation, workbook, and/or journal. You could even create Flash cards that cover the key takeaways.
Here’s the thing, it really isn’t the book that you’re trying to get in front of your audience, it’s the information IN the book. If you break down all the information in your book and recreate it in different ways, you’re going to have a much better chance of winning over your audience and converting them from a sideline participant to a raving fan who can’t get enough of you and your information. That kind of mentality creates brand ambassadors who not only buy from you and consume whatever you create, but they also tell their friends to buy from you and consume whatever you create.
You see, your job isn’t really to just sell a book, your job is to change a life. Actually, it’s to change lives, but you have to start with one.
Once you get over the “OMG, I just wrote a book” shock and you actually start to realize how very powerful you are and the real awesomeness of what you’ve created. You’ll do everything you can to get this information into the hands of as many people as possible in as many ways as you can think of.
This concept isn’t only “Bigger Than the Book,” it’s “Better Than the Book” marketing. Because now, you’re realizing your power—the power to change lives and make a difference for so many. Now, it isn’t just about the book, it’s about the information and what getting a hold of that information can and will do for people.
- Does that mean that you give some books away? YES!
- Does that mean that you repurpose chapters into blog posts? YES!
- Does that mean that you leverage the content in your book for guest posts, podcast appearances, and speaking gigs? YES! YES! And YES!
It means that you are selfless in getting the message out and also that you aren’t worried about “giving away the farm.” Why? Because EVEN IF you write, talk, and video your whole entire book, process, or system, most people won’t be able to get it to work 100% without you. You, as in working with you one-on-one or in a group or as part of your program. This is the only true way to mimic your success. YOU are the secret ingredient.
Have you ever tried to copy your grandmother’s sweet potato pie recipe that everyone raves about at Thanksgiving? You follow the recipe to the “T,” but when you taste it you think, “something’s missing.” But when you ask grandma about it and she goes through the recipe with you, you find out that even though you followed it word-for-word, she had a couple tweaks that weren’t in there? Or weren’t explained thoroughly? Grandma IS the secret sauce!
Then you do the recipe again and this time, you are spot on, because you had your grandmother’s one-on-one guidance. Although today grandma might be instructing you through Facetime or Skype. Go Grandma!
- Get a Mentor
This final step is the best piece of advice I can give you. Get a mentor. Don’t try to go it alone. You aren’t the first person to write a book and you won’t be the last. You don’t have to figure out how to market it on your own, there is help and plenty of it.
I was extremely fortunate to have two powerhouse women on my team who helped me sort out all the pieces I needed when it came to not only getting my book done, but actually making money from it. If I didn’t have access to Anita R. Henderson of Write Your Life and Candice L. Davis of Go Write Something, I would have been like any other new author who’d written a book and gone through a countless procession of the latest marketing strategies trying to hock my $20 book.
But instead, my mentors taught me that my book was only the start and that I should think about what would happen after I published or because I’m now an author. That was different. I’d never thought of “After,” because all I knew was that becoming an author was the best thing since sliced bread. So what was “after?”
I learned that it really is “Bigger than the Book” and that there are “Better than the Book” marketing strategies that you can use that don’t depend on book sales.
There are more marketing strategies you can use and perfect, but the best ones are those that lead to sales over and over again. I’ve used all of the strategies I laid out for you plus more. Some worked great, others, not so much. But I do have 7 that are still working and actually helped me to add $10k to my business’s bottom line because of my book and they didn’t include a huge amount from book sales.
I’m inviting you to grab a seat in my new masterclass:
How to Make Money from Your Book Even IF You Don’t Make a Single Sale
Thursday, February 28, 2019
8:00 pm EST
Grab your seat now
As the author of the Amazon #1 International Best Seller, UN-Market Your Business: 10 Ways for Savvy Entrepreneurs to Stand Out, Stop Struggling, and Start Profiting, I’ll share with the winning strategies I used to make a great ROI on the time, effort, energy, focus, and money I put into getting my book out of my head and onto paper.