Monthly Archives: January 2015

11 Steps To Take In Marketing Your Book

Words that go with writing: solo, alone, unaccompanied, quiet, unobtrusive, internal.

Words that go with marketing: connections, mass, commercial, global, universal, noisy, external.

Few other art forms require both skills from one human being.

That’s you.

Yes, you could write the best book ever and run for the hills, never to fret about a bookstore signing or a writer’s conference. Hello, J.D. Salinger. And Cormac McCarthy. I guess Marcel Proust wasn’t out and about very much, either.

If you’re not producing work at that level, at some point you might have to undergo that strange transformation from recluse to extrovert, from solo artist to mass marketer.

No doubt you’ve perused a hundred web sites—looking for the secret.

You may have shelled out good money for a marketing class or a marketing workshop—searching to learn the magic touch.

You may have felt that electric tingle when you spotted a come-on tweet or a promising Facebook ad—sell millions of books tomorrow.

In fact, there seem to be as many people selling book marketing tips and strategies as there are actual writers.

Guess what? They don’t have the secret, either. Check their list of clients. Have you heard of the books they represent? Do these marketing “geniuses” really possess the perfect formula?

Just stop.

There is no magic.

Only thoughtful work.

Yep, it’s work. And it takes time.

So I’m here with a healthy dose of reality.

So herewith a list of (I hope) common-sense thoughts about marketing your novel:

  1. Be yourself. Only do what comes naturally.
  2. Go where readers congregate: bookstores and libraries. Introduce yourself to every independent bookshop within driving distance of your home. Check with the chains, too. Drop off books as gifts with the person at each store who handles events and inquire about options that might include you. Get to know your local librarians (you’re looking for speaking opportunities).
  3. Months and months before your book comes out, edit and check every email and every street address of every single friend, classmate, colleague, cohort, and relative you know. You will gently nudge them with postcards and well-designed, simple emails about the fact that your fabulous book exists. Once or twice, a few months after the book is published, you might remind me that it STILL exists and has drawn rave reviews. You can ask them to do things to help you (host book clubs, post reviews, tell friends).
  4. You will remind yourself on a daily basis: not all books are for all people.
  5. Be supportive of others in the writing community. Don’t write negative reviews. Don’t argue with people who don’t like your book. Don’t try and sell to other writers. Fellow writers are supportive. Make connections. You never know where a relationship could lead.
  6. If social media comes naturally, start making friends online many months or a year or two before your book comes out. Comment on reviews. Listen to podcasts. Re-tweet comments from your favorite critics or other writers. Yes, you can actually “meet” people here—people who can help you. Establish your voice and be clear about what you stand for. Not just “I got a book,” but comment and post about yourself and your priorities, too. What do you have to say? Establish yourself online the same way you do in your community.
  7. Hire a publicist. Yes, but only if it feels natural to you. Yes, if you have the money. Yes, if you are willing to interview three or four of them and choose the one with the most proven experience and legitimate contacts. Good publicists have connections and relationships. You’re looking for publicists who can increase your chances of receiving reviews and/or profiles written about you and your new book. You’re looking for publicists who can book you on radio or television shows and who will pitch you as a speaker at conferences. It is entirely possible to do this yourself. But it takes time.
  8. Months and months before your book comes out, make a list of dream publications you’d love to prod to write a review of your book (or a profile of you). Do you know anyone who knows anyone at these publications? Develop your pitch. Send a friendly email, something simple.
  9. Don’t overlook neighborhood newspapers and local magazines.
  10. Think topically. Make a list of every publication and website that might have an interest in the themes and topics covered in your book (even if it’s fiction). Start querying them early. Don’t get discouraged. A book editor at the Denver Post told me that they receive 50 to 60 book submissions each day. They review only a few each week. That means 300+ are not reviewed. (You know the editors can’t even give some books more than a cursory look.)
  11. Be yourself. Think long term. Think of a steady 24-month push for your title. Do something every day, whether online or sending an email or reaching out to someone online.

If it was a science, we would have long shared the formula. Book marketing is an art and it’s a long, thoughtful haul. Enjoy the ride. And start work on your next book. Maybe the next time it will be so good you can run for the hills.

About the Author
Mark Stevens has worked as a reporter for The Christian Science Monitor in Boston and Los Angeles; as a City Hall reporter for The Rocky Mountain News in Denver;  as a national field producer for The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour (PBS) and as an education reporter for The Denver Post.  After journalism, he worked in school public relations before starting his own public relations and strategic communications business. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Colorado Authors League, Pike’s Peak Writers, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Mark is the author of The Allison Coil Mystery Series, which includes Antler Dust, Buried By The Roan, and Trapline. Visit him at http://www.writermarkstevens.com/.

At Find My Audience, we understand that not all authors are marketers. That being said, growing your social audience can expand your readership and book sales. You don’t have to be a book marketer to find new readers online. We are here to simplify this process for you. Sign up today and connect with potential readers across the globe.

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By |January 19th, 2015|EBook Marketing Innovations, Interviews|0 Comments

From The Tech Desk: An Overview of the FMA Audience Location Platform

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By |January 15th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Find My Editor—Where to Start, What to Expect, and How to get your Money’s Worth

I’m often amazed by the number of writers I talk to who really have no clue just how important the editing step is in the writing process. And for those who are aware of the need for such a step, many are quickly overwhelmed by the process itself. Where do I find an editor? Which one do I choose? Why does it cost so much?

All writers need an editor. A good editor. No matter how skilled a writer you perceive yourself to be, you need a fresh, objective pair of eyes to critique your manuscript. As we read our own writing, our brains are wired to see what we think should be on the page, whether it’s actually there correctly or not. An objective editor won’t know what you intended to write and will see what is actually there. Sounds weird, but it works. Whether you plan to self-publish or pitch your work to an agent or publishing house, you need a clean, well-edited manuscript. Starting without one is setting yourself up for failure.

First, you need to familiarize yourself with the different types of editing. Do you know the difference between a developmental edit and a proofread? Do you need a copy edit? A critique? It’s important to know what you’re looking for before you begin the search for an editor. You’ll find a wide array of people offering editing services online. Arm yourself with knowledge before heading out to find the one that’s right for you.

Once you know what you’re looking for, the hunt begins. Ask around. Talk to other writers. Do they have an editor they trust? Contact that person. Do your homework. As you begin contacting editors, look for someone with whom you can communicate. The editor-writer relationship, if it works as it should, could develop into a long-term partnership. Jackie Kennedy summed it up nicely when she said, “An editor becomes kind of your mother. You expect love and encouragement from an editor.” You want an editor who replies promptly to your emails, gives you a free sample of his/her work, provides references, has a website you can browse for information, offers clients a contract outlining agreed upon services, etc. Bottom line? You want someone you can trust with your manuscript.

And then there’s the cost of it all. As you search, you’ll come across a wide range of editing fees. Some editors charge by the page, some by the word, and others by the hour. I’ve seen people offering editing for as low as one dollar per page. If you do the math, you’ll discover that person is choosing to work for far less than minimum wage. Be careful there. As a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, I choose to follow their guidelines and charge an hourly rate. You can check out their fee recommendations as well as pacing guidelines on their website at http://www.theefa.org/res/rates.php.

Here’s how the process works at myindependenteditor.com:

Writers provide a 1000 word sample via my website. I do an edit of the sample at no cost, which gives both the writer and me a chance to gauge the other’s skills. We discuss the type of editing desired/needed, and a quote for services is provided. Clients are provided a contract outlining the details. Then an editing date is set. On that note . . . if an editor can begin your edit immediately, beware. Good editors are often booked months in advance. Be prepared to wait. And remember, after the edit you’ll need time for revisions, rewriting, and possibly more editing or a proofread. It’s a slow process. Don’t set your publishing date and then expect an editor to fit you in to meet your timetable.

I focus hard on building a relationship of trust and mutual respect with my clients. So far, it’s working, and it’s a win-win for all concerned.

About The Author
Susan Hughes is a freelance independent editor and proofreader, handling both fiction and nonfiction, corporate publications, essays, and articles. She specializes in substantive editing, line editing, copy editing, and proofreading. Susan earned a BA in English Literature from the University of Houston at Clear Lake City and is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association. Visit her at myindependenteditor.com.

At Find My Audience, we understand that not all authors are marketers. That being said, growing your social audience can expand your readership and book sales. You don’t have to be a book marketer to find new readers online. We are here to simplify this process for you. Sign up today and connect with potential readers across the globe. 

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By |January 6th, 2015|EBook Marketing Innovations|0 Comments