Momentum, I’ve got your number!
Wow – with this post, I’ve made it through the NO EXCUSES 3-Week Author Blog Challenge. Sounded easy, but if you’ve been reading along, you know that some of these prompts were challenging. Here they are, in order, in case you want to see them all in one place:
DAY 1 – October 28
Having a hook is one of the keys to successfully marketing your book. What is your 30-second elevator pitch? And whom would you most like to give it to?
DAY 2 – October 29
Another key to book marketing success is knowing everything about your ideal reader’s demographics (e.g. age, gender, education level, income level, religious preference, parenting status, marital status) as well as their psychographics, which covers everything from the kind of car they drive to their favorite social media sites to what they do on Saturday mornings. Extrapolate to the parents if you’re a children’s author. Tell us about your ideal reader.
DAY 3 – October 30
On the day before All Hallow’s Eve, let’s examine the obvious and think Halloween today. If you were to put together a “costume” to promote your book, wear at your book signings/events, and otherwise attract attention – and, more importantly, questions – about your book, what would it look like? Are you brave enough to actually wear it? BONUS: Tell us about the results if you’ve actually already created and worn said costume.
DAY 4 – October 31
A book cover is a very important marketing tool – probably the first one an author will create. You’ll use it even before your book is done to help build interest. Describe your process for choosing and designing your book cover. Who created your cover? How did you find him/her? What do you love about your cover? What might you do differently next time?
DAY 5 – November 1
Every author wants their book to be different – to stand out in the crowd. But when it comes to selling your book, it’s also important to know what it’s similar to so that you can give people comparisons they can easily understand. For instance, who hasn’t heard Star Wars described as a Western set in space? What kinds of comparisons could you make in describing your book so that people know instantly what it – or isn’t – similar to?
DAY 6 – November 2
An author’s platform is their building block to an audience. It’s where you’re showing up on a regular basis, whom you’re influencing, who knows you, who’s following you, who’s talking about you, who’s waiting for that (next) book to come out. What are the three most important things you are presently doing to grow your platform? What are three new steps you will undertake in the first quarter of 2017 to shake things up a bit?
DAY 7 – November 3
If you could ask anyone in the world to write a blurb for your book, who would it be? Why that person/people? How did/will you go about reaching them? Yes – really!
DAY 8 – November 4
Today in America, it’s National Sandwich Day. Step back for a minute and think of your book marketing campaign as a sandwich. What are the ingredients? What make up the guts of your campaign? What comprises the bread/wrap/lettuce leaf that holds it together? And what are the condiments – the extras that add spice and really make it delicious? BONUS: Which sandwich does your book most resemble?
DAY 9 – November 5
What would be the ideal NON-bookstore venue for selling your book? Why? What is your plan to reach out to such a venue to ask about having them carry your book?
DAY 10 – November 6
What ancillary product could you develop or create to sell along with your book? What steps would you take to design it? Who would you have to ask for help? How could you package it with your book to generate repeat sales, endorsements, referrals, or other promotions?
DAY 11– November 7
When is the last time you did a survey of other books similar to yours on the market? How are they selling? What do their authors’ websites look like? What are their authors doing to market? What ideas could you borrow to generate your own new marketing concepts or campaigns?
DAY 12 – November 8
Describe your first book signing – real or imagined.
DAY 13 – November 9
Contests are a great way to inspire interest in you as an author – and in your book(s). Social media is one way to host a contest – but the options are virtually limitless. What kinds of contests could you hold to generate participation, buzz, and involvement of potential readers?
DAY 14 – November 10
One great way to market your book(s) is by teaching a class or a seminar. The topics may be more obvious for a nonfiction author, but a fiction author can teach, too! Character development, planning a writing schedule, world building, to name just a few. What class or seminar could you develop in order to share your expertise and expand your platform?
DAY 15 – November 11
Most adult books – graphic novels notwithstanding – rely on words to convey their plots and content. But when it comes to marketing – getting people to remember you – it’s super important to include images to anchor your marketing messages. What kinds of creative graphics (e.g., infographics, comic strips, stick figures, etc.) can (or do) you use to spice up your marketing and get people to take an interest in your book(s)?
DAY 16 – November 12
The first word in social media is SOCIAL. How are you using social media to promote your book, without coming across too salesy/pushy? What aspect of social media would you like to learn more about? What are your next steps?
DAY 17 – November 13
The holidays will be upon us soon. Ever notice all the holiday commercials that use jingles in their ads? A jingle is designed to be catchy and entertaining. If you were to write a jingle for your book, what lyrics might it contain? What music might you mimic/use? Now that you’ve thought about it, how likely are you to actually go out and create a jingle for your book?
DAY 18 – November 14
Who would be the perfect person/company/organization to partner with to sell your book? It might be another author, a performer, a shop owner, a seminar facilitator, a teacher, etc. Pretty much, the answer to this question is limited only by your imagination. How will you reach out to that person/company/organization? What’s the hook for your pitch?
DAY 19 – November 15
Mischief marketing is any form of nontraditional – and often outlandish – marketing. Leaving your bookmark in similar books in a bookstore. Writing your title in chalk on a sidewalk that gets lots of foot traffic. Attending a ballgame dressed up as a character in your book. What kind of mischief marketing could you get up to in an effort to promote your book? The bolder the better. What would it take for you to work up the nerve to implement such a campaign?
DAY 20 – November 16
With holiday shopping in full swing, ’tis most definitely craft fair season. Authors sometimes do well at craft events by virtue of being the only bookseller at an event. Not every live event is for every author – but they can be a great way to show off your book to the public and meet new potential readers. Have you done any live events? If so, how did it go? What’s your best tip for other authors to be successful? If you haven’t done them yet, what’s holding you up? What technique/display/idea have you seen a vendor use that might work for you or other authors?
DAY 21 – November 17
What are you going to do to keep the blogging momentum going? What plans do you have to continue your connection with other Author Blog Challenge participants and the new readers you’ve generated for your blog?
Momentum I have created. And a renewed interest in getting my book, Stan Finds Himself on the Other Side of the World, out into the hands of actual readers. My husband is finally reading the book, and he gives it a thumbs-up. I don’t say that to brag, but because he’d definitely let me know if it was lacking. The way he said, “Hey, the book is really good,” let me know he had his doubts before he picked it up (and might have something to do with why it’s taken him so long to actually get around to reading it).
I also came up with more ideas than I presently have time to act on. What I will do next is (a) finish writing the freaking book!; (b) sit down with these posts and develop a marketing plan – with a realistic timeline; and (c) calendar these tasks so I actually start taking action on them.
As an aside, I listened to a webinar this evening about getting your book into libraries. Did you know that people who visit libraries typically also buy a lot of books? Studies have shown (I don’t have the sources, but they’re out there) that authors who have their books in libraries see an average 28 percent increase in their Amazon sales. Yep – that means having to sell on Amazon, and I’m still waffling on that one. But who can argue with those stats? And the gal giving the presentation promises this is all possible with a time commitment of only 20 minutes a day, five days a week. So that’s also going into my marketing plan.
If you’ve read this series, I sure hope I’ve convinced you that my book is worth a look. Please download the FIRST 5 Chapters and mark your calendar for the official release in Spring 2017.
One way or another, we will meet again!
LAURA ORSINI is an author and self-publishing consultant who works with other authors who want to change the world. From concept to publication to the first-time author’s book launch, her expertise will help you make a better book and find more readers. Friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, and check out her pins on Pinterest.