The Personal Touch – Book Promotion Made Easy

Book Marketingby Annette Young

In my previous blog post, I mentioned the potential for being interviewed on local radio and I know this is something that many authors dread, that of self-promotion and having to embrace their time in the spotlight. But, the publishing industry has moved on so much in the last ten years and it’s a whole new beast to deal with if you wish to become a success, so book marketing these days is an essential component of getting the word out there.

I often have writers say to me that the words within their book speaks for them. Well, great, but, it’s worth noting that even if your book is the most amazing collection of words ever, the story is strong, the characters compelling, if no one knows of its existence, then, it will remain on the shelf and just grow dusty.

By actively seeking out and being prepared for an interview through radio or TV, this can really escalate your book sales and you will come across well. But, remember, your book alone will not get you the promotion you need to sell numerous copies. You are the one that people will want to talk to, they will want to understand who you are, your background, what made you write this book. They want to know about you and you need to engage with your potential readers and share a little of yourself. Make sure you know your stuff, be engaging, articulate and definitely entertaining.

Prepare a list of potential questions so you don’t feel under pressure or unprepared and do your best to enjoy it.

If you feel uncomfortable being in the spotlight, then, get friends and family to interview you so you feel more comfortable being asked questions and with the attention fully on you. Have them video you so you are used to cameras. This will help you to feel more natural on screen or, even prepare you if you are participating in a radio interview. Ultimately, it’s about making these opportunities work for you.

 

 

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Self-Promotion Vs. Self-Procrastination – Do it the Right Way

Self-promotion

by Annette Young

When it comes to book promotion, you may well be one of a large group of authors who like to bury their heads in the sand but, newsflash, procrastinating, hiding or refusing to join the self-promotion bandwagon will get you precisely nowhere.

As a publisher and author, I know how important your book is to you. You wouldn’t have written it if it didn’t mean something. But, your book is just one among masses, not just competing for physical book space but, for digital space too. So, remember, you only have a short space of time to make an impact for your book and this should start long before the publishing date. You can pay for publicity, have someone set up ads for you, create flyers, etc. But, there are things you can do for FREE and it makes sense to make the most of any publicity available. But, you had best get your timing right.

I am a firm believer in the power of the press release. Even if you don’t use one of the professional distributors, you can still write a press release and distribute it to your local newspapers. Make it concise and play the local angle. Start promoting your book approximately two months in advance. So, send announcements to your local radio and TV stations, newspapers, book distributors and so on.

When your book is published i.e. you have a physical copy in your hands, send an updated press release along with a copy of your book to some or all of those you had contacted previously. You may not hear anything or, you may find yourself contacted for interviews or even book signings. Don’t faint at the thought. Try to enjoy your moment in the spotlight. You can also have fliers made of the book jacket and ask local bookshops if they will display it near the till point.  But don’t just leave it there, give them some copies of the book too – try the Sale or Return angle. If they decline, give them a copy and ask them to read it and encourage their friends to buy it.

Are your friends avid readers? Ask them to talk about your book (be fair, only when they have read it and liked it) word of mouth is a really powerful way to promote and if they talk about it enough, others are likely to buy a copy. Ask your local library or doctors or dentists if they will stock your promotional fliers. When people are bored, nervous or sick, they will want to distract themselves and your colourful looking promotional literature may incite interest.

Is your book about a subject that local people will really want to see? Is your book about something that local groups will be interested in? If you have written a book on Yorkshire Terriers and there happens to be a specific group of dedicated enthusiasts regarding this breed of dog, well, drop them a line. You must always look for the angle.

Local interest is a great way to promote for free but you must be prepared to put yourself out there and promote with enthusiasm. Don’t be shy. Self-promotion is essential these days. If you want to be an author, you must also be a marketer. Accept it, relish it and now promote like crazy.

 

 

Want to Promote Your Book Locally?

Book marketing

by Annette Young

No doubt about it, the book marketing process causes more grey hairs and worry lines than the whole writing process. New authors fear it and less-than dedicated authors give up. It’s important to see the whole marketing process as a business and where possible to enjoy it rather than it being a ‘dread-doing’ but must do’ scenario each day. If you want to seriously promote your book, here are a few ideas that you may not have yet considered.

1. If your book is based on a local area topic, this makes it easier to market to those who live in your town or city because you can visit your local newspaper, (hand in a press release) advertise locally and become somewhat of a local expert. This latter point is particularly relevant if you have written a non-fiction book and it affects those who live in the area.

2. If you have written a novel and you have based it in key areas of your town or city, ask local businesses to promote it for you. Ask local hotels or bed and breakfasts if they will keep some paperback books in their reception area and leave on a sale or return basis.

3. Offer some sample chapters out to readers. If you have a website and plenty of followers, this can generate some serious sales. You can also leave leaflets at your local book shops or, at the library offering free sample chapters. This is a great way to capitalise in your local area. Of course, your opening chapters must be really strong and highly-compelling. If you are not sure about how good your opening pages are, click HERE.

4. One of the main reasons why authors struggle to market their books is because they don’t enjoy their time in the spotlight. So, the thought of having that spotlight shining very brightly on them is far too daunting. But, if you can take the plunge and contact your local radio station, they may be all too happy to do an interview with you. This can lead to book sales so don’t shy away from it.

Do you need help with any aspect of the publishing process? Click HERE

Author Platform – How Visible Is Yours?

Publishingby Annette Young

There’s so much advice available in the book publishing world and it is often overwhelming for anyone new to the realms of publishing. But, one thing you may have heard of is that of the author platform. Make no mistake, it is an absolute necessity for any serious writer and forms a solid starting point on which to build your career. The best way of building your author platform is to have your very own website. It doesn’t need to be ultra-fancy. In fact, the best author sites are aesthetically pleasing and simplistic in terms of design. You just need to direct potential readers to your site and to intrigue them long enough that they may wish to read an excerpt of your book, or, to sign up for your mailing list so that you can tempt them at a later date.

Continue reading “Author Platform – How Visible Is Yours?”

Publishing A Book? You Might Be Making A Big Mistake

Publishing Help

by Annette Young

These days, it’s seemingly a lot easier to write and make your book accessible to the general public but that doesn’t mean it is without its pitfalls. You may have spent months or even years writing your book, so, you have to do everything that is humanly possible to put it into front of the right people. If you are seriously considering publishing a book, you need to make sure you are not making a very common mistake.

Gone are the days when an author could sit back and relax on their creative laurels, feet up and just waiting for the royalties to roll on in. Nowadays, the responsibility for marketing lies solely on your shoulders. Scary? Well, yes but, you must plan out a professional plan of action if you wish to send a media shockwave out about your book launch. Too often, writers overlook this aspect of the publishing process.

Continue reading “Publishing A Book? You Might Be Making A Big Mistake”

Writing and Publishing Advice

Publishing advice

by Annette Young

There’s a great deal of advice available when it comes to writing and publishing but too much advice can equate to confusion.  I’m often asked the question as to whether writers should just write for their personal pleasure as inspiration strikes or write with a dedicated audience and marketplace in mind. There’s concern that you can’t just have unrestricted creativity if you are also planning ahead and trying to fit into a specific genre.  Let’s cut to the chase and smooth away any confusion.

If you wish to be creative for the sheer pleasure of it, you can write absolutely anything. Creativity means giving your imagination complete freedom and letting the words just pour from you. There’s no concern about word count or writing for a dedicated readership, it’s just about you and the whole creative process.

If however, you have every intention of having your work published and for others to be able to read your stories or book, then it pays to do a little research. Who are your intended readers? What publication would you like to write for? If a book, which genre? How can you make your book stand out?

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Why Book Sales May Fizzle Out

Your Book Sales

It’s an author’s worst nightmare. You’ve spent much time and energy writing your book and now that it is published, you’ve noticed a gradual slump in book sales. Why? There are several possible reasons but one may be that your book is in a niche that is too small. People often think if they aim for a very small and highly targeted niche, this will work in their favour but, if you only have several thousand potential readers, then at some point, your book sales are naturally going to fizzle out. This is not uncommon in self-publishing and with new authors’, after all, why would those new to publishing understand all the rules? It’s impossible, but, market size is an important consideration.

By comparison, you may have published a book in a niche which is expansive and the crux of the matter is that your book just hasn’t been seen. Let’s be realistic, if your book is not visible on the first few search pages of Amazon, you are unlikely to sell many copies. So, market saturation is the problem. It is possible to make some changes which could improve your ranking but, there may well be other considerations too. The title may not grab attention or you just haven’t cracked the essentials of marketing yet. Continue reading “Why Book Sales May Fizzle Out”

Book Marketing and the Power of the Press Release

Book marketing

So you are in the process of publishing a book and now, you have suddenly realised that you need to start marketing it. But how? There are so many options available to authors these days but the cost of publishing a book and making it visible to potential buyers can be quite high if you rush into the process without having a plan.

Writing, publishing and marketing generally can seem a little overwhelming if you are fairly new to the industry but don’t worry, instead of trying to do a little of everything, choose two or three book marketing plans and build your strategy around them.

Press releases can be surprisingly useful when it comes to book marketing but often, new authors fail to use a press release because they do not consider it suitable for the average person. Press releases may appear synonymous with celebrities or for large corporate companies but the average person, yes, the humble author can make use of them too. Continue reading “Book Marketing and the Power of the Press Release”

Why Your Book May Be Rejected

Publishing Help

If you are after a traditional publishing deal, there are many reasons as to why your book might get rejected and it may have nothing to do with the quality of your words.  While it is important to make sure each word has been highly polished, your storyline or topic could be the reason as to your rejection. If the theme is all-too-familiar to the agent or publisher, there may be too many books all vying for publication. Following the Harry Potter book success, publishers were inundated with variations of this theme.

Writing a book is hard work and this doesn’t stop when the last word is committed to paper.  It’s important to research for the best agent or publisher to approach. Not all representatives in the publishing industry are equal. They must be familiar with the topic or the genre before considering representing you. Place a manuscript in the wrong hands, and a rejection slip is likely. Continue reading “Why Your Book May Be Rejected”

Good Publicity

Book Publicity

So, you’ve written a book and are now in the exciting stages of publishing it.  But then what happens? It’s often a misconception that new books will fly off Amazon’s (or other) proverbial shelves and the author is sent, hurtling towards millionaire status. Sadly, it’s highly unlikely, even if your book is beautifully written and word perfect, unless you are a well-known name and, even then, the odds are stacked against that type of success.

So what can you do to make your book perform well? The answer is simple.  Get some good publicity going. Tell the world about it before you even publish it… if you can. Don’t worry, if you’ve already pressed that button, it’s never too late to start promoting but you do need to throw yourself whole-heartedly into the process.

Create a plan.

Sounds easy doesn’t it? But stay on track. You must always remain focussed on all that you are trying to achieve. There are so many options available to you but you need to consider what will work best for your book? How much time can you dedicate to book promotion? Would you prefer to hand over the marketing aspects to someone else?

Write down all options and then consider in full: Continue reading “Good Publicity”