New to All the Book Marketing Stuff?

I came across a post in a book marketing group recently. It read:White teddy bear reading a book

Hello, fellow authors. I have a question. I just published my 1st children’s book using CreateSpace. I was wondering how do you market your book? What helps you get your book out there? New to all the marketing stuff. Thank you for your help and advice.

The members of this particular group are extremely helpful. They advised her to have a website, start a mailing list, create a Facebook page, sign up for a monthly newsletter that offers free marketing tips each month, etc.

It’s human nature to dive right into the “doing.” So much so that we tend to avoid the planning.

The problem is, strategic planning is what minimizes the amount of “doing” we have to do. Consider it the lazy person’s way out of out working too hard.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend a few minutes planning so that I can reduce my workload in that one area, and apply the time and effort to another project. What about you?

First things first

I believe the first piece of advice anyone new to marketing needs to hear is this:

The first step is to figure out two things. Who would be buying your book? And who would be reading your book?

For children’s books, that may be two completely separate people. As the reader gets older, it’s often the same person.

Once you know those two things, start figuring out what they typically do online. (You can often find that information through Google searches.) Which sites do they frequent? What social media platform do they use most? Which apps are they using?

Then start strategizing your approach from there.

Plan your marketing efforts accordingly

Yes, you’ll need a website and a mailing list. Those are givens, in my book. However, don’t waste your time on a Facebook page if your buyers and readers aren’t on Facebook!

(Given Facebook’s TOS, I’m sure the readers of this person’s illustrated children’s book aren’t. However, you may find many of those readers watching YouTube videos. So, how about strategically placing a short ad at the beginning of content they’re likely to watch?)

Instead, spend your time and effort wisely by focusing your marketing efforts where your readers already are. Don’t pull readers away from one place so that they can come where you are. Go to where they already are and introduce yourself to them there.

That means providing content on sites that are already popular with your readers and buyers. You’ll need to experiment with whether a guest blog post, a strategically place ad, or a joint venture makes the most sense. But as you build out these relationships, that decision-making process will become an easier one to navigate. You’ll start recognizing those things that work for you, and those that don’t, much more quickly once you get going.

Every book is unique

So each book’s marketing plan has to be unique to them. But that’s what makes them so fun to create!

Taking the time to learn about the entertainment and buying habits of your readers gives you greater insight into them, sparking further creative ideas for later books you can write or products you can make.

So if you’re just starting out and you don’t even know what options to consider or how to get started, you may find my DIY guide on creating your book marketing plan useful to you as you figure things out. 

 

A Blab with Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com for the BiztoBook Conference

Lain Ehmann launched her online BiztoBook conference last week, and there have been some stand-out speakers thus far.

(Frankly, I have to admit, I don’t like the format of the conference. There is as much as 3 hours of content a day, and you have 48 hours to listen to it before it expires, even while new content is rolling out each day of the conference, including over the weekend. I’ve already missed more than half the speakers, which is disappointing. But there is an option to purchase all of the recordings at a discounted rate that ends today.)

Anyway, my personal favorite of the topics I’ve been able to catch thus far was Lain’s Blab with Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com and PatFlynn.com.

He’s someone I’ve been following for years now, so it was nice to listen in as he shared some of his recent success in the publishing world.

Pat recently wrote Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money. This was his first self-published book. (He had an earlier book, Let Go, that was published using a little-known platform called Snippet.)

In this Blab, Pat Flynn shares how he wrote and published his new book, and discussed his astonishment when it reached #1 in the Amazon rankings for various categories, as well as hitting the Wall Street Journal’s Bestseller list.

Listen in to hear what he had to share.

11 Reasons Why Writing a Book is Good for Business

Emerald Lake Books logoHave you ever wondered how to make a bigger impact than you already have?

For many business professionals, time is the rate-limiting factor. You can only connect with so many people in a given number of hours. So how do you take things to the next level?

Well, there are a number of different ways.

Speaking is one of them, and something I do a lot of and enjoy, but it’s not for everyone.

Creating videos is another. Video content is easy to share, simple to create, and has the potential to make a viral impact, but it requires some technical ability.

Blogging is another means of connecting with more people with less effort, yet it requires steady website traffic.

So there’s no one magic bullet. You’re better off if you try to implement a mixture of all of these.

But there’s one more thing I’d recommend, assuming you have it in you. There’s writing a book.

Not everyone is cut out to be an author. It’s time-consuming, hard work and can take months or even years to pay for itself.

However, for those who do take up the challenge, writing a book can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

Here are some of my top reasons why I think becoming an author is good for business. [Read more…]

Giving the Gift of Significance

Too often our days are filled with To Dos and appointments, running here and there, and we forget to stop and notice the needs of others. We become so focused on getting things done or on trying to pay the bills or on being successful that we forget to take the time to give back.

Participating in a mastermind group is great for many things. I’ve outlined 5 Powerful Reasons for Joining a Mastermind Group in an earlier post. However, today’s post isn’t about what you can get out of a mastermind group. It’s about the opportunities it affords you to give back. When you give the Gift of Significance to others, the rewards are immeasurable!

Take a listen to this simple story and you’ll see what I mean.

And if you have any interest in learning more about The Best is Yet to Come Mastermind Series, you can request more information here. You’ll be sent a brochure that outlines the format of the mastermind series, and will be put on a mailing list to receive more information once the dates are set.

 

5 Powerful Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group

5 Powerful Reasons to Join a Mastermind GroupAs of today, we’re half-way through 2014. Have you accomplished at least 50% of the goals you started out the year with? I know I haven’t!

I knew at the time I set my goals that they were aggressive, and it was going to take a lot of time, effort and focus to achieve them. But I chose to stretch myself instead of staying in my comfort zone, and I tied each goal to specific monthly milestones in my Sales and Marketing Plan so that I could assess my progress along the way.

Thankfully, even when we find ourselves a bit behind where we want to be, there are ways to surge ahead.

In my experience, participating in a mastermind group is key! I have never met an extremely successful person who hasn’t had a mastermind group to help them accomplish their goals. [Read more…]

The BookBub Experience

Geraldine Evans Today’s guest post is by Geraldine Evans, a British writer of police procedurals that contain a lot of humour and family drama. She and I met in LinkedIn’s Book Marketing group when she shared her experience using BookBub, a site that alerts interested readers to limited-time free and discounted ebooks matching their interests.

I’ve used BookBub to find new reading material for a couple of years now, but had wondered how it works out from the author’s perspective. When Geraldine shared such a comprehensive review of her experience, I asked her if she’d be willing to do the same thing here for you.

I know there are a lot of numbers involved and that sometimes you’d prefer to avoid those, but they’re worth delving into. So, sit back and enjoy! I promise you, it will get those creative juices flowing.

Are you considering paying for an ad for your book with BookBub? What are you waiting for? Go for it! You’re likely to find it’s worth every penny. Yes, it’s expensive; it was the cost that held me back. Well, that, and the comments on kboards.com/Writers’ Café. According to many members on that forum, getting your book accepted by BookBub was about as likely as flying off on Richard Branson’s spaceship.

But my book was accepted on my very first application. No, I’m not a well-known name. No, I don’t have hundreds of reviews from a dedicated coterie of readers. And I’m definitely not sleeping with the management! And the book for which I wanted the ad is in the mystery/thriller genre, one of their most popular categories. So I had lots of competition.

But, what I think may have worked in my favour is that I was willing to be flexible on my choice of date for the ad. Perhaps, too, the fact that I write mainly in series was also a no-brainer for them. Maybe they assumed I’d be only too willing to pay for further ads for each of the other books in my 15-strong Rafferty & Llewellyn series. They wouldn’t be wrong about that as my experience with them was very positive. [Read more…]

How to Publish a Book with Limited Cash

My clients often tell me that they want to publish their book, but they’ve got limited cash to do it with. So, their dream of being a published author and seeing their book in print sits on the back-burner waiting for the additional cash to be freed up.

Aleweb Social Marketing - How to Publish Your Book with Limited Cash

Publish your book even on a shoestring budget

Unfortunately, for many, that day never comes!

I found myself in that situation when I wanted to publish my first book, autographed paperback. So, I know the feeling, and the burden that goes along with thinking “If only…”

However, I was determined to see how far I could get, despite my lack of funds at the time. Amazingly, there’s a lot you can do to publish your book on a shoestring budget if you’re willing to put in the time to do the work yourself.

Having self-published 5 books now, I have to admit that I like the amount of control I have when I create the book listing myself rather than letting someone else do it for me. [Read more…]

Our First Ever Cyber Monday Sale!

autographed paperbackI hope you’ll forgive this indulgence since I rarely use my blog for self-promotion. My goal is always to provide you with useful, actionable information to accomplish your goals online.

Even though I’m promoting my own product here, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

We’re having our first ever Cyber Monday sale. All electronic versions of The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books are 20% off today only.

It will revert back to its normal price at 9pm ET tonight.

If you’ve been thinking about getting your own copy of this do-it-yourself guide to marketing your book online (and building your platform at the same time), now’s the time!

autographed paperback

Enjoy these reviews and find others like them on Amazon.

Amazon Reviews for "The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books"

Book Review: The Apple in the Orchard by Sonia DiMaulo

The Apple in the Orchard by Sonia DiMauloThe Apple in the Orchard  by Sonia DiMaulo is an illustrated storybook about finding the courage to emerge as a leader. I hesitate to call this a children’s book, even though many who pick it up might think of it that way. The lessons in this book are suitable for children and adults alike, though.

The story itself is about Brave Apple, who learns the importance of living with purpose. She learns to question the status quo and look beyond what’s familiar to find her place in the world.

Brave Apple grows on Pale Green, a tree on the outskirts of the Orchard that is pale and produces sickly fruit because of his disconnect from Red Harvest, the largest, strongest and healthiest tree in the Orchard.

Red Harvest nurtures the relationships among the trees in the Orchard and cultivates collaboration as they grow and produce fruit. Since Pale Green is so far from the center of the Orchard, he misses the messages of Red Harvest. As a result, Pale Green believes that he is separate and apart from the rest of the Orchard. Believing that he is completely independent, Pale Green struggles without the support and connection of the rest of the Orchard.

As Brave Apple surveys the Orchard from the branches of Pale Green, she can see Red Harvest’s glow, but not feel it. A desire to connect with Red Harvest overwhelms her. She battles fear and uncertainty as she does what no one else has ever done. She leaves the safety of her branch, and begins her pilgrimage to the center of the Orchard. Her desire to learn is overwhelming.

Brave Apple’s story is an allegory of every leader’s journey. There comes a time when we question the things we’ve always been told. Our desire to learn forces us to seek out mentors and other leaders who can help us discover the secrets to achieving our passions and realizing our goals.

It’s a wonderful story to share with children, to show them that conformity is not always the best way. It encourages the reader, showing that curiosity and a desire to learn are noble qualities.

For adults, the story is equally appealing, and will resonate with many readers as they work to become emerging leaders themselves.

But don’t just take my word for it! This story has also been endorsed by the likes of Ken Blanchard, Mike Henry Sr, Roy Saunderson, and S. Max Brown; some pretty heavy hitters in the leadership arena.

Ken Blanchard has this to say about The Apple in the Orchard:

The Apple in the Orchard by Sonia Di Maulo is a lovely little book with a profound message: To pursue greatness, aspiring leaders sometimes must dare to leave the familiar. Opportunities for growth and learning are all around you—so take the leap, and grow!

To get your copy of The Apple in the Orchard, click here.

Disclaimer: A review copy of this book was provided to me by the author. No further compensation was made or promised. Additionally, no affiliate links were used in this post.

What Does It Take to be a True Hero?

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. They can be young or old, black or white, rich or poor. If you look up the word at dictionary.com, you’ll see this is the first definition:

a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

9/11 afforded many people the opportunity to look within themselves and find the hero within. We all have that quality within us. It’s that drive that enables us to put the needs of others before our own in times of trouble or sadness. That selflessness becomes a mark of maturity, demonstrating that we’ve learned a vital lesson. The world does not revolve around us.

Take a few minutes this day to watch this video, reflect upon it’s message and look within your own heart and mind.

The world needs more heroes. Where can you step up and make a difference in someone’s time of need? Whether it’s volunteering on your kid’s soccer team, mentoring a fatherless child, serving at a local soup kitchen, helping someone out financially, visiting with an elderly neighbor, or something completely different. When average people step up to fill a need, coming together and pulling together, they can accomplish amazing things.

As the narrator, Tom Hanks, shared:

The great boatlift of 9/11 became the largest sea evacuation in history, larger than the evacuation of Dunkirk in World War II, where 339,000 British and French soldiers were rescued over the course of nine days. On 9/11, nearly 500,000 civilians were rescued from Manhattan by boat. It took less than nine hours…

Don’t live your life wondering “Should I have?” And don’t wait for tragedy to strike to call up that inner hero. You have the ability to make the world a better place today.

I’d love for each of my readers to share whatever they’d like in the comments below, whether it’s their memories of how 9/11 affected them, or how they are inspired by this post and video to step up and commit letting their own inner hero loose. For those of us who lived through 9/11/2001, the world was forever changed. But we have it within ourselves to continue that change, embracing the spirit of self-sacrifice that made us proud to be Americans, to make a positive difference in our communities today.

Are you going to step up to the challenge?