This week on #USABizParty, we discussed how to promote your book to reach your ideal audience.
This week on #USABizParty, we discussed how to promote your book to reach your ideal audience.
Sue has a conversation with Anna Scheller of USABizparty about the importance of good editing, and some resources to get it done.
Word of mouth is the best marketing you can get—if, like free, it’s done right.
What are you doing to help your fans share your books? Do you teach them what to say, so they’re doing real marketing? If they’re just saying “This is a good book” that’s not marketing, it’s just talk. They need your guidance.
Craft a message simple enough for them to say repeat; something like my fans would say about my first mystery: “Joel’s book is like meeting someone you love for a laugh and a pint at the pub.” Folks hear that, and they’re hooked (or repelled, which is also fine.)
And they won’t say it if I don’t constantly remind them (staying well this side of pushy.)
Maybe you’re already giving your fans lots of information. Are you giving them one single sentence they can say? Less is better.
Hand someone a marketing sheet and a handful of business cards and they’ll take them to be polite, but don’t think they’ll really do anything with it. How much time do you spend handing out other people’s business cards for them?
Word of mouth works like this: we develop trust over time. You like my book, and you like me enough to talk about my book. I repeat the same phrase or sentence so often that it’s what comes to your mind when you talk about my book. I remind you once in a while that when you talk about my book, it’s the best thing possible for my life as an author.
If you’re not building trust first, then repeating that one sentence so your fans will memorize it simply by osmosis, you’re not generating word of mouth.
You’re simply trying to hire a free sales team.
This article was originally published at SomedayBox.com and reprinted here with permission. https://somedaybox.com/if-you-want-word-of-mouth-to-work-you-have-to-teach-your-fans-how/
We’re taught, from the time we become consumers at the age of 2 or 3, how marketing is obnoxious and annoying, and that’s all we experience. Because when it is otherwise, when it is kind, polite, unobtrusive, considerate, and helpful, we don’t think of it as marketing so we never learn to adjust our view.
Here’s permission to adjust your view of your newsletter, and marketing in general. The whole point is to politely share news which will be of interest to people who’ve explicitly told you they find you interesting.We’re taught from the age of 2 or 3 that marketing is obnoxious and annoying. When it is kind, polite, unobtrusive, considerate, and helpful, we don’t think of it as marketing so we never learn to adjust our view. Click To Tweet
That’s an important part: people who’ve explicitly told you they find you interesting.
Consider: if a young woman approached a young man and said “Chase me, please; I won’t run very fast,” would he dither and wonder how best to go about this dance? I daresay he’d not delay in his pursuit.
When people sign up for a newsletter, you’ve invited them for a meal. Not sending anything is the equivalent of hiding in the basement while they sit at an empty table. Eventually, their eager anticipation will turn to antipathy.
The people on your newsletter email list are saying “I’m on board, I’m interested, I want to know what’s next. Please tell me.” Use your hosting urges to feed them well. You’ll love it, I promise.
Imagine one of them bumped into you at the coffee shop, and asked if they could sit with you for a moment. What’s one question they might ask about you, or your writing, or your books, or your plans? Write that answer, short and sweet, as if you were chatting with a good friend.
It takes 5 minutes to create a Hubspot account. It takes 5 more to choose a template and get things set up. Another 5 to write a simple email about where you are in your latest book or what you’re facing in your marketing or business, your work in progress or current challenge. You don’t even need an answer. A question, clearly stated, is enough.
Your newsletter doesn’t have to be any longer than a comment on a blog or a social media post. How long does that take? How hard is it to pour out your feelings in that medium?
Do that once a month and your fans will fall in love with you. All they want is to be noticed by the author they’re following.
I once surveyed all the authors I knew about what they wanted most for their writing.
The universal response was “Someone to do my marketing for me.”
I considered setting up an affordable and effective marketing service and then trying to sell it to all those people, but that’d be like Henry Ford giving us faster horses.
What authors really want is a way to spend more time writing and less time marketing, yet still sell books. And if possible, to do it without hating themselves in the morning. Or being hated by everyone around them.
I’ll state my premise up front: the way to do that is follow these two steps:
Authors who write more good books sell more books.
Authors with a newsletter email list full of fans sell more books.
And they do it with less marketing, more writing.
Everybody loves a step-by-step to get reliable repeatable results. A checklist for success.
The thinking is, if only we could find exactly the right time of day to tweet, the precise number of blog posts to write each week, the perfect balance of Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and Kobo, and just the right book launch strategy, everything would fall into place.
There’s good news, and there’s bad news.
Marketing is easy: tell people who love books like yours that you’ve written one.
I don’t know who those people are. Neither do you.
You can find out who those people are by watching them sign up for your newsletter. A newsletter list of people who signed up because they care is the Golden Ticket, the brass ring, the Holy Grail.
So here’s the one-step magical formula for marketing your books: tell your newsletter list about it.
If you wish you didn’t have to spend so much time marketing, you hate marketing, why do you have to sell yourself for pity’s sake what’s with all the marketing I just want to write, here’s some more good news: building your newsletter is the organic result of making personal connections with people.
It’s slow. It’s not guaranteed. It involves interacting with other human beings, something many authors are unaccustomed to.
But it’s relatively easy, it won’t interfere with your writing, or anything else in your life, and it doesn’t require skills beyond what you already have. You’re probably already spending more time on social media than it requires.
Here’s how it works (wherein we finally get that list you’ve been looking for.)
Everything you do to market yourself (yourself, not your books) leads folks to your newsletter. Here’s how it works:
Swap in any social media platforms (Pinterest, LinkedIn) because mostly, it doesn’t matter. Go where your people are. Or, be where you already are, and connect with your people who are also there. 7 billion people on the planet. Finding people is not hard. Narrowing your focus is hard.
Go forth and be generous and patient. People will follow you home. Slowly. But they will.
And when they fall in love with your writing, the hard part is done and the marketing becomes dead simple: tell them you’ve written another book.
Another ubiquitous question. For your author newsletter, I say yes, yes, a thousand times yes. The best way to let visitors become fans, to fall in love with your writing, is to give them some of it, like a sample in the grocery store will have you scrambling to the aisle where you can pick up some of that coconut cherry almond fudge you just sampled.
Generosity is your greatest marketing tool. Don’t use it sparingly; spread it around like manure (or, perhaps, coconut cherry almond fudge) and watch things grow.
Generosity and free aren’t the same thing. Generous can include over-delivering on what you were paid to do. I’ve had generous helpings of fish at our favorite chippy in St. Paul. Paid for, but still generous. When you hire me to help with your writing and publishing, generosity will be ladled over you like gravy. Good white gravy like we make in Texas for your sausage and biscuits; that kind of generous.
A newsletter is your inner circle, the folks who’ve said the blog and other social media aren’t enough, I want more.
What smart marketing person could miss the fact that these are the folks most likely to spend real live money on other things you offer?
It’s about context. A free sample doesn’t lead anyone to believe the product is free as well. If I give away my first mystery in a series to get folks hooked, they don’t believe they can have all the others free.
While this form of list-growing is slow, it’s oak-strong. Most of the folks on my list are people I interacted with personally before they signed up. I taught them something, and explicitly or not, let them know I had a newsletter.
My personal approach gives me open rates 3X more than the average. My small list engages.
We are not the Persians with an army of millions, coming to take Greece. We are the Spartans, defending the pass. Small, focused, changing the world so it won’t change us.
Want to spend your time writing instead of marketing?
It’s a one-item list:
Make good use of a newsletter.
Just a quick note that Sue has added a new service: a Media Room Page for your website. Check it out.