Thousands of new books are published every day. That’s right, thousands! So how does your book get noticed?
Communication is key. I’ve always believed that communication is the most important skill to have in business–and in everything we do to market our businesses–and our books.
Since you don’t have time to effectively communicate with your audience on every social media platform there is, it’s important to communicate regularly on one or two. Share posts that encourage communication–asking and answering questions.
When you build a relationship with your audience, they will be much more likely to notice and buy your book, and to tell others about it. Books sell by word of mouth and this happens when you build relationships and communicate with your readers.
Continue building your reader base with a newsletter list. Communicate regularly with your list, sharing insights into your writing and what you’re doing, making them feel special and important.
Your goal is not to find the next buyer.
Your goal is to create the next reader who will come back for your next book, and will tell others.
Media people receive hundreds of pitches daily via email. Yours needs to stand out if you hope to get any response. Here are a few tips for pitching to the media:
Address the person by name. If you don’t have a specific name, find one. Do your research on their website or give them a call to find the right person to send your pitch to. Find out what kinds of stories they like to cover so you can tailor your pitch to what interests them.
The first thing they’ll see in your email is the subject line. A clear, concise subject line is important. Never use all caps or exclamation points.
Keep your email short and to the point. Explain what you are pitching and why. Pitch a story–not your book. Your story needs to be newsworthy. What current events or trends can you tie in?
If you have a press release, don’t attach it since files can contain viruses and this may prevent the media person from opening your email. Instead include a link to where they can read it online.
End with a clear call to action: what you want, and why they should reply.
Be sure to include your full contact information in your email signature–name, phone, email, and website. Consider including your social media sites as well so the media person can do their research on you.
Don’t send the same pitch twice to the same media outlet. If they didn’t respond the first time, they will just be annoyed that you sent it again.
Our final social media paint-by-numbers article is my own. Hubspot’s report does not include LinkedIn, but we encourage all nonfiction authors to have a presence and get involved.
The business slant of LinkedIn means users focus on Communicating and Bridging. There is very little ‘warm and fuzzy’ going on here.
Posts and articles not only teach readers, they invite them to connect, and to share what they find valuable with others.
The business focus facilitates networking and creates an atmosphere conducive to open discussion, with you, and with other commenters.
What to Do
Teach. Write posts and articles that highlight your expertise.
Promote others. Share content you find interesting and helpful.
Comment. Engage with the community as an active member.
What NOT to Do
Don’t pitch. LinkedIn groups frown on hit and run tactics, on a hard sell, on self-promotion. People here are actively looking for good information and connections. Share good information, be a good connection, and they will seek you out.
Don’t get silly. Treat LinkedIn like you’d treat a business networking event. Have fun, but no cat videos or pointless jokes.
Many clients I’ve worked with want help with grammar, proofreading and editing. They ask me to pay attention to details. They are tired of working with virtual assistants who let correspondence and emails go out with spelling and grammar errors.
Make sure you proofread anything you do for clients for correct spelling and grammar. If writing is not your expertise, don’t market yourself as a writer. If at all possible, ask someone else to proofread for you. Another set of eyes never hurts.
We all have our favorite method of communication. Mine is email. One friend rarely emails more than three words, but will stay on the phone as long as I’m willing to.
Just like we don’t get to choose how we’re perceived by others, we can’t successfully shove people into our communication method. A prospect who emails should get an email, not a phone call, in return. While the email should be sent off just as quickly as you’d answer the phone (email-oriented types tend to expect email to be almost real-time) a phone call response to an email can feel pressuring and invasive.
On the other hand, if someone leaves you a voicemail, or you’re following up on a phone call, use the phone; email will seem impersonal to phone-oriented communicators. Email always sounds a bit less friendly than you write it; write a friendly message and it sounds flat and direct; write something that’s flat and direct, and it sounds angry and rude—especially to someone accustomed to the warmth and instantaneous reaction of a human voice.
And, yes, if someone writes you a letter, you write a letter. Even further, if they hand wrote their letter, do the same.
Be what people expect, not what you’re used to being.
**This is an excerpt from The Commonsense Virtual Assistant – Becoming an Entrepreneur, Not an Employee by Joel D and Sue Canfield. Get a copy from Amazon here.