Terry Kay was the keynote speaker and as always he was personable, entertaining and informative. He has a no-nonsense approach to writing that I love. I've written about his suggestions before when he was the keynote speaker at the Georgia Council on Teachers of English conference. I learn something new every time I hear him.
Ten Ways to Market Your Book
There were lots of workshops designed to teach the craft of writing, to learn about different genres of writing and to learn about publishing your work. My focus however was to attend every workshop that I could on marketing already published work. Consequently some of the workshops I attended were: Renea Winchester who has written Stress-Free Marketing, Steve Miller who has published Sell More Books! and Bobbi Kornblit who spoke on From Author to Book Marketeer. I learned more than I can reasonably write about in this post but here are the top ten suggestions I plan to implement myself:
- Determine the unique selling point for your book. I've written about his before but it's such an essential part of selling. Every author needs to determine what is unique about their book and who is the audience that will want to buy it. Then market to that audience. Don't waste your time trying to sell to everyone.
- Think service over "shameless self-promotion". This was Steve Miller's suggestion and I've written about this mindset before. Anyone who thinks they can't sell something is working from the wrong mindset. Identify how your book can help or serve others and then share that.
- Go local. Think about the setting of your book, the topic of your book, the characters in your book and then look for local venues to promote the book. Miller gave the example of a book written about snake-handlers that an be found in gift shops around Chattanooga Tennessee. Since that is the locale where the book takes place it is a natural environment to sell the book.
- Go where people already gather rather than trying to gather people around you. This means interacting on high traffic blogs where other people are already discussing the topic of your book, attending events related to your book or joining clubs and associations that are relevant.
- Word of mouth is everything and developing interest through book clubs was mentioned by more than one presenter. Send a copy or an excerpt of your book to the president of the book club and offer to visit one of their meetings.
- Give stuff away. If your book is digital (and it should be) you can have promotions and give away the whole book for free for a period of time. Always have copies of your book available and give them away. On your website or blog give away the first chapter or have contests to give away a book to a someone who comments.
- Consider specialty platforms. Kornblit's book is set in Dallas, Texas during the '60's when JFK was assassinated. Since this year is the 50th anniversary of his death, she is promoting this historical aspect of the book and speaking at numerous events commemorating this.
- Create an event rather than a book-signing at a bookstore. For example, Kornblit has had book signings at stores that sell fancy Texan boots.
- Look for local radio and tv stations that need one-on-one interviews for their expert segments and let them know you are available.
- Develop a relationship with a non-profit and give away a portion of the sales to the organization. Donate a book or a basket of goodies which includes the book for a silent auction. As part of the giveaway have flyers and bookmarks available for everyone.
These are just a few of the ideas that were shared at the conference and I hope you find them as helpful as I have!
Want to hear me sharing my success story on Dan Miller's most recent podcast? Check it out here:
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