Category Archives: Marketing

Marketing: Having a Cause

As an author, having a cause or charity that you support is both noble and marketable. It’s a way to support something you believe in, and help your community. And even though I know a lot of authors will donate their royalties towards a specific cause, in most cases, it doesn’t hurt overall book sales. It’s a great way to get your name out there in different circles, to people who believe in helping the same cause. It can also help your self-esteem and make you feel good about yourself for doing the right thing.

Jim C. Hines writes in his blog about having more awareness about rape and sexual abuse issues: http://www.jimchines.com. Brenda Novak does a fundraiser for juvenile diabetes: http://www.brendanovak.com/for-the-cure-2/. Both are people who have a cause they support and donate to, who happen to be authors.

Jim had a friend who was sexually assaulted. It’s something he doesn’t want to see happen to anyone–with good reason. Sexual abuse is a huge problem in today’s world. Helping others to get educated on the subject and be more aware is very dear to his heart. He’s broadened a lot of minds, including my own, with his unique approach.

Brenda’s son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes as a young child. As a mother myself, I understand the desire and willingness to do anything and everything to protect your child. Brenda did what any mother would do when faced with a challenge out of her control. She brainstormed. As of today, she’s raised well over $2 million towards research for a cure.

These authors are just two examples of people doing good by their writing. They’re raising awareness for a cause they believe in, and in doing so, they’re helping their community. Has their audience for their own books increased because of it? Maybe. The important thing here is that they’re doing what they can to help this world be a better place.

For myself, I have several charities I support.

Michael and Brittiany in 2007 at Red Smith SchoolMy church, the local no-kill animal shelter, and raising awareness for psoriatic arthritis, an arthritis many people still don’t know exists. It’s a disease my husband has been living with for close to twenty years, and I’m hopeful someday he’ll have a pain-free day. To learn more about this autoimmune disease, go to: https://www.psoriasis.org/psoriatic-arthritis.

So, when you’re marketing your next book, be more creative. Don’t think about the “Buy My Book” posts that need to be created for your new release. Think about who you are as a person and who you want to be. Think about those you’d like to help. Think about what you really care about in your life. Think about the needs of your family, friends, and community, and let things happen naturally.

 

Picture of Brittiany and Michael Koren © copyright 2015 by the Koren family.

Marketing Your Books To A Larger Audience

How are you marketing your books? What are you doing to grow your audience? Here’s a few tips that might get you thinking in a new direction! Good luck!

1)      Networking Your Sales Team: Every writer has a sales team. Figuring out who your best sales people are is the trick. Here’s some examples of where you might find them.

  1. Social Media friends and acquaintances
  2. Personal Family, Friends, & Co-workers
  3. Writers Organizations and Critique Groups

2)      Posting on Social Media Sites: What are you posting on Social Media sites? Buy my book? Or, this is who I am and these are my books? These examples help to market you and your books.

  1. New releases coming soon
  2. Summary of individual books
  3. Talk about links on your website
  4. Share an author bio
  5. Pictures of what you find interesting
  6. Book Covers
  7. Info on Appearances/Conferences.
  8. Character interview
  9. Tips on writing
  10. Guest writers or other professionals on your blog
  11. Links to where your books can be purchased

3)      Promoting Yourself at Community Events: Meet new people and talk about what it’s like to be a writer. Pair up with other local authors to cross-promote one another.

  1. Talk with independent book store owners & librarians (ask them to add you to their event newsletter, if they have one and willing to)
  2. Readings/book signings
  3. Presentation for the local writer’s group or book club
  4. Donate books to the book store/library
  5. Presentations/Readings at University & High School libraries or in the classroom
  6. Presentations/Readings at Senior Citizen Centers/Wellness Centers/Community Events/Church Events

4)      Use Promotional Materials that have your book title, book series, or your author name on them: Why? Because people will remember you if they’re holding something with your book title or name on it. It’s also a great way to get new readers unintentionally. Think–useful items.

  1. Book marks
  2. Bumper stickers
  3. Magnets
  4. Tote bags
  5. T-shirts
  6. Pens
  7. Coffee Mugs

5)        Mailings: Again, be creative in how you contact your fan base. If you’re sending out an e-newsletter, have tips other people would like to learn or fun facts about your books or characters.

  1. Newsletters and E-Newsletters
  2. Postcards
  3. Fan letters
  4. Mass E-mails

6) Traditional Media Marketing: Use an old idea and make it new–by promoting who you are and your book(s) locally and nationally.

  1. Interviews on: radio, television, newspaper and blogs
  2. Commercials/Ads on radio, television, newspaper, streaming radio, and billboards
  3. Live Broadcasts at an event

Of course this isn’t a complete list, but it’s a good start. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box when thinking of how to market your books. There are readers just waiting to discover your stories!

Writer’s Wednesday: Award-winning Author L.C. Hayden on Promotion

I invited L.C. Hayden to be our guest today because I’ve always been fascinated by her unique way of promotion. This is just one way to think outside the box when marketing your books. Please help me in welcoming L.C. Hayden to The Editing Essentials!

L. C. Hayden is the creator of the award winning Harry Bronson Mystery Series. Critics are hailing her latest release When the Past Haunts You as the best mystery of 2012. This February, the book was nominated for the 2013 Watson Award and hit the Number 2 Kindle Police Procedural Best Seller spot.

Visit her website at www.lchayden.com and check out her books at www.tinyurl.com/LCHayden. She invites you to be her Facebook friend at Lc Hayden and Tweet her @LCHayden1.

Cruising and Promoting

I’m lucky.

I’ve done over fifteen cruises. I’ve been to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, the Mediterranean, and others. Most, more than once.

“That means you’re rich,” you say.

“Nope. I’m just doing my job.”

“Wait! You get paid to go on these cruises?”

Yep. I’ve been contacted by Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Princess Cruise Lines to do writing presentations during their days at sea. They want and expect forty-five minute power point presentations that are both amusing and informative. That’s followed by a fifteen minute signing section.

That’s it. That’s my entire job. I’ve done as few as two presentations during a sixteen day cruise and as many as eight. It all depends on the number of days at sea.

There’s a set of guidelines I’m expected to follow, but they are all common sense rules. I’m not allowed to wear short-shorts. I can’t sit at the bar and drink. I can’t gamble or participate in any games where I can win, such as bingo. I’m not allowed to mention other cruise lines or seat up front at any of the cruises’ shows.

In return, I and my guest of choice receive a free cruise, discounts at the ship’s stores, photograph discounts, and more often than not, cruise excursion discounts. One of the ship’s stores carries and sells my books. At the end of each cruise, I pick up my check.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?  It is. I love cruising all over the world and promoting my books at the same time. Some of my most faithful followers are those I met at one of these cruises. So how did I land such a lucrative job?

By pure luck. Someone heard me speak, and he (she?) recommended me to the person who hires for the cruise lines. They called and the interview lasted for a bit over three hours. At the end of the conversation, they said they’d send me to the Caribbean on a five day trial basis.

During those presentations, I had everyone from the captain to the cruise director to the bar attendant to the . . . well, you get the idea. Everyone was there to evaluate me. I must have passed because soon after that, I was sent on longer more exotic cruises. I average one or two cruises a year.

I’m now to the point where people are e-mailing me, asking when and where I’ll do the next cruise so that they can join me. Unfortunately, most of the time, I can’t tell them simply because I don’t know. Sometimes the company calls me one or two months ahead of time. Although it hasn’t happened to me, they might even give you a week’s notice.

I have such fond memories of these cruises. I remember one time in Tahiti I saw a gorgeous necklace made of sea shells and macramé. The natives sold it for $20. I thought that was a bit too expensive for macramé and sea shells so I passed it up.

Soon as I got back to the ship, I regretted my decision. But much to my heart’s content, the next island also sold them, and they were charging only $18. I whipped out my credit card only to be told that they didn’t accept credit cards.

I dashed to look for my husband—my walking cash machine. By the time I returned, they were sold out.

At the next island, I was prepared. The natives sold theirs for $15. I bought it and proudly wore my unique necklace for the rest of the cruise. When we got home, I went to Walmart to buy some milk. I got the milk and noticed that the store sold the same unique necklaces for $4.99.

Sigh.

While in Barcelona my husband and I walked Las Rambles, a mile long street filled with museums, eateries, parks, and stores. I wanted to take some pictures of Spain’s outstanding architecture, so we deviated one block away from the path. The visual site rewarded me with early European structures. Fascination filled me as I snapped picture after picture. I was so involved with the task at hand, I failed to notice the group of ladies who had gathered across the street.

My attention riveted toward them when one of them threw an unopened orange Fanta toward my feet. The can burst as it collided with the pavement. I distinctly heard them chanting, “No pictures. No pictures.” Then it dawned on me. We had wandered into the Red Light District.

Ooops!

Then there’s the time I decided to shoot some rapids in Huatulco. I love the feel of gently floating down a peaceful river and a size two rapid is nothing more than gentle moving water with a bump here and there. But as it turned out, the rapids were really four’s and five’s. Afterwards, I asked our guide about it, after all, we had been promised one’s and two’s.

He shrugged. “What can I say? It rained.”

Okay.

There’s so many more misadventures I could share, but space is limited. All I can say is that I’m so thankful that I’ve landed this oh, so tough job—but hey somebody’s got to do it.

Thank you, L.C., for joining us today! Feel free to post an questions or comments for her on how she promotes her books. She’ll be with us all day. Thank you!