These days, it’s important for any business to maintain a presence on social media, but when it comes to authors in particular, I believe that being active on book marketing sites and GoodReads is more cost-effective and a better use of your time if wanting to connect with readers and selling more books. One of my preferred strategies for generating book reviews, building a buzz, and converting readers into fans and buying customers is to host a GoodReads Giveaway. Read more…
Over the past few months, I’ve been asked (and tested) by many clients to answer this question. And although the answer is not as cut and dry as most would hope, the truth is more and more literary agents are opening their doors to the self-published community. This comes as no surprise with all the success stories posted online about how one author turned his self-published ebook into a best-seller, but it still doesn’t resolve the question.
In my pursuit for more knowledge and bettering the services we offer clients, I’m tickled pink to declare we’ve scheduled interviews with two top literary agents in New York (that offer representation of self-published writers) to throw more light on this subject. Don’t forget to check get back later in the month – we’ll post their Q&A sessions.
In the meantime, since we promote many self-published authors, I will share two areas you should be working to improve, that can facilitate selling more books and getting consideration from agents.
- Amazon and Goodreads Reviews: I know I’ve said this in earlier posts, but I’ll say it once more. The more reviews you have on these two sites, the better your rankings will be. Take advantage of Amazon’s Free eBook Promotions or Goodreads Book Giveaway in the beginning. People tend to follow others, and the more people who hear about your book, the better your sales will be. Great rankings are impressive and agents view these sources before deciding if they will invest in an author.
- Author/Book Promotions: Most self-published authors are confused where to put their time wisely or they haven’t yet put aside a marketing budget. While a national book tour or promotion campaign may fall outside of what you can afford to do, you will need a firm presence on Facebook, Twitter and especially Goodreads. There’s also a difference between standard website design and author websites. Before going off on your own author campaign or creating your own website, consult someone who knows your category and the publishing industry. It’s critical for authors to interact with others and their target readership, and having a creative plan and PR strategy first, packs a powerful punch in the final stages. Literary agents will also ascertain your previous marketing efforts.
For more information about our administrative, marketing, and creative services for Authors and Speakers – schedule your free 30-minute consultation today.
Of all the PR and promotional strategies we use to promote our Author and Speaker clients, booking internet radio interviews is my top favorite approach. Internet radio makes it easy for us to reach a broader audience, and with many shows that interview guests in all different niches, it is very effective for aligning our clients with the right fan base.
My favorite internet radio platform and the one we use to promote our clients is Blog Talk Radio (BTR). BTR has provided us an excellent opportunity to promote our clients’ books, e-courses, and knowledge in specific areas or expertise. As opposed to paying for scripted radio spots that rarely convey enough substance to connect with your audience on a personal level, interviews on BTR are featured spots, more personal, and completely free to conduct. Interviews can run anywhere from 30 minutes up to an hour. Read more…
Getting your book into libraries is a great move for any author, but it’s not as straight-forward as you would think. Two important steps in the process (that I also advise my clients on) is understanding how libraries purchase their books and what is the best way to approach them/sell your book.
How Libraries Purchase Books:
Collection Development is the process of selecting books and other materials for the library. The Librarians who specialize in this area are called Collection Development Librarians or Collection Managers. As with any company or product, purchasing decisions are majorly based on product reviews. The same decision-making process is applied to purchasing books. For sourcing books, Librarians turn to major book review journals and are also influenced by consumer demand or requests made by library visitors. A Librarian can also get ideas for future book purchases from flyers or book sell sheets they receive by mail, attending library trade shows, and searching online stores and communities such as Amazon and GoodReads. Before you begin the library submission process, Read more…
While some consider book sell sheets to be unnecessary these days to promote a book and is an old fashioned method of promotion, I couldn’t disagree more. I can bear this direction of thinking if the slumping sales of paperbacks are the reason (as the publishing houses no longer in business used them), but most of the time the former ways of doing something are those that are proven with experience and the newer ways are yet to be determined. Grounded on this alone, I believe book sell sheets are an industry standard we should not forget about.
In my 3 years of experience working with authors, developing cost-effective book marketing plans, and writing my new eBook Book Marketing & Publicity: A Strategic and Effective Marketing Campaign Any Author Can Implement – I have come to determine there are limited opportunities where an author can promote their book for free or talk around it. At some stage, Read more…
When I first started working with Authors, Speakers and Coaches to source good speaking gigs; it felt just as hard as finding a needle in a haystack. As discouraging as it was at times, luckily I stayed focused and within a year, I am now able to streamline the process for my clients. If asking me “How does one go about finding viable leads for speaking engagements?”, below are my “Top 5 Techniques” to finding good contacts and getting yourself booked!
1. Define Your Niche: I can’t stress how important it is to find your niche early on. It’s not only important for your success, but it’s an integral part of marketing and representation process. How will any organization or industry know your value or worth, if you haven’t set yourself apart? By defining a clear niche immediately, you are making significant strides to becoming an expert in your field.
2. Define Your Target Audience: If you want to be hired and paid for speaking engagements and you’ve already established yourself as an expert in your field, you need to define your target audience. For example, if you are an Online Business Coach and work with Mompreneurs; you will need to target specific women’s organizations, networks, and groups. Technical associations can also be your target if helping these women to succeed in their online business.
3. Free Speaking Engagements: If you are not a paid speaker yet, but want to start earning money for the valuable advice you bestow; you need to start somewhere. There are great places locally and within your community that will help you build your roster. Check your local libraries, schools, Kiwanis, Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, and Rotary clubs. Get involved or become a member. Most likely these associations and contacts will lead to a paid gig down the road.
4. Social Media Groups & Communities: Many gigs I’ve secured for clients have resulted from being active in groups and communities on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. These social media platforms have many valuable business networks where information is passed back and forth. There are information seekers and information providers. People can pose questions and experts can provide their advice. Social media is a great place for establishing yourself as expert in your field. Research groups and communities where you would find your target audience as well as industry related networks where other business professionals could use your expertise to share with their connections. Stay active and be consistent. Over time, the exposure will build.
5. Speaker Directories: In addition to researching gigs or creating your own speaker series, getting found online can be expensive and time consuming. The good news is there are websites that list speakers for free and that charge for listings. Event and Meeting planners will often go to these directories looking for a speaker on a certain topic. I prefer the directories that take the guess work out by providing “by program”, “by budget” or “by genre” directories. Here is one of many directories I use and recommend for my Author, Speaker and Coaching clients: http://www.speakermatch.com
If you seek assistance with securing speaking engagements, establishing yourself as an expert in your field online, or you need a Speaker Media Kit that clearly defines you and your brand – please contact Michelle Anastasio for your free 30-Minute Consultation.
As an Author, wouldn’t you rather be writing than marketing and promoting your book? You can if working with an experienced Virtual Assistant. There are a plethora of marketing and PR agencies out there that will book you — and if you have the funds, by all means, move forward.
But what are the alternatives if you’re promoting your book on a tight budget? There is always the “free” option to become something you are not; the type A personality that thrives on being their own marketer, brander, web designer, event planner, spokesperson and social media expert. In my opinion, working on marketing and promotions is not time spent on writing. If writing is your passion and your business plan for paying the bills, is this option really free or cost-effective in the long run?