Guest post by Angela Page
When a small press published my first book I was thrilled. While I knew I would need to do marketing, I wasn’t prepared that the publisher would do NO publicity at all. So I swung into action. It felt like I had self-published with no support or guidance from anyone at first.
And the kicker was even when my first book won two awards within 4 months after release, the publisher didn’t move a muscle!
While I was grateful this small press took a chance on me, I would have liked some air cover. I should have had Alinka’s How I Sold 80,00 Books to guide me.
I made reviews a priority. I shared the book FB page across my contacts and groups. I produced an animated book trailer that has more hits today than the book FB page! I subscribed to sites that offer reviewers contact info. I built a book website and had a book signing where only two people showed besides my family. But I missed many opportunities and was not organized.
My first book was mixed genres, romance and humor. It had a controversial subject involving dead people in a celestial support group. There were angels arguing and trashing each other. The language offended some reader’s, as did my irreverent take on heaven. My question, ‘How do you know angels don’t talk this way?’
A New Approach
In retrospect I should have published my second book first. My new book is potentially highly commercial and has a larger audience: baby boomers and singles. I would highly recommend considering this strategy as an unpublished author. Make sure your work has a wide audience hungry for something new.
While I feel you want to publish your passion projects, I would suggest assessing their market potential. After you successfully publish once, you can probably write what the heck you want.
So once you identify your target audience, find out where they hang out physically and virtually. How are you going to get the word out? Look at other success stories in your genre. How do they market their books?
For my new book, I followed Alinka’s How I Sold 80,000 Books strategies, and created an Excel spread sheet with timelines for her online and offline marketing suggestions. I have tabs for online/print media, radio/podcasts, Reviewers, blogs, events, and contests.
Then separately list your actions and dates:
– 30-60 days prior to release
– 10 days prior
– Release date
– Post release
– Promo pricing period (1-2 weeks after release and after at least 5 reviews)
Revisit all your outlets regularly. Tweak your message and marketing materials. As you get rave reviews, do author interviews and blog postings, shout them out!
For offline activities, listed under events, such as book signings, talks, book clubs panels, there may be long lead times so constantly check for opportunities.
You never know when some organization needs a last minute speaker.
It’s also critical to track your spending, so create a budget and track costs.
Twitter, email, FB, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin are free, use them. Don’t forget Meetups, which has book clubs in your area. Also network with other authors in your genre, and get advice on where best to invest your time and money. There are many free sites, bloggers and reviewers, podcasts that would be happy to mention and/or review your book.
So now I’m into guerrilla marketing and more comfortable with reaching out to media, reviewers, bloggers and influencers. Already, in advance of release, I have a dozen reviews, book excerpt on a major site, booked 2 radio interviews and a local bookstore placement.
I believe I have an entertaining book to sell and I’m aiming high. I also believe Alinka’s strategies in, How I Sold 80,000 Books are going to help me get there and soon!
Angela Page is an award-winning writer and producer. Her first novel, the comic romance, Matched in Heaven received the 2015 New Apple Literary award for humor and the 2016 Reader’s Views finalist in romance. Her short comedy, Unplugging Aunt Vera, won awards in film festivals across the U.S. and abroad. She works with the digital production group, Nightpantz, where her most recent release, Homestead Loves Mulch was featured on Funny or Die, and Comedy Cake. Her new release Suddenly Single Sylvia, a novella and dating guide, is an August 2017 release. In addition, she has worked in finance for Microsoft and Honeywell as a global “lady collector.” She divides her time between Boca Raton and Los Angeles.
Connect with Angela at www.angelapage.net
Great article and advice! As someone smarter than me once kinda sorta said.
“Promotion. Aye. That’s the rub.” : )
Martha Warriner Jarrett says
Right on point! I published my passion project first – a memoir called “A Rough Season” about my experiences after testing HIV+ at age 70. Friends and family have loved it but I’m having trouble with building a wider audience. Obviously, not that many people are interested in my life and experiences, even though I feel the book carries an important message – Get Tested! Next time, I’ll follow Alinka’s advice.
Sharon Bailhe’ says
My ebook & book is on Amazon . The Great Dane & Little Turtle, a cooking adventure by Sharon Bailhe’
I earn $5.00 on my 425 page book & $1.00 I’m my ebook. How can I change that?
alinka rutkowska says
Are you the publisher?
Cary Richards says
It’s getting harder and harder to rise above the noise in Self-Publishing. If I was going to start over I’d have a least three books written and then take six months to build my audience (E-mail and Social) Utilizing a couple of the books as giveaways, then, and only then would I launch my first book for sale.