Deborah Riley-Magnus, Writeaholic

December 12, 2013

MARKETING ME! TEN TIPS FOR MARKETING THE AUTHOR … THE PRODUCT BEHIND THE PRODUCT

Golden Olden Days 1Back in the golden olden days, big publishers handled authors like movie stars, and dealt with their publicity and marketing with savvy and boatloads of cash. Authors never had to worry about where to go or what to say to get news about their book out to the public. It was all done for them. Publicists and promotional teams provided itineraries and scripts for their authors.

We no longer have this kind of guidance, and few have the funds to hire publicists and promotional experts. These days, authors are responsible for taking ownership of their own marketing, whether they’ve self-published, contracted with a small or mid-sized publisher, or signed with one of the big boys. It’s just the way of the world.

Confused 1When I talk with authors all over the country, I hear the same question. Am I marketing myself, or am I marketing my book?  The implications of this question vary depending on the author. Some feel a need to be secretive and unapproachable, while others believe that their book is the only thing worth talking about. Still others feel they have the responsibility to share their opinions (well thought out or not) at every turn. Opinions are good and often valid, but does this action serve you and your career?

Let’s make this simple.

Yes, you MUST market yourself … and you must market yourself in the best way possible in order to build a successful career as an author. There are ten basic rules to always remember, and they stem from those simple lessons we learned in nursery school.

Be seen 1BE SEEN – Be sure your website and blog is polished and updated regularly. Be visible for a few minutes every day on your social networks like twitter and Facebook. Notice I said a few minutes, not hours. Make it fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the afternoon and that will be enough. Talk about your book’s unique story hooks and connect with your prospective book buyers and fans. Don’t hide, be seen.

Be availableBE AVAILABLE – Participate when your writing group needs you. Get involved with groups and organizations – live and online – that connect with the interesting things inside your book. Be available to speak or sign books when asked by the local gardeners club, or the neighborhood women’s club as well as the book clubs and traditional genre fan clubs. When the local gardeners club, or any group that connects with the unique hooks inside your book, is running a charity event, volunteer to help. Be available.

 

Be Caareful BE CAREFUL – Remember, enthusiasm is great and your opinion is valid, but don’t overstep your boundaries. Protect your work by keeping your little secrets, but be careful to keep another author’s little secrets too. Think before your speak, tweet, Facebook, or email.

 

Be PoliteBE POLITE – Always and everywhere, be polite and appropriate. Just because people on twitter have never met you, doesn’t mean they won’t remember if you’re impolite or unkind … or that they won’t pass the word. Being polite always pays off in the long run.

 

Be Better than Good 2BE BETTER THAN GOOD – As an author, as a marketing person, and as a human being, it’s best to know your weaknesses and seek improvement. Setting your ego aside and striving for improvement with your craft and your image, is often the catalyst for gaining great respect in any industry.

 

Be ObservantBE OBSERVANT – Know what’s going on in your writing group or your unique story hook community. Know what’s happening in the publishing industry, which changes almost daily. Keep your ears tuned in to shifts in the market. If your fan base is shrinking or expanding, you’ll know how to market to that audience for your next book. Even if your last book was a great success, without being aware of market shifts, you could be caught with your hands deep in your own empty pockets with the next book. Always look ahead and read the market predictions for book pricing, genre interest, and industry standard shifts.  Be well informed. It’s a big part of marketing yourself as an intelligent author, as well as a great storyteller.

Be CuriousBE CURIOUS – Ask questions when you can. If you get an opportunity to speak with a successful author, a literary agent, or a publisher, use the time wisely. Ask intelligent questions, and then think the answers through carefully. This is how to guide your career to the places you want. Listen, learn, and always consider the sources. Are they bias? Are they really answering your question, or guiding your mind elsewhere? Is that online resource always reliable? You’re smarter that you think. You’ll learn what you need, and discard the unimportant information. Your common sense is a stellar tool.

Be Professional, 1BE PROFESSIONAL – Always be professional. Be careful what you say and do, people are watching. Take pride in being an author and all of your accomplishments. Hold your head high and do what the real professionals do … turn negatives into positives, and focus on your goals.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABE SUCCESSFUL – Be successful every step of the way along your career. Even failures teach you something important about getting where you want to go. Complaining and pointing fingers, even if the accusations are valid, doesn’t appear professional to those watching. Slice the negatives from your life and move ahead, knowing you’re doing the writing and marketing work required to meet your goals. It’s a no-brainer.

 

Be Helpful, 1BE HELPFUL – Pay it forward in a good way. So many teachers, writers, authors, editors, beta readers, organizations, fans, and friends have helped you get where you are. Reach back and give another writer a hand up. Give them a chance to shine.

 

That’s how to market yourself well! You’re the product behind the product. Keeping yourself as polished as your writing is the key to making sure that your marketing strategies never hit a snag in the road.

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Finding Author Success Second Edition available in print and ebook

Amazon print, Amazon Kindle and B&N

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Cross Marketing Magic for Authors available in print and ebook

Amazon print, Amazon Kindle and B&N

FREE Ten Tools for Author Success Handbook available for download at The Author Success Coach website.

 

May 6, 2013

AUTHORS ABOVE THE CROWD … STRATEGY

chess 2What’s your strategy for success? All authors have one, but often can’t actually explain it. Some writers join several author groups to learn what they can about marketing from their peers. You might be the kind of author who follows the pack. You probably don’t even realize you’re doing it, but every time you do a promotion or market your book, you’re doing it because another author did it, or your author friends are doing it. Other authors dig deep into their pockets to purchase solutions for selling books. It’s a strong direction for those who can afford it, but are they sure of the results? Could they be doing better?

To be heard above the crowd you have to step away from the crowd, and in this case, it’s the crowd of wonderful other authors. There is perceived safety in numbers and it’s lovely to have the support of other authors struggling through the same marketing trials and tribulations. You can all talk about failures and successes, but the problem is that you want to sell more books than they sell. So when it comes to seriously marketing, you have to look elsewhere.

There are good and effective ways to do this. First you must create your unique strategy. These are a few simple starting points to help you begin to make your mark, create bigger sales, and establish broader marketing exposure. Best of all, the exposure will be in places where other authors are not marketing. It will be totally unique to you and your book.

Your biggest strategy must be to be sure you know what you want, and who really wants to hear your message.

goals 2SET GOALS

What are your goals? Each person’s goals are different for a variety of reasons. Some authors are thrilled with giving away more books that anyone else. Some authors like exciting promotional blasts that bring big numbers to their blog stats or website visitor count. Others like the numbers with dollar signs in front of them so they watch their royalty reports. Some become obsessed with Amazon ranking numbers and the roller coaster of rising and falling emotions. Some like to write for a few loyal fans, while others want to create a million loyal fans. It really doesn’t matter what you feel is most important where your goals are concerned. If you meet those goals, you are successful. BUT, you must seriously take some time to set author career goals. With your goals in hand, it will be far easier to determine if your efforts are successful or not.

bookbuyer 1TALK TO BOOK BUYERS

I’m sure you have a wonderful number of friends on Facebook and followers on twitter, but who are they? Are they mostly other authors? Take a serious look at your social media followers. The best rule of thumb is 1 author to every 10 prospective book buyers or fans. That means that your first step is to start talking to book buyers. So, how do you find them?

The simplest way is to LOOK INSIDE YOUR BOOK. Right in your manuscript are probably a hundred clues for where your prospective book buyers can be located. This isn’t about focusing on genre lovers at all. Naturally you will make yourself visible to romance or mystery or fantasy or whatever genre lover relates to your book. This is about digging deeper and locating target prospective book buyers based on the unique hooks inside your story or nonfiction subject.

For example, does your romance take place in a seaside town? Is your mystery about a murder during a scuba diving adventure? Does your main character bake cookies, or drink coffee, or lift weights, or weed the garden to work through their issues? Does your vampire or werewolf or faery princess play an instrument or love black licorice or dance for a living? Is your historic fiction connected with the Victorian or medieval or 1050’s era? These are the magic unique elements that CONNECT with prospective book buyers. You need to make followers and friends with these people.

Simply search twitter and Facebook for groups or people connected with whatever your unique hook happens to be. Make friends and follow people who like your unique hooks. Find blogs about those subjects and follow them. Always use your twitter and Facebook links when communicating with these people and invite them to follow or friend you.

These efforts will quickly help you reach the correct 10:1 ratio of prospective book buyers to other authors. Then, when you market or promote or talk about your book, you’ll be talking to the right people.

Next time, we’ll talk the best ways to prepare for reaching out to these fantastic broad audiences. Connecting is the key, and the process is fun and far easier than you might think.

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Finding Author Success Second Edition available in print and ebook

Amazon print, Amazon Kindle and B&N

Magnus - CROSS MARKETING MAGIC 750 x 1200Cross Marketing Magic for Authors available in print and ebook

Amazon print, Amazon Kindle and B&N

March 7, 2013

ABOVE THE CROWD … 8 WAYS TO GET YOUR AUTHOR MARKETING VOICE HEARD

crowd 1How many writers are there in the world? How many recently signed literary agent or publishing contracts? How many are self-publishing? How quickly do books come onto the market now that e-readers have grown so unbelievably popular? And … how many new books actually launch every day?

The numbers are staggering! Some of these books are destined for greatness, written by best selling authors and backed by big publishing monsters. Others have fantastic sales potential, providing the author is ready, willing and able to shout loud enough to be heard over the din. Some books will soar to the top ten Free books on Amazon because the author understands the dynamics of the game. Others will simply float in the middle, getting admirable visibility and fairly good sales. Then there are the duds. Not because they aren’t good books or well written, but simply because the author has no clue as to how to navigate the marketing and promotions world.

stand apart 2If 1,000 books in the exact same genre and subgenre as yours are released on the exact same day, how will you become visible? Now, imagine 10,000 books flooding the market just as yours comes along. What are you going to do?

Most authors have two choices. They either try everything and anything, or they freeze like deer in the headlights. Neither is actually effective for good sales results.

This is a new author marketing series just for you! In this series we’ll cover 8 wonderful ways to get your Author Marketing Voice heard, and heard by the right people … the ones who want to buy your books.

stand apart 4Over the next few months we will cover:

  • STRATEGY – How to develop the perfect marketing strategy for your book and your audience
  • PREPARE – How to be ready for your launch with an already waiting book buyer base
  • BROADCAST – How to set up your platforms so that they are constantly blasting the right message to the right target
  • 3 – 2 – 1 – How to create the book launch as creative and powerful as the book you wrote
  • EXPLORE AND CONQUER – How to find and approach audiences other authors aren’t even thinking about
  • ROAD SHOW – How to take your marketing live and expose your book to broader audiences
  • FUEL – How to keep your sales momentum alive and well
  • RELOAD – How to do it all again for your next book

Next time, STRATEGY, the electrical current that makes any marketing machine run!  Are you ready?

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Finding Author Success Second Edition available in print and e-book Amazon print, Amazon Kindle and B&N

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Cross Marketing Magic for Authors available in print and e-book, Amazon print, Amazon Kindle and B&N

 

February 19, 2013

ME, BLOG HOPPING DOWN THE PROMO TRAIL!

blog hop frog 2I’ve done promotional blog tours. I’ve done scheduled guest blogs and guest blogs I requested. I’ve done blog favors (you know the kind I mean, where another author begs you to write a guest blog so that they can get a break from their own blogging activities). I’ve blogged here, there and everywhere … but this is the first time I’ve ever done a Blog Hop!

My dear friend, mystery author Annette Dashofy asked me to participate in this cool hop so that we can all get an inter-tangled-super-promo-op to talk about our next project … My NEXT BIG THING. Anyone who knows me knows I always have something happening, so I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to talk about. I just finished my newest novel, the beginning of an entire new brand called the Celestial Watch Chronicles. The romance is titled Lucifer’s Guide. Rafe Bennett is an old-west, hard-riding outlaw. Vivi is the Angel assigned to watch over him. When she falls from heaven and into his arms, Lucifer makes sure that all hell breaks loose. BUT … I’m also working on book #3 for the Twice-Baked Vampire Series, Amsterdamned. I so love urban fantasy! BUT then again, I just finished revising the second edition of Finding Author Success, which is scheduled for release in March … BUT, the real NEXT BIG THING for me is my next non-fiction, The Author’s Cross Marketing Magic Handbook, and that’s what I’d really like to talk about. Here goes!

Blog hop frog, 1What is the working title of your book(s)?

The Author’s Cross Marketing Magic Handbook: Developing New Avenues for Advanced Book Marketing

Where did the idea come from for the book?

My first non-fiction, Finding Author Success, taught basic marketing, publicity and promotional skills to authors struggling with the responsibility of creating their own sales success – no matter how they’re published. As an Author Success Coach, I’ve seen so many authors grasp the basics and excitedly stand ready for more. This  new Cross Marketing book focuses on an advanced marketing technique that can revive flat sales for a current book, kick-start and author’s dead back list, and catapult a new book into big sales through unique and creative Niche and Cross Marketing directions other authors never even think of.

What genre does your book come under?

It’s the Non-fiction-kick-butt-marketing-solutions-for-authors Genre.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I love this question. Since my book is non-fiction, and it’s me teaching and coaching authors how to be more successful, I think I’d like to be played by Meryl Streep … or Whoopie Goldberg. Either one works, LOL.

What is the 25-30 word synopsis of your book?

Is Cross Marketing really magic? It is for authors wishing to approach new audiences, find bigger book sales, and be the mystic of marketing for their own success.

Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

The Author’s Cross Marketing Handbook will be published by Assent Publishing under the Path Maker Imprint and is scheduled for release in late April, 2013.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The cool thing about writing my non-fiction is that it gets written in various stages over the course of time. I constantly speak at writers groups and conferences on all the various topics regarding author marketing. I teach online workshops covering everything from basic platforms building and social networking, to advanced strategies using the unique hooks written into a story, and how to locate audiences outside the normal author marketing approaches. Author questions and concerns grow into files of notes and research which finally forms the book. Finding Author Success came about that way, and so did The Author’s Cross Marketing Magic Handbook. Over time, hundreds of authors ask the questions, the books are the answers.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Obviously there are hundreds of books out there teaching authors how to deal with one element of marketing or another. My primary goal with both Finding Author Success and The Author’s Cross Marketing Magic Handbook is to cover not only the specific skills and techniques, but to show the author how they work together. My muscle is 20+ years of expertise in marketing and promotions, my heart is in the fact that I too am an author writing, promoting and selling fiction, and my real strength is in the ability to kindly approach the author’s mind. One doesn’t approach a creative thinker about such mundane things as marketing and promotion the same way they’d approach a used car dealer. Authors are skittish where this stuff is concerned. They’re afraid and often resentful about having to deal with it. I don’t think any other books covering the similar subjects compare with the gentle, light-hearted coaching style in Finding Author Success or The Author’s Cross Marketing Magic Handbook.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

You. Him. That author over there and the other author sitting in the back row. The only reason to write these non-fiction, how-to, you-can-do-it books is because of the inspiration all writers and authors are. There’s no one more courageous than a writer, it’s my goal to add success to that courage and help them enjoy the benefits of their bravery.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Sales. Every author wants to make some money, right? There’s always the joy of having tons of fans and enjoying a fantastic book signing where you run out of books before the line ends … but the bottom line is sales. If that doesn’t pique an author’s interest (and authors are my readers for these books), they’re probably never going to be interested in finding success or understanding the magic of cross marketing.

blog hop frog 3And the HOP continues! Watch for horror writer Les Denton’s NEXT BIG THING at her blog, http://lesdenton.wordpress.com/ on March 6. On March 13, sensational erotica author Sascha Illyvich will join the Blog Hop at http://whitewolfwriting.blogspot.com/. And on March 20, author David Bowman will share a fantastic challenge when he talks about his NEXT BIG THING at http://mymillionwordyear.blogspot.co.uk/

 

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“Finding Author Success” available in print & ebook on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Apple and Sony!

 

February 15, 2013

BUT … I DIDN’T MEAN TO DISAPPEAR! THREE WAYS BACK INTO THE AUTHOR MARKETING GAME

Filed under: General — Deborah Riley-Magnus @ 9:47 am

ConfusedI’ve written about it in my book, Finding Author Success. I blog about it. I speak on the subject all over the country. I even teach a workshop dedicated to it. I’m here today to tell you all that even the teacher falls on her butt sometimes. Read on with courage, this is the cautionary tale no author likes to hear.

We all do it. We start with great intentions and make charts and graphs; we watch our time management and plow ahead for author success. Whether we’re focused on meeting a writing deadline or reaching a certain number of sales, we’re as diligent as tiny ants building our anthill for the future.

directionsThen something happens. Sometimes it’s something big, sometimes it’s something personal and often it’s something that entices us so much we lose sight of the career plan we had in mind when we started. Then … one day we wake up and realize we can’t even remember the last time we blogged or popped in at twitter or even thought about finding a new target audience to sell our book to. This, my friends is an ugly, ugly day. The best and most humble way I can help you all is to admit my own failure in this category. (Yes, I’m looking at my toes and blushing.)

too busy 2Here’s my story, not that it matters much because all our stories are just excuses. My career took off in directions I totally didn’t expect. Over the past 18 months, I’ve moved from Los Angeles back to my east coast home town of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I’ve lost nine (count ‘em, 9) family members and attended nine funerals. That averages one every two months! It’s a very large, very old Italian family and should be expected, but Italian families, socializing and food go hand in hand so lots of time beyond the heartbreaking mourning was focused on these events. Also during those eighteen months, Cold in California and Monkey Jump, books #1 and #2 of the Twice-Baked Vampire Series were released. In November of 2011, Finding Author Success was released and therein came the complication. All my wonderful platforms for my fiction were in place and singing when suddenly, I was in demand as an Author Success Coach. I became booked to speak with several writing groups and at several conferences, I rejoined the Pennsylvania writing organization (Pennwriters) and found myself running one of the local monthly meetings. Authors continued to reach out to me and sign on for one-on-one coaching, I became heavily scheduled to teach online and live workshops … and on top of all that, I found myself flirting with and being wooed by a new, very inventive and interesting publisher. The love affair grew and I’m now with Assent Publishing as their Romance Imprint Editor, AND as the Dean of The Accent Academy, a unique, specially created marketing training program exclusively for contracted Assent authors. There’s more. Now I blog and actively do social media marketing for the Imprint, field queries and edit contracted manuscripts  … oh … and we’re currently running the GREAT ROMANCE contest. Yes, I’m still writing too!

So … pretty damn productive, right? Yes, right, and a little bit wrong too. What happened to my own fiction and nonfiction marketing activities over these recent months? Um … right. Neglected. Not intentionally neglected, I guarantee you, I’ve felt regret and remorse with every month that passed but what’s an author to do? It’s not my first time at this rodeo, I trip and fall like everyone else. What I’ve learned is that the only way back up onto the horse is to … get back up onto the horse.

back on the horse

BACK UP AND PUNT! REGROUP! AND FIND THE CENTER!

Those are the three tricks for regaining that power grip on your marketing trajectory. Whether you’ve simply gotten too busy with family things or that wonderful new manuscript you’re working on, or your career suddenly sprouted a plethora of new branches like mine, we all lose traction and when we look up, discover that we’re nowhere near where we thought we’d be. Here’s how to get back on track.

back up and puntBACK UP AND PUNT!

Take inventory. Are you miles from where you were, or just a few yards from that first down? Have you lost a huge number of your blog following or fan base, or just had a little hiccup that can easily be corrected. How far off the mark are you? Be honest. When was the last time you blogged or tweeted or visited your own Facebook page? How are your numbers – book sales, blog visits, and website stats? Have you fallen from receiving 1,500 hits at your blog every day (whether you do a blog entry or not) down to ten or fifteen a day? Doing an honest evaluation of your current status based on your standard performance before the fall is the only way to fix this mess.

regroup, 1REGROUP

What’s salvageable and what’s not? Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting back in the saddle and spurring ahead. Picking up where you left off is good, but remember, everything works hand in hand. If you’ve been away from everything and you write a new blog entry,  tweeting and facebooking about it won’t get the same results it did before you went AWOL. All your friends and followers have moved on to other things and people. Besides, they’ll need a little proof that they can trust you again. That you’ll be there as consistently as you were before, and your blogs will hold their interest or give them that added value they used to love. One blog won’t do it. Not even two blogs. It could be just like it was at the very beginning and you may need to consistently blog, on time and with great content, for months before you can regain what you might have lost. It’s okay. It’s sort of like giving birth. The labor is terrible, but the results are fantastic. Getting your 1,500 blog hits back will be the reward you need to keep going and remember how good it felt to do this blogging things well. Make a conscious effort to rebuild your Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Yahoo Groups and Blog following. You remember from before, it only gets easier from there.

FInd the CenterFIND THE CENTER

How did this happen in the first place? Were you desperate to have a normal life and enjoy the weather or your family or maybe even reading other authors’ books? Or did you overload yourself to the point of exhaustion and resentment? Did you find yourself in the magical vortex of a new story you needed to write, or did you look for a reason not to market? Did you find yourself taking on more and more all in a scattered effort to grow your career (guilty), or did you face a crisis of faith about your career? Whatever it was, you should take a few moments to identify and analyze it so that you’ll be better prepared next time it looms its ugly head.  Too busy? Streamline your activities. Take a good look at what you’re doing and how it fits into your plan. Too many projects at once? Consider doing one at a time. Too many commitments away from the keyboard? A little tough love might be required to grab hold of your time again. Have you lost focus on your original goal? Or has that original goal changed? Figure it out, stand next to it and own it. Finding the center is all about balance and the ability to understand ourselves. I’m not talking about the labels we all hold on to – I’m a workaholic, I’m a perfectionist, I’m lazy, I’m special, I’m not important – I’m talking about the deep reality of ourselves. Sometimes it hard to face the fact that we can’t do ten things at once, even though we tell ourselves we’re the master multi-tasker of the universe. Finding the center is a reality based fact-finding mission we should all embark upon at least once every year. It requires taking every aspect of our life into consideration and never squashing one for the other. It means taking special efforts to never become overworked because every Wednesday afternoon we go out for a walk or take the afternoon to play with the cat. It means honoring the whole person who contributes to the whole author we are. Find the center and it will be a piece of cake to get back on tract for the career you want.

I’ve started. I’ve taken inventory, streamlined my commitments and have seriously respected the center and balance I need.

And … I’m back. I’ve missed you all! I’ll be blogging here every month. I’ll tweet like a songbird again. I’ll be at Facebook asking my question of the day. And because I’ve told you all … I am accountable.

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FREE Ten Tools for Author Success Handbook available for download at The Author Success Coach website.

“Finding Author Success” available in print and ebook on Amazon, B&N, Apple and Sony!

November 15, 2012

5 Things I’ve Learned About Writers

For over six years now, I’ve been coaching authors and working with writers in live and online workshops. I teach them how to be more successful, how to gain more book sales and how to negotiate the world of marketing, promotions and public relations. I know, I know, the thought of marketing is like having to eat vegetable you don’t like or do 20 minutes on the treadmill – all necessary, but oh how we hate it. Unfortunately, I sometimes get the brunt of an author’s frustrations over having to do what they don’t like.

Over these years I’ve noted patterns that appear in every place I speak, in every workshop I teach and with every author I coach. I thought it might be helpful to share them with all the writers I know. Here are the 5 things I’ve learned about writers.

WRITERS WANT TO KNOW WHY – No matter where I am or what kind of writer I’m talking to, this question always comes up. Why do I need to blog? Why do I have to tweet? Why do I need a website? This list can go on forever, but only a clear understanding of how marketing works helps them understand. What I’ve come to realize, is that the question WHY is usually an umbrella covering a plethora of other things, some related to writing and being successful, some completely unrelated. We writers are a stubborn bunch. We have to be. This is a tough industry to break into, survive within and ultimately find success. When a writer desperately wants to have great book sales, it’s often time to set our stubbornness aside so we look for the solutions. As a coach and workshop instructor, it’s my job to discover what that WHY is all about. Usually the question isn’t so much WHY but more like “Why do I have to do it?” The author in question may be working two jobs, meeting publishing deadlines, dealing with kids or well, simply stubborn. The answer to the big WHY question is painfully simple – because EVERYONE has to do it. The basic techniques of marketing are tried and true and have been for centuries. They are as true for you as they were for Andrew Carnegie.

  • You have a product
  • Your are in a competitive industry
  • You must make your product stand apart from that competition
  • You must make the public aware of your product
  • You must promote your product
  • And you must grow and maintain sales for that product

No one writes a book in hopes that no one will know about it or buy it. The basics of marketing are important and everyone with a product to sell must use them.

WRITERS WANT TO KNOW IF THERE’S A SHORTCUT – Oh what a great question and I totally understand why a writer would ask. A shortcut to work gets us there faster or helps us avoid traffic jams. A shortcut at dinnertime, like prepared foods, take-out and a dishwasher, saves us valuable time in the evenings. We are programmed to look for shortcuts. Time is finite and everyone on the planet gets the same 24 hours in any given day. Looking for shortcuts is expected … but shortcuts -  like auto twitter and auto Facbook post programs, and blogs that announce themselves on every other social media you use – not so much save time as limit your capacity for creating impact. Short cuts don’t work when marketing, in fact I’d go so far as to say they never work best when marketing. So many times an author will write to me after taking a workshop and say that they’ve done all the things recommended but received little to no response. After some exploration I always unscover that they’ve taken these handy-dandy shortcuts. Yes, they’ve saved time but what they’ve unfortunately done is become so automated, their tweets, Facebook posts, and blog announcements LOOK like a machine did them. All those sparks in their social media circles are flat, without personality and unfortunately, without true marketing impact. Because marketing is a living, breathing thing, it lends itself to being brilliant … but only when backed by a human being. By all means test all the shortcuts. I suggest you test them one at a time then take a breath and do it all again without the shortcuts, using your personality and style. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes! Using shortcuts and saving time but gaining little to no sales is just … foolish.

WRITERS WANT TO KNOW HOW TO FIND THE TIME – This one too is painfully simple. There are so many things a writer does in life, everything from taking care of family to valiantly protecting their valuable writing time. Finding the time to do everything means biting the bullet and making a plan, a schedule, a check list, a reminder buzzer on your cell phone, a kitchen timer … ANYTHING IT TAKES to be efficient. This requires good time management skills and discipline, but have you ever known a successful person in any field who doesn’t have good time management skills and discipline? Everyone’s time management style is different, but only those who master it actually get everything done.

WRITERS WANT TO KNOW HOW TO STAND APART – It’s a dog-eat-dog publishing world out there, crowded with books and shouting authors and dwindling distribution points. Whether you are published by a big, small or medium publisher or self published, and even if you’re a writer just finishing your first book, the question has always been, “How do I stand apart from everyone else?” You did it with your writing and wrote a book that no one else could write because it came from your unique mind. Now it’s time to take that powerful creative gift and use it for marketing. So what happens? So many authors find themselves moving with the crowd they had hoped to stand apart from. This happens ALL THE TIME. Take a look at any author’s twitter following or Facebook friends and you’ll discover that the majority (and sometimes ALL) of them are other authors. I think this is based in fear – fear of tooting our own horn, fear that without other authors around us we’ll falter, fear of … well … success. It makes sense to have lots of authors around us, but it doesn’t make sense to completely surround ourselves with our competition. Shuck off the fear and reach out to readers. Who are the people who would buy your book? Time to make twitter followers, Facebook friends, and Goodreads friends with them. I always tell writers that the best ratio is 2 fellow authors for every 8 prospective book buyers. This is how to stand apart, take steps away from the competition and market to your fans and prospective book buyers.

WRITERS WANT TO KNOW HOW TO TAKE THIS FURTHER – Once an author strategically reaches out to prospective book buyers and creates fans and sales, something wonderful happens. It clicks. Fireworks go off. The light has come on for them. One small taste of success makes them hungry for more! They discover that this marketing thing DOES WORK and it doesn’t take all that much time, especially if it’s carefully targeted and efficiently implemented. There’s basic marketing and there’s advanced marketing. Taking an author’s marketing to the next level with cross marketing techniques and platform expansion skills becomes easy. Having reached this part of the success adventure, authors are starting to think like marketing people by revisiting their back list to build sales, creating promotions that other authors never think about, in venues other authors don’t use, and speaking to book buyer in places other authors never dreamed of. Taking it further really only take one thing … eliminating the very first WHY hurdle.

 FREE Ten Tools for Author Success Handbook available for download at The Author Success Coach website.

Finding Author Success 2nd edition available in print & ebook Amazon, B&N, Sony, & Kobo

Cross Marketing Magic for Authors available in print & ebook Amazon, B&N, Sony, & Kobo
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October 3, 2012

Things that Scare Writers …

It’s October and the chant “Deadlines and Edits and Bills, OH MY!” can be heard ringing from the rafters of every writer and author I know. Even a few publishers are squawking as the harvest moon rises. Why do we get this way? And more importantly, how can we manage the dreaded forth quarter scary stuff? Here are 5 Tips to help writers and authors get through to the New Year.

NaNo Only if You Can

NaNoWriMo has been a fantastic phenomenon. Many writers find it a fantastic challenge, but for as many writing a new book or finishing a work in progress who find it a successful process, there are just as many who find it to be far less productive. My theory is that timing may be the issue. To participate in NaNo, the writer must commit all their time during the month of November to reaching a word count goal. Granted, writing 50,000 words in 30 days can be a great thing, but writing the RIGHT 50,000 words is what really matters. If you’re able to do NaNo – meaning if your life allows you to block off 30 days and nights for nothing but writing – by all means, go for it. But most writers and authors I know have many, many other responsibilities in their lives, They are mothers or caregivers, hold down full time jobs, take care of the house and cook meals and they have outside commitments to their community or church or clubs and friends.

Don’t get me wrong, NaNo can be a wonderful tool, but if this is your first time on the NaNo speeding train, I have a few suggestions. Before you sign on, take an inventory of your life. Determine what’s most important to you in the month of November and carefully evaluate the stress level you’ll be adding to your load. Stressed writing is never the best, but if after thinking it through you discover that you’re the kind of writer who thrives under tight, heavy deadlines, rock and roll with it. I’ll be looking for the NaNoWriMo logo on your social media and cheering you on!

Keep a Sharp Eye on Your Platforms

Platforms are the pumping, heated life blood for your book. Your website, twitter, Facebook and blog entries are how you tell the world – prospective book buyers, fans, literary agents and publishers – that you are writing a book. It’s how you get them excited about it.

This final quarter of the year is fraught challenges, the holidays, the changing weather, and that all-important self-imposed deadline. We’ve all done it … “I’m going to finish that book before New Year’s Day!” (Never mind that we might have decided to write that book LAST New Year’s Day, LOL.) It all adds up to pressure and ignoring your platforms to carve out more writing time is simply COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. Your book may get finished, but no one will know about it. A disappearing act by any writer or author can set things back drastically.

Plan your platform activity time carefully. Twitter 2X every day for 10 minutes each morning and 10 minutes each afternoon. Facebook  once every day. Post a question or fact of the day that pertains to your book’s unique elements. Blog at most once every two weeks, and at least once every month.  Be sure to blog about your book – the story, subject and unique hooks within your book. Don’t blog about the process of writing, it gets boring and basically is nothing new. Your blog subjects should be interesting to your prospective book buyer and reader fans … not other authors. Update your Website at least once every month. These updates can be adding the newest reviews for your backlist, interesting subject explorations related to your work in progress, where you’ll be speaking or signing books. A great way to handle website updates is to embed your blog into your author website.  Every time your blog entries are made, your website is also updated. Cool, huh?

Keep your platforms alive and hopping so that readers, prospective book buyers and established fans will be excited and waiting for your next book. (Even if this is your first book, keep those platforms sparking!)

Take a Moment to Look Around

I see you there, sitting at your computer, wearing sweats and a pair of ugly fuzzy bunny slippers. Time to look around! Put on your shoes and go for a walk. Go out and do your grocery shopping. Take an hour to walk around the mall. JUST LOOK AROUND! Who knows? That old man strolling from his car to the dry cleaners just might be the basis for a great character. The colors and weather you see might play a critical role in your plot. Passing conversations may inspire dialog you didn’t expect. Go on. Get out of the house. Enjoy. It’s good for the writer’s soul, especially as we face this time of year.

Plan Your Holidays NOW

Oh the Holidays! How crazy can those get? Family, parties, gift giving, baking, cooking, entertaining – it all adds up to a stressful time of year for anyone, especially the writer working on a deadline. It’s still early enough to plan a low-stress holiday season. Take advantage of the lay away programs for your gift shopping. It gets the names on your gift-giving list checked off, keeps the gifts out of your space and gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Do a little bit every week.

Talk with your friends and family now and find out what they’re planning. Will you be going to a party or ten? Will you be responsible for bringing a part of the menu? The beer? Flowers? Keep this simple and plan ahead.

Are you a holiday card sender? Writing holiday greetings isn’t exactly writing. I honestly know people who send out hundreds of holiday cards every year, each with a sweet personal note in them. If you’re like that, get those cards early, write 10 of them every week then set them aside. This way you’ll have them all done before it’s time to drop them into the mailbox.

Above all, remember to take in and cherish the holidays. They only come once a year and we deserve a little frivolity and joy.

Sleep

Yes, sleep. If you’re like me, sleep is that elusive thing that everyone else seems to enjoy. My mind spins with what has to be done, what isn’t done yet, what I want to do and how much I don’t want to fail by not finishing something … especially my book.

There are tricks for getting sleep. Drink chamomile tea instead of coffee after 7 p.m. Avoid stimulation like exercise, computer games or reading that wonderful horror book beside the bed. Do Yoga. Relax and breathe. Yeah, right, like any of those actually work. The only real advice I can give is this … when I honestly feel that I’ve been productive that day, I can actually sleep. Sleep is replenishing. It’s healing and healthy. Anything that works for you to make sure you get the rest you need is a good thing. And remember, real, deep sleep brings fantastic dreams that can easily find their way into your book. Nothing is more important than creative ideas, right? So why risk giving up 1/3 of your creative life to stress and fretting over everything that needs to be done? Get your fair share of dreams!

There you go, 5 Tips to help writers or authors get through this scary, stressful final quarter of the year. Happy writing!

FREE Ten Tools for Author Success Handbook available for download at The Author Success Coach website.

“Finding AuthorSuccess” available in print and ebook onAmazon, B&N, Appleand Sony!

August 30, 2012

It’s Back to School Time for Authors!

Summer’s OVER! And like most people in the world, authors and writers come into the reality that it’s time to hunker down and get back to work. Not that we haven’t been writing or creating ideas all summer, it’s just that when fall arrives, our memories travel to the days of new school clothes, notebooks, pencils and getting down to study.

Since marketing, publicity and promotions are very much the author’s responsibility in order to be a GREAT selling author, today I’m going to dedicate my post to the many and various focuses you need to think about … even before your book is finished! This is the listing of the workshops I’ll be teaching between now and the end of the year. Grab a pen, find the help you need most, and sign up today!

The first listing is the workshops I’m teaching through The Author Success Coach website. All workshops are $15, taught online over a week, can be participated in at your leisure and cover valuable author success techniques. Sign up soon, workshops fill quickly.

After that is the list of workshops I’m teaching through Savvy Authors. These too are between $15 – $20. They are taught online within the Savvy Authors forums and cover a two week span. Here goes!

ONLINE WORKSHOPS AT THE AUTHOR SUCCESS COACH WEBSITE

Geisha Marketing for Authors    Sept 17 – 23, 2012

Description: The definition of Marketing is: The process by which one creates customer awareness and interest in products or services. The definition of Geisha is: An entertainer whose skills include performing various arts such as classical music and dance. This workshop is specifically designed to show the true art of marketing, instill the power of passion, skill, creativity and understanding to create a successful book marketing plan.

Cross-Marketing Magic   Oct 22 – 29, 2012

Description:There is real magic in every author’s arsenal, you just need to know where to find it and how to turn it into more book sales!

Syllabus:

  • Creative “Sales” Thinking, 101
  • Expanding your Platforms
  • Perfecting Genre Game Skills
  • Approaching and Maintaining Alternative Markets
  • Evaluating Your Successes

Roman Empire Promotions for Authors   Nov. 12 – 17, 2012

Description: Promotions is the activity around which your book is sold. This workshop teaches playful yet powerful military-like strategies designed to simplify the implementation of strong, effective book events and promotions.

Publicity, a Powerful Road to Book Sales    Dec 3 – 9, 2012

Description: While the crowd scrambles in the battle for the same reader, well managed and creative publicity can take an author to new audiences.

Syllabus:

  • Digging for Publicity Nuggets inside your Manuscript
  • The Seven Levels of Communications
  • Finding Venues for Exposure
  • Charities
  • Press Management

ONLINE WORKSHOPS AT SAVVY AUTHORS

Publicity, a Powerful Road to Book Sales    Oct 8 – 21, 2012

Description: While the crowd scrambles in the battle for the same reader, well managed and creative publicity can take an author to new audiences.

Syllabus:

  • The Goals Plan
  • Boosting your already Great Platforms
  • Understanding Marketing
  • The Nuance of Promotions
  • Powerful Publicity Plans

Gain More Book Sales!    Oct 29 – Nov 11, 2012

Description: Is there an author alive who wouldn’t love to gain more book sales? All authors, no matter what they write, how they’re published or where they are in the process – especially new and first-time authors – they all struggle with the most basic requirement of marketing well. It’s all about planning well.

Syllabus:

  • The Goals Plan
  • Boosting your already Great Platforms
  • Understanding Marketing
  • The Nuance of Promotions
  • Powerful Publicity Plans

SERIOUS Platforms Building     Dec 3 – 16, 2012

Description: Your platforms are what you stand on, where you shout your message from and how you reach your prospective fans, readers and book buyers. It’s time for a serious approach to platforms building, social media and time management. Create platforms that go above and beyond what other authors do and find the success your book deserves.

Syllabus:

  • Author Platform and Book Platform
  • Networking Smart
  • Platform Marketing Strategies
  • Budget, or the lack thereof
  • Tips for Time Management

All of these workshops are fun and interactive, giving the author a chance to practice the techniques taught for the unique elements within their own book. I hope to see you at one or more of these workshops and I wish you all GREAT AUTHOR SUCCESS!

 FREE Ten Tools for Author Success Handbook available for download at The Author Success Coach website.

“Finding AuthorSuccess” available in print and ebook onAmazon, B&N, Appleand Sony!

 

July 23, 2012

True Marketing Power for Authors: Test Your Cross Markets for Effectiveness!

Evaluate 1

EVALUATE, EVALUATE, EVALUATE

How do you know a Cross Marketing effort is working for you? Aside from the obvious – growing book sales – there are several ways to test your efforts for effectiveness. Here are seven tried and true tools and tips for testing your Cross Marketing efforts. Sometimes one works better than another in a particular venue or with a particular target, sometimes a few of these strategies can work hand in hand for best results. Some may simply just work great for you but not at all for another author. The trick is to know and understand all seven testing strategies, make them yours and use them well.

TEST BY TIMING
I’ve mentioned before that it’s best to never reach out to more than two Cross Marketing targets at a time. There’s a very good reason for this, because the whole time you’re reaching out to new and unique markets to build a larger fan base and grow book sales, you’re must also be doing your standard marketing – social networking, speaking, book-signings, reaching out to genre book clubs and approaching genre blogs for reviews and interviews. Your Cross Marketing efforts are those magical steps in places and toward targets that your competition is not taking. It’s vital to make sure you have time to do everything … and that includes writing your next book! I strongly suggest the Test by Timing strategy. This is easy, it requires that you approach and market to ONE of your Cross Markets for three-four solid months before adding another Cross Market. With this strategy you choose carefully. If, for example, scuba diving is an element within your manuscript and you go after scuba diving online venues, you will move through those prospects until you find the one willing to work with you, one with a large web presence and following as well as a very active business. Ride with the program you and the business or blog owner have created, never drop the ball or forget to send your content for columns or articles, never forget to respond to people commenting. Three or four months later, take a serious look at your sales. Have they gone up? Can you see how it could directly relate to your efforts at the scuba websites and blogs? Or have the sales numbers stayed the same? In that case it’s time to make a choice – give it another three to four months, or move on. If sales are rising and you’ve gotten a good grip on how this works, attempt a new relationship with a second target for your Cross Marketing and roll with both. ALWAYS watch your sales numbers and make sure your efforts are creating results. If sales go down, back up and punt. Are you spending too much time on the Cross Markets? Are you forgetting to do your normal social network marketing? Have you forgotten to keep things active and alive at your own book blog and website? Testing by Timing is a strategy that gives every Cross Marketing effort its full attention before adding another. If this is all done right, it will become a system for you that can be both easy and fun … after all, what in the world is more fun that selling more books and gaining more fans?

CONTROL ACTIVITIES
This seems simple but it isn’t.  The same twenty-four hours exist in each day for everyone on the planet, so careful scheduling and time management is crucial. Some authors find so much success with Cross Marketing (one, selling a full 7,000 more books than normal!) that they go a little nuts. They add too many more of those Cross Markets and learn that:

  • They have no time to write
  • They have no time to do a good job with all the different markets
  • They are pulled in too many directions and literally forget which target they’re talking to
  • Overworked people get sloppy and the target they’re trying to interest can feel that

Don’t get greedy! Let each Cross Market find its own level. Some may do really well for a while and fall off because just about everyone in that Cross Market through that particular venue has bought your book whose going to buy your book. Add a Cross Market only when you know you can handle the added efforts, and only when you are ready to spread your wings further. Give each venue your all,  know when to step away and know when to up your activity.

CONTESTS
This one is easy! If you’re book is about, for example, organizing, once each month or two, at the end of your column, ask the readers to submit a before and after picture of an organized drawer or closet and the winner will receive a free book from you and a free tape measure from the business you’re cross marketing through. If your book is about scuba diving, run a contest at the scuba diving website for a brief story about the reader’s diving experience and the winner receives a free book from you and something small from the scuba business. If your fiction is historical, ask the host website readers to tell you something that happened somewhere else in the world during the same time frame in your book, and the most interesting piece of information wins a free book and … well, you get the point. These contests work on several levels. The number of responses tell you how many people are actually reading your column or articles, and the responses give you an opportunity to directly connect with the prospective book buyers. No response after two or three tries tells the whole story … time to move to another Cross Market and another venue.

CODE WORDS OR COMMENTS
Use a few code words in your article that should lead the readers of your articles or columns respond. For example, if your book has dogs in it and your Cross Market is dog lovers, in your article at the chosen venue (dog care blogs or doggie daycare websites) you may want to use code words that correspond somehow to the title of your book – something like “Dogs sense coming bad weather”. At the end of your article, ask the reader’s how dogs sense coming weather. The responses can range from technical, to playful or ridiculous, but they all constitute a response, and that means people are reading your articles and want to interact with you. NOTE: It is ALWAYS more effective to close any article, column or blog entry with this kind of open-ended question to encourage response.

JOURNALING
To do this correctly and give your Cross Markets a fair three to four months to prove success or failure, make sure to keep a journal of several things:

  • The topic of your blog, article of column each month on each specific target venue
  • The number of responses received with each topic at each venue
  • The activity at your own book platform website immediately after each entry at a venue
  • Any related changes to your Amazon ranking after each entry at each venue
  • The number of total sales at the end of each month

These journal entries will tell you the whole story about how your Cross Marketing efforts are doing. Over time, you will be able to clearly see which venues are working and which ones are not. This gives you the information needed to do a few things:

  • Tweak your efforts to create better response
  • Make a good decision as to whether to leave that venue and move on to a different Cross Market target
  • Or stay the course and add an additional venue to the mix

BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
So many authors love the “idea” of Cross Marketing and they really want to do it well, but the truth of the matter is that many drop the ball, get bored, or simply don’t care to put in the effort. Be honest with yourself when analyzing your Cross Market efforts. Did you really approach the right Cross Market target venues? Did you faithfully do your articles on time and with strong, creative content? Or did you take every short cut you could imagine? If a Cross Marketing approach doesn’t work you need to ask yourself if you really tried, or if it just may be the wrong venue for that target. Sometimes the problem isn’t the strategy or target … it’s us. Be honest. You’d never write a book you weren’t interested in writing, so never approach or attempt Cross Marketing to a target you aren’t interested in.

AVOID THE “FUN” TRAP
Oh man, sometimes Cross Marketing is so much fun! The host venue loves you and they think you and your content are a great addition to their website. They are always in touch with you and friendly with you and even come up with great ideas for you to use in your blogs, articles or columns. You are having a blast! But … if you’ve kept a journal and watched your book sales, you may discover that sales are staying the same and not moving up at all. The whole point of Cross Marketing isn’t to make a whole batch of new friends, it’s to sell more books, so it may be time to make some hard decisions. Is it time to step away and try a different venue or Cross Market target? Is it time to ask the venue to permit you to start featuring the cover of your book at the TOP of your article instead of just a tag line with a buy link? If they really like you and want you to keep writing content for them, they might be perfectly happy to let you directly promote your book. They may even give you an ad space for your book on their website. This has to be a Win/Win situation and they understand that so you need to keep an eye on your sales and know when to ask for more from the venue … or say farewell.

Questions? Post them and I’ll be happy to answer.

Next week we’ll be talking about HOW you can keep your Cross Markets momentum alive and exciting. See you then!

FREE Ten Tools for Author Success Handbook available for download at The Author Success Coach website.

“Finding AuthorSuccess” available in print and ebook onAmazon, B&N, Appleand Sony!

July 3, 2012

True Marketing Power for Authors: Making Friends with New Markets

Filed under: Publicity — Deborah Riley-Magnus @ 9:40 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Now that you’ve explored your manuscript and target book buyer audience beyond the norm … now that you’ve excavated new directions for your Cross Marketing efforts … now that you’ve determined 20 new targets and all new venues to approach … it’s time to put the magic into play. But how does an author reach out and tenderly cultivate these new markets?

The primary keys to approaching new Cross Marketing venues are patience and careful steps. Unlike the direct marketing efforts for your book – like mystery or romance readers where you locate the mystery or romance fan base and plow in with a 50 piece brass band – you must move into these cross markets with a more subtle string quartet that builds into a crescendo.

INTRODUCE YOURSELF

In your research you’ve determined 20 different directions to go with your Cross Marketing. For example, if your story is about a scuba diver who uncovers a mystery, you’ve decided that scuba diving enthusiasts, scuba diving stores, scuba diving schools, scuba diving groups and travel agencies would be strong directions. Whether this list of cross markets are live or online doesn’t really matter, all that matters is that the elements in your book fit well with your list. Now, go and introduce yourself. Join Yahoo groups that focus on diving and say hello. DO NOT OPEN WITH “Hey I wrote a book!” Instead just join in. See how the groups works, what they do and what they talk about. Be subtle and even though you’re not talking about your book, your email will always have the title of your book and the buy link at the bottom. This is a subject you’re already interested in, so it won’t be hard to just become part of this group. Gather nuggets of scuba information and expertise from the group’s members and remember to pipe in when you have something to say.

BE INVOLVED

Too many authors who attempt this Cross Marketing approach are looking for speedy results. They break rule number one and start pushing their book or talking about their book and end up being ignored or worse yet, ousted from the group. Patience is vital. Don’t forget, you’ve entered an arena where buying books isn’t the primary objective to the members. You need to make friends and make them feel safe with you. If you’re writing another book that includes the subject, there’s nothing wrong with, after a little trust has been established, telling the group members that your next book is also about scuba diving and you’re seeking their expertise or suggestions for locations or equipment information. You’ll be amazed how many people want to help a friend! They’ll send you photos and tons of information because not only do they like you, but they get to tell you about the thing they love. Oh, and you’ll also be surprised how many of them suddenly ask about your book and end up buying it, reading it and talking about it to their other friends!

MAKE REASONABLE OFFERINGS

Let’s talk about Cross Marketing to businesses. This works especially well for online businesses. These companies, large and small, have wonderful, active websites and blogs and you want to get involved in a way that helps sell your book but doesn’t compete with their corporate or business message. Again, you can’t hard sell and asking them to purchase an ad on their website for your book right off the bat may result in a very negative response. Be sure to make reasonable offerings. Put together a logical, simple proposal specially designed for each business. It may include guest blogging where you talk about diving, locations or your experiences. It may involve an “Info Dive of the Month”  article where each month you write something interesting related to a category of equipment they sell (or in the case of travel agents, the locations they’re featuring). It may involve something small and silly, like the funny things that can happen while diving, or the amazing things one might see while diving. For these businesses, you need to make sure you’re adding value to their website, their product and their customers, that way they have no issues at all if you feature your book cover and buy link at the bottom of every blog, article or tidbit. It’s the classic win/win. ONE WARNING: if you’re doing an article for one business website, you can’t do articles for another business. For the other business you’ll need to come up with something unique to their company. Create a list of 20 or 30 ideas and spread them around with your proposals. That way if one isn’t interested in the “Info Dive of the Month” but they’re interested in your involvement, you can propose something different and hold the original idea for a different business.

BE CONSISTENT

If you tell a business or group that you will do something, do it. I totally understand that an author’s life can be complex and busy. We have family responsibilities, dirty dishes, deadlines and our own muses to deal with, BUT if you’ve made a commitment to Cross Marketing, whether it’s as involvement with a group or to get the “Info Dive of the Month” article to a business website, be sure to do it. Nothing destroys faith in a person more than dropping the ball. To control your activities, I suggest you only work with three or four Cross Marketing targets at a time – one scuba Yahoo group, one diving gear online business and one travel agency. When you discover that one of these Cross Markets isn’t working for you or gaining book sales after a few months, exit and move on with a replacement. This way you’ll never get overloaded and you can always be consistent.

YOUR BOOK IS THE UNDERLINE, NOT THE STATEMENT

Cross Marketing is not marketing the way most authors understand marketing. It isn’t fireworks and loud speakers and it isn’t a quick solution to a problem. Some authors have perfected Cross Marketing by keeping in mind that all of their activity requires putting the hard sell on the back burner. Cross Marketing is about making new friends, developing a new market for your book and being very subtle about it. Give all your Cross Marketing efforts at least three months before seriously analyzing results. And once you’ve mastered a great cross market, don’t stop there! If you found that scuba diving bloggers are a fantastic source of book buyers, reach out to them all. Just remember to make you content unique to that blog and never repeat. If you discover that only one travel agency is working for you and all your efforts to make things happen with other travel agencies fails, stick with what’s working. You know how much you can market … and you know how much you want your book sales to grow. Plan well and never use hard sell tactics with a cross market.

FOLLOW UP

Wow, you’re selling books like crazy through that online scuba supply website. You are writing great articles every month and being subtle with your book and you’re a happy camper! Until, one day, six months into it, the business contacts you and informs you that they no longer wish to sponsor your articles. What happened? No follow up. You need to have a contact each and every month with the business to make sure they’re pleased with what you’re doing. Ask them if they’d like to see something else, or would like you to focus an article on a specific topic. Stay in touch to assure that your Cross Marketing activities are really a win/win situation for both you and the business. Otherwise it can all blow up in your face. Always follow up and always remember to thank them. It’s just good business and good manners.

KNOW WHEN TO STEP AWAY

Earlier I mention that it’s wise to give a cross market at least three months to show results, but I really would like to see a six month activity with business websites. Not only does it take that long to hook deeply into that company’s customer base, but it serves the seasonal cycles of the business. It also gives you a fair amount of time to watch your sales and determine if the effort you’re putting into Cross Marketing is giving you the results you want. With groups, it should only take a few weeks to see if the people there will serve your Cross Marketing goals. A quick and friendly exit is always best. There are hundreds of groups, live and online, out there and sticking with one may be foolish. In the end, you should at all times have six streams of Cross Marketing working for you – two different business websites with their own unique content, one guest blogging opportunity per month, and three active online groups. If any of these are not giving you the results you want, step away and move on to the next.

Always remember, Cross Marketing is not something every author does and that’s a super good thing! You’ll be working in a landscape free of competition and fertile with new book buyers. Cross Markets are not for hard sell tactics, your book’s story or subject must relate to the Cross Market, your efforts must be planned, managed and well connected, and most of all, if it’s not working, there are 20 other directions to go on your list.

Cross Marketing isn’t easy. But think about it, does the easy way ever really work? Cross marketing is logical, simple in its approach and when well done, the results can be extraordinary. Go ahead, try it. You’re up for the challenge. After all, you’re amazing! You already wrote a book!Questions? Post them and I’ll be happy to answer. Next week we’ll be talking about HOW you can test your Cross Markets for effectiveness. See you then!

FREE Ten Tools for Author Success Handbook available for download at The Author Success Coach website.

“Finding Author Success” available in print and ebook on Amazon, B&N, Apple and Sony!

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