Wednesday, October 12, 2011

To Market, To Market, To Buy a Fat Pig...

"...Home again, home again, jiggedty-jig!"

How many times did we sing that song as kids? Well, about every time we'd been to town. Back in the day, you went to town if you lived in the country, and that only happened about once a week. And you knew where to go for each thing, trying to get everything in one-stop shopping. There was a jingle for every kind of product on our 3-channels-only TV. You sang them without thinking and looked for those things when you went to town. 
Well, guess what? Authors have to market their product, too. And I have been asked about this aspect so many times this past month that it was time to give out a few links to help you on that road.

You may have to lick a few stamps to get results!

First, do get a web presence, if possible even before you ever shop your manuscript, or as soon as possible. Whether it is blogging, website, commenting on other blogs, guest/interview or group blogs, book review sites, Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social networks, being an expert about your main mission  or topics (topic blogs,) whatever works, or all the above. 

Please, please, puhlease, do not flood your readers or networks with constant marketing. What I mean is when the only thing you contact people with is to beg people to read your book, that's not cool. It's a delicate balance,I know, because yes, you want people to be aware of your book, and yes, they want to know. But sometimes talk about things that just interest them (or you) or get to know your faithful followers.

Two of my favorite author group blogs are Seekerville and Girls Write Out. Both are group blogs where they take turns blogging about a topic on their mind. We always know when they have a book coming out, true. But most of the time they are blogging about things that just interest us. It's like a conversation with best friends. (Seekerville dishes out virtual buffets! Yum. No calories!) You're just chatting with them in the comments (they are good to comment back) and next thing you know, you're checking on their latest book. 

Indiana's Own Denise Hunter has one of the best author pages on Facebook. She doesn't just upload her book covers and link to her website. She has conversations with us. (And she's introverted, like most of us.) Another Hoosier, Diann Hunt ,also has started an author blog that is engaging and fun.

Since I love the group blog that I'm on, I have to mention The Barn Door, too. These are Midwest writers (some fiction, some nonfiction) blogging about life in the midwest. And there's a whole section on books, too, but it's not just the books of those authors. 

But if you're looking for marketing advice, I have four links this week to help you with that all-illusive platform. 

1. I can't tell you how many of Michael Hyatt's blogs I've copied to put into my file. (Yes, I keep a file to refer to for just this sort of thing.) Some have to do with your life mission and life goals. Some on writing. But he is a master of marketing, too. He has so much information.

While you're there, you may get lost for awhile on a multitude of topics if this is your first visit.

2. I caught this blog entry on the Word Serve Agency's client blog on what you can be doing for marketing at Word Serve Water Cooler:
3. The CAN Marketing gurus are always talking shop on this blog. I get their blog by email. I can click on their link if I want to go there to comment.

4. Finally, Terry Whalin has built a website that has more information than you can go through in a day. He's built it over years and has articles from some of the best in publishing in layer-upon-layer. Definitely worth sifting through there. The September 30, 2011 guest blog is called,
"10 Rules of Social Marketing (Guerrilla) Engagement" by Wendy Montes de Oca, MBA

Do not forget our national website where there is more information than you will ever absorb. Like eating an elephant; take one small bite at a time.

You may have gone to town to buy a pig, but with good marketing in advance, you could come home with a cow, a chicken and few magic beans, too. That's why we do what we do. There's a master plan in that organized chaos!

Lemme Know: What's the best marketing tip you've seen for a fiction book?

Crystal Laine Miller
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  1. Thank you so much for the insight. I am sure that I have overkilled on Facebook. I am a new author and really just beginning to learn about marketing. You do want to announce your book and have everyone gush over it, but it does require a balance. I did several book readings at B&N. The interesting thing was that people sat and listened, some bought the book, but when I engaged in conversation with people about other things, they came back to the book subject and bought it.

  2. Thank you so much!

  3. Anonymous, I tried several times to post yesterday, but was having connection issues!

    I wanted to say that it sounds like you are doing a good job with the book readings at B & N and are reaching your audience. I still think some of the best marketing tips involve just directly interacting with readers.

    Thanks so much for the input and comments. :)