Selling more books, and spreading your message is the ultimate goal. For months extending into years, you work to build a writing career. By the time your book releases, you hope your efforts pay off — and people actually buy it.
But you must help folks find it, or else they can’t purchase and read your masterpiece. This takes a whole new kind of effort. I think we all hope for something akin to the old Faberge Organics shampoo commercial. Remember? “If you tell two friends, they’ll tell two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on.”
As a debut author, I knew I needed to find creative ways to tell my first two friends. So I went to the experts, and scheduled a cross-country trip with Michele Cushatt and Michael Hyatt. Okay, so I drove cross-country to a speaking engagement, and took their voices with me via audio recordings. But their amazing presentation of Get Published gave me some fantastic tips for getting my book noticed.
Because I follow their blogs, I’d already done some of the things Michele and Michael outlined in their program. Like building an online media kit. Mine still needs tweaking, but it’s good enough to have garnered some attention.
But there were plenty of extras I didn’t know about in Get Published. One of the things I learned was to create a Briefing Book, so I could give confident interviews. It was a good thing I did, because the day after I finished it, my publicist scheduled a radio spot.
Another way I spread the word, was to make sure my family and close friends knew I would appreciate speaking leads. It so happens one of my sisters works for a large hospital chain. So she mentioned me to a woman in charge of signing speakers for the New Mexico Staff Services Medical Association Conference. The woman researched my website and online media kit, then voila, booked me.
After that, two other prospects from the medical community called. And so on, and so on.
One of the most fruitful things I’ve done is follow the leads in Sell More Books, Book Marketing and Publishing for Low Profile and Debut Authors. J. Steve and Cherie K. Miller’s marketing manual is chock full of practical applications and lesser known resources. I especially like the access I’ve gotten to state and national associations for potential speaking engagements.
These are just a few ways I’m attempting to spread the word. I don’t know how my various efforts will affect final sale figures. But I think they are making a positive difference. Suddenly likes on my author/speaker Facebook page have increased, and my web traffic is growing.
But one simple thing has made the biggest difference of all. All along on my writing journey, I’ve prayed about this scary platform thing. A few months ago, I blogged about my reliance on The Platform Builder.
In reality, I know little about book marketing, except to trust and obey. And yet, I truly believe trusting is a secret to selling more books — IF it’s God’s will and my motives are pure. One of the hardest prayers to offer is, “Not my will, but yours be done.” After that, it’s completely in His hands. If He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, I know He owns the pages in a thousand books. I can’t sell a thing if He doesn’t help spread the message. And so on, and so on, and so on.