Marketing Magic for Authors and Speakers

“Marketing is a contest for people’s attention.” — Seth Godin

In June, at the Advanced Speakers and Writers Association National Conference, I shared the stage with a panel of writing greats. We spoke to this Christian group of women on increasing speaking opportunities in order to sell more books — or as I like to call it, Marketing Magic for Authors and Speakers.

The room was filled, and the audience leaned forward in rapt attention from the opening sentence. Heads were down as they scribbled to keep up with the flow of information. Hands popped in the air like jack-in-the-boxes to ask questions. Three things in particular spurred their interest.

Marketing Magic for Authors and Speakers Top Three:

  • Creating a marketing calendar — Strategizing timelines for posting on social media
  • Thinking outside the marketing box — Re-slanting your message(s) to reach groups you’ve never thought to target
  • Telling your marketing story — Compelling your audience to buy through a heart-felt message

Marketing is Not Selling“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” With this statement, John W. Gardner simplifies the problem many of us have with marketing.  We make more out of it than what it is. In reality, if we don’t overcomplicate it, marketing is simply doing something ordinary, sharing something we’re passionate about, with like-minded people. We just need to find the most effective way to reach them. And that won’t look the same for everyone — we aren’t cookie cutters of each other.

If you need to create some marketing magic for your books, or need to increase speaking opportunities to help you reach a wider audience, I invite you to contact me. Email anita@anitabrooks.com for the handout from the AWSA seminar, and I’ll be happy to share. Not only will you find bullet-point tips, timeline suggestions, and examples of Press Releases and Marketing Maps, but links to the following:tell them your story

  • American Library Association
  • A listing for every national association in the U.S.
  • Christian radio stations
  • Christian television stations
  • Mega-churches

If you’d like to learn more information on another exciting way to improve your marketing strategies, follow me at anitabrooks.comMy heart is to help fellow authors and speakers reach more people — but not in the traditional way. Together, we can create marketing magic, when we offer each other a helping hand.

What unique ways do you use to sell more books? Want to see an example of a brilliant marketing piece? Watch this YouTube video for one of the best I’ve ever seen.

Selling More Books

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 Faberge -- And So Onmasterpiece. 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.

First Hired Last Fired BookBecause 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.

Cattle on HillsideBut 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.