On August 1st I wrote a marketing blog, Marketing Can Be Fun, Really! to coincide with Rachelle Gardner’s Blog, How To Market Your Book, that week. What I want to do today is encourage you as you look for ways to market your product. Yes, our books are products and they are very important for our life’s work.
We need to think like business folks as well as authors. This may not come naturally and then again maybe you’re good at this particular aspect of the business. It’s grown on me. I met a guy at Mt.Hermon a few years ago. Some of you may know him, Jim Rubart. Listening to Jim made me think a bit harder about my natural instinct to market though I didn’t have much experience because up until I’d sold my novel there hadn’t been a need.
I counsel and teach nursing students at my day job. One of the problems some of them encounter in the college is test anxiety. I start my lectures with the words, “Have courage.” That’s what I want you to do when it comes to marketing your novels, have courage.
I want you to brainstorm marketing ideas with someone you trust. Just sit down and rattle off anything you can think of and then pick three that you really like that will energize you as well as your marketing plan. Think out of the box. I’m going to share three of my ideas that I’ve really liked exploring and working on to promote and market my first book to it’s best advantage.
- Find the biggest book marketing opportunity in your area
I mentioned Books by the Banks (that’s the riverbanks of Cincinnati), in the blog post on my personal blog. Since Secrets of the Heart was chosen for this opportunity some really cool things have happened. (1) I informed my publisher, Realms/Charisma, about signing at Books by the Banks. They kindly offered to send me 1,200 postcards to use for that day and to help promote my book at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference later this month. That’s awesome! The postcards have my book cover on one side and a nice blurb on the opposite side with my website and the publisher’s website. (2) Dennis Lehane and Judy Collins are now promoting and signing their books at the same event. This will draw an even bigger crowd than expected and last year there were approximately 3,600 attendees.Opportunity galore!
- Hospital Gift Shops
I work in a large hospital in Cincinnati,Ohio. I asked the woman who runs our gift shop if she would carry my book. She said YES! Also, a dear friend of ours is the coordinator of volunteer services at the hospital where my husband works. She suggested I talk to the woman who runs the gift shop at there. I did and now they carry my book as well. My husband is an awesome publicist at his hospital and has been wonderful in talking up my book at his hospital. I also have the postcards at the register at both hospitals now. And I’m not stopping there. As time allows I’m asking the other hospital gift shops in the area.
- Christian Bookstore Week
When Cara Putman announced information about Christian Bookstore Week on our ACFW loop I got to work and now have a signing at a Kentucky Bookstore the week of the celebration and I’m going to ask one more store near me in Cincinnati if they are interested in having me come sign. So don’t waste time. Get on-line and get on your phone and market your novels.
This is just the tip of the iceberg related to opportunity and marketing savvy. Next month on October 24th, I will report back on what my experience was like at Books by the Banks on October 22nd.
Remember, even if you don’t have a book contract yet, if you’re serious about your writing you need to have an on-line presence, your home on the web. Though it’s hard to draw an audience it’s a good thing to get practice in on how to formulate blog posts, etc.
What are you doing to energize your marketing plan?
Post Author: Jillian Kent
Jillian Kent is more than enthusiastic about the release of her first novel, Secrets of the Heart, The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Book One. She’s a full-time counselor for nursing students and holds a masters degree in social work. She’s fascinated with human behavior and thought it would be interesting to explore what might have happened in a lunatic asylum during England’s Regency era, her favorite time period. Jillian hopes you will escape into the past with her and find faith for the future.