Tag Archives: blog

Market Your Book Like It’s Your Business

by Zac Workman, Marketing Specialist

Your book is a business….so treat it as such.  Daydreaming about the best-sellers list won’t get you any closer to breaking the top 10.  So how do you market a book like you would a business?  Let’s start with a few simple questions that will help you identify the best way to market your new book.  Like any business, these questions are key to identifying and creating a successful marketing plan for your book.

  1. What are your goals?  What is the purpose of writing your book and what do you want to accomplish?  The case may be that you are just interested in making your book available for family and friends or maybe you are hoping to sell thousands of books.  Whatever the case may be make sure your goals are realistic and achievable.
  2. Who is your target market?  Let’s consider the Christian genre which is vast so you must define who exactly you are targeting and why.  Knowing your audience will help you decide how to sell your book to readers.  Consider the demographics of your audience to determine your marketing focus.  If you find your target to be a very small niche group, marketing will be extremely important and it will need to be very focused.  If this is the case, you may want to consider expanding the appeal of your book by making some changes to increase your customer base.
  3. What makes your product appealing to your target market? Labeling your book “Christian” isn’t enough.  You need to identify what makes your book stand out and use this to your advantage.  Consider the specific characteristics about your book that appeal to your audience.  Maybe you are an expert on the subject matter of your book or you have a unique story or point of view.  Whatever the appeal of your book is, it is essential to identify what separates your book out from the competition and then using it to your advantage.
  4. Where does your product fit within your industry?  The Christian book industry is very large so you need to identify where you fit within that industry.  Start by identifying who your competition is and what their strengths and weaknesses are.  Focus on their weaknesses, because this is where you have an advantage.
  5. Where is the best place to reach the target market?  So how will your reach your audience?  In today’s digital world, start on the Internet, including searching for related websites, and using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, website reviews, blogs, and e-mail marketing.  The majority of your books will sell through some venue on the Internet, and it makes sense to start your marketing efforts there.

Stay tuned on tips to execute that all important marketing plan!

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Is Social Media Really An Effective Way to Promote Your Book?

by Megan Leiter, Events and Social Media Coordinator

As someone who fulfills social media setups for AuthorHive authors and is currently acting as the Social Media Services Coordinator, I can give you a big honest YES to this question! Many of the authors I talk to daily ask, “Will anyone really read my blog?” and, “How are people going to find my profiles on all these social networking sites?”

Here are five ways to make the most of your social media profiles to promote your book:

1) Tags, Tags, Tags! :  A “post tag” is a keyword you can attach to each new post you put on your blog and essentially how people are going to find your blog site. When you attach keywords to your blog’s content, it’s more likely someone searching for those same keywords will find your blog through a search engine. Key Tip: you should always attach your pen name and book title to each post along with any other relevant keywords associated with what you’re writing about in that particular post.

2) Reaching Out:  The whole point of social networking is to be social on the internet – crazy I know! That means you’ll have to put some work into reaching out and contacting people through your profiles by sending out messages, updating your statuses in Facebook and Twitter on a consistent basis, creating event invites for book signings or speeches you may be giving, and more.

3) Fresh Content:  For a lot of people within the “blogosphere” once someone finds a blog they like, they visit it daily to check out what the contributor has to say. There’s nothing more disappointing to a devoted blog reader than going to your favorite blog(s) to find the blog contributor hasn’t posted any new content in a week or more. Keeping readers engaged through fresh content means being committed to keeping that connection alive by making the time to continuously post new content which means more than once a week.

4) Gathering Friends:  Exposure is the key to publicity. The more people you can gather to follow you on Twitter and like your fan page on Facebook, the more exposure your messages will have.

5) Time:  It takes a lot of time and commitment to build a fan base for a book so please don’t expect to be an overnight social media sensation like Susan Boyle (the Scottish singing talent discovered on Britain’s Got Talent who became an overnight sensation on YouTube.com). Just as it took time to write and produce your book, it will also take time to create your social media fan base.

I know many authors are intimidated by social media because it’s a new beast in the world and perhaps out of their comfort zone. Many authors I speak to vow to forgo the social media aspect of promotions entirely and I think the only person this is a disservice to is the author themselves. Facebook currently serves over 300 million users (and is still growing) and Twitter serves 190 million users. To me, that’s an awfully big market to be left untouched just because you may be unfamiliar with using a computer or don’t want to put the time into keeping up a social media presence.

If you’re not sure where to start, ask a friend or family member for help or call AuthorHive and we will get you on your way!

Book Buddies: Discovering Your Tribe

by Shik Love, Senior Writer

Here’s the thing, when you become a self-published author, you become a salesperson. As a newly minted salesperson you’ll be tempted to believe that your customer is your only audience. An honest mistake, but a mistake nonetheless.

Finding your tribe (“those like-minded souls who make your heart sing” –Kelly Cutrone) is an essential part of your success. Gathering a circle of peers, not only helps you to continue to hone your craft, it also creates a unified front in sharing opportunity-rich referrals, building brand recognition and growing book-purchasing audiences.

If you’re a children’s book author, join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. A horror writer? Join the Horror Writer’s Association. A writer annoyed by the fact that another reality-show pseudo-celeb has a New York Times bestseller, check out Bloggers Against Celebrity Authors.

Believe me, no matter how you define your work, somewhere out there is a tribal meeting in process, drumming you home.

Media Contacts Alone Aren’t Enough Anymore

by Chris Bass, Director of Author Marketing Services

In a recent conversation with a successful entrepreneur and author, a question came up regarding contacts with media across the country.  The author’s premise was that this was the most important thing in building an audience for her book.  Media contacts are certainly a key component to garnering exposure for a book, author, or business for that matter, however just as the publishing industry is experiencing a great shift, so is the media landscape.

Contacts can certainly help get interviews on major national news networks and articles in publications, however another variable of the equation is audience engagement.  Traditional media is largely a passive action in nature.  We watch TV, flip channels, but don’t engage in a dialogue.  It’s largely one way communication.

Social media is changing the landscape by engaging audiences and inviting them to take part in the discussion.  We recently promoted the book Stan’s Leap by Tom Duerig, which is set on Henderson Island part of a small group of islands in the South Pacific called the Pitcairn Islands.  During the course of Tom’s campaign we were able to increase audience engagement to double digit growth in a very short time using social media.  It also lead to a request for a signed copy of the book by an individual who was living on one of the islands near the Henderson islands.  Furthermore the author and prospective reader shared an exchange of ideas about other must reads that relate to the islands. 

Apply, the example above to your own life in this way.  How much more likely are you to buy a product that a friend has recommended versus just seeing a news excerpt about the same product on television or in print? Consider this, in the 2009 U.S. Demographics and Buying Behaviors Annual Review conducted by Bowker and Publishers Weekly, “recommended by a friend”was one of the top eight reasons people purchase books.

Social media is a key component to developing and engaging prospective readers and turning them into fans who recommend your book to their friends.  Don’t discount media contacts that can lead to national exposure, this certainly builds awareness for your book. But don’t make it so important that you miss out on a media that is proving to be extremely powerful in the promotion of ideas, books and building relationships. 

Critical to your success as an author is an integrated approach to media.  This approach leverages the power of traditional media to reach a mass audience with the power of social media that engages prospective readers. Through this combination, you will entice readers to become some of your most avid promoters.

5 Ingredients to a Great Blog Post

by Maggie Hames, Social Media Specialist

The influence of bloggers is continuing to grow daily. eMarketer estimates that this year more than half of internet users will read blogs at least monthly. As an author, what better way to reach your audience, establish yourself as an expert and do what you love all at once? Blogging is the perfect social media outlet for authors to get started online. By trade, authors are writers and are well versed in their subject matter. So take it to the next level. Successful authors like Jackie Collins and Seth Godin are blogging about what they know and you can too.Here’s a go-to guide to writing a successful blog post:

  1. Be Interesting. No one wants to hear about what you wore to your grandmother’s 91st birthday party. So don’t write about it. Write content that will be useful to readers. Dip into the wealth of knowledge that you already have on your subject matter and write for your readers. The best writing comes from taking your personal experiences, theories and ideas, and turning them into content shaped for others.
  2. Tag, Tag, Tag! Tags are key to driving traffic to your blog. They make your blog post searchable and they link your blog to other blogs with a similar topic. Chose tags that are specific to your post and also choose a few from the most popular tags.
  3. Picture Perfect. Readers will get bored with pages of straight text. Incorporate photos or videos into your post to make things more interesting. This will get the readers attention and keep them coming back for more.
  4. Link Intelligently. Link keywords to outside sources with more information. To get started, Google the keyword and try to choose something off the first page of results. But be careful.  Be sure to choose sites that are reliable and add value to your post.
  5. Have fun! If you’re bored writing your post, imagine how your readers will feel. Have personality and show off your writing skills.

As your blog begins to develop, remember there are several ways to get more traffic to your blog. Start by sharing it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Next, we suggest reaching out to other bloggers in your community who are talking about similar subjects. Reach out to them by leaving thoughtful comments and suggestions. This will peak their interest and motivate them to visit your blog. You’ve got to give love to get love. Let us know what you enjoy seeing in a blog post in the comments section and happy blogging!