The Results of Hard Work Marketing

Image property of Genesis One Publishing

We always love to share a story of success. This is a great example of someone who has really gone out there and done the hard work to market her book.

Last Wednesday, January 18th, Sharon Ennis, author of Gabby’s Gift, and Gabby herself, appeared on the CTS talk show, Full Circle, to discuss Sharon’s book, and their victories with Gabby’s Spina Bifida.

Congrats on your success Sharon, we are definitely proud of you!

To visit Sharon’s website, and to purchase her book, visit

How to do the (Book Sales) Hustle

A couple of days ago, I read an awesome article about how a first time, self-published author has to hustle their books, and how the word hustle doesn’t have to be negative. I agreed with it wholeheartedly, and it got me thinking, what do my most successful authors do? Let’s take a cue from John Travolta from back in the day, and talk about how to “Do the (book sales) hustle”, shall we?

Practice on your local community.

I am talking your neighborhood here. When you start out, start out practicing your hustle on your friends and family, neighbors, and neighborhood stores. These people will likely be a bit more receptive, because you are from the ‘hood, or they know you well, so it gives you a good chance to figure out what works and what doesn’t work, using them as the guinea pigs. I guarantee you, if your sister won’t buy your book, you are definitely approaching your sale from the wrong direction! Local store owners will likely be more receptive and excited to work with you, because you are from the area. Ask them for advice. You don’t have to use it all, but it is a good way to build up your knowledge.

Get into your local library and schools.

Libraries & schools work on a shoe string budget, constantly experiencing cut backs and often falling victim to cutthroat politics and governmental funding being sliced and diced. They love donations of books, and they will likely be more than willing to take a donation of a few of your books. Sweeten the deal and offer to do a reading there. (This is especially great if you have a kid’s book.) If they agree, set up a date and time with them for a month or more in advance, and get to work. For libraries, create posters (make sure that they look professional) and post them up around town, and give them to the library to post up as well. Do your best to drum up interest. Talk to your local schools if you have a kid’s book. Many schools will jump at this opportunity. Be sure to let them know the cost of your book as well, so that they can tell the parents in advance. Have a table set up with your books for sale, and be ready to sign them. Also, be sure that your presentation is visually appealing. One of our clients uses the originals from her illustrations and has them up for while she is reading the story. No one call sell or read your book like you can, you created the story! This will be good practice for signings and readings in the future.

Talk to your local media.

Local radio stations, tv stations and newspapers are a great place to start. Be a professional, but also be yourself. No one is going to want to feature someone who is going to come across as stiff and without personality, especially live on radio or tv. It is especially great if you can book in a signing at a local bookstore, even big chain ones like Chapters, for in the next few days following your interview. That way, you can plug your upcoming signing, and will be able to get more people attending, just to see, and hopefully purchase, your book. Get your book out there to local book reviewers and bloggers too.

Book a signing with your local bookstores.

Many bookstores will let you do book signings in their locations. Be aware though, they aren’t going to do much for you, other than provide you with a table (ask to be sure that they will even do that). Also, they will be taking a cut of your book in order to be willing to let you set up there. Stores like Chapters will give you a barcode sticker to use, so that people can just take it right up to the counter like they would any other book. It is always good to talk with them about getting your books on their shelves as well. You will likely have to pay to do this, but it can definitely be worth it in the end. How much you pay will depend on the different packages that they will offer. Also, be sure to ask them if there is any way that your book can be visually marked as a local author.

Create a website.

Get yourself set up with a simple website, and a blog. We have discussed the importance of blogging before, and I stick to what I said. You can even set up simple  e-Commerce that can be fairly cost effective. Put that website address everywhere that you can, tell people on the street about it.

The basic moral of the story.

You have to work for it. Your books aren’t going to jump off of the shelves on their own, purely on the merit that you have a good story. If you don’t already have a good sized fan base, you are going to have to build one, and that requires work. Oh, and please, don’t think that putting your book up on Amazon, or the likes will make your book magically sell either. Again, unless you are willing to market it, it won’t sell, because no one will know about it.

Once you are good at what you are doing, you can get bigger and better and take your book to whole new levels.

Make Yourself the Hot Commodity

applauseDon’t just sell your book, let your book sell you.

What wonderful talent do you have to offer? Are you an incredible journalist, a marvelous creative writer, or a tech wizard? Chances are, if you have written a book that highlights your greatest strengths, you are going to be successful in marketing it. Why? Well, because you are going to be selling it with passion and zeal.

But why stop there? If you were a public speaker, and you were at an event, you would sell your book at the engagement. If you are good at what you do, your presentation should drum up plenty of interest in your book. It’s just common sense.

Wouldn’t it make just as much sense to sell your book, and allow it to drum up interest in you as a public speaker? Of course it would! Your book should be a part of a platform to sell you. At the end of the day, you are the product that people are going to buy.

Put it into perspective like this:

People who love Stephen King books buy new books that he has written because they love Stephen King. He has sold himself as a commodity, along with every other successful author. Think about how connected they are with their books, and think of how strong your mental connection is between their name and their books.

People who read books by motivational speakers and teachers buy their books, but they are also just as likely to spend hundreds of dollars on tickets to hear them speak. Think of Dr. Wayne Dyer or Deepak Chopra. Do you think that they are working harder to sell their books, or to write books that sell them?

Build up your confidence and believe in yourself. Take some public speaking courses so that you can feel comfortable up there in the limelight, and believe in what you have to offer. After all, at the end of the day, it’s you that is going to be the hot commodity.

Most importantly, believe in yourself. You are worth being a hot commodity!

Blogging – An Author’s Best Friend

blogBlogging is important. I’m not just saying that to justify the time that I spend every week to write up an article, I am saying it because it is true. What a great way for people to get to know you, your work, and your writing skills. It’s a way to gain a following, and to build yourself up. Whether it be as an intriguing and gripping story teller or as a knowledgeable expert on the topic at hand.

Writing fictions books? Put out small excerpts of your books every week. Have people begging to read more and talking about you. If you put out enough interesting and gripping tidbits, chances are that your followers are going to want to buy the book to get the rest of the story. It will also push you to get started on that next book!

Have you written a non fiction book about an industry or skill? Create little tips and hint articles. Let people see that you really are an expert, and the go to person.

You only need to have 1 blog a week, and if you have it integrated with your website, it can even act as a factor in how high your site ranks in the organic searches for online search engines!

A blog should be a way to promote yourself, which should be a way to promote your books. It also allows you to share your story or knowledge with a really broad platform of people from all over the world.

Publishing, whether it be traditional or self publishing, success relies on marketing and promoting. Use this as an easy and readily available tool to do just that. After all, what is stopping you? You know how to write, and you have tons of great ideas, and I’m sure that you have 15 minutes in a week to sit down and put them on to the screen.

You can easily get a free blog from places like WordPress, and they are completely customizable. The sky is honestly the limit when it comes to the different templates out there. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of free ones available. Make your blog feel like home to you. Create a connection with your reader that is worth more than a thousand words!

So what’s stopping you? Get out there and start your blog already!