Recognize Your Clients/Readers To Show Appreciation

Posted in Book Marketing on January 14th, 2011 by admin

Guest Expert: Tony Eldridge

Marketing, especially book marketing, takes place on two fronts. First, the front that helps us find new readers. Second, the front that helps us keep the readers we already have. Why is it important to keep our current readers? Because they help us spread the word about our book; they buy more copies of our books as gifts for others, and they buy our new books when they come out.

So, as we focus on finding new readers, let’s not forget the ones we already have. An easy way to stay connected with our current readers is by having customer appreciation program. This can take many forms and does not have to entail us having to give away something we have to purchase. Often, simple recognition is a bigger deal than we can imagine. Below are a few ideas of how you can initiate a customer/reader appreciation program:

1. Reader Of The Week/Month/Year- You know how much you enjoy it when someone toots your horn in public. This is a way for your readers to feel that same special feeling. All it takes is a quick mention on your blog to make their day.

2. Name A Character After Them- If you are a novelist, then you can immortalize a fan by naming a character after them. I know authors who name all of their characters after their fans, at least their first name.

3. Mention Them In Your Acknowledgment- If you are a non-fiction writer, consider mentioning some of your raving fans in your acknowledgement.

4. Have A Colleague Let Your Send Them An E-Book- Think about how special someone would feel if you sent them an e-book from a colleague, especially an e-book that is for sell and not given away for free. You may be able to work out a swap with your author friend that allows them to give out 10 copies of your book and allows you to give out 10 copies of theirs. Not only will you have a reader appreciation event, but your book will be introduced to some of your colleague’s raving fans as well.

5. Send A Personal Message- Most of us have auto responders of some sort (i.e., Thank you for signing up for my newsletter…), but imagine the goodwill you will build by spending a few minutes to write and send a personalized e-mail message of thanks. Find something unique to personalize the message with so they know it’s from you and not from your software.

6. Ask For Their Feedback- Invite a few of your customers to give you honest feedback on your marketing efforts and/or your writing. This is not asking for editing feedback, but things like “What did you like about my book” or “What did you wish I would have left out?” Ask permission before you involve them and you will be surprised how many people will feel special that you are seeking their advice.

7. If Possible, Allow Your Raving Fans To Purchase Your New Book Before The Public- Being invited to an exclusive event is a great way to tell your readers how special you think they are.

These are just a few ways you can let your readers know how special they are to you. By taking a few moments to single them out for praise and/or recognition, you are strengthening that bond you worked so hard to create. It will also help to ensure that your raving fans keep on raving about you and your book.

Tony Eldridge is the author of the action-adventure novel, The Samson Effect, and author of the video e-book, Conducting Effective Twitter Contests. On his Marketing Tips for Authors Blog you can find practical advice on low cost and no-cost methods for marketing your book. Sign up for his free newsletter to get video tips to help you with some of the more technical aspects of marketing your book online.

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Mid-Week Book Marketing Tips: Personality Promotion: An Author’s Best Friend

Posted in Book Marketing on January 12th, 2011 by admin


Written by: Laurel Marshfield

You’ve heard the numbers. Over a million new books were published last year, in this country alone. The numbers for 2010, when tallied, will be even more daunting. And that’s not including eBooks.

So what do these numbers mean for authors?

One thing they mean is that, with a million-plus books competing for readers, the likelihood of a not-yet-known author attracting huge sales looks fairly slim. But you knew that. And you wrote your book anyway, secretly hoping you’d be the exception — at least in your niche. Now, it hits you: how will not-yet-known Youdraw readers your way?

Here’s your “Author’s Best Friend” option. Given the crowded book landscape, what you need is a strategy that makes your book pop, when readers are gazing at those crowded shelves. That strategy is “personality promotion.” Sure, it comes from the simpler, black-and-white world of marketing, but it can be adapted for the nuanced world that authors inhabit.

“I’ve got five minutes,” you say. “Tell me how it works.”

Well, okay! First, you find — and second, shape — your personal story, while keeping in mind that your potential readers need to feel something for you. They need to empathize with who you are as a person. Think of this as the same kind of empathetic connection that occurs between readers and the main characters of your novel. You want your readers to identify with their plight and eventual triumph, to vicariously suffer and succeed as they do.

This type of identification should also occur with you, the author. And your personal story makes that possible — by inspiring an empathy that leads to a connection that drives the sales of your book. Over time, that connection may also blossom into a reader-author relationship. (Quick. Would you buy the latest book by your favorite author? “Of course,” you say, “right away.” That can’t-wait-to-read-it response comes from the empathy-connection relationship. You want that.)

So you’ve heard the what and the why. Now you need to know how to get the personality promotion process going. The clearest way to see how the first and second steps work — finding and shaping your author story — is to glance back in time at authors who’ve become literary objets d’art. Hemmingway. J.D. Salinger. Virginia Woolf. We know what they stand for; their personal stories are clear and simple (in our minds), and they, along with their books, have long since fossilized into authorial “brands.”

The Hemmingway brand we associate with manly excess, safaris, a hidden code of honor, and ultimate suicide. The J.D. Salinger brand we associate with never-ending adolescent alienation, a lifelong obsession with being absolutely reclusive. And the Virginia Woolf brand we associate with extreme intelligence, complex literary aspirations, and mental torment that led to self-drowning.

Here’s what you need to notice: The books these authors produced reveal a relationship to their personal stories, and vice versa.

“But,” you say, “I’m not Hemmingway, Salinger, or Woolf.” True. Nor should you be; you have your own story. Here’s how to unearth it: find the point where your novel, your self-help book, or your memoir intersects with your own life. In the latter case, it’s obvious; in the first two, it may not be. But wherever that intersection is, write it as a story that you perfect and polish — so it’s clear, dramatic, and not convoluted (simplify, if need be). Then use it in every one of your book promotion efforts, in some way, shape, or form.

Need a little more info? Let’s look at the intersection between a current author’s life and book. And let’s choose a memoir, because the personal story of that kind of author is quite a bit easier to see.

In 2005, Jeannette Walls published The Glass Castle and, a mere two years later, she’d sold 1.5 million copies. Walls’ first-book success came from something that’s abundantly clear in her memoir’s many reader reviews on Here’s an excerpt from one: “It’s probably the best account ever written of a dysfunctional family — and it must have taken Walls so much courage to put pen to paper and recount the details of her rather bizarre childhood — which although it’s like none other and is so dramatic — any reader will relate to it. Readers will find bits and pieces of their own parents in Rex and Rose Mary Walls.”

Note the reader identification, the empathy, the feeling that — though Walls describes a “rather bizarre childhood” — “any reader will relate.” This is a memoir and an author you can identify with; her story touches you. She gets you on her side.

It’s this kind of response that you want. Why? From this empathetic identification with your personal story – the intersection between your book and your life – your book sales will grow. As proof, Walls was herself unknown to readers before publishing her first book.

So here’s the bottom line: Your personality. Don’t promote your book without it.

Laurel Marshfield is a professional writer, developmental editor, and ghostwriter who helps authors shape, develop, and refine their book manuscripts for publication. She offers manuscript evaluation, developmental editing, co-writing, collaboration, ghostwriting, book coaching, and consultation for authors.
Her blogsite publishes inspiration and advice for the author’s journey: Blue Horizon Communications And her free eBook, available for newsletter signup (see the upper right-hand corner of her homepage) is titled: I Need to Be a Bestselling Author – Is That True?: The Five-Destination Roadmap to Authorship.
On Twitter, you can find her at: @BookEditorLM

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The Elements of a Successful Career in Self-publishing

Posted in Self-Publishing on August 26th, 2010 by admin

As an author, the most important person in your career is you. Self-publishing takes writing into a higher level since it’s you who will spearhead every single detail that makes up your book marketing campaign. However, you should learn to choose a number of allies who will help you all the way to your book’s launching. You don’t know everything. Going solo in doing your marketing campaign will leave you drained and frustrated. You need people who will help you cut through the competitive market.

The future of your writing career basically depends on these elements: (1) you as an author, (2) your book/s, (3) marketing and promotions, (4) and networking.

You as an Author
Just like establishing brands, you need to standout among all the other authors. It is not a question of talent or skill since appreciation in writing is diverse and subjective. This boils down to your creativity; letting readers understand and appreciate what you are writing about. When people can relate to your writing, you become successful in being a part of their lives.

Your Book/s
How can your book possibly compete against bestsellers? It’s equally important to plan out your writing career. State your goal and enumerate your objectives. In that way, you won’t have a difficult time establishing your niche. It takes much consistency for you to be known for something.

Marketing and Promotions
Your books won’t sell unless you do extensive marketing campaigns. Competition is fierce in the market. Doing your best means picking the right marketing tools to help in your book’s marketing campaign. Take time to evaluate on the book marketing product or service and always consider their prices.

Networking is cost-free. But it takes time and social investment for you to succeed in this aspect. You won’t be able to attract readers if you just talk pure business. Networking also takes a lot of creativity and out of the box ideas to draw in sustainable interest and attention. The more promotions you do, the more opportunities you create.

But above everything else, remember that you are the most powerful marketing weapon. You are your book’s advantage.

Here’s a checklist to help you in your career:

  1. Don’t stop learning. Endlessly practice and polish your ability to write.
  2. Fuel your passion and promotion by learning from other book marketing campaigns. Success stories will inspire and keep you going.
  3. Be resilient at all times. Stay committed to your career.
  4. Don’t let creativity run out. Take risks and try out new things.
  5. Continuously establish your identity through presenting authentic and new ideas.
  6. Keep your communication open. Build and maintain relationships with your growing network of readers, fans, the media, and the rest of your allies.
  7. Be willing to go an extra mile in promoting your work. Seize speaking opportunities even if it doesn’t earn you a dime.
  8. Take every problem as a challenge.
  9. Lastly, use your time and any existing talent as productively as you can.

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