Monday, January 21, 2013

The Book is Finished – Now What?

   Congratulations on completing your first book - now on to marketing, the hardest and most important part for an author. Writing the book is fairly simple once the information is organized and the idea springs forth like pouring rain spilling into a flowing river that traverses through a canyon into a tributary that winds its way to the ocean.  The blank page is soon covered with words and sentences that compile into chapters until our story is complete and the ink from the printing presses dry for the bindery to assemble into book form and our work as an author stands ready, our work is complete – Well not quite.   Marketing the work that we diligently create and edit is where many of us loose our way.

Below are a few of the things that I recently did to market “Brimstone and Water”

   I use the internet to locate areas where I would like to do presentations and signings. I then submit the information to my marketer at Tate Publishing who works to get me into the libraries, stores, etc. that I selected. Tonight the information I copied to a word document for Biloxi, MS area and sent to James at Tate came to fruition with 3 engagements I just confirmed for "Brimstone and Water" my most recent release.

   I also have a presentation/signing event at Foley Public Library, Foley, AL in the middle of all this. That engagement I generated simply by stopping in at the library and presenting myself to the library director. He in turn asked about the book and my thought out prepared description to peak his interest led to an invitation to give a presentation along with a sales/signing that evening.

   Once our events are scheduled it is important to use Twitter, Facebook, Google, a press release (these are usually free) and any other interpersonal communication we might have at our disposal to advertise that event.

   I am not a known author in the sense that we think of big sales and top billings. I am an author that wants to get my work into the readers’ hands and do my best to find places I can do just that. We need to present our work with confidence that it will stand on its merits and be prepared to listen to and use constructive advice from our peers. 
   I am often asked what I do since I retired from my full-time job nearly three years ago.  I answer I am an author.  The next question is what have I written and am I published.  I then talk about my published work and the book I am currently completing in a short previously thought out description of the works and offer my latest business card for consideration and a future purchase.
   These things work together to bring success to the work being marketed to readers that are looking for that next new work to be read and enjoyed.  Every story has its niche – find the market and sell, sell, sell!


Friday, January 4, 2013

Making a Contact

   Today my husband and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary and went to a restaurant in Foley, Alabama for an entertaining lunch.  We decided to make a stop in the town of Foley and do a little looking around before driving down one of the main streets.  By accident we passed the Foley Public Library.  The decision to stop and take a chance that I might be able to be a speaker about my latest book was on the spur of the moment.  I have a speaking engagement at the library on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.

   This is just one example of what can happen when we take the reins into our hands and trust that the best will happen.  I spoke with the director of the large facility that has several programs and encourages authors to speak and present their work.  Not only was the director gracious and engaging, he also told me about the community and the opportunities the future holds in this growing city. 

   Where ever we may be when asked what I do since retiring I tell people I am an author and continue to write more novels.  Each author has a diverse genre and a distinctive way of putting pen to paper, or as we say today, putting our fingers on the keyboard.  However, when it is time to market the work we have so diligently raised as our offspring it is time to use every skill marketers use to sell our product.  Yes, I said product because that is what we are presenting in the end.  Even though the book springs forth from our imagination the end result is something to be sold to the public.

   Each time I say, “I am an author,” I get a certain sense of thrill that my work is published and people are interested in reading the story.  Today the library director asked me what the book was about and I gave a brief three or four sentence response that captured his interest.  I make sure I always have my business card with me with a picture of the cover, my name, the name of the book and my blog and web site as well as a direct link to purchase the book.  On the back of the card I have a quote from the book that gives a brief insight into the story as well.  I find this works well at book signings as most people turn a card over not expecting to find anything, but one never knows; something could be there.

   I also carry a few of the download cards from my publisher to use as a gift and/or sell to anyone interested in obtaining the book right away that uses Kindles, Nooks, etc. I made sure the library director had my business card and a download card for the book as well.  It is a small token of appreciation for taking a chance on an unknown and allowing me to be a presenter at library.

   My job now is to put together an interesting informative presentation that ties my book to something familiar within the area.  The history of the Gulf will be a source of information that will be interesting to review and write into the presentation for Foley Public Library.  “Brimstone and Water” begins in the Mediterranean on the Island of Crete with the sea creating havoc and destroying a culture – so using the Gulf as a starting point I believe it possible to look back at how the ocean has affected the area and tie it to my story.

   On Monday my marketer at Tate Publishing will read the email about the opportunity I have been given and assist with publicity for the event while I use my social networking, web site and blog to advertise as well.  The library, my marketer and I will work together to make this a successful engagement. 

   I am blessed to have this come my way as well as the marketing publicity that will take place on my behalf.  I wish everyone a happy marketing experience as we present our “product” for the public to enjoy.