Considering the best ways to market my new book, I first had a conversation with my friend Jill Konrath on the best ways to use the net, social networking, blogs, linked in groups, and my own followers from past books. I then started looking around for my best choices. Thankfully, many groups like my material and have been willing to support my efforts.
For those of you entering into the ‘book marketing’ business, let me offer a few tips. First: you need partners. Lots and lots of partners. I became a demon – writing to everyone on all of my lists…all the time. My wonderful tech guy Shawn Dibble helped me design, send, and create the materials I needed so I had everything I needed as soon as I realized I needed it.
I began my marketing as soon as I started writing. I sent out early chapters to dozens and dozens of people: some friends, some colleagues, some competitors, some clients. I got feedback, buddies who hung with me through changes and corrections, and folks who ultimately became demons at helping me promote the book they watched grow up. It gave me other brains to think with, other viewpoints from the field, areas of problems, new ways to look at book organization. And I didn’t feel so alone.
Next: I created some nifty tool kits to help people help me promote. After all, if I’m going to ask people to ‘work’ for me, the least I can do is make it easy for them. So I developed a kit with automatic tweets, different sized blog posts, an ‘interview’ with me, etc. Brainless and painless. As a result, with a flick of the wrist, people could lend a hand and help me market without having to take time from their days. Btw, here is my kit. Cool, right?
Then, I began contacting folks on the web who I thought would be willing to partner with me. My very favorite (other than some scheduled radio interviews with Stone Payton and Erik Wolf, plus the numerous podcasts I’m doing with colleagues – see my calendar) is MaestroConference. They have this truly super-cool conference site that allows people to get into chat groups during on-line meetings, have large group discussions and ask questions, etc. I believe this state-of-the-art product will be endemic and used by every major corporation someday. As a marketing device, they’ve gotten a bunch of truly fabulous icons (my personal favorites are Diana Whitney and Marianne Williamson and Barbara Marx Hubbard) to give free seminars so folks could meet the greats and get free time to trial MaestroConference.com at the same time. It’s a win-win. Here is a link to an invite for my free teleseminar Wednesday, Oct 14, noon PT.
Everything else I’ve done defies what we’re taught regarding marketing. I basically spoke to folks personally. Sometimes by email, sometimes by phone, sometimes by Skype conference if they were out of the country. I asked them how I could serve them, I did blogs on them (payFORWARD), I sent them copies of the unfinished, and often typo-laden manuscript, I had lots of people vote on the cover design, I called crying when frustrated by a horrid editor, an irresponsible layout designer and a proofer who should have had his fingers chopped off. By the way, if you want the names of these folks so you can avoid them, call me.
I collected testimonials from everyone who in any way read any part of the book. I gathered freebies to hand out for the book launch …net net net, I have made this all a community effort. People who I never knew have introduced me to others. People who I never liked became my friends. People who I didn’t know well put in Herculean efforts because they believed in me – and I didn’t even know them! Some folks put together groups of us to help each other through our book writing. People who didn’t think sales needed to change are now converts. Along the way I even got work.
And I have a very special ‘Thank You’ to the folks at BookSurge.com, the POD arm of Amazon.com. I decided to self-publish this book because I didn’t want to wait 2 years for it to come out. And with the interesting personalities on my editorial/design team, I ended up interfacing with BookSurge far more than anyone expected. They came out smelling like a rose: they were supportive, creative, flexible, kind. They handed me off to higher ups when necessary and then circled back to make sure all was well. They did me favors, they stretched rules. I LOVE these folks. Every single solitary one of them. I would strongly, strongly recommend them over a conventional publishing house. Truly. So long as you’re willing to do the marketing on your own (which publishing houses rarely do for you anyway unless you’re Stephen King), call these folks. I give them a perfect 10. My rep is David Friedland. He’s amazingly gentle and supportive and professional and absolutely unflappable.
I am happy to report that I have come through the last 8 months a far more enriched person. Very Very Tired. But my book is far, far better because of the community of friends, the always-interesting feedback, the never-ending support and good will of everyone involved.
Thank you all. Together, we’ve made a great book.
Listen to Sharon-Drew Morgen speak on MaestroConference on Oct. 14 at 12P.M. PST
Check out my new book coming out October 15: Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what to do about it. Read two free chapters. Sign up for presales deals, and announcements.
Or have a look at my book Buying Facilitation: the new way to sell that influences and expands decisions. Click here for two free chapters. It will teach you how to understand and manage the route through the internal decision process, and is meant to be read alongside of the new book, Dirty Little Secrets.