Sunday, April 30, 2023

Writers, Use Your Marketing Assets

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

In recent weeks, several unpublished authors have written saying they were pursuing traditional publishing because they were writers and didnt want to spend their time in marketing and promotion. In my role as an acquisitions editor at New York publisher, Morgan James Publishing, I recognized these authors will have some hard realities ahead of them--especially if they want to sell books and be successful. Whether you publish with a well-known traditional house or independent publisher or self-publish, in this process of selling books and reaching readers, you will have to spend a portion of your time on marketing and promotion. 

During my decades in the book business, Ive seen many missed opportunities. One of my co-authors was interviewed on The Today Show. Her book was never mentioned and yes, I was shouting at my television while watching it. This author had no media training where they teach you how to create a sound bite with the name of your book and weave that into the conversation (no matter what is being discussed). Our book is long out of print. It is not what you want to have happen to your book but another reality of publishing.

After you understand the importance of marketing and promotion then including it in your regular efforts. You will discover it takes continual work combined with wise actions. Some of your actions will sell books and others will fail. It's all part of the process of connecting with your readers and it is different for every book.

Ive encouraged my Morgan James authors to promote their book on radio. There are thousands of radio shows and opportunities to be interviewed and promote your book. Sometimes they tell me they tried it but didnt feel like they sold any books from it.

There are several key actions in this process. First, understand your reader has to hear about your book at least seven or eight times before they purchase it. Ive seen others say ten to twelve times. A part of what you are doing on the radio is giving your book this exposure which eventually leads to sales. 

When you are on the radio, you need to speak in sound bites and make sure you are sending people to multiple places to purchase your book. Dont simply send them to Amazon (a word bookstores dont want to see and hate (yes, hate). You want to give multiple options including their local bookstore or direct from you.

Heres the actions that my authors who didnt get much out of radio have skipped--but are critical. After your radio interview, get the digital recording. This recording becomes a  marketing asset but only if you use it. I upload my recording to my own hosting place where it is in my direct control and does not disappear. Then I continue to promote these live recordings on social media. Readers listen to them and buy books from it. 

I want to conclude this article with a personal example. Radio host Bob Crittenden at Faith Radio in Alabama interviewed me about Book Proposals That Sell. I promoted the radio station website through my social media connections. Then I uploaded the recording to my own website where I toll continue to promote this asset. Follow the link to catch this 20-minute interview.  
Do you have marketing assets for your book and are you using them to promote your book? Let me know in the comments below. 


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