The elephant in the publishing rooms seems to be marketing. Big publishers do more marketing and thereby sell more books. At least that’s what was happening before all the technological improvements opened up the market, allowing smaller publishers and individuals to compete. Writers everywhere are learning about promoting, branding, social networking, trade shows, seminars, book festivals, library tours, cover design, reviewers, video trailers, ad specialties, eBook conversions, press releases, contests, tee shirts, pens, calendars etc. Teaming up sounds like an idea, but everyone has their own book to publicize so it’s hard to figure out how to join forces and pool ideas. As a writing community, we are generally supportive of each other’s endeavors, but marketing casts a shadow and a fear into the hearts of many who pen novels, poems and non-fiction. Marketing requires the writer to step out of their comfort zone, actually asking for readers, friends and relatives to buy books! Memories of selling wrapping paper for the high school booster club come flooding back into our head and fogging our good writing thoughts with horrid recollections of slamming doors and growling dogs.
While I don’t have any concrete answers here in this post, I can at least tell you two crucial things that helped me with marketing. Of course, these two things helped me with marketing in the newspaper business, so I don’t really know if they would work for books. Either way, this advice helped me a great deal. It sounds so simple and it is, but how you use and process the information is the bottom line.
Anyway, here it is: 1. Enjoy it-have fun. 2. While having fun, don’t forget to ask for the sale.
Top of the Line Marketing
It rained on our anniversary trip to Vegas. Our initial plan was to spend days at the pool and nights on the town. Barren desert had deep pools of water next to the side of the road and what appeared to be puddles were actually temporary lakes that could swallow a car. Two or three days of rain were sudden, furious and exciting. We held hands walking on the strip between hotels while loud crackling thunder and lightning sparkled above the neon lights in competing displays of energy.
|This was the nicer weather. |
Picture from the Strip looking down Tropicana Blvd.
One afternoon we attempted to go swimming in the swimming pool but the blackish gray clouds started showering us after half an hour. Boom, the thunder had me running from the pool. With nothing to do but eat, we did a massively wonderful job at the buffet, a bakery, a yogurt shop and a gourmet restaurant not to mention Starbucks. The only other option was gambling which is a losing proposition and usually ends up making us sad. Back to the food and shopping.
These casinos have ingenious marketing, because the day we returned home the weather was lovely, the ponds had dried and the sun was blasting around us in ninety-five degrees. Why let the visitors waste their time at the swimming pool, when they can be losing money in the casinos, shopping or buying food? Talk about strategic marketing plans. Those guys have some powerful connections.
Do you have a marketing plan? Is it watertight?
Do you have ideas to share?