I’ve worked in marketing communications for too many years to count. But when it came time to market TWO BY TWO, I found it’s a whole different world when you’re marketing yourself instead of a business.
The hard part is that usually it’s just you and your efforts, unless you want to pay a publicist. (Most publishers don’t do much to help their non-famous authors market these days.)
But the terrific part is that no one’s telling you yes or no to this or that marketing avenue. You can do whatever you want.
Here are three things you can implement today to boost your book:
Create or update the signature line on your emails.
Include a link to your website, the title of your book, and a thumbnail of its cover. This way everyone who gets an email from you (for instance, the other swim team moms) will get this visual reminder without you having to say a word. If you don’t know how to create a signature line, just google it and helpful Internet sites will walk you through it.
Tip: I use both a PC and a Mac and found that creating a signature line on one did not automatically put it on emails sent from the other computer. I had to set up the signature line on each computer separately.
Use your friends, in a good way.
I’ve heard on average most adults know about 100 people. Social media has probably expanded that and most people love to help their friends–especially if it doesn’t cost more effort than a few minutes’ time at the computer. If even a couple of these friends will review your book on Amazon, Goodreads, or other places on the Internet, that will boost your visibility. If a few will recommend your book to be purchased by their local library system, that will get it into the hands or more readers. And if some will “share” or “like” your social media posts, that can launch your book and your name to far-flung parts of the country and the world. All you have to do is ask.
Tip: Be sure you help out your writing friends, too. Review their books. Ask your library to stock their books. Share and like their posts on social media. When one succeeds, we all succeed.
Keep at least one copy of your book with you whenever you’re out and about. (And don’t forget bookmarks.)
Never miss an opportunity to talk up your book, by having at least one copy with you at all times. You may run into your son’s former teacher who’s now director of a large church’s preschool. (This happened to me.) Great opportunity to show off TWO BY TWO and make a contact I can follow up on later. I’ll be visiting family in Boston soon and will have TWO BY TWO with me just in case I need to show it to someone. At the very least I can snap some photos of the book (maybe with my cousin’s cat) to use later on social media.
Tip: If you have bookmarks or postcards about your books, keep a handful of these in your pocket, purse, or backpack. Pin one to a bulletin board at the coffee shop where you write. Give a few to your babysitter to hand out to her other families. If your book’s in a local store, visit the shop and, with their permission, put your bookmark into the copies on the shelf.
The main thing I’m learning from this journey into the brave new world of author-dom, though, is to have fun with it. Celebrate every little thing along the way. Even the marketing successes like getting a good-looking signature line.