Authors Can’t Be Too Pooped to Market!

by Joel Friedlander on March 29, 2012 · 17 comments

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by Judith Briles (@AuthorU)

I just recently heard about the “book marketing extravaganza” Judith Briles is holding in Colorado this year as part of her Author U training program for authors who want to publish. Judith is an experienced and very successful author, book marketer and book shepherd, so she really knows what she’s talking about.

When I looked at the program I thought it would be well worthwhile letting you know about this opportunity. Just the four-and-a-half hour session with John Kremer would likely be worth the fee and the flight to Colorado. John is an amazing source of information on book marketing, and there will be a full lineup of other experts, too.

Judith has also graciously offered a special discount to the event for readers of The Book Designer. See the end of the article for the coupon code.

I think this event is an outstanding value so I invited Judith to give us her take on what authors should be thinking about in terms of the one thing everyone wants to know about—book marketing. Here’s her response.



Most authors are pooped by the time they have book in hand. I get that—it’s quite a journey getting there. When the book is finally a book-book and available to the public, most authors tend to believe, “It’s build, they should come.”

Ahhh, contraire … if anything this is when the author’s support/energy/creativity/WORK really must go into high gear.

  • How are you feeling about the sales of your books?
  • Have you realized that writing your book is only the beginning of an amazing journey?
  • How would you describe your book marketing efforts?
  • Have you created a marketing game plan to not only launch your book … but to keep it going?

The support for the book, your book—whether it’s an eBook, pBook, aBook, vBook … whatever type of Book it is—is HUGE at this point. What you do, and don’t do, will either soar your sales or fail to create even a hiccup.

Here’s one of the secrets of a successful author: Five percent of the author’s time goes into the creation of the masterpiece—the remaining 95 percent will go into marketing and support of it over a period of time. Ninety-five percent!

Your book journey is similar to an iceberg—your completed and published book is just the tip of it … it’s all the marketing effort under the surface that needs to be created, implemented and supported that leads to success. It’s what successful authors know … and what naïve and newbie authors need to know. The 95 percent factor.

It’s Marketing, Marketing, Marketing

Your book, and the support of it, is a long-term investment. It will take your time, your energy, your creativity, your commitment … and yes, some money. Sometimes lots of money, depending on your marketing game plan; sometimes minimal moneys, yet lots of time. Hello Internet! Your plan and platform will be the driver.

What kind of marketing will your plan drive?

  • There is the traditional, “let’s sell it via the bookstores” marketing;
  • selling books at the back of the room marketing;
  • publicity generated marketing;
  • social media marketing including Twitter and Facebook;
  • LinkedIn Groups marketing;
  • virtual book tour marketing;
  • Blog marketing;
  • Amazon best-selling campaign marketing;
  • partner marketing;
  • pre-publication marketing;
  • mobile phone marketing;
  • insider Kindle secrets marketing;
  • Google+ Hangouts marketing;
  • get-a-gig marketing;
  • business card marketing;
  • BB gun marketing;
  • it’s time to start a prayer marketing;
  • do nothing marketing, etc., etc., etc.

When your book births, marketing immediately goes into play—including the “Do Nothing” marketing campaign. You’ve made a choice—to sit on your tush—you are too pooped to market, you are in the middle of a business or personal crisis, you have no moneys for it or just don’t care.

Your Book Success Is Up to You … and ONLY You!

I have several hats I wear. One as an author of 30 books; one as The Book Shepherd; one as a president and executive director of Author U, a member association for authors; and one as a publisher.

Last week, I contacted three separate authors that I had shepherded and agreed to co-publish their books about their lack of sales. Both my book shepherd and publisher hats were on. Publishers don’t love the term, “lack of sales.” None of these authors should have got the “Wake up and smell the book roses … possible death toll bell” from me.

I hated writing them … I hated sending them.

And, I had to do it. As the publisher, because it’s business. As The Book Shepherd, because they chose to ignore the hours of brainstorming about strategies to market, position and sell their books. As the publisher, I got the books into national distribution at all major channels—even Barnes and Noble ordered them.

And they failed. Miserably. Two of them have done zip in marketing support for their books. ZIP. The third did an announcement on her Facebook page and has created a few speaking engagements. Granted, those sold books at the event, which is a great strategy and was part of the game plan. But, that’s it.

The Ego Factor

Authors have got to deal with their egos—they are always part of the formula. Do they want their books available in book stores, or at least available, so that a book store can easily order it? So buyers can buy the book? So that they can tell their friends that it’s at the book store? So that they can actively tell people to buy the book at a book store, or at least go to Amazon to buy the book?

Or, is it a stroke to their ego—a badge of honor to have their book in the store that they can brag about?

If authors are not going to drive book buyers to book stores … they don’t need a distributor. Distributors make money when books are sold through book stores and libraries. If authors aren’t going to encourage buyers to go to stores, to Amazon, to B&N, to libraries (yes, if libraries get demand, they buy books for inventory), there is no need for representation via a distributor.

If so, authors MUST understand the game … and the game is this: drive buyers to book stores if the publisher arranges for that option. Why should a book store carry a book or make it available if people aren’t encouraged to buy the book through them? If the book doesn’t sell, any future books may carry “baggage” with them … as in, “Why should we carry this author … her titles don’t sell? All of the author’s previous books were returned.”

Were the books good? Did they solve pain or provide a solution to something that a viable audience was in search of? Did they contain stories and humor to support their themes and key concepts? Yes, Yes and Yes. Oh yes. I loved them all … and so did the authors. I believed in every one of them—they were well-written; beautifully designed on the interior; and each had an excellent cover.

Can those three authors change the limp direction of their book—even when it’s been out for a while? Absolutely! It will take some time. It will need a marketing re-direct. It will take a commitment. Will they do it? Only time will tell.

How to Goose Up Your Book Sales

AuthorUWould you like to create an amazing marketing game plan? You can by coming to the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado. An amazing line-up of publishing marketing pros will be there at the Author U Extravaganza May 3-5 … for less than $400, you get over $50,000 in talent brought to your book doorstep. Plus, get fed.

The Early Bird discount ends this Sunday, March 31st.

Author U’s theme this year is It Takes a Village to Create and Market Your Book. All the top marketing and publishing gurus will be presenting hands-on workshops over the three days. For an investment of a few hundred dollars, the Village will deliver a variety of strategies and techniques for all types of books—the emphasis is marketing, marketing, and marketing.

If you want to be seriously successful, you will be there.

You will be working with amazing book marketing strategists, publicity mavericks, Internet gurus, mobile marketing geniuses, audio and video pioneers … all done in an intense workshop environment …

Dive down, drill deep, you will learn strategies and techniques to market your books, expand spin-off products, present all with style panache. You cannot afford to miss John Kremer, Brian Jud, Steve Harrison, Judith Briles, Georgia McCabe, Marty Dickinson, Janita Cooper, Dan Pacheco, Daniel Hall, Mary Barnett, Nick Zelinger and Florrie Binford Kichler. Block the dates on your calendar for 2 ½ days that will turn you and your book into a success.

There is a bonus John Kremer dinner workshop (author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books) on Thursday, the 3rd. Warning: only a few spots remain. Rates increase on Sunday morning, April 1st. As a subscriber to this newsletter, you save an extra $50 when you use the promo coupon: AUEJoel.

The success of your book is up to you. If you want it, commit to it. Implement it. Rejoice in it. Market it.

Information You Can Use

Dates: May 3 – 5, 2012
Time: May 3 starts at 4:30pm. May 5 ends at 5:00pm.
Location: Doubletree Hotel-Denver Tech Center, Greenwood Village, Colorado
(special rates at $85 until April 12th, call 800-327-2242 and ask for Author U group rate)
Cost: Now—Author U members: $317 plus $60 for Kremer event.
Non-members: $380 plus $75 for Kremer event.
After April 1st— Author U members: $347 plus $77 for Kremer event.
Non-members: $477 plus $97 for Kremer event.
For more information or to register for the extravaganza: Author U
Promo Coupon for $50 Discount: AUEJoel

Judith BrilesJudith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd, a book publishing coach and the Founder of Author U (niversity) a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. She’s the author of 30 books including Show Me About Book Publishing, co-written with John Kremer and Rick Frishman and a speaker at publishing conferences. Her next audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform will be available in the Spring of 2012. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Your Guide to Book Publishing on the www.RockStarRadioNetwork.com. Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her at Judith@Briles.com.

Photo by rghrous. This is an affiliate offer.

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    { 14 comments… read them below or add one }

    Judith Briles March 31, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Thanks Edward…. this is the last weekend for the Early Bird Discount–would love to see you in Colorado!

    Reply

    Edward Smith March 31, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Thanks, authors just can’t learn enough about the need and how to of marketing. It is a whole new game once the book is finished and you realize that you are the one that has to sell it. Good luck. Edward Smith.

    Reply

    Judith Briles March 30, 2012 at 9:58 am

    As Joel said … John is worth the price the price of the entire Extravaganza!

    Reply

    John Kremer March 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I can’t wait for this conference for everything I hope to learn from the other speakers. And, of course, what I’ll learn from giving my own 4.5 hour event the evening before.

    I hope to see some of you there.

    John, the book marketing funmeister

    Reply

    Turndog Millionaire March 30, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Good luck, John, i’m sure you’ll inspire a few folk

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

    Reply

    Judith March 29, 2012 at 6:49 am

    Thanks Matt–come on over to the Mile High City–Colorado is glorious in May! And you are so right … one of my clients was shocked–shocked … when I told him I wouldn’t work with him unless he committed as much time to his book as I would in getting the baby birthed. Why, why would anyone want to put so much heart and soul into something and not want it to succeed?

    Reply

    Turndog Millionaire March 30, 2012 at 1:21 am

    You do right, it’s a new world we live in and people need to learn to market what they do. It’s not easy any more, everyone is bombarded by adverts every single day. We need to be clever to get through the noise, and things are no different for authors.

    A publisher is stand offish, but an author is someone people can trust. They need to use this to their advantage, and learn to love it too

    And Colorado sounds amazing right now. Have a few friends over there, and they say it’s amazing. Hmmmm, may have to get my flight booked for next year :)

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

    Reply

    Judith March 30, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Hope you get involved with the Author U community… each year changes in theme and focus and speakers–we plan to bring in Joel for the 2013 Extravaganza…

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander March 30, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Denver in May? Sounds good to me, sign me up!

    Reply

    Turndog Millionaire March 29, 2012 at 4:22 am

    Some great advice, Judith, it pains me when people don’t see the big picture of marketing

    A lot of people see it as the hard sell (which it isn’t)

    Others see it as a lot gimmicky business cards and logos and pictures (which it isn’t)

    It’s got a human life to it and so much depth. It’s a relationship with people, an understanding of process, a strategic look down the road. I love marketing, but it’s hard work. You need a plan and then you need to go and actually do things.

    Both are hard, but if done properly, boom! You’re a winner (if the book is good that is)

    And the conference sounds amazing, such a shame it’s so far away. Might be one to save up for next year :)

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

    Reply

    Judith Briles March 30, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Hey Matt … guess what … we will bring in the Book Designer, Mr. Joel himself next year. The dates are the same due to Leap Year, May 3-5, 2013…

    Reply

    Christopher Wills March 29, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Great article. Pity the event is a bit far for me. Any chance of a couple of posts after the event summarising some of the useful stuff? (although I’m sure it will all be useful).

    Totally agree with Judith’s premise that one has to work at marketing. I self published my first book a year ago and emarketing has been a steep learning curve for me. The best thing I have learnt about emarketing is that mostly it is free, the main cost is blood, sweat, tears and time. It could be interesting to hear the best thing others have learnt about emarketing.

    Great blog Joel.

    Reply

    Judith March 29, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Hi Christopher… check out air ticket to CO—there are some Frontier air deals going on right now… we would love to have you. Thanks for suggestion to do a summary… we will do for Joel and followers. Judith

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander March 30, 2012 at 8:50 am

    That’s a great idea, Christopher, I wonder if any of the attendees would like to write up the event for my blog?

    Reply

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