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But Before I get started, I need to give credit where credit is due. The outline I'm using for this media marketing information came from a workshop taught by Shanna Beaman, author of The Woman's Guide to Living Your Dreams and On Ramp to Your Future. I took a class from her and am grateful I did. She does speaking engagements, workshops, and seminars; and she's fantastic.
I would recommend her classes to anyone.
In today's world an author needs to do more than write great books. He or she must also figure out how to let people know about the books. You may be looking at self-publishing or you may be looking at using a traditional publisher. Either way, you will be responsible to market your own book. The days of expecting a publisher to take care of marketing are long past.
Step 1--Make Your Book Sale-Able.
The most important thing you can do here is to write your book well, but this blog is not going to go into writing techniques. Instead, let's start with the assumption that your book is already well written.
Next, you will need a great cover. One of the best-known cliches out there is: "Don't judge a book by it's cover." But let's face it, we ALL judge books by their covers. You need a cover that jumps out and screams, "Read me!" Your book will have to compete against all the other books it shares a section with in the bookstore. If you use a traditional publisher, then chances are you will not have to worry about designing a cover. But for anyone who self-publishes, don't cut corners on your cover!
Now you should get testimonials for your back cover. Ask other authors to read and comment on your book. If you can get any newspapers, magazines, journals, or other prestigious media testimonials, that would be fantastic. People like to read testimonials on books--a testimonial from an author they like will really catch their attention, but even an author they are unfamiliar with will be better than no testimonial at all. If you are using a traditional publisher you will likely receive at least some assistance with this.
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Write your Amazon description. In your description be sure to mention another author whose work is similar. Something along the lines of: "If you like another author , you'll love your title ." That way, when a customer does a search for the author you named, your book will come up too. Just make sure your book really is similar to the other author's. If you say fans of Stephen King will like your book but you have written a romance novel, you will not gain many new fans. Spend some time thinking about this one--don't just name the biggest-name author that comes to mind. There will be someone whose writing really is similar to yours.
Step 2--Make Yourself an Expert
You can find many requests every day for an expert to interview. Check out www.radioguestlist.com for starters. Small newspapers, radio talk shows, and news bloggers use this site to find experts on specific topics. Once you have a book out, you are a published expert on the topics covered in your book. Look through the list of topics people are looking for an expert on, are there any that are close to what you wrote? If so, respond to the request and let them interview you. Even if your book is pure fantasy, there will be themes within your book that you can use for this.
These interviews WILL NOT gain many new readers. They are chances for exposure and they will give you experience, but the types of media that submit requests to Radio Guest List are small enough that they normally only have a handful of viewers. The benefit is, many of these people are news bloggers. Your interview will be on the internet for the foreseeable future. Your name and book are much more likely to come up when there are many sites that mention you. And don't underestimate the experience you will gain. As you go further into the marketing plan you will be more likely to succeed if you gain experience on this level first.
Continuation of This Posting Series
That's all for tonight, but next time I'll continue with a look at expanding to greater media circles. You can see this posting here.