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2017 WRITING CONTEST: Tales2Inspire Celebrates Sixth Year

Get ready to share your story

winner-tales2inspire

 

“So much more than a contest

Lois W. Stern announces the opening of Tales2Inspire’s sixth yearwith a great little contest for those with an inspiring story to share. But it is so much more than a contest, as winning authors get tons of publicity to help them on their paths to discovery. Free to enter—NO FEES involved.

Stories must be true, with one or more relevant photos submitted to enhance the impact of the story. All details posted at: www.tales2inspire.com/contest, so please refer to this link before you begin.

And since a picture is worth 10,000 words, while you’re there, grab a F*R*E*E e-book sampler of inspiring stories written by previous winners, and now published in one of the six Tales2Inspire® collections

~ Lois W. Stern
Creator of Tales2Inspire ‘Authors Helping Authors’ Project/Contest

Get the NEW Tales2Inspire E-book 6 Inspiring Stories – FREE 
Available formats for KINDLE (Mobi) OR NOOK (e-pub)
FREE e-book sampler www.tales2inspire.com/gift
Your reviews are most appreciated.

    Lois’s links:

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10 reasons why YOU should join RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (even if you’re NOT a writer!)

Writers & Readers: COME JOIN US
Find out why membership is a no-brainer… #RaveReviewsBookClub ROCKS! ~ Bette A. Stevens [Explore Bette’s Blog]

Aside

MARKETING YOUR BOOKS WHILE ON VACATION

 Guest post by Lois W. Stern

on vacation LOIS STERNGoing on vacation? Bet you can’t wait! But with a little advance planning, you can combine your “fun in the sun” with a few book marketing ideas.

Here are five ideas to set your marketing wheels turning.

1.Think of a topic for your presentation that relates to your books, but one that isn’t just about selling books.

Example:

My current books are filled with inspiring, true stories that come to me through an “Authors helping Authors” project I initiated four years ago. I decided that along with sharing some of these inspiring stories, my workshop would center on How to Write a Winning Short Story.

  1. Create a flyer or post card with your name and head-shot, title of your presentation, and its proposed length. Be sure to include your contact information: phone and e-mail address.

Post card png copy LOIS STERN

  1. Find a venue for your workshop.

If you want to present at a local library, you should begin well in advance of your trip, as libraries often schedule their events as much as six months ahead. Do a Google search for the closest libraries. Get their phone numbers. Call and ask for the name and e-mail address of the person in charge of booking presentations. Talk directly to that person if you can. it always helps to learn what topic they would be interested in and perhaps tweak your presentation to meet their needs. If e-mail communication is all that’s available, send a brief message putting something like “Follow up to my phone call” in the subject line.

But think of other venues that relate to the topic of your book. If you have a book about photography, think about art centers or museums. If your book relates to a special interest as sailing or food preparation, try to connect with a like-minded group or club. Your local reference librarian might have just the right connection for you. Even a Google search can be helpful in connecting you with just the right venue.

Meet Up SIgn  LOIS STERN On Vacation

MeetUp groups are popping up all over the country. Check out your area for a group that relates to the genre of your book. If you find one, offer to do a presentation for them.

Example:

I gave a presentation at a local library last winter while vacationing in Florida. I decided that along with sharing some of my inspiring stories, I would create a workshop focused on the elements of a compelling short story. I began my workshop by introducing the elevator pitch, giving aspiring writers some hands-on practice with a most useful skill.After telling each story, I encouraged audience members to record an elevator pitch and share it with the group. With my help, we fine tuned them before moving on to the basic elements of a winning short story.

Outcome: Aside from selling some of my books,I received an honorarium and met a motivational speaker who entered and received a Finalist Award for her inspiring story, At Least Nothing Bad Happened. Her story is now published in Tales2Inspire ~ The Sapphire Collection, (Stories that Echo In the Mind), so it was a winning day for both of us!

Cruise ships often hold talent nights. Why not plan a storytelling event where you share a compelling scene from one of your books. Add a bit of drama to hold your audience in rapt attention: wear a special hat, bring a significant object, use different voices, add some background music – anything to grab their attention.

Example:

One night the social director on our Russian River cruise held a talent night. I told the director I didn’t exactly have a talent, but I could tell an inspiring story. I recounted The Voice, a mesmerizing story now published in Tales2Inspire ~ The Emerald Collection, (Beyond Coincidence stories). After I finished, you could hear a pin drop. I went on to explain that because there were so many intelligent, interesting people on board, I suspected that someone out there might have an inspiring story for me. Sure enough, the next day one of the passengers approached me with a story he thought might fill the bill. He did, and a super story at that! “And the Music Plays On” is another dynamite story, now published in Tales2Inspire ~ The Topaz Collection, (Stories of Awakenings). Did I sell books on that cruise ship? You bet! And if I had packed more, I would have sold dozens.

  1. Call the local book store in the area where you plan to vacation. Introduce yourself and your book, inquiring if they would be interested in scheduling a book talk/book signing event while you are in the area. There always seems to be an element of mystique surrounding the person from fifty miles or more away!.Be sure you understand and agree on all terms in advance: (i.e. who purchase and returns the unsold books, net to you the author, what publicity they provide and expected audience size.)
  1. Think Out of the Box for other venues.

Example:

I have a favorite little gift shop I frequent in Fl. with an interesting assortment of costume jewelry, knick knacks, women’s purses and more. I am a frequent customer there but never even noticed their small book corner. I talked to the owner about my books, she asked me to bring in a set for her to preview and she ordered six of them, paying me cash up front at a 60/40% split.

Our bottom line is to sell our books. But how we go about it makes all the difference. Always think in terms of “how you can give back” and you will stay ahead.

Do you have another idea oI how to market your book while no vacation? If so, in the spirit of “Authors Helping Authors please add it in the comment box below.

If you think you might want to enter the Tales2Inspire contest, you should first do two things:

lois_charli3_lite_blue

Lois W. Stern

T2I 4bks.new copy

 

 

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Aside

How to Be a Book Marketing Strategist: The Ultimate Book Marketing Guide

Guest post by Jill Bennett

Why should you be a book marketer when you can be a book marketing strategist? A marketing strategist:

  • Analyzes data, trends and projections
  • Researches the targeted group of consumers
  • Works with people or teams
  • Figures out the best way to generate sales

A degree in marketing isn’t necessary to be a strategist, but it can help you develop and practice skills, learn essential marketing principles, and understand how to apply these principles to drive sales. But you can also acquire these skills from self-teaching. This guide will help you become an autodidact marketing expert.

1. Sales funnels

Sales Funnell

Read a lot of marketing books and you will encounter this word a lot. A sales funnel refers to the purchasing process customers go through, from awareness to interest to purchase. Imagine a funnel—that conical utensil you use to pour liquids into small-mouthed containers. Now, imagine that liquid is your target customers. How do you nudge people to be aware and interested in your book and then turn them into customers?

To answer this question, you need a solid plan.

2. Goals

Create a list of your objectives and goals. Maybe it’s selling at least 10 books a month or making writing your main source of income. Include the time frame you plan for achieving those goals.

3. Marketing plan: Identify your audience

  • Who are your target audiences? You may already have a good idea of your book’s intended audience, but you’ll never know who else is reading your book until you conduct research. If your book is already out, check your sales channels and social media platforms, such as Amazon and Facebook respectively. Study the profiles of buyers and interested prospects. Who are they? What’s their age? What do they do? Are they women? What other books do they read? If your book isn’t up for sale yet, study the readers of similar books.
  • What needs do your target audience have that your book can satisfy? This is the next question. Once you have this answer, you can find out what can influence their buying decisions. Make your marketing message appeal to their needs and wants.
  • How can you reach them? Through which platforms, media and places can you communicate and influence your audience? These places are your ticket to book sales.
  • Where do they buy their books? Sell your book where customers are searching, and don’t make them jump through hoops to buy your work.

4. Marketing plan: Market analysis

This is the part where you perform market analysis. Consumer behavior, market trends and technological advances can all affect your book’s performance in the market. For instance, since e-book readers are the device du jour, so making your book available in digital format will help bolster sales. There are also trends in genre—there was a time when fictional vampires and werewolves were hot!

Studying the competition is part of the market analysis. This part will determine how you can stand out from the thousands of other books that get published every month. There’s nothing wrong in doing what works for them, and there’s definitely nothing wrong on focusing on what they’re struggling with. Spy on your competitors, legally of course.

5. Action plan

Lastly, create your plan of action. Come up with action-oriented steps that will accomplish your goals and objectives. Use the data you’ve analyzed to create these steps.

Book marketing is a science, and it’s through research, study, measuring data that can turn you into an expert in this field. Identify the following:

  • Promotional items to use (print materials, merchandise, etc.)
  • Events to facilitate (book launch parties, book signings, speaking engagements, etc.)
  • What social networks to use
  • What content to post on your blog and social networks
  • Other offline and online tactics that can give results

Don’t forget to consider budget in all of this. If you’re on a tight budget, run your marketing campaign for as long as your budget will allow.

 

Additional Reference:

About the Author:

 

Jill Bennett a markJILL BENNETTs Profile Piceting specialist for LitFire Publishing, a company based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has several years of publishing and book marketing experience under her belt. Also under her belt is the mastery in taking care of three cats named Ginger, Pepper, and Marty.

It’s been a pleasure hosting you on 4writersandreaders, Jill. You’ve left us with excellent strategies on how to get our books into the hands and hearts of our target readers.

WRITERS & READERS:

Jill and I would love to hear from you.

Happy Reading, Writing & Planning your marketing strategies! ~ Bette A. Stevens

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#FREE help For #Authors

Excellent writing and marketing tips for authors. ~ Bette A. Stevens at http://www.4writersandreaders.com

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