You might write your book in solitude, but It can take a village to publish it and make it commercially successful. Nothing has made this clearer to me than my recent experience of publishing Walk in My Shoes, a collection of 27 stories by people who are affected by Usher Syndrome. The editor contracted with my company, Merrimack Media and we released the book was released a month ago.
Besides the fore-mentioned team that wrote and edited the book, I put the cover together, my book layout person paginated it, and we sent it off for printing and distribution. But that’s where the story began. Each of the 27 authors had a stake in the success of the book. It wasn’t just one author working to promote this, but 27 of them! The results were dramatic. They sold 300 books right out of the gate.
Sometimes when an author self-publishes, the sales end after the first burst. Authors want to write, not spend their time marketing their books, and they often retreat to doing what they like most when the excitement is over.
“It takes a village” is the basis for social media itself. If you are willing to dive in, there are a lot of micro communities in the form of groups or followers, that might be just the right community to be interested in your book. The challenge is to find them, engage, and interest them in your writing. There are many writing communities that are based on genre where you can build a following such as wattpad.com, but I am not convinced at this point that those fans who read your work for free, convert into paying customers.
Occasionally, when an author knows that he must market his book, has a small budget, and is self-aware enough to know that he’s not going to EVER do any social media, he’ll hire us to run his marketing program. We research his audience, then post, boost, and advertise to reach them. It takes time to build up fan base, and although we have had some positive results, the most successful authors build community by engaging with their audience themselves. So, what else is there?
IF you don’t have 26 other authors handy to help you market your books, you might think about targeted co-marketing. Perhaps you have your own writer’s community where you can review, post, and buy each other’s books. There are some other new online platforms for writers, to help with that. We are partnering with Instafreebie, http://instafreebie.com,
for our recently-launched DIY publishing program called Publi. http://merrimackmedia.com/publi.
With Instafreebie, you can reach your desired audience through their enormous database, but you can use it also co-promote with your own village to grow your following.
You can learn more about Instafreebie on a free webinar, with Ashley Durrer: Reach the right readers, and grow your mailing list
Thursday, February 23rd
1 p.m., EST
This webinar is part of a series of free webinars with our affiliate partners for Publi, to preview our upcoming Bestseller Bootcamp, April 1st in Boston. Learn more about Bestseller Bootcamp here:
Sign up for other webinars here: http://www.merrimackmedia.com/webinars/
Jenny Pivor, owner of Merrimack Media and PUBLI, is a writer and entrepreneur, as well as graphic/web designer. She’s published hundreds of authors as well as producing author websites with WordPress, and training clients to use them. She helps develop author’s marketing copy, designs book covers, produces book trailers, and is an author marketing strategist.