An Apology and Real Book Marketing

I must apologize to all my fans, friends, and family for not writing a blog post for such a long time. I didn’t notice that it had been so long. Much has been going on in my life. I published a book in late February (Grandma Honey, I Turned into a Mermaid). But I also have been sick a lot with some breathing issues. I hope that I’m pulling out of that vortex, but it’s hard to know. I feel fine one day, and then sick the next. It’s been hard to focus on things I’ve needed to do to promote my book, which means getting interviews. Guest blogging opportunities are another means, which I could have done. However, in some niches, it is harder to find…not impossible. And I continue to look for those opportunities, as well.

Not only have I not felt well, I’ve also been a bit frustrated with finding opportunities to get in front of my audience. The book is a children’s early chapter book, which means it is a book meant for those early readers K-3. While the readers are children, my audience for marketing include parents, teachers, and anyone who works with this age group. My biggest market is parents, which I thought should be pretty straight forward. There are a lot of parent, primarily mom, blogs. However, the frustrating part is not finding any contact information and many don’t even give you an opportunity to comment. So, my next thought took to podcasts, because there are a lot of family-oriented podcasts. I listened to many podcasts, some give opportunity for comments, more do not. Commenting on blogs and podcasts are important ways to get to know the bloggers and podcasters, giving them reason to respond to inquiries for guest blogging and podcast interviews.

Being a bit frustrated and sick, I turned to learning. As an author and professional book writing and publishing coach, I feel it is important to invest in myself and learn new things. I’ve been publishing books now since 1981, when I published a cookbook. I’ve always done pretty much all of it from start to turning it over to printers. Like a lot of indie authors, I’m good at producing the book and not so good at marketing. I’ve taken many courses over the last few years, but I went searching for enlightenment on marketing for this book. In my search for this enlightenment, I’ve taken a course from Kristen Joy on Book Covers that Sell (http://publishwithconnie.com/bookninja). I also joined the Reach More Readers Insiders’ Club (http://publishwithconnie.com/insidersclub), which is an ongoing group coaching from D’vorah Lansky on how to reach more readers for your book. I’ve studied an array of free and paid info from Sandra Beckwith (http://buildbookbuzz.com/), such as Virtual Book Tours and 365 Daily Tips. Create Your Author Platform from Katie Davis (http://katiedavis.com/226/) was a reminder for me to cross my “T”s and dot my “I”s! There is a host of information available on marketing your book. And while I knew a lot of the information in these courses, there was almost always something to learn or reminded of that I was not doing.

If there was one “aha” that came from all of these courses, it that you have to continue to invest in yourself and your business. Just because you learned something two or three years ago does not mean you can cross that off your learning list. Technology continues to change, so there is always something more to learn. Most of these courses were inexpensive. You do have to avoid getting distracted by the “shiny stuff,” which means taking courses or buying books just to avoid doing what you need to do to market your book.

What I continued doing was trying to find those podcasts, which I felt would be the best use of my time. It paid off. While the e-mail that I sent this podcast got lost in their internal changes, someone found it, read it, and called me. It is the Family Matters Podcast out of Los Angeles. They mainly interview New York Bestsellers, but I caught the eye of their producer. They will be interviewing me in July. What did I send? I sent an e-mail that came from a Tip Sheet Press Release. It contained most of the body of that Press Release, and I tweaked it to fit.

A Tip Sheet is a type of Press Release that publications love! It gives tips on your topic. In my case, the book is about “make believe” or creative play. My tip sheet included eight or so tips on why this is crucial for child development and why it is a hot button item in today’s digital world.

You can write a Tip Sheet on any topic. It is easier, of course, if you are writing non-fiction. My book is fiction! So how did I come up with this topic? There are almost always themes that run through our books, even if they are fiction. For example, one of my books (not in this series) is “The Real Story of the Dumpty Family.” This book is about how the wife saved Humpty Dumpty by sewing him back together, while the King and all his horseman could not figure out how. Two themes here: Good marriages require team work; Women are often more clever than men. I would probably go with the second theme and modify it slightly to “How Girls Can Compete with Boys.”

Hope this helps you in marketing your book! If you have questions, either post them here in the comments or send me an e-mail!

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