Thursday, January 15, 2015

When to Market your Book

I'm not going to tell you here to build your online presence  Or grow your numbers. Or to paste the cover of your book and an Amazon link on every tweet you send or every Facebook post you write.You are already doing that, I'm sure.

What I'm going to tell you is when you should begin to market your book. But it isn't when you learn the release date. Or when you first see your cover. Or even when you get your contract.

I've owned two successful businesses in my life. The first one--a construction company. The second--a bookstore. So I know something about marketing.

We owned our construction company for over twenty years. Not once did we advertise. So how did we get steady business? By word of mouth.


We cared about our customers. We cared who they were and built relationships with them.

As for my bookstore, in the first year, we grew the profits by over 30%. Sure we brought in new merchandise but don't you think our customers could have gone to WalMart to buy their book for a much cheaper price than come into our store?

We built a relationship with our customers. We showed we cared by communicating with them and filling their needs on a personal level.

So what about selling your book? When should you start marketing it?

The minute you start to write. The minute you meet someone. And I don't mean you should tell them about your book. What I'm saying is to develop meaningful relationships even with others online. Not spamming them. Not joining their page and never communicating. Not caring when they voice a real concern.

I tend to buy books from authors who communicate a certain caring attitude. Sure, a writer can't have a one-to-one relationship with all of her followers but she can with many. And that's where the word-of-mouth enters.

I buy books from authors I like. Trust me. If I saw something online about you that I totally disagreed with, I would stop reading your work. No matter how great your book is. That's just the way I am and I tend to think many other people are as well.

I also buy books from authors who are responsive and real in their online presence. I don't think I have to explain that. It takes two seconds to respond to a tweet or a post.

Then I tell my friends about this author. They tell others and soon that author has more people buying their books.

Being a person who cares about who buys your product works. Trust me. It takes well-treated customers to make or break a product. Treat yours with care.


Karen Lange said...

Excellent advice! You are one smart writer. :)

Kenda Turner said...

Agree 100%, Terri! People can tell when you're being genuine and when you're just interested in what you can get. Thanks for the insight :-)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Yes! Excellent post, Terri. I just tweeted it.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

With all the marketing advice out there, I don't know when I've seen it said so well. This is why I spend time online daily, either blogging, or on Facebook or Twitter (My big 3). Not to sell books, because I really don't know that my online presence sells any of my books, but I do it because I've built relationships with so many people online, people I've never met but who are as real to me as though we lived next door.

Saleslady371 said...

Great advice. So true too. We sold homes and relationships with our clients was utmost important. This made me think of Karen Kingsbury and how her website is full of photos at book signings of her and each individual who attended.

Anonymous said...

I so agree! I have purchased books of genres I usually don't gravitate toward just because of the person. I also am one to buy items or go to those home parties selling things (which I don't like)just to support people I love.

Nicola said...

Thanks for sharing! All the best.

Margo Berendsen said...

So exciting for your book coming out! - having followed you for at least four years through this journey!

I love what you have to say here about authors being responsive and caring about the people who buy your product.

That certainly influences my buying choices! What also influences me with book buying is also the premise. Certain premises just make me sit up and go, YES! Must read!

Jane Foard Thompson said...

Sound advice, and worth reminding us, with so much competing for our limited time and energy. Thank you!

Demarcus said...

I think one of the important things to take into consideration is being available to their readers. With the internet being so big now, I think that building a strong relationships with your readers can help market your book without the extra effort. I think it is much like having a street team but only online. When readers feel close to the author, they tend to be more open to pushing your book to other potential readers.

Demarcus @ Cirrus Reach Online Marketing