Monday, September 13, 2010

Make Your Readers Work for You

I’m a business owner so I regularly follow business blogs, read magazines, and watch business news. I assume since you are all business owners (as authors you are the owner of your brand) you are doing much of the same. If not, you might want to consider looking into it.

One of the things my recent business reading made me think about was authors and their marketing. Specifically, whether or not your marketing is effective and, even more specifically, if you’re getting your readers to work for you. I’ve often talked about the fact that the best marketing is buzz. It’s not shoving your book down someone’s throat, but getting the buzz going. Readers buy books because someone tells them to. That’s buzz.

So the question is, are you counting on only you to get the news out about your book, or are you creating buzz or, a better way to say that, are you getting your readers to do the work for you and sell your book for you?



Alexis Grant said...

Do you read The Art of Non-Conformity? It's a blog, and the book just came out. (Super good, just finished it, will blog about it Wednesday.) Chris is great about getting what he calls his "army" to spread the word about him. He even has a section in his book about how to do that. Look, I'm doing it right now!

steeleweed said...

I recommend checking periodically. He's a self-pub who treats it like a business and really pays attention to what works and why.
Specifics may not be applicable to everyone, but the ideas and method are universal.

Maria Zannini said...

Well since I have a book coming out next month, I hope so. :o)

I think the trick is not to think in terms of my follower base, but to reach out to the follower bases of all my followers.

But it doesn't come without effort on my part. I continually share information, entertain and network online and off. Goodwill begets goodwill.

Buffy Andrews said...

If I had a book out or one that was coming out I'd most definitely be using all of the tools and connections I have (both online and in the community)to get the word out. Right now, I'm working on developing a android app for one of my characters. I'm super excited about it. (Haven't sold the book yet or for that matter got an agent, but oh well). I think lots of authors do blog fests. Janice Hardy asked me to help her with hers (her new book is coming out) and I'm way excited about it. Many authors have Facebook pages etc. I think the online writing community is an incredibly helpful one (and example is Janice) and I'm blessed to be a part of it. We want each other to succeed and achieve our dreams. Did a post about this just yesterday. Anyway, don't forget other writers. They want to help you succeed, too. Blessings, Buffy

Kate Douglas said...

I doubt I'd be "multi-published" without my readers chatting about my books. They're the best advertising any author can have, and I let them know exactly how much I appreciate it when they recommend me and my books. FB and Twitter are amazing places for getting a book buzz going, but you're right in that it has to be reader generated. I find that by making myself accessible, readers are more willing to talk up my books. They're really pretty amazing, and I couldn't do what I do without their support.

Sheila Cull said...

What I'd like to know, what are specific things to do to create the buzz? I've created a blog that I write in everyday and from that it's obvious I'm writing a memoir. I also shout, "Are you gonna buy my memoir when it comes out?" I ask the thousands of contacts I've made at Chicago hotel concierge desks, at low vision organizations I go to, other groups I drop in on including anyone that even looks in my direction. Is this enough? Is there more I should be doing?

Mira said...

I'd like to second Sheila's question. Specifics on how to create 'buzz' would be very helpful! Moany of us are rather introverted, non-salesmany sorts.

Jill James said...

This is about 'street teams', right? I think they are amazing for spreading buzz about an author and the author's books.

jjdebenedictis said...

Ooh, serendipity! I just did a blog post on this topic yesterday.

My argument is that you have to consider whether your advertisement is giving its audience something they want, or if it's just background noise.

Giveaways, contests and games give the audience for the ad something they enjoy. Simply tweeting a link to a good review doesn't. You'll hold onto your prospective customers longer if you're providing them with something they value along with your advertisement's message.

Here's a link to the post:
Making Bookselling a Game

E. Martin said...

Considering that business is a competitive field, if I knew the keys to business success would I blog about them, or keep them a secret so I could out-compete my less insightful competitors?

Business writers write what sells, not what works.

Anonymous said...

How can you create your own "buzz" if everyone else is doing the exact same things? Doesn't that make the field a bit cluttered?

Charli Mac said...

I have no agent yet and am in the process of re-writes after some form rejections and contest results.

However, through my own blog, commenting on other blogs, and FB, I have created a tiny little buzz, mosquito like.

People have persued my author site and watched my book trailer. I have received emails from people asking when my book comes out. I blush, say thanks and let them know when it hits the shelves, they will definitely be hearing from me. LOL.

It's all word of mouth. You can create your buzz way before its done, or you snag that ellusive agent.

Kristin Laughtin said...

Like Sheila and Mira, I too have to figure out how to create buzz--although I'm a few years from even trying to get anything published, I think, so I should have plenty of time to start reading business blogs or other useful strategies. (Those are good tips that I wouldn't have thought of, so thanks.) Right now I have nothing to sell but a bunch of manuscripts that all need polishing. Should they get published, getting the word out there and creating buzz will probably be the hardest obstacle, but one of the most necessary to overcome.