One of the first seminars I attended through NCWA was presented by Randy Ingermanson, the publisher of the Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine. During that course Randy, a latecomer to the marketing game who had come on to be a master, mentioned that he runs into many Christian authors who are asked about marketing and respond, “I’ll let Jesus handle the marketing.”
Randy’s response: “Did you let Jesus handle the writing? The editing? Then why would you ‘delegate’ the marketing?” His point was that while Christ may be our inspiration and partner in all phases of our journey, it’s up to us to put in the work.
At the February Northwest Christian Writers Association meeting, Josiah Williams, Promotional Advisor of the Notation Group, provided some great advice on marketing your book. Like Randy, he knew that you can’t delegate marketing any more than you can the process of putting words to paper.
Josiah’s presentation, the M&M’s of Marketing your Book is attached. Just a few key concepts:
Market proactively, not sporadically. Success in marketing depends on coming up with a plan and working it.
Develop relationships, build friendships. I’ve worked in jobs where I sold multi-million dollar software solutions. I can attest that Josiah’s advice applies whether you’re selling your book or big ticket items. You’re selling yourself as much as the product. You are the best salesperson for your book.
Promotion. When it’s time to promote your book, you may be called on to play different roles: speaker, teacher, talker, writer, expert, or joiner, all directed to selling your book. If you have strengths in these areas use them. Where you have weaknesses, build them up. For example, if you’re not a great speaker get involved in Toastmasters. If you are a great teacher, line up some seminars on topics related to your book.
In Advertising, stay focused, test everything, and repeat what works. It’s easy to spread yourself too thin in advertising. Be sure you track the results from advertising methods. Josiah mentioned Lord Leverhulme who said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the problem is I do not know which half.”
Distribution. Josiah mentioned that you can provide different offerings to different levels of offerings for your audience. For example, prospects might be able to download a free chapter. Your readers can sign up for a monthly newsletter. And true fans might participate in a webinar where you talk about your latest release.
See the PDF of the presentation here
You can reach Josiah via:
Blog for creative marketing idea: www.theideachef.com
Dennis Brooke is the webmaster for the Northwest Christian Writers Association. His article, No More Boring Anniversaries was published in Focus on the Family Magazine. His novel, The Last Apostle finished third in the Marcher Lord Select manuscript contest in January, 2010. His website is http://www.dennisbrooke.com