Jodi McIsaac grew up in New Brunswick, Canada. After stints as a short-track speed skater, a speechwriter, and fundraising and marketing executive in the nonprofit sector, she started a boutique copywriting agency and began writing novels in the wee hours of the morning. She currently lives with her husband and two feisty daughters in Calgary, Alberta.
There’s a lot of competition out there, so you have to distinguish yourself.
- 1.5 million print books were published
- 347,000 traditional books deals were made
- 391,000 ISBNs were assigned
There are currently 30 million books on the market. Only 500 of those will sell 100,000 or more copies.
There’s not much difference between the Big 5, small publishers, micro publishers, and self-publishers with respect to how much work the author will have to devote to marketing.
Ten authors per year might get marketing support.
Word of mouth is still the best way to sell anything.
- Write another book. Nothing sells backlist like a new book.
- Be professional. This is your livelihood. Treat it as such.
- Understand your audience. You’re a match-maker between your book and its readers.
- You need a web site. Also set up shop on Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari, Library Thing, etc.
- Mobilize your existing network. Never underestimate the value of family and friends.
- Build an email list. Mailchimp is great for this and easy to learn.
6.5 (inserted for this presentation): Create a “street team” or “launch team.” These are people in your existing network who can be depended upon to help you make creative decisions like your title and cover and who will promote your book across their networks. As a perk, they get a copy of your advanced reader copy (ARC) so they can post reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, etc.
Obtain reviews outside your street team.
- Contact book bloggers. My personal opinion is that blog tours are a waste of time. You have to produce so much content, it’s rarely worth the effort. There’s no dependable way to measure the marketing value (i.e. how many sales resulted from the tour). If you feel you would like to do one, however, I won’t discourage you. You may get different results.
- Giveaways. Always budget for this, especially if you are self-publishing. You need to have enough copies set aside so you can give them away on Goodreads, or on Facebook using Rafflecopter, or during your in person events.
- Goodreads. Not only can you participate in giveaways, but you can also have book chats, groups, and other online events to support your launch.
- Paid advertising. This has not been proven to sell books. Usually not cost-effective. BookBub may be the exception.
- Social media. Focus on one and try not to get spammy. Asking your followers to buy your book continually can come off as desperate. You might actually lose followers this way.
- Traditional media and promotion. Have a press release and a media package ready to go. If you’re not sure what should be in your media package, Google it. There are a lot of great resources out there.
So when do you do all of this? You have to make the time. It’s not so much work/life balance as it is work/life blend. You have to find what works for you.
We then went through a brief example with the time we had remaining.
This is the last of the formal posts I will have on the When Words Collide sessions I attended. Do to my entry into the In Places Between contest, I attended the reading and judging sessions on Sunday morning and it limited the sessions I could get to.
Next week: I’ll post about Brandon Sanderson. I attended three of his sessions altogether and I didn’t take notes at one. I just soaked up the wisdom :D So this will be a kind of summary post with links to resources.
That will leave the wrap post for the first weekend in December.
See you again on Tipsday!