Home > Authors Speak, Book Promotion > #Book #Marketing: Guest Post by Holly Michael

#Book #Marketing: Guest Post by Holly Michael

For me, marketing began before I finished my first book. Confident, I’d finish my book, I declared myself an author and started my blog, http://www.writingstraight.com/ to connect with other bloggers and hopefully potential readers. I also wanted to connect writers to readers as well as share about my life, my family, and my faith. Blogging about my visits to India also drew in readers who cared about India, which was good because half of my novel, Crooked Lines, takes place in India.

I also made it a point to visit other blogs and make friends. You can’t be like a person shouting through a megaphone from your doorstep. You have to get out and engage with others, visit other sites, and leave comments. Make real friends who care about you and your writing. You do that by caring about them. Same concept goes for Facebook and other social media. You have to kiss a few babies, or at least comment on that cute grandchild or precious newborn. Who can resist a cute baby, anyway? If someone shares troubles, I empathize with them and offer my prayers. Five hundred friends on Facebook that you don’t know aren’t as important as 50 friends you really know.

But, you can’t let social media suck up all of your time or you’ll never have time to write. I use my iPhone quite a bit when I’m stuck in the car (riding, not driving) or waiting at appointments. I scan blogs I follow, run through Facebook and twitter posts or check out who’s posting what on Pinterest. I connect when I can, but don’t usually spend time viewing every video about amazing dogs and cats.

Once my book was published—just this past July—I entered into an entirely new realm. How do you sell books without being like the annoying uncle selling AMWAY products? It’s a tough line to draw. Do you shout out about your book all day long on social media? I don’t think that’s effective. I personally asked friends to read and review my book and share their review on social media. I also offer to do blog interviews. (But this is give and take. You should also feature others on your blog and review their books, too.) Those who love you, especially if you’ve helped them out in the past, are usually happy to return the favor.

Marketing is tough, no doubt. I read a lot of articles and books seeking new marketing ideas, but the suggestions that make the most sense are: 1. Write a good book. 2. Write a second good book.

Other ideas: Offer books free for a review; besides friends, Goodreads is a great starting place to find reviewers. Do a Goodreads giveaway. Search out Facebook groups where you can promote your book, go to book festivals, check with your local library and local book clubs. Tweet a bit, post a great review on Facebook, but ultimately keep in mind your job is to identify your readers and figure out how you can reach them.

Bio: Holly Michael, published in various magazines, newspapers, and in Guideposts books has released her debut novel, Crooked Lines. She and her husband, Anglican Bishop Leo Michael, regularly travel from their home in Kansas City to India. She has a grown daughter, Betsy and two sons who play football. One in the NFL and one in college football.  Visit Holly at http://www.hollymichael.com/ and check out her blog at http://www.writingstraight.com/

Book: Crooked Lines

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  1. saikumar
    September 29, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Coincidentally just yesterday I was chatting with Rasana and seeking her advice as a wannabe writer. her advise was in line with what she mentioned in this article. she explained on the importance of hooking up with other writers getting your work critiqued and vice versa.
    At least now have an idea how to proceed in a path close to my heart.

  2. September 29, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    What a marvelous read and such lovely points to note. Really I like what Holly says – I think some leg work is equally needed, not only a SHOUT OUT on FB. Thanks Rasana for sharing!

  3. October 16, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Hello Rasana Madam,

    I, and I am sure quite a few other indie authors are looking for some answers. It would be really helpful if you could guide us.

    I am a blogger, writer and an aspiring author. I like to be thorough. So I am thinking of starting a publishing company to publish my books. So I will be the author, publisher and marketer.

    Sadly I could not find some information on the topic.

    Do I simply register a domain like dummies.com did, and list all my books with links to other marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart etc.

    A Sole Proprietorship would do? So all the earnings through various sources (including my site) would be taxable and payable by me. What are the sections and laws that govern a publishing company.

    Under this scenario, do I need ISBN codes? If I am using createspace to reach foreign markets and Pothi.com to break into Indian market, then both these sites do not need me to submit an ISBN. Am I painting a wrong picture here.

    As an author, I can write and self publish books under Pen Names. Do I need to state this fact anywhere? Readers are often interested in author profiles so how to resolve this problem.

    Basically I want to write and publish non-fiction books that help people solve their problems across different categories. Any suggestions would be helpful.

    Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated. Thank you once again Mam.

    • rasanaatreya
      November 18, 2014 at 11:49 am

      Hi Gaurav,

      I apologize for the very long time it took me to get back to you. My schedule is so overbooked that sometimes I have no time to breathe. Hope these answers are still useful to you.

      If you’re thinking of starting a publishing company, and plan on having paper books, you will definitely need ISBNs. On the other hand, if you want to first test the waters with ebooks only (I recommend you this first – less financial risk for you), you will not need ISBNs. Ebooks are assigned unique ids by retailers – Amazon’s id is different from that of smashwords etc. I recommend that you first upload to Amazon and smashwords/draft2digital etc, then upload your books. Use that feedback to see what you will need in terms of marketing your book.

      If you do plan on creating that publishing company, registering a domain name is a good idea. I have rasanaatreya.com for myself. Regarding taxes for a sole proprietership, I can forward you to a publisher because I have no personal knowledge of this. Please email me at rasana@RasanaAtreya.com.

      If you’re using pothi and Createspace, they will assign you an ISBN if you don’t have one. However, if you do have your own, nothing stops you from using it. I suggest you uplad ebooks first because it is free, do the promotions for them and then do the papaperbooks.

      Regarding Pen names I think this issue comes up a lot. Google something like “use of pen names by authors” and see what comes up.

      Again, I’m sorry for the delay. I have had really tight deadlines.

      Rasana

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