Sunday, July 17, 2011
Getting Creative with Marketing By Carol Peterson
Today I'm handing over my blog to fellow writer, Carol Peterson let her talk about her ideas on marketing. I did an earlier interview with her if you would like to read that you can click here. Now here are Carol's thoughts...
When we’re thinking about out-of-the-box marketing, we sometimes need to remember that when we’re inside the box, we’re in there all by ourselves. One great way to market is to get out of the box and join up with others who are struggling with the same problems you are.
There’s creativity in numbers. There’s also courage.
Maybe you’re like me: you’ve got a couple of published books. A publisher saw enough value in your concept to pay the thousands of bucks to put it in print and slap their name on it. But still, you are more comfortable sitting in the corner of your office, tapping out the zillion words that will become your next great book. You feel uncomfortable tooting your own horn.
Maybe what you need is to become part of an orchestra and let the sounds of other people’s horns blend with yours. Put into my personal perspective, I may not be able to promote my own books without feeling self conscious, but I can certainly tell the world about my friends’ books.
And as I am busy promoting my friends’ books, they’re happily promoting mine.
Or perhaps you don’t mind tooting your own horn; but your horn is brand new and you’ve never had any horn-tooting lessons.
If you join a music class, you’ll be able to learn from others who have expertise in horn tooting. Or maybe they have a special tooting style that can complement your fabulous skill in horn polishing.
In other words, maybe you need to look into joint marketing.
Before you get started on any type of joint marketing, you first need to know people who are like-minded writers. This is the easy part. Join with established writing organizations, such as SCBWI. Attend conferences and follow on list serves and forums. Get to know people and let other people get to know you.
Then send out feelers to see if others would be interested in joining up with you in a cooperative marketing venture. More than likely you'll find that there are loads of folks out there just like you--needing a push to get them started or keep them going in the marketing game.
When you settle on a group of friends and a type of joint marketing you’d like to embark upon, make sure you each understand what you’re trying to do and what each person is committing to do. Write it out so there is no confusion and so there is commitment. Keep it focused and make it clear.
What type of joint marketing can you do? The following is the first in a series of ideas for possible joint marketing ventures.
If there is a local event coming up, share an author’s table and share the expense. Recognize that one or all of you may not sell a single book. But you will be there--stepping out of your comfort zone and gaining experience in being in the spotlight.
Foster an “one for all” mentality. If your friends all sell books but you don’t, rejoice in their success. You might be the big seller at the next event.
If you have ties with other writers in your genre who may not live in your geographical area, consider sending each other copies of books to sell at events. My friend, Linda Yezak recently did this at a festival she participated in. She set a pile of books written by her friends on her table and sold them along with her own. (Go to her site and see how she did it.)
If nothing else, offer bookmarks or postcards touting your friends’ books at your event table. And ask that your friends do the same whenever they are at an event.
Brainstorm events locally: city events; library events, school events; cultural festivals; church events; Chamber of Commerce meetings; alumni open houses. Several of us UC Davis alumni are also published children’s authors. Several years, we participated in the annual alumni day, sharing the stage and the fun by interacting with children and offering our books for sale.
Good ideas, Carol. Thanks for your input. If you'd like to read more on Carol's thoughts on writing, go to http://www.carolpetersonauthor.com/