Hi everyone! We’re here to continue the conversation of how to publicize and market your self-published as shared at the Brooklyn Book Festival (#WormsUnite) on Sunday, September 22nd. If you missed part 1 click here to read what you missed then read on!
This is part 2 of the workshop and it was shared by Rich Kelley.
Rich had it rough because Bridget and Sarah shared quite a bit of very good actionable information for writers and authors to publicize their work. However, Rich started off strong.
He shared that to be successful in garnering followers on your social networks and readers of your work you must ‘add value’. To do this you must provide:
Rich gave as examples of writers to follow:
- Guy Kawaski, author of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book
- Hugh Howey, Wool (book series)
Rich shared that the model that Hugh Howey showed writers is that if you build a world for your readers it’s best if you let them share it with you. Rich said that Hugh ran a website that allowed his readers to write their own stories (fan fic). He kept writing his Wool stories and Hugh’s rank continued to rise on Amazon. And the catch? Hugh’s books were free! (Some still are!)
You are probably well versed in Hugh’s success. He was approached by traditional publishers to publish his work. He told them no, he was having too much fun with his readers! He was directly interacting with them. Hugh did not want anything to interfere with his connection to his readers. So, he was re-approached and the publisher wanted only to have print rights to publish the Wool series. Hugh agreed and history was made. Hugh retains all the rights to his work and the publisher only has print rights. Amazing, right? Writer’s Digest did a feature article in May of this year on Hugh’s story. Read it here.
Rich’s next point was that publishers are getting on the bandwagon and creating forums for fan fiction on their pages. Penguin has one such site and it’s called Book Country. As Rich describes it, “[Book Country is] readers helping writers and writers helping readers. Many publishers are doing digital imprints that will help writers.”
When I checked out Book Country what surprised me most was that after writers workshoped their books there are options for publishing it with Penguin.
Rich then went into a great tool to help you assess your marketing. There are three areas of marketing:
- Owned Market
- Paid Market
- Earned Market
The Owned market are the things you have control over such as your blog page, your friends, your Amazon Author Central (make sure there’s a picture there!), your website, etc.
The Paid market are those things you pay for such as advertisements, blog tours, etc.
The Earned market are those things that you earn through your work such as getting a starred reviewer to give you a book review, on Amazon, someone reading your book and sharing it with others, or someone has discovered your book and wants to review it without you directly intervening.
Clearly, getting into the Earned market is where you want to be. Rich shared one way to get into this market. He said, “If you can persuade a starred reviewer from Amazon to review your work that is how you can get this type of earned market.”
Similar to Sarah, Rich shared that identifying your audience is key. “What do you have access to? What’s your platform?” Rich says that by answering these questions you will be able to reach your target audience.
Rich next discussed the importance of Social Media and the various outlets. For Rich, the most important ones are:
The first three are the most important he feels. So, to build a presence on your preferred social network here is Rich’s list as to why people follow you:
- They trust you.
- They like you.
- Competence (demonstrate your competence)
- Commonality of Interest(s)
- Engage people
Communicating with people, especially your readers, is very important!! Become a trusted source to your followers. You can do this by garnering speaking engagements at writers’ groups.
And there you have it! Even though this workshop was only a little over 45 minutes in length the information shared was quite powerful. By focusing on one aspect of this great advice each day (or week!), an author can see their book’s exposure increase greatly over the next few months.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and advice as I did. Please feel free to comment and share tips of your own below so that we all can benefit from our collective wealth of information.
Ta-ta for now,