I recently got an email from a new author asking for advice on how to get her book noticed. I wrote her a short reply about The Long Road and The Immediate Fix. Then I got to thinking that I really didn’t cover it enough so I thought I’d try to tackle that today.
First of all, I will say that while I am a marketer with an M.B.A. from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Business in Entrepreneurial Marketing, and I started a company, Aquent (renamed from MacTemps), out of college that landed on the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Private Company six years later at the #12 spot, I have never worked in children’s book publishing nor marketed a book.
I do, however, know how to get bloggers to notice your book, from the backwards perspective of publishers, PR folks, and authors asking me to cover their book. And I also I think that building the brand of YOU, THE AUTHOR, is not so different from building a blog following. Over the past seven years, I built a blog audience of 100,000+ page views a month, and a social media following:
I have a Twitter following of 76,900
My Pinterest following is 143,700
My Google + network is 11,200
My Instagram following is 7,600
My LinkedIn connections total over 3,500
and I can share with you my learnings and takeaways.
So read on if you want my 2 cents …
First of all, I noticed that publishers don’t spent a ton of time or money on most authors. Sure, if you are Rick Riordan, they go crazy with a huge marketing campaign, but for most authors, it seems to be about a three week campaign. And here’s why …
Think about how many books publishers launch each year. And when they reach out to bloggers, the emails asking for coverage can feel like too many times to the well. Bloggers like myself stop reading and responding to these requests. Blog tours get harder to set up. You see where this is going … publishers want authors to set up their own blog tours. It’s because that a personal request from an author is going to get noticed a lot more than a mass email from a publisher or a PR firm.
Marketing for books is generally a “set piece” comprised of:
- Advertising (consumer, trade, school, library)
- PR (bloggers, publications)
- ARC distribution
- Promotions (Goodreads, school and library conferences, trade shows)
- Author appearances (school visits, book store events, conference events)
Authors get a budget based on how many books they are expected to sell. ARCS and advertising are hard costs. PR and outreach are staff time, and I am guessing most likely email blasts to internal lists. Read more…