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Book marketing takes persistence

Posted by Maria Murnane | January 28, 2014

I often hear from authors who are frustrated because they aren’t getting much traction with their book marketing efforts. However, when I dig deeper, I usually discover that their “efforts” haven’t amounted to all that much. The authors just don’t realize it.

Here’s an example: a very nice man wrote a book about Jewish history, and he wanted to speak at synagogues to help promote it. He conducted an outreach campaign but told me he got very little response and was quite discouraged. When I asked him for details about what exactly he’d done, he said he had emailed five rabbis and that two had expressed tentative interest and would “let him know.” Nearly two months had passed, and he hadn’t heard from them.

Promoting your book can be frustrating, but you have to keep at it!

His strategy was a good one, but he made two big mistakes in his execution:

1)    Contacting five synagogues is not enough!

When I was an indie author, I contacted hundreds of organizations about my book. Only a small fraction got back to me, but over time I was successful because I cast such a wide net and kept at it. If I had stopped at the first five, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today. Just like sales, book marketing is often a numbers game.

2)    It’s up to the author to follow up.

Even if two of five people you contact express interest (and 40 percent is actually a great response rate), it is highly unlikely that either of them will get back in touch. Why? Because they are busy. People are busy, and despite their best intentions, the vast majority of them will flake if you leave things to them. It is critical to understand this. They may indeed be interested in whatever you are proposing, but it is up to you to keep the ball rolling.

If you keep at it over time, you’ll be more successful in your efforts. I promise!

-Maria

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2014 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

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4 Responses to “Book marketing takes persistence”

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  • Dear Maria,
    Your reminder to keep persistent was food for me. Thanks I like your positive reaction to when people don’t respond/ That reminds me to not take things personally and just keep persistent in a nice way.

    My book was self-published in 2010 and I am now learning how to market it through an online writer/marketing course called Tribe Writers with Jeff Goins. Have you heard of him? He is so awesome!

    Now I have my own blog, a facebook blog page,and newsletters going out to my emails through MailChimp. I am writing snippets of my book on FB to gain interest in my writing and memoirs on my blog to do the same.I am looking for my TRIBE.

    Things are going slow but steady. It takes people a while to trust strangers. I am excited.I am making my influencer list and hoping for the courage to send three emails soon. I am also working on my second book. I found out there is plenty of things to do to get my writing out there first on my blogs & emailed newsletters before they will realize I have a book.

    God’s Blessing on Your New Book. It sounds very interesting & I want to read the first chapter. I write Christian romance with a touch of the supernatural.

    Sincerely,
    Kathy Storrie

  • Hi Maria,

    I just read your newsletter and appreciate all the wonderful writer advice you pass along. (And congrats on Cassidy Lane) I am an Indie Author with a debut contemporary romance novel, Saving Toby. I am currently in the mist of doing online promoting, both free and paid services, but I would like to market the paperback version to brick and mortar venues, too.

    What is your feelings about press releases? How does one go about writing one and finding out who to send it to? Is it foolish for a writer to seek out a professional service to produce one for them?

    Again, much appreciation for your gracious insight!
    Best,
    Suzanne

    • Maria Murnane says:

      Hi Suzanne! I wouldn’t do a press release for an indie novel– and I would run for the hills and far away from any company offering to write one for you. I talk more in depth about this in my webinar on book marketing if you want to check it out – it’s under the “Learn from Maria” tab on my website. :)

  • Hi Maria, I’ve learned the hard way that book marketing takes persistence. But how much persistence is too much persistence? Where is the line between persistence and annoyance? Arrrr.

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