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Ep 004: “Storytelling for Book Marketing”

Welcome to the fourth episode of The Author Hangout, a “Hangout on Air” designed to help authors, especially self-published and indie authors, with marketing their books and improving their author platform. Authors struggle with various aspects of marketing and we are here to help!

Storytelling for Book Marketing

“Thank you, this was great!”– Roxanne Davenport

“Wonderful! Really enjoyed this!”– Lisa Fender

“Very informative. Wish I’d heard this last year! Never too late to start doing something smart.”– Lisa Hall

“Lots of great information in this hangout. Definitely going to incorporate these suggestions into building my brand.”– Vince Guaglione

While authors sometimes struggle with marketing, they are masters at storytelling! Use this skill you have already honed in your book marketing efforts to help you sell more books!

We were joined by Kathy Meis, the owner of Bublish, and she shared about using your unique voice and storytelling techniques to market your book and reach more readers!

Readers love stories… captivate them with your storytelling prowess!

The Author Hangout – Episode 4: “Storytelling for Book Marketing”

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Episode Resources:

Free guide for authors: The Ultimate Author Checklist

Why did you start Bublish?

Kathy Meis started Bublish because she was frustrated in the publishing world. She noticed that Forbes, an editorial brand she worked for, was disconnected from the brand. She knew authors could easily fall into that same trap.

“You need to be connected to your content in a tight way. That is really how Bublish started. There is a lot of disruption in the book publishing industry, and the book marketplace, and how we buy books. I really was focused on ‘How do we bring authors and their brands together tightly.’ Keep them tight in this world where everybody just throws stuff out there and we really don’t connect it with the brand.”

Watch the video to hear the rest of the discussion about how new authors can break through all of the noise.

How to create a value proposition for your books/brand

“What’s your story? You are an entrepreneur if you’re an author.”

Shawn and Kathy then discussed creating a value proposition, as an author. This term comes from the world of business, and is essentially a quick way to describe the value you are going to bring to a customer. They need to know this value, and you need to come through with the value.

Here is Kathy’s take on it:

“If you are an author today and you’re self-publisher, you are a publisher, you are a small business. Look to the entrepreneurial world really for mastering this art of the elevator pitch, of the value proposition.”

She then discusses how to create a value proposition, even if you’re a romance author. Watch the video to learn how to create your own value proposition.

The biggest takeaway is this quote from Kathy:

“Authors, ask yourself: ‘What is it about my book that’s special?'”

For more in-depth tips about creating a value proposition for your books and your brand as an author, follow these five tips:

      1) Discover your brand
      2) Ask the hard questions
      3) Create a plan
      4) Choose your platforms
      5) Think long term

How can authors use storytelling techniques to market their books better?

Kathy said:

“I believe very powerfully that we are wired to listen to stories. The minute someone starts telling a story, you engage if it is well told. So, you should be telling stories all of the time.”

She also talks about using the big and small stories in your life, specific tools, and a great example of people creating stories at a specific time of the month and how people are watching and connecting with that story.

What is Bublish? How does it help authors.

Kathy described her product…

“We are a social marketing platform. We are designed to help authors reach, find , engage and grow their audience. We created a sampling tool that allows you to break your book into a million samples and then add the story behind the story in an author insight. They are highly shareable and highly visual… It allows you to provide content that talks about your book and starts conversations without feeling like a salesperson.”

She also talks about one main benefit of using Bublish, and how it helps your book stand out among all of the noise! Watch the video to get that tip!

Can you discuss building an author platform?

“I am a huge advocate of author websites. I think it should be the center of your universe… You should be creating an author brand on your website, where all your books are in one place, and people can explore the ‘you’. Building a platform is about building social proof.”

She also talks about why the cost of your book doesn’t matter as much as another key aspect. Learn how to improve this key aspect to help your book convert better.

Don’t miss our blog post: 5 Things You Need On Your Author Website

As an author, how do you juggle your book marketing tasks?

Kathy talks about a way that she ensures she does what needs to be done when it comes to marketing your books:

“20-20-20… Whatever you do, carve out a specific amount of time that you’re going to devote to the business side of creating a professional life of writing… Once you say, ‘Okay, I’m going to spend one hour a day on the business side of my career… then you say the 20-20-20 rule. You spend 20 minutes of your time researching and learning about platforms. You spend 20 minutes of your time creating content and posting content. Then you spend 20 minutes of your time engaging.”

She also talks about how to decide how much time you should spend on writing vs the business side of your self-publishing business. Scroll up to watch the video above.

Would you recommend building a platform even before you publish?

“YES! That is a simple one. Here’s what you see. You see an expectation that you have this great book, you put your heart and soul into it, it took you time, you did it right. Then you launch and there is silence, and it is the worst feeling in the world.”

Watch the video for specific techniques to build your platform before you publish so that when you launch your book, you have more exposure and publicity, not just silence.

How and where should authors tell their stories?

Kathy then breaks down multiple places for authors to tell their stories:

“I think you should tell your story in the real world. You should have a few key stories that you can tell that are funny, engaging, short. At the cocktail parties, at the book clubs, wherever you are. Also, I think there are different types of stories you tell on Twitter, and Facebookbook, Google+, etc. You should be telling your stories on one visual platform such as Pinterest or Instagram.”

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