Welcome to the 13th 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!
“Say to yourself, when you wake up in the morning, ‘By the end of today, 20, 50, whatever, more people are going to know who I am and the name of my book.'”– Shari Stauch
Great Book Marketing Ideas
In this episode, we look at some great book marketing strategies that authors are using, how to use various social media sites for book marketing, and the type of marketing plan you should have as an author trying to promote your book.
We were joined by Shari Stauch from Where Writers Win, and she shared with us her journey and how she got involved with book marketing, what authors have to deal with when marketing their books, great book marketing resources and a book marketing plan, and more.
The Author Hangout – Episode 13: “Great Book Marketing Ideas”
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Introducing Shari Stauch
Shawn knew he recognized Shari Stauch, and sure enough, it was from her time spent as a billiards champion from the WBPA tour. Shawn and Shari talked a bit about this connection.
They then transitioned to how Shari got involved with book marketing:
“I had a publisher approach me to write a pool book called Precision Pool, and then approach us to do a second pool book called Pool Player’s Edge… regardless of how much work they did behind the scenes, it was still up to the authors to do a lot of those marketing things… Whether you’re in sports or authors or anything, in sports, pool is the same way; if you’re an individual athlete, there are connections that you need to be making, connecting with fans, connecting with media. So I started taking some of what I knew and just working informally with authors, and it kind of morphed out of that.”
What’s the hardest thing authors deal with when it comes to marketing their own books?
“There’s two big things. One is misinformation. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and because of this whole new explosion of self-publishing and stuff, there are people that kind of want to take advantage of authors. When you’re birthing this new baby, your book, you’re willing to kind of do anything to get it out there. So you have to be very careful and do your research on companies that you’re going to work with.
And then the other thing is the understanding that nowadays, in the traditional sense of things, an author needed to make it – especially in fiction – in the first 90 days with that book, or it was going to be remaindered on the shelves. And now, books that are 10, 15 years old are coming back to the fore and gaining new steam because a book club will pick it up here or a reviewer will catch it there. So you have a much longer shelf life.
So the first thing we tell authors is it’s a marathon, not a race.”
This is fantastic advice for authors. Hugh Howey, in the previous episode, talked about the same type of mindset that this isn’t a goldrush, and how you need to take the long view of your publishing business.
What are some book marketing resources that you recommend?
In addition to recommending The Author Hangout (thanks Shari!), she also recommended her own site, Where Writers Win, because of these convincing reasons:
“We blog every other day, and we feature guest authors, too. And we do tend to connect our tribe a lot with each other, so if I have somebody who’s trying to market Western fiction and somebody else has had a very difficult time doing that and needs to reach, we try and connect those folks, too. Our Winners Circle at WritersWin.com is all about seeking those bigger influences. Because that’s huge nowadays, reaching the reviewers, reaching the live book clubs, getting to a bigger – you know, the one-on-one stuff is good to develop fans and communications and things, but interacting in those groups and getting to a larger segment of people every time you interact with one has become very, very important.”
Definitely head over to see what Shari and her crew are doing!
What should a book marketing plan look like?
Shari shared some great information about what authors should be doing to market their books:
“Well, it has to be an overall strategy and take what we call that multipronged approach. There’s a combination of live – you definitely want to schedule those live book signings, book parties – and the virtual, and the social media… Making sure that they have their Amazon author page tricked out, and if they’re doing video, video is attached to that. There is no one cookie cutter approach”
Then she followed it up with some really great advice for authors:
“Pick a number. And I don’t care what your number is. If you don’t have lot of time to be marketing or if you’re in the middle of writing a book, maybe your number is only five or seven or ten. Maybe your number is 20 or 50. But say to yourself, when you wake up in the morning, “By the end of today, 20, 50, whatever, more people are going to know who I am and the name of my book.””
The key is to be doing some sort of marketing a little bit each day, connecting with new potential readers and letting them get to know about you and your books.
What is working right now for marketing a book?
Shari shared that it obviously depends on the author, but she had a really cool story about one of the authors she is connecting with and how that author is using a unique method to promote her book:
“I have one author – love to tell this story about she has three different books out there, and one was sort of more of a memoir situation. She actually donated a kidney to her brother-in-law and wrote about it; it’s called Donor Girl. Somebody asked her once – I think it was in an interview not too long ago talking about her – and her name is Lee Adams – asking her, why don’t authors – oh no, she read an article, “It’s Not Like Authors Can Just Do Tupperware Parties.” And she said to herself, “Why not?” So she actually got some of her friends together, one of her friends to host a book party. She brought all three of her books, including her newest one, and they could just buy the newest one for one price, or she would bundle all three of them for another price. Everybody that came to the party bought at least one book. A lot of them bought the bundles, and a lot of them bought the books then to gift on to others.”
How should authors use social media?
A lot of authors are scared to use social media, but Shari had some great ideas to help you to dive into social media:
“Social media is just – it is one tool. It’s not the answer to everything. It’s one tool, and it’s a very useful tool for authors in that it’s not going to cost you the thousands of dollars that an ad in New York Times or the Wall Street Journal is going to cost you. And it is a written form of communication, which authors should already have the advantage going into, right? So it’s a matter of using that social media tool to engage those fans and followers, having them engage other people, bring them back to your website, get that email address, make them want to read anything that you write, make them want to listen to you… You have to develop that – it’s all about building that fan base.”
If you want some tips for specific social media sites, and how authors can use them, then listen to the podcast or watch the video to get the more in-depth answers!
One social media site, for readers, is GoodReads, and Shari had a lot of good stuff to say about it:
“Goodreads is fabulous in so many ways. Not only is it obviously a very vetted community of readers, because that’s what it’s for, is people sharing their reading experiences, but the groups there are – no matter what you write, there is a group there. And normally several groups there, and they’re all outstanding. Goodreads has done an amazing job, too, with their author pages, so you can, like Amazon, trick out your author page so that your blog posts can automatically go and be populated at your Goodreads page.”
How to get in touch with Shari Stauch
This was a great interview with Shari, and if you want to connect with her, you can get in touch with her at her website at WritersWin.com.
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Get caught up on the other episodes of The Author Hangout that you may have missed:
- Ep 145: “Million Dollar Book Business”
- Ep 144: “Network Net Worth”
- Ep 143: “Learning to Hack Learning”
- Ep 142: “Making Of The Perfect Optin”
- Ep 141: “Coaching Breeds Author Success”
- Ep 140: “Gumroad for Authors”
- Ep 138: “Goal Setting Check-in”
- Ep 137: “Relying On Others”
- Ep 136: “Honest Conversations on Book Marketing”
- Ep 135: “Recognition of Hard Work”
- Ep 133: “Making Money Fast?”
- Ep 132: “Book Marketing & Book Launches”
- Ep 129: “Author Answers: Using KDP Select or Not”
- Ep 126: “Media Interviews & Book Marketing”
- Ep 124: “Goal Setting for Authors”
- Ep 121: “Authors Answers: DIY Blog Tours”
- Ep 119: “Author Answers: Choosing Comparison Titles”
- Ep 115: “Author Answers: Best Marketing Activities”
- Ep 113: “Writing Faster, Marketing Smarter”
- Ep 111: “Building Book Launch Teams”
- Ep 110: “Book Launches and Distribution”
- Ep 107: “NaNoWriMo, Writing, and Marketing”
- Ep 104: “Connect With Other Authors”
- Ep 099: “Maximizing Book Promotions”
- Ep 097: “Kindle in Motion & More”
- Ep 086 – How To Create an Irresistible Opt-In Incentive