by Mardie Schroeder (from the May issue of The Writer's Life)
Penn Wallace’s presentation–Pyramid Marketing–was geared to those who want to quit their jobs and become professional writers. It takes five times of exposure before someone will see your work. You need to commit to two hours every day for marketing: Facebook, emails, tweets, going to meetings, readings, book shows, etc.
Build Your Brand: Find your target audience. Ask your readers what they want. Make a loyal fan list and get feedback from beta readers. Tailor your books to what your readers want. Become one of them. Penn was surprised to learn that 60% of his readers are female.
Start Marketing Early: Use your social media outlets to build a buzz about your book. Keep your readers involved with how your book is coming along.
Build An Author Brand: Have a collection of personality traits, attitudes, and values that your brand showcases on a regular basis to help connect with a certain audience segment. Visualize this as someone you know.
Action Items: Join the writer’s community–critique groups, online communities, publish a blog (this is where you sell your books), and connect it to your website. Keep your readers coming back with updates on your writing and with personal anecdotes. Start an email list with 100 loyal followers and build it to 1,000.
Spend Where Necessary: Hire specialists to proofread and to create an interesting cover that draws the reader in and that is relevant to the story.
Cross-Promotions: Ask for author interviews, promote others’ books on your blog, put the first chapter of similar authors’ books in the back of your book, put a paragraph in the back of each book asking for reviews and sign-ups for readers’ lists.
Wrap Up: Write a good book. The best way to market your book is to publish another book. Don’t publish the first book until the third book is done, then write like hell to finish the fourth book! Get five books on Amazon. Track your sales. Never give up. You have to blow your own horn. For a complete PowerPoint presentation of Marketing 101, go to pennwallace.com.