“It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”
(e.g., an author’s laptop/PC/Desktop)
Okay, we all know the famous quote above. But I digress. Why I used it is because, for some strange reason, we author types (especially us indie published types), have a tendency to avoid our fellow man. Why do I say that? Because until recently, I had the same tendency. We hide behind our laptops and delve into the world of social media, book promo sites, book blitzes and blog tours and still we hope to hit the best-selling list overnight.
Now, before you jump on the “But Blaise, what about so-and-so?” or “What about e-commerce?” bandwagon; let me elaborate because this is something I have heard coached to me by many business coaches in many different seminars. Social media is critical to growing an online presence but it should NOT be your only point of contact.
If you don’t believe what I say is true, I can go further. As an indie game concept artist, I had the privilege of speaking to a character designer for Marvel. Yes, that Marvel. In the Skype call, he told me two things:
To go on, an author I love and is possibly the greatest influence on my own journey, you’ve heard me mention her before, Kristen Martin says that attending book-related events is a great way to build your author platform because you are putting yourself face to face with potential readers, other authors, and publishers to learn from them.
Those are not your exact words, I know, Kristen.
How many of us get a thrill from meeting our inspirations face to face? To get to actually talk to them about their accomplishments or ask them their advice or comment on their books. How many of us like to get our books signed in person and shake their hands? I know for me, that is an amazing feeling because it reminds me that the goals I’ve set are possible because so many times they tell me that they felt the same and went through the same trials and doubts. Your readers will be the same. They want to meet you, talk to you, get their books signed personally and learn from you.
Not only can you meet your heroes, but you can network with authors that want to mentor and read your work. They are willing or can point you towards potential referrals or possibly network you with the company (if they’re traditionally published) that they published with. Do not be naggy or begging about it but it is a possibility. You can ask editors questions and learn what they look for so you can edit your next manuscript or receive discounts on their services. The possibilities are endless.
Guys, you’ve heard so many say it, I know you have.
Networking is crucial for book sales and marketing.
I have learned this from so many authors and business webinars that it is not even funny. Conventions and book festivals are an amazing way to meet new authors, potential returning clients, and contacts for your books and blogs. Yes, social media is great for turn-around and growing email lists but how hard are you working when you could spend the money you spend on Facebook ads to go out to the convention or festival and manually do what Facebook pays people to do.
For example, my last ad campaign for Blessing of Luna reached over 300 people. Sounds great, right? I thought that too until almost all of those reached were paid to click and address ads. Talk about a let most-of-the-important-things-in-the-world-accomplished-by-people-who-kept-trying-when-there-seemed-no-hope-inspirational-quote-julie-flygare-narcolepsy-spokesperson-author-speaker-down. Budget the post boosting and splurge on the cons and festivals.
You want to talk about a plethora of inspiration? Events like cons and festivals are always full of groups of people who don’t know each other from Adam or Eve but get together and talk about common hobbies, strategies that worked for them or guys, can we say book swaps? Guest blog post opportunities? Maybe even a blog tour? Book blitzes? And these folks might be willing to do it if you do it for them.
Why would you not want to meet and greet these folks? Book ideas abound, collab opportunities. Everything you read about in self-publishing blogs for marketing is just $100 away or you can sometimes get early bird specials if you sign up early.
Guys, this is a big one.
Almost every convention you go to, there are scouting opportunities. Publishing companies, editors, freelancers, etc are all there. They are looking. You actually get to talk to them instead of waiting five months for an email. Some of them will even look at your proposal on the floor if they’re open to it. Again, don’t be pushy, they’re busy and have so many folks wanting to get looked at. I can say this because I’ve seen them in person at conventions like A-kon. They are there but you aren’t going to meet them behind your laptop.
For #NaNoProMo, I want to add some great ways I've found to offline market that have worked well for me:
* What I mean by professional is always have a .com, .net, etc. It has an air of professionalism and ongoing pursuit. Invest the money. Many domains like Bluehost, GoDaddy, HostGator, WordPress, etc., have their own hosts.
#NaNoProMo Day 25: Budget Social Media: Invest in Live Events by @bramsayauthor -- and be sure to comment to win a #FREE 1-hour consultation (Value: $100)
So, I hope this has helped you. This knowledge was gleaned from trial and error, seeking mentorships and just asking managers and professional marketers. The cruel and harsh truth is, our market is saturated but it doesn’t mean we have to fight each other. There are readers who want to read our work, heck, maybe both of our books if we work with a partner to promote our books. Social Media is a black hole that is necessary for an online presence but at the same time, offline marketing gets you out there! Try for yourself!
Blaise is generously offering a one-hour hangout to anyone new to Scrivener and/or how to go about using offline means for marketing and promo in conjunction with social media.
Comment below to win!
Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.