3 S.R. Johannes: Don't let the word Marketing fool you!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Don't let the word Marketing fool you!

Marketing Muse
Visit book reviewers and librarians sites. Comment on their blogs. get the name recognition. Ask yourself what can you do FOR THEM. When your books come out - they may remember you :)

It's all Marketing! Don't let it fool you.

What is Marketing?

Everything you do can be called "Marketing" I have gotten tons of comments in the last few days about Pre-published Marketing especially since I spoke at Southern Breeze. Many of those comments are saying that they know of many authors that have NOT started marketing until their book has already come out. That is not true.

Remember: most writers/authors usually only think of Marketing as Book Marketing. They think of running ads or doing book signings and school events.

Marketing is any of the following: blogs, social networking sites, newsletters, speaking engagements, signings, podcasts, interviews, business cards, web sites. Anything you do to get your name out there and meet people is Marketing. ALOT of authors these days do start marketing before they get published.

They just don't know its marketing.

Marketing things you may already be doing and don't even know it!
  • So if you are commenting on my blog for this contest - that is Marketing!
  • If you are doing a blog - that is Marketing!
  • If you have a web site (all together now) - Marketing!
  • If you have joined facebook or myspace - Marketing (are you seeing a pattern yet?)
  • If you have business cards - marketing (brand identity)
  • If you are speaking at conferences on any topic - marketing
  • If you have joined SCBWI - Marketing (networking is an informal way of marketing)
  • Book signings? School Visits? Do I hear Marketing?
  • Podcasts/Blog tours- Marketing
  • Commenting on blogs or connecting to other people's blogs - marketing
  • Volunteering

Why do marketing at all?

Because you get your name out there. Name recognition and networking are critical in marketing (obviously second to writing a good book)

  • Prepublished - if an editor or agent recognizes your name. It may get you a serious look or chance.
  • Published - if a librarian or store owner know your name and see your book. They make book you for the signing over someone they have never met.

That is why you want to brand yourself - because you are getting out there anyway. Why not send a consistent message?

Other forms of Marketing

Don't get this confused when people offer "Marketing Workshops" that focus on Queries, Synopsis, and cover letters. This is a form of marketing to - you are marketing your book ideas to agents and editors. That is why they say "have a hook" - this is common term in Marketing.

Make sure if you go to a workshop that is titled Marketing - you read the details on which type of marketing it is.

Do Agents and Editors Market themselves?

This can all be true for editors and agents too. If they get their name out there - they may get better queries. They may get a chance at a specific author. That is why they go to conferences. That is why they go to lunch. That is why they tweet. That is why they mention the books they are working on at conferences or in interviews. All this gets their name, their agency/house, and their new books out in front of people so they are thought of first.

So what are they doing?


We all need to change our view of Marketing - beyond the basics.

So comment here and start your marketing. Start getting your name out.

Now go "market"


Cathy C. Hall said...


Another reason I market myself is because it sends a message to editors and publishers that I'm invested in making my book (whenever it gets published)a success. Would you rather have that writer who has proven that they're on top of industry trends and willing to work to get their book out there...or the writer you have to drag, kicking and screaming, into the business of writing? Marketing is part of that business, and we just have to jump in and get to it!

Robyn Campbell said...

Whoa! I'm a marketing genius(almost) and didn't even realize it. I'm pre-published, btw, I love that term. Much better than unpublished! And I am doing some marketing already. But I need to do more. Which is why I am going to visit book reviewer and librarian sites and get to know them. And I'll hunt them down by googling library blogs or whatever. Thanks, I may not win anything in March but I'll be able to still say I won because of what I've learned.

Unknown said...

Hey- I am more on the ball than I thought I was. This week anyway :). Got to get some business cards. Suggestions of websites to start checking out?

Anonymous said...

Okay, see this is what's so interesting about this contest. I NEVER comment on blogs but it's like your disciplining me to THINK about it. It never occured to me that commenting on people's blogs is a form of marketing. Not sure how I feel about that, even as I can see the wisdom of it...Vicky Shecter

Anonymous said...

There's a part of me that resists the idea that everything we do is somehow marketing. I mean, I know it's probably true but it seems to promote a kind of self-consciousness--a kind of self-centerdness that some would say is uniquely American. Vicky Shecter

Anonymous said...

What is that old saying? If you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Is that what's at work? Once you start thinking about marketing, then everything seems about marketing...

Anonymous said...

Okay, I get it. Even commenting in here is marketing. Yet that makes it sound as if the only reason I'm commenting is to market myself (as opposed to the real being that I MIGHT win your services for doing what? Yep, that's right--marketing myself).
Vicky Shecter

Kelly H-Y said...

Great advice!!!

Unknown said...

On my facebook page I mentioned my blog. Old friend went to it and asked me if I had published anything so she could read it to her class and pass it around to her teacher friends.

I'm getting out there. Would love a jacket cover....

Kelly Polark said...

Yay! I'm already doing about half that and I'm a prepublished author! Thanks for the confirmation that I'm doing something right!

Sarah Campbell said...

I say make the most of your pre-published years. You can even do school visits before you are published and you'll be readier to do them with your book -- when it comes. Plus, you'll need photos and reviews and other stuff for all the marketing (website, flyer, etc.) you'll be doing.

Kimbra Kasch said...

I just love to talk, so blogging, posting, FB'ing is all fun to me - you can call it what you want and if someone's going to think it's marketing, that's okay with me.

Sherrie Petersen said...

I've actually know of someone who caught an agent's interest through her blog -- and she wasn't even really trying at that point! Now she has an 8 book deal!

I'll let you know when I interview her on my blog (how was that for marketing?!) :^)

Tabitha said...

I've always considered myself a marketing idiot. So it makes me feel better that all the things I'm doing (blog, website, business cards) are marketing. :)

Carrie Harris said...

I totally agree. And the mistake that I think people sometimes make is not to view these things as marketing. To really make the most out of these activities, you've got to take the time to consider what kind of image you want to present. How will it complement your books? That kind of thing.

I know you've said that before, but it made me think of it.

Tina Anderson said...

I love your suggestions and have been looking around and at the different options since hearing you speak at the Spring Mingle. One Question I have is: As a Pre-published Author (which makes me view my self as a professional btw) just what should we blog about? I have always viewed a blog as look into someone’s life and thoughts, sort of a journal, and as I read yours, I see it is about your expertise. Should I be telling about the books I write about, the process I go through when I write, what I am doing to market myself? I am confused with being so new to the business. Tina Anderson

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

Betsy - vistaprint.com for biz cards
Vicky - its all part of networking and getting your name out.

Sarah I agree! I have a couple writer friends that are participating in schools to read and talk about their writing process and they are pre-published.

solvang - who is it? does she hae a blog? let me know!

Tina - write what you know - let it evolve. When I starte dthi sblog - I had no idea I would be doing marketing posts. If you look thru my blog. I actually dont do all marketing posts. I do a tip a day and marketing Monday. But I also do alot of personal posts as well as my writing process posts. I do try and keep my blog in my voice.

Corey Schwartz said...

I still meet a lot of authors (post and pre-published) who are not convinced of the value of blogging. I have been working on them!

Anonymous said...

You make a good point about being careful about who offers marketing help. Marketing worshops that focus on queries/synpses and cover letters would be a huge waste for somebody wanting to learn how to promote a book about to be released.

Anonymous said...

I have never done a happy-snoopy dance about a request that can't be fulfilled but I am right now! A big-time NY editor of a huge publishing house just asked for the manuscript of a book of mine that has already been picked up by another wonderful though small publisher (got all that?). Why so happy? Because it means my writing attracted said NY editor's attention! And even though I have to get back to said editor with a "sorry, already taken" message, it is giving me...[wait for it]...another MARKETING OPPORTUNITY! (See how well your message is getting into my head?) I have an opportunity now to have this editor remember my name (brand?) for future submissions. And I have sumbission almost ready. But can't think about that now. Must. Get up. And...CHA-CHA!

Anonymous said...

I was about to make a comment but my daughter keeps interrupting me and whatever i was going to write is now gone. Getting old sucks.

Anonymous said...

So are you going to tell us who is neck-and-neck in the comment-your-butt off contest?

King of my Throne said...

Dear Shelli,
Needing a list of (the obvious) what subjects not to blog about. I want to tape it on my computer. Print it onto a T-shirt and staple it to my forehead, duct tape my mouth with it. Can you help with this?
Thank you for this much needed information

King of my Throne said...

I have a crown that I wear while reading my stories to children at preschool. Haven’t actually done this, but it is part of my plan. Wouldn’t this be a form of promoting? The stories are called King or Queen of....my Throne and Pre-K, Kindergarten etc. The child earns or wears a crown.
Soooo the question is can a wearable object be good way to brand or promote yourself?

King of my Throne said...

Marketing is the same as self promoting? Right?

King of my Throne said...

I have donned my crown (marketing for my King of my Throne book) and I am ready to….Thing 3 my son just interrupted me. I told him that I am trying to blog for a contest and he wants to know why I am not entering the weathers channel contest to Disney.
That is important MOM!

Sherrie Petersen said...

Shelli, she does have a blog and I'll let you know as soon as the interview is up!

Anonymous said...

Your recommendation to visit book reviewers and librarian sites is well taken. But how would I find librarian sites, especially for my NF work? Is it just a matter of googling? I imagine losing entire days trying to hunt down the right sites...ack!

Unknown said...

thanks for the website info.