Feb. 17, 2021

How to Best Devise a Successful Book Marketing Strategy - BM260

How to Best Devise a Successful Book Marketing Strategy - BM260

Do you want to know how to get successful marketing results?

Listen as publishing expert, Ally Machate gives you the inside scoop on book marketing for success.


Do you want to know how to get successful marketing results?

Listen as publishing expert, Ally Machate gives you the inside scoop on book marketing for success.

In this week's powerful episode "How to Best Devise a Successful Book Marketing Strategy" you will discover..

  • What exactly makes for a good book marketing strategy?
  • Guidelines to define your marketing budget
  • What you need to know about the facts and fiction of the New York Times and Amazon bestseller lists
  • Should authors spend more time marketing themselves or their books?
  • Allie's book marketing best practices
  • One big juicy book marketing mistake to avoid
  • And a whole lot more…

 

Get your free copy of "125-Point Checklist of Profitable Income Streams for Authors"

Transcript

Susan Friedmann:        

Welcome to Book Marketing Mentors, the weekly podcast, where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas, and tips from the masters. Every week, I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books. Today, my special guest is an expert publishing consultant. Ally Machate is a best-selling author who has served both small and big five publishers, including Simon & Schuster, where she acquired and edited books for the touchstone and fireside imprints.

Her client list includes authors publishing with such companies as Penguin Random House Rodale, Inc, Chronicle books, Kaplan publishing, Sunrise River Press and Hay House, as well as independently published bestsellers. Ally and her team worked with authors to get their books written, edited, submitted, or independently published as she helps them learn how to sell more books. I recently met Ally and was so impressed with her. I knew that I just had to have her on the show.

So Ally, what an absolute pleasure it is to welcome you to the show, and thank you for being this week's guest expert and mentor.

Ally Machate:               

Oh, it's definitely my pleasure, Susan. And thank you so much for inviting me.

Susan Friedmann:        

One of the things that I know that you're really good at, and through our conversations together, and that is marketing strategy. And I think that's something that our listeners, perhaps we'd like to understand better. Let's go down that route for starters and talk about, well, what exactly makes for a good marketing strategy?

Ally Machate:               

First, I want to be clear about the difference between strategy and tactics. A lot of people think they have a book marketing strategy when they run an ad on Amazon, or they read a bunch of blog articles from other authors who suggest running this advertisement or trying to get on that podcast or what have you. And these are all pieces that absolutely can make up a good marketing strategy, but independently they are tactics. The strategy is really about how you pull those various tactics together, how you choose the right ones for you, how you organize them, how you execute on them, and of course what you then learn from them so that you can roll it into whatever your next marketing effort is. With that in mind, I'd say that a good marketing plan really has three fundamental aspects. There's the saying I love to repeat that there are two keys to selling, having a great product and making sure people know about it.

And I like to tweak it just a little to say that making book sales comes down to creating a great product and making sure the right people know about it. So in other words, it doesn't do you very much good to be marketing the hell out of your parenting book to people who don't have kids, right? It's not just people in general who need to hear about your book, it's the right people who need to know about it. So a good marketing plan first and foremost, focuses on creating and supporting what we call discoverability by your target or ideal readers, as a really important that authors spend time getting very clear about who those people are, because you can't find and connect with them to let them know about your book if you don't know who they are, right? And having a very broad target audience makes it really difficult to choose the right marketing tactics that are going to get you the best results.

Once you're clear about who your target readers are, that's one. The next most important thing is of course that you are choosing tactics that are appropriate for you. And by that, I mean, your book, your unique set of skills, your aptitudes, your preferences, and your circumstances. Every book marketing plan should feel a little bit unique. For example, if you're someone who feels really uncomfortable using online tools, you either need to hire someone to help you, or your plan should focus more on tactics that are less tech-intensive. If you're someone who doesn't have a lot of time, you need a budget that accommodates hiring help or paying for technological shortcuts and tools. Conversely, if you have a small budget, then you're going to need to have more time on your hands to get the same kind of results, right? You don't want to hinge your plan on getting up at 4:00 AM on a Monday to post your promotion to a hundred different sites if you aren't really going to be able to do that.

Customization and really understanding how to apply any strategy to you and not just doing what someone else did step-by-step is crucial. And then finally the third aspect of a good marketing plan, it sounds really simple, but it might be the most powerful of all, it's to be consistent in taking action over time. In my experience, I've found that an author who does even just three things a month to market her book, but does them every month is going to see more sales in the long run than an author who plans for some enormous book launch and then basically burns out and stops marketing after two weeks. I think it's really crucial for authors to understand, because you can't build momentum if you don't actually keep going.

Susan Friedmann:        

Excellent points there, I'm frantically making notes here. So I remember what I want to discuss with you further, first of all, the who, who is your target market, who's your niche market? And that's my favorite subject. That's music to my ears, defining who those people are, because you're absolutely right. Trying to be general, even though you might have a universal message is really tough when authors come to me and I say, "Well, who is your target audience?" And they'll say, "Well, my message is universal, it's for everyone." And I'm like, "That's great, but how are you planning to market to everyone?"

Ally Machate:                Exactly.

Susan Friedmann:        

And those tactics. And you mentioned the word budget. Well, so many authors and I'm sure you saw it put so much time, money, and effort into the book production side of it, that when it comes to marketing, there are very few dollars left. Is there any sort of ballparks or some guidance in terms of marketing? And obviously, that can vary, that's like asking you how long is a piece of string. We're talking here of author printers and budget is a big issue with some guidelines with regard to budget.

Ally Machate:               

Yeah, absolutely. First of all, I do want to acknowledge that it is a good thing to spend a healthy portion of your budget on creating the book of course, because as I mentioned that saying about great sales, if you don't have a great product, all the marketing in the world doesn't really help unless you're someone who's so famous that they don't actually care if the product is any good. We've seen many books, I'm sure Susan you've seen them too-

Susan Friedmann:         Yes.

Ally Machate:               

... where the book may not have actually been very good, but the person who wrote it was very, very, very popular and people don't really care. But for most of us, that's not the case. Absolutely, a healthy portion of your budget should be spent on making sure you're publishing the best book possible. And then when it comes to marketing, it is a hard question to answer because of course, the truth is, more is better, right? If you have more money to spend that opens up more opportunities to you, you can do more, you can go bigger, you can do it for longer. But that said, one of the wonderful things about marketing in today's digital age is that there are actually lots of things that you can do to promote your book that is either totally free or very inexpensive.

There are things that will take time, so that's a little bit like I was saying about knowing you and making sure your strategy is reflective of your unique set of circumstances. If you are someone who has a very small budget, you're always going to pay one way or another, right? It's time or money. So if you have a very small budget, then you need to know that your strategy is going to take a lot of time, and you need to make sure that you budget haha, time accordingly, to be able to put that in to make up for the fact that you have less cash, but there are so, so many things, many sites, just as an example, if you are, for example, giving your book away for a short period of time to celebrate its launch or an anniversary, there are many, many sites where you can go and post an announcement about your book is available for free.

Because they know you're not making money off of it, they don't charge you anything to post tons and tons, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, websites, blogs, lots of places. There are also lots of opportunities where you can put the time into nurturing relationships and have some collaboration with other authors, for example, where you might market their book to your list, and they will in turn market your book to their list or various other types of activities where it's a win-win for everybody, and there's no money exchanged. There are plenty of opportunities if you have a small budget. If you can leave some money for the marketing, it's very helpful. There are other things you can do, but you should not feel discouraged if you get to the end of your production process and you have little to nothing left for marketing, there's still lots you can do without spending a lot of money.

Susan Friedmann:        

That's very wise. And another thing that you said, the word being consistent and doing it because you're absolutely right, so much time and energy is put into that release, that launch of the book, and then it explodes, and then there's nothing that follows. That's obviously planning, you haven't planned that strategy beforehand. I think there are some myths around even the whole idea of being a bestseller that just that title alone is going to somehow magically launch the book and people are going to find it no matter what. Can you address some of that?

Ally Machate:               

Yeah, absolutely way back in the day when I was still on staff at Simon & Schuster, and I had lots of friends at other publishing companies, one of the things I still remember learning because it was such an incredible eye-opener for me was how many books these publishers had on their lists that had sold hundreds of thousands of copies and had never been bestsellers because the way the bestseller lists work, and this is equally true on Amazon and online as it is for, like the New York Times list. It's about the rate of sale, not the number of books sold. When you see a book hit a bestseller list of any kind, what that basically means is within a fairly short period of time prescribed by that entity, The Times, Amazon, et cetera, that book sold faster, sold more copies in that short period of time compared to other books that were also sold during that period of time.

But books can go out really big, huge launch, sell tons and tons of copies compared to other books that are being sold at that time, hit a bestseller list and that's awesome. And then if you don't continue to market if you don't do anything that attention that being a bestseller will get you in the exposure that being a best seller will get you, which absolutely is large, starts to taper off. It does not last forever because of course there will be another bestselling book that is now new and getting much more attention than yours is if you've stopped marketing.

And now that book's rate of sale is much higher than your book, and that's how a book gets shuffled off the list, and suddenly it disappears. While hitting a bestseller list can be great in the long run if you are continuing to market your book, it definitely can add to your sales rate to be able to say that the book was a bestseller. So there is value in having hit that level and one that accolades, but it's not enough to keep the books selling forever on its own.

Susan Friedmann:        

So you mentioned the New York Times bestseller list, and now that's super prestigious. Talk to us about how an author might even be considered for that or even rank there?

Ally Machate:               

Yeah. I'll just put this right there, Susan. I'm not a fan in general of marketing strategies that circle around the purpose of hitting a bestseller list. To me, that's gaming the system and in the long run for most authors gaming the system just doesn't get you very far. So like I mentioned to you, you can sell all those books really quickly and be able to have that bragging right of saying that you are a bestseller, but all by itself at the end of the day, it's just bragging rights, it isn't necessarily sales. I personally would much rather be the author who has sold hundreds of thousands of copies and never been a bestseller than the author who has the bragging rights of saying they hit a bestseller list and barely sold any books over the course of its life, right?

So that said, there are some things to know about bestseller lists. The first is that the major bestseller lists like the New York Times, almost entirely are built around sales reports from major retail outlets. The New York Times in particular is a good example because they are extremely secretive about what exactly those numbers are and where exactly they collect them from. But as far as most people can tell, it's basically the big bookstore chains and they do seem to take Amazon into account to some extent, but it's really a very traditional model. So it's extremely rare for an independent author to hit the New York Times bestseller list because most of the places that are reporting to that list, don't carry self-published books.

It does happen, it has happened on occasion, it's very, very hard and most certainly requires an enormous marketing budget and very good connections that can be leveraged to be getting into those channels and to get those kinds of numbers. So most independently published authors are really aiming for things like the USA Today list, The Wall Street Journal business list, which looks at eBooks as well as print books and looks at Amazon sales, and of course the Amazon bestseller lists themselves. Even with Amazon, I remember a few, maybe it was a couple of years ago, there were a lot of articles floating around about how the value of being able to call yourself an Amazon bestseller has gone down dramatically. There was a moment in time where that seemed to matter a lot to readers, but everybody abused it, everybody started gaming the system, publishing books on Amazon into categories like basket weaving, right?

Like categories that only had five books in them, and then they would market the hell out of the book, and the book would become a number one bestseller in basket weaving, even though the book was on something completely different. And then that author would start saying, "Oh, well, I'm an Amazon bestseller." Right? Amazon themselves has actually cracked down on books that refer to themselves as Amazon bestsellers, and bestsellers in general in their copy, in their description, there have been reports of Amazon taking down descriptions because people call themselves bestsellers when in reality they were only category bestsellers. It's not as valuable I think as some people think that it is, and I would caution authors to just be very cautious and be really real with themselves about what they think hitting a bestseller list is going to do for them and whether or not it's just a personal goal because they want those bragging rights, which if that's important to you, that's fine. But it's important to understand that does not necessarily translate into reach or sales.

Susan Friedmann:        

Yes. Very true. And you put it so beautifully because it is those bragging rights and there's this element of ego that's attached to it. When authors come to me, it's like, "Oh, I want to be a best seller." It's usually the Amazon bestseller and you're right, the whole gaming side of it. I'm pleased Amazon is cutting back on it because I'd like it to be something that is for real, and not that as you say, people have worked out the system and they're just doing, I don't know, playing by the rules or whatever, making up the rules as they go. As you say, all these different categories. Can you say that there's too much marketing? How much is enough marketing, maybe is the right question here? How could you measure what is enough?

Ally Machate:               

That's a really good question. I don't know that there's a way to say that you've done enough other than to the extent that you personally are capable. Let me back into this a little bit differently. When I say that, can there be such a thing as too much marketing? I say yes, but I don't mean that from the perspective of too much exposure. I don't think any book can have too much exposure. If you're able to get your book mentioned and advertise and people like it, talking about it and reviewing it, all that stuff is going on, I don't think there's any limit to how much of that you should try to get. If you can have that happening, that's awesome, that's amazing, I don't believe there's any point at which too many people are reviewing your book, right? Or too many people are talking about your book.

But you can do too much marketing from the perspective of the fact that you're just a person. You are just a human person with so many hours in the day and so much energy and so much time and money. And if you have a staff that you can hire to do it, then what too much looks like is going to look different for you. But I do think it's really important to understand that, as I mentioned earlier, you need to be really realistic about what you can and are willing to do. So I mentioned that example earlier of the author with just three good tactics versus the author who plans for a hundred different things to happen in just two weeks, that first person is going to be able to execute very well on those three well-chosen tactics.

The person who tries to do a hundred different things in two weeks and overloads themselves, it's going to start dropping balls, they're going to get super stressed out or maybe they do actually get it all done, but I'll tell you what, a hundred different things in two weeks, you're going to get burned the hell out, and it's very unlikely you're going to be able to keep up with that consistent marketing that really gets results in the long-term. So again, you might have this huge launch if you kill yourself doing it and burn every bridge and exhaust every option and call in every favor and throw everything at it, then two weeks later, all of a sudden those sales are going to drop because you stopped marketing, and now it's a year later and nothing's happened since that first two weeks. And I think that that dichotomy of the big launch versus small but consistent action over time is a really important way that many authors over-complicate their marketing and sort of doing too much.

And it's not to say that a big launch can't be fruitful it absolutely can, just that you can overdo it if you aren't careful. And the sort of the related piece to that is what I will often refer to. My students will laugh because I always say this, "I'm not an advocate of the spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks approach." Right? Some authors think of marketing in terms of just getting as much exposure as possible, doing anything and everything they possibly can, or they're reading a lot online, and so they want to try everything that they hear about this author did that and they do it, that author did that and they do it, but they just do it once. They do whatever it is once and then they're onto the next thing they read or heard about. The thing is when you approach marketing in this way, the spaghetti against the wall way, rather than being more strategic, again, you can burn out more quickly, as the big launch offer would, and you're also not being scientific enough to understand the results you're getting.

So if you try something just once and then move on without any analysis or any kind of repeated experiments, you're very likely to miss out on tactics that would have been great for you if maybe you just tweaked your ad copy a little, or try it a different day of the week or something like that. Perhaps even more important if you're expending all your energy, chasing every new shiny object that pops up or making yourself nuts trying to do those hundred different things, you're going to miss some truly valuable opportunities that are probably right in front of you, or at the very least, you're not going to be able to give those opportunities your best effort because your attention is too divided. Again, good marketing, it's not about blanketing the world with your book description, you're always going to get better results for less effort and investment if you can be strategic and focused, and consistent and taking that action.

Susan Friedmann:        

I would say that marketing is an inexact science, it'll work one day and you could do exactly the same thing the next day, and it might not work-

Ally Machate:                It's true, yeah.

Susan Friedmann:

As you said, if you try it once and it doesn't work and you're onto the next thing, you're not actually giving it a chance because it really might be a great tactic that you should use if you persevere, and as you say, sort of craft it to the point where you can really get it right. I'm curious Ally, about the difference. We've talked a lot about that book marketing strategy, what do you think is more important, the book or marketing the author themselves?

Ally Machate:                Marketing the author themselves. You mean just marketing the person as an expert?

Susan Friedmann:        

As an expert, absolutely. Who wrote this book? Because their message is encompassed in the book, but they want to go out and do speaking engagements or doing programs, training, marketing the book, I'm not sure is the way to get them the exposure that they need. What are your thoughts on that?

Ally Machate:               

When we're talking about non-fiction where the author is also an expert, which is the case with most prescriptive non-fiction books that offer prescription, right? They teach you how to do something, business, health and wellness, that kind of thing. I think that they go hand in hand and you're right. A lot of times the kind of marketing that you're doing may not be strictly speaking about the book, it may be more about marketing yourself as an expert on the subject, which hopefully your book is on that subject or related to your overall subject area of expertise.

Yeah, that absolutely can, and I think definitely should play a role. So things like speaking engagements for as long as I have been in book publishing, which has over 20 years now and probably much, much longer than that, I'm sure speaking engagements have been the number one way for non-fiction authors to sell books because it's so powerful to be an expert, to be teaching to an audience, to be speaking to an audience for them to get a taste of not just what you know, but also your personality, your delivery, your style, but you could have two people who are experts in the exact same thing, and an audience full of people are going to split in terms of who they gravitate towards more, right?

It's not just about information. Being in front of that audience, whether it's online or in-person is a great way to sell a book. People really feel like they like you, they connect with you, they feel like you get whatever their problem or scenario is. And having a book available, we call back-of-the-room sales is almost easy the book sells itself, right? Because you've sold yourself and your expertise, and they're like, "Great, I want to know more, how do I know more?" Oh, look, here's a table of books at the back of the room, or here's a link to go buy a book from Amazon or what have you.

Definitely that marketing, I think should be a mix of marketing the book directly itself through different kinds of promotions, but also a little indirectly in terms of marketing the author. And the beauty of that is if you have more than one book, of course, if you're marketing yourself, you sell more than one book.

Susan Friedmann:        

Yes. And people want to take a souvenir of their experience. And your book is that souvenir, the fact that they may not ever open it doesn't really matter, but the fact is they bought it and that's the most important part, but yes-

Ally Machate:                It's very true.

Susan Friedmann:        

Ally let's talk about some of your favorite strategies when it comes to ... Since we've been really highlighting book marketing, so let's look at some of your favorites there.

Ally Machate:               

Well, like we just talked about, especially when we're talking about non-fiction books, I think speaking engagements and those back-of-the-room sales are still absolutely a favorite. I had a client who launched a book in the early part of the year in January before COVID hit, and he sold hundreds of copies just by setting up a bunch of relatively small speaking engagements through his network. Of course, it helps that he had a network, he had a platform and emailing list, which is a whole other piece, but he sold a ton of books, I think just as you said, because people liked him, he had a great experience, he's a very motivational speaker and hopefully a lot of them read the book too, he has hundreds of positive reviews so certainly some of them did.

But even if they didn't, they wanted that book that he signed it, it's a memento and what have you. That's definitely still true. Even now in the time of COVID-19 a lot of these events are happening online, which makes it a little bit more complicated, but it's still a favorite. Then there's the online world. You're doing a speaking engagement, it's virtual, it's live, whatever, that's great. What else do you do? And when it comes to marketing a book online, one of the best strategies that work for most authors and especially new authors, something I really like to focus on with my clients is a pattern of giveaways and promo stacking. These activities have a few very important roles in any book marketing process, but the first and perhaps the most important is that this is one of the best ways to get more book reviews posted more quickly to sites like Amazon and Goodreads.

And this is really important for authors to understand because sometimes they feel like, "Well, I need to sell books so that people will buy it and read it and then give me a review." But the reality is if you don't already have a certain number of reviews on that, let's say Amazon sales page when a perfect stranger lands on that page and sees no reviews, they're not inclined to buy your book, especially if they don't already know you in some way. If someone's recommended the book to them, that's one thing, but we're talking about people who just discover your book. They don't see any reviews, that's a big red flag that something's wrong. It seems a little counterintuitive, but you actually want to get reviews first to help you sell books, and to some extent that is a numbers game.

There's some anecdotal evidence I'd love to see better data, but anecdotally I've seen a lot of people suggesting that let's say best case scenario, about 10% of people who read your book leave reviews. And these are strangers, right? Just random readers. We also know that as far as the mysterious Amazon algorithm goes, and many of the best book promotion sites, they require you to have at least 25, four, and five-star reviews posted to your book within the first 30 days of the book listing on Amazon. So do the math, right? If you're looking at about 25 reviews and we say about 10% of people leave reviews, that means you need to get that book out to about 250 readers who actually read the book. It's not just 250 people who download it. You need 250 people that actually read the book, and approximately 25 of them will post a review.

And the most efficient way to do this is with the giveaway, or if you're a more established author and you could accomplish the same goal with a price promo, say, offering your eBook for sale at 99 cents for a limited time. You have to promote both of these, a lot of authors make the mistake, they'd run a giveaway or they run a promotion and they just sort of put it out there, and just like the bestseller thing they expect that people are just going to find it. It doesn't work that way. There are loads of sites that let you promote giveaways and sales. And what's really great about this is these sites have already curated their subscriber list, so you can do a little research and figure out which ones of them seem to have a lot of your ideal readers on board. And if you run several of these kinds of sales or giveaways in a row, in a pattern that we call promo stacking, you can trigger the second big benefit of this kind of strategy, which is to increase your exposure through Amazon's organic marketing.

So in other words, this is how many authors will get their book ranked as a category or even an overall bestseller. When Amazon sees that tons of people are visiting a book's page and a good percentage of the people visiting that page are converting, meaning they're downloading the book or they're buying the book, then Amazon's little box start to kick in, they start to help promote the book for you in ways you can't even buy. It'll expose the book more through also box, it'll expose the book to other people through recommendations, sometimes even direct emails where if you buy on Amazon and you've ever gotten an email from Amazon saying, "Hey, this book just came out, we thought you might like, because you also bought these other books."

That kind of thing gets triggered by people using an effective promo stacking strategy where they're getting loads and loads of people and lots of activity on their book in a fairly concentrated period of time.

Susan Friedmann:        

I would love for you to mention a couple of these sites where authors could go and do that different strategy of that promo stacking because that's sounds as if it's fairly easy.

Ally Machate:               

It is fairly easy. The trick is I mentioned to stack them and to create a pattern, this is where that launch versus consistent effort thing also comes into play more anecdotal evidence because Amazon again often does not share this information willingly, we all have to kind of figure it out. But most experts agree that Amazon likes to see books that have a little bit more of, let's call it a plateau pattern as far as activity versus a huge spike, and then nothing. Even Amazon would rather see you selling a few books here, a few books, a few books, a few books, a few books instead of a hundred books, and then nothing for months. You don't want to just do 10 promotions on your launch day, you want to do maybe three on your launch day. And then maybe a couple of days later you do another one, and then a couple of days later you do two. So you only want to play with those patterns.

So as far as which sites, there are dozens and dozens of them out there, the biggest and most famous is probably BookBub, which was the first of these types of sites, at least the first that I'm aware of and therefore the biggest and most popular. In fact, they're so big and popular that many authors cannot even qualify to get their books placed with BookBub. So paying them to promote your book doesn't even work anymore, you have to meet certain hurdles before you can even get them to accept your book for a promotion, that's how big BookBub has gotten. There are many other sites that follow a similar model that are much more accessible, Freebooksy and Bargain Booksy, they're sister sites. One is obviously free for giveaways, the other is for sales. There's BookGorilla, there's Kindle Nation Daily, Books Butterfly.

There's a site called Reedsy, R-E-E-D-S-Y.com, and if you go there, they have a sort of a searchable database of book promotion sites where you can arrange their database based on certain criteria and generate a fairly easy list, and then there are links that you can just click through to check them out, that's a wonderful resource if you're interested in that kind of strategy.

Susan Friedmann:        

Oh, fabulous. And we'll put all that in the show notes as well. I can't let you leave without sharing, let's say the biggest mistake. I know our listeners love mistakes, but we're running short of time and I just would love, what is the biggest mistake that you see that authors make when it comes to launching that book?

Ally Machate:                Gosh, well we've already touched on quite a number [crosstalk 00:31:01]

Susan Friedmann:         Quite a few, I know I have just put you in a corner now, how about that?

Ally Machate:               

Rather than the biggest one, let me just try and think if there's one we haven't really mentioned. Yeah. Putting it out there, if you build it they will come mentality does not work. Thinking their book is for everybody instead of understanding who your target readers are and marketing to your target readers, that's a huge one. And I would say that idea of just copying what other people are doing, looking at some other author, and this is not to say that you shouldn't read what other authors are doing you definitely can learn a lot. And there are some wonderfully generous people out there, some of whom are very successful who share in intimate detail exactly how they market their books and I definitely encourage authors to research that.

But with the understanding that just because something worked for someone else does not mean it will work for you or work the same way for you. So that idea of customizing your strategy to take into account who your target audience is, what your budget is, what your amount of time is, all of those things. It's a huge mistake to simply copy wholesale someone else's marketing plan especially if their book is not exactly like yours, especially if they are a New York Times bestselling author with Penguin Random House and Five Books, and you're a new author, self-publishing, right? You don't have the same kind of platform or opportunities that the author does. And you shouldn't expect that if you do the same things, you're going to get the same results.

Susan Friedmann:        

I think that one was the biggest, that was the jumbo size, and I'm so thrilled that you talked about that because that is a big issue. I talked to several authors and they say, "Oh yeah, but so-and-so did this, and I'm going to do exactly as they did." And it's not customizing it for them because this other person's audience isn't necessarily their audience. I would agree with that. Ally, I know that our listeners want to know how they can get in touch with you and the kind of services that you offer, take it away.

Ally Machate:               

Absolutely. I am very honored and pleased to lead a group of book publishing professionals over at the Writers Ally, thewritersally.com is where you can find us. Fill out a form to get a free consultation, I'll talk with you about your project and your needs. We help with everything from developmental editing to query letters, cover copy, book proposals. If you decide to self-publish rather than secretive publishing, we can help you all the way through to production with things like cover design, print book design and layout, eBook formatting. We even do some of the backend stuff like getting your copyright registered and your accounts set up and metadata put in and all that great stuff.

So we would love to help you produce your book and bring it out into the world. And if you already have a book and you're looking for help with marketing, I have a group program called sell more books that I will be relaunching in the early part of next year. Feel free to shoot me an email Ally@thewritersally, and let me know a little bit about your book and let me know that you're interested in it, I'll get you on the list.

Susan Friedmann:        

Fantastic. It's so good to hear the kind of services that you offer, you're doing such a great job out there, helping authors. I'd love to go down lots of different avenues, especially with regard to traditional publishing, but I think we will say that for another time. Ally if you could leave our listeners with a golden nugget, what would that be?

Ally Machate:               

Good book marketing does not have to be overwhelming. I think people let it scare them more than it should, they think that if I market my book I have to be some kind of sleazy used car salesman type person, or I have to do that a hundred things at once and neither of those things is true. And really good book marketing ultimately comes down to having a great product and letting those people who are right for your book know that it exists. You're not trying to convince people to buy your book, you're just trying to let the people who already need and want it to know about it and know where to get it.

Susan Friedmann:        

Yes. That whole idea of being the icky salesperson, they're so scared of that, that's wonderful information. Listeners you have been exposed to an absolute treasure trove of fabulous information that you can take and use. I think you're going to have to listen to this a few times over to grasp everything that Ally has been able to share with us. Ally, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, and thank you all for taking time out of your precious day to listen to this interview. And I sincerely hope that it sparks some ideas you can use to sell more books. Here's wishing you much book marketing success.

 

Kathryn Calhoun

How to Avoid Disappointing Book Marketing Results - BM259

For almost two decades Kathryn Calhoun has been teaching coaches and entrepreneurs how to stop spinning their wheels with the techie stuff in their online businesses. Her signature community, the Clarity Momentum Success Mastermind for Solopreneurs is devoted to showing you how to DIY a simple, successful online business on a super shoestring budget, even if you're not a techie.