Category Archives: Book Marketing

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: David Dorris – Author on the Road

David Dorris is taking his Life it Too Short series on a journey still in full swing. He’s committed to marketing the books, and not just in the short term. His first Life is Too Short book, which he wrote during his breaks while working at Nestle, was published in 2002. The second edition, Life is Too Short: Choices in Life was lengthened by 20,000 words and published in 2008. He added another over 20,000 words in Life is Too Short: Life is What We Make It with Tate publishing in 2011.

The first Life is Too Short book was written by accident. David said, “I coached softball for thirty years and always liked to teach the kids about life as well as sports. In August of 2001, [during breaks while working at Nestle Purina,] I started to write a paper to give to my team the next year.” Someone asked him if he was writing a book, so he thought “why not give it a try.” In October of 2002, David presented the books to his team and bought them ice cream at Quad Cities’ local shop, Whitey’s. The Quad City Times newspaper came and did a story about it. He kept going from there.

Life many first-time authors, David was surprised by the marketing involved after publishing a book. When asked how he feels about book marketing, David said, “I am learning different strategies. … It’s a lot of fun and I have a great time at book signings. It was difficult at first, but I discovered that after you publish a book, you are not just an author but also a sales person and the more I work at this, the easier it gets.” He said he’s learned what sells his book and who might be interested in events. “I also have events lined up where I can talk about my book to clubs and organizations and then have a book signing.”

David works with a marketing manager at Tate Publishing, including getting help to line up book signings. After an event is scheduled, he answers a questionnaire, which the book marketing manager sends to the local media. David has had better luck holding signing events at organizations other than book stores, including the YMCA, Jaycees, Optimist Clubs, Rotary Clubs, and local college book stores and libraries. He was told after a signing at a college book store reading on December 5, 2014, that he was the only author who’d sold all of the books they’d ordered for an event.

David said, “I believe I am finding the right kind of audience for my book. I am convinced if I can get my books to the right groups, I can sell a ton of them. I am not saying this because I wrote the book. These books won’t sell themselves, so I find when I explain my book to others and show them my book reviews and tell about the success stories that go with it, that sells my book.”

He explains that it also helps to sell the book when he talks about how he wrote and researched it. While watching movies from the thirties, forties, and fifties, he takes notes about comments about making life better. “I may get twenty-five ideas … [then I] pull up my book and insert these ideas,” netting hundreds of ideas in the book.

David credits self-training to his marketing success. “I worked at Nestle Purina for thirty-five years and the one thing a supervisor taught me was to learn to train myself. … He said, ‘Don’t wait to be told to do something, just get it done.’ As a landlord and an author, I do train myself. I was fifty-four years old when I was told to train myself. If I had learned that when I was younger, I might have accomplished more with my life.” This self-training has included some trial-and-error, including a $300 ad in the local newspaper, which wasn’t successful. He has had good luck with sending letters to the newspaper editors, though. “Since the subject of my book is about life, I read the letters from the editor of the QC Times. I then pick a subject, respond, and I use materials from my book to make a point. Some people recognize my name at a book signing and I have been asked if I had my books advertised in the newspaper.”

Recently, David has started a program to partner with local charitable organizations to share his profits with them. The program was recently announced in a feature article the newspaper printed about David. He cautions, though, “Sharing profits with organizations have strict rules about how it is done. You can’t put it in print what you are going to do with your money. When you give, you donate without any publicity.”

He’s also had success by simply talking to people, including with the approximately one hundred places his marketing manager sent to him in a list. He said, “There are always people that are glad to have you do a book signing and then there are some people who are not very nice about it. When people are not nice, I just move on. They may have a change of heart later. I always try to be polite and professional. As published authors, we are also salespeople and we should try to use our time where it will get results.” This is great advice. Don’t be afraid to try different things to market your books; but if it’s not working, move on.

In considering the four Ps of marketing (product, price, place, and promotion), David emphasizes the product: “I wouldn’t be in a hurry to get it published when you get to that point. Take some more time to work on it as if you were going to take the existing materials and start another book. Take this time to make sure that your book is the best it can be and check to see if there is anything of value that you can add or something you should take away from your book that will improve the quality of the product you are going to get published for marketing.” He also advises, “Make sure that you have a publisher that the book stores will accept. Find a publisher that will go out of their way to help both of you make money. … Also find a publisher that will help you with high quality content, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The better the product, the easier it will be to market.”

David has also done a lot of work finding his target market. He said, “One of your books may have to be marketed different than another. It could take a while, but you have to find your target audience. Try to find groups who will buy your books.” He also advocates taking responsibility for your book marketing. “You and you alone may decide the success of your book. Marketing is a full time job. There are hundreds of ways to market your book. It’s like panning for gold. It takes a lot of looking to find the right place for your book and when you do find it, that is when you will strike it rich.”

Learn more about Life is Too Short: Life is What We Make It and see the awesome book trailer on Tate Publishing’s website. It’s also available on Amazon.

INTROVERT? YOU CAN ENJOY IN-PERSON BOOK MARKETING EVENTS

introvert
Source: One Way Stock, Flickr creative commons, https://www.flickr.com/photos/paulbrigham/8512104420/

It’s finally here. Your book is in your hands. Hours of cramped fingers, writing, rewriting, revising, and proofreading are represented in its cream-colored type-written pages. But now comes the hard part – getting it into readers’ hands. Book marketing.

You think book marketing’s not so bad. So much can be done online. Send a few emails. Run a few Facebook ads. Submit it to reviewers.

But then you remember. Your author friends from critique group said they’d made lots of sales at book signings. You were there. They seemed to eat up the attention. Chatting amicably. Animated. Having the times of their lives.

But, you. You’re – gulp – and introvert.

What would you say to book signing attendees? How would you convince them to buy your book? How could you even set it up? And worse, what if they all passed you by, barely giving you a glance as you stand there smiling stupidly?

Your hands sweat and your throat closes just thinking about it.

But you’re not alone. A lot of people and a lot of authors are introverts.

I’m an introvert. And I always thought there was something wrong with me because of it. Now I know that it’s not that I don’t like people, interacting with them, and connecting with them, I just need to have certain conditions met.

Here are some things I do to help me cope.

Set up the personal appearance

Before you incorporate any tactics to help you survive your personal appearance, you have to schedule one. I hate cold calling and I wouldn’t think of hauling my books into a bookstore, asking to see a manager, and saying something like, “When can I visit?”

If you’re not familiar with the book stores in your area, visit a few just to see if they have a local authors section or if they have signs up announcing any upcoming events with other authors. If they do, you will know the chances of them being open to an event will be greater. I always first try to find an email address to contact them to introduce myself and ask about opportunities, but if you really want to have an event there, you might have to just grit your teeth and call or stop in. (Work out a little script of what you’d like to say and practice to make it a bit easier.)

Libraries, especially those in smaller cities and towns, are usually open to having an author visit. They are always looking for ways to engage with their audiences and having an author come in to talk about writing and reading fits right in. To schedule it, I always find an email on the library’s website for the head librarian. When I email, I introduce myself, explain what my book is about, maybe mention some good things said about it, and ask if they’d be open to having me visit for an hour or two to read, talk about my experiences as an author, answer questions, and then sign and sell books. I offer to donate a portion of my sales back to the library, usually a dollar per sale. I also offer to send them a copy of my book to read first, too, if they like.

Don’t do signings

I hate starting conversations. So I’m never going to be one of those authors who can go up to someone at a bookstore and say, “Hi, I’m author X. Have you heard about my book?” I need a built-in reason to talk to people. This is why I avoid pure book signings and strive to hold events where I read or give a presentation. For some reason, I’m much more comfortable performing, at least at first. Once I read or talk about my books and invite questions, people have a reason to start a conversation with me. Plus, then I feel like I’m offering something with an added value than simply saying, “Here, buy my book.”

Make it easier for people to approach you.

Have a big, easy-to-read sign that people can see from across the room. This way, you can avoid the awkwardness of them coming within three feet, deciding they’re not interested and walking away. Having a free treat – cookies or candy – can help, too. Sure, some will just come to get free food, but some will start talking with you. As people come by, simply say, “Hi, how are you?” and see if they engage. If you’re feeling brave, you might ask them if they’d like a bookmark. Otherwise, a small sign saying “please take one” will save you the trouble.

Hold a virtual event.

I’ve seen several people doing blog, Facebook, or Twitter tours lately. With these, you leverage your online presence to get people to blog on your blog, allow you to blog on theirs, post a review on their blog, or have Facebook or Twitter conversations during a set time period. I’ve seen them last a couple of hours to days. You can build awareness about your book this way and it lets you do it from the comfort of your own home, sitting cross-legged on your office chair. And in your jammies if you like.

See the benefit, no matter what

If you walk out of your event having not sold a single book, don’t worry. It happens. Instead, measure your success by engagement. How many bookmarks did you give away? How many people listened to your presentation? If it was a signing only, how many people were intrigued by your sign and came up to your table?

And, as an introvert, I always pat myself on the back when I’m able to have fun and interesting conversations with a few people about writing and my books. Because it means that I got out of my comfort zone, I did something I find intimidating, and I’m still there to tell the tale. Plus, maybe the next time all those people who didn’t buy but who saw me, my book, my sign, or my bookmarks and business cards I always leave behind see one of my books, they will buy.

It does get easier. For me, I know I’ll never be a social butterfly. And after every event, I usually need a couple of hours of downtime to read a book or take a walk to re-energize. But, more and more, I find myself thinking I really enjoyed that event and that I’m looking forward to the next one.

Your turn

Open a new tab in your web browser, find a bookstore or library, and send them an email. And then come back here to tell me about it and any additional ideas you have for handling and learning to love personal author appearances. Just jot it down in the comments section.

Author Spotlight: Jim Pransky

pranskyheaderAuthor Jim Pransky has used his over two decades of experience working as a professional baseball scout in his fictional and biographical books. He has worked with Tate publishing to release his two biographies about less well-recognized players as well as three novels. Jim describes his novels as being “like the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew books just sports oriented” placing characters in northwestern Pennsylvania where he grew up, incorporating some of the situations he’s faced.

Jim describes his major challenges in marketing his books as being a lack of connection to the Quad Cities area. He is not from the area and is traveling much of the year in his job, from spring training through the World Series, making it a challenge to schedule personal appearances. His publishing company has helped by sending press releases and requiring him to think about marketing before publishing his books. He takes advantage of his hometown and the hometowns of his biographical subjects by sending books to be sold in those areas.

Jim hasn’t found a one-size-fits-all marketing solution; he tried different approaches for his books. He said, “I have to admit I love to write, but I’ve never been a salesperson. I think I have learned a lot about the process through marketing my five books, but I have not found a sole method that works every time.” He’s found the most success by selling books on consignment in Pennsylvania, especially for his first three books, using his connections from home to get the books into barber shops, pharmacies, and grocery stores. He’s also been able to get his books sold in minor league souvenir stores and stimulated direct sales by reducing prices.

Though he uses Facebook and Linked in, Jim hasn’t found them especially helpful; due to budget constraints, he hasn’t used any paid advertising, though he is considering hiring someone to help him. Finding the time to market a book along with supporting yourself and writing is a challenge most authors face. “I think it’s an absolute to be imaginative and creative in your marketing plans just like it is with your writing.” Jim is committed to continuing different ideas to get his books into readers’ hands. He said, “I wish I had THE answer, but I found you just have to ‘dance with who brung you.’” That’s great advice; the only place you can begin with anything, including book marketing, is where you are.

Click here to learn more about Jim Pransky on his website. His books, Champion Expectations, Playoff Run, Josh and Josh: Small Towns, Big Leagues, The Comeback Kid, and John “Flash” Flaherty: Behind the Mask, Behind the Scenes are available on Amazon.com and other online retailers.

(Writer) Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth

Like Think Like a Rock Star, I picked up The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth at Brand Driven Digital’s 2014 Social Brand Forum, the second day of the conference after I’d heard Chris Brogan speak. I’ve always felt like a freak, so a book to tell me how I could inherit the whole Earth sparked my interest. Then the subtitle: “Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators.” Weirdo and misfit are how I feel many times when I answer, “Writer,” or “Author,” to the question, “So, what do you do?”

Find Your People

This book, especially the chapter about connecting with your freaks, reminded me of a conversation I had once with my author-friend, Joanne. She talked about how wonderful it is when you “find your people,” those you feel at home with and who understand you. For me, those people are writers, and it took me a long time to find them. Over the years, my family and other friends have been great – always supportive – but I still have this sense that they really don’t “get me” or they still think I’m a little bit strange. Other writers understand my freakiness and I can carry on conversations with them like I can with nobody else.

In addition to embrace-your-inner-self, be-true-to-you, self-love encouragement, The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth, offers some practical advice for, if not how to take over the whole world, at least how to successfully run your business. I’ve applied a couple of ideas to running your author/book business:

Define Success Your Way

Chapter three talks about defining your success; you need to do this with your books. What will it take for you to be considered a “successful” author in your own mind? Make a best-seller list? Get picked up by a traditional publisher if you’re self-published? Sell a million copies? Sell a hundred copies? Get featured on the news? Or have someone tell you how your book positively impacted his life?

Book success comes in many different forms; decide what that looks like to you. Similarly, chapter six addresses goal setting. For books, you need to decide how many you want to sell and in what time frame and then figure out what you need to do today and who you need to connect with to make that happen.

Play to the Market – Just a Little

In most businesses – or even almost every business – you have to match your offerings to what the market wants. This is true for books to a certain extent. I don’t necessarily advocate for writing for today’s book market because it takes time to write a quality book. By the time you’ve finished, the market might be onto the next big thing. Instead, I think it’s better to write your story and then find the market for it.

Even though you are a wonderful freak, chances are there are at least some other somebodies like you out there. It may not be enough somebodies to get rich, but keep trying and tweaking your work until you find a large enough market. If you’re lucky, what you write will be timed perfectly with what the market wants – and that’s when big things will happen. The key is to know the characteristics of that market, defined right down to the underwear color of that one ideal reader.

The Book Math Test

I like to spin Brogan’s mortgage math test to that of a book test. In The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth, Brogan advises calculating the amount you need to cover your mortgage and other expenses, and then planning your work, time, and expenses around that number. You can use a similar concept for marketing books. For example, if you have to pay $2.75 every time someone clicks on one of your social media ads, but your royalties are only $2.10 per book (70% of a $2.99 Kindle version), assuming if everyone who clicks the ad buys the book (which they won’t), you still lose $0.65 with every click.

I only use this for deciding on paid advertising, though, and not things that only use my time. It’s so hard to measure return on investment and put a definite dollar amount on the exposure you get from participating in social media conversations or attending personal appearances.

If you ever have any doubts about your book life (and who hasn’t), The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth is worth the read. It goes quick and offers helpful advice and encouragement. Once you read it, you will be ready to take on the world and proudly fly your freak flag.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Joan Mauch, published by Whiskey Creek Press

Joan Mauch
Author Joan Mauch

Welcome to the inaugural Author Spotlight blog post, focusing on how authors do book marketing. I’m proud to present author Joan Mauch who I met in a novel workshop series prior to publication of her first book, Halifax (2013, Whiskey Creek Press). I remember Joan was in the middle of a complete re-write of her book, but I could tell it would be good.

Joan Mauch’s background ranges from teaching and working for nonprofit organizations advocating for the poor to a career in marketing and public relations. She lives in Davenport, Iowa; she has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s in urban studies.

Joan created a marketing plan for her books based on her experiences in the marketing and public relations fields, with sections for “personal and professional contacts, news media, social platforms, and public appearances.”

When asked if her attitude toward book marketing had changed since her first book’s release in 2013, Joan said, “With my first book, I hosted a ‘launch party’ at a local pub and gave away 35 copies to family and people who helped me over the years. After adding up the expenses versus the income, I realized I was spending more than I was earning and that it wasn’t an acceptable business model. I justified it by the fact it was my first book and I needed to get my name before the public, but realized I couldn’t continue promoting future releases in this manner.”

This is an important lesson: though we are artists, authors still need to keep the bottom line in mind. If the finances don’t make sense or the potential intangible benefits (exposure, for example) aren’t great enough, reconsider what you’re contemplating. For example, I recently considered running a Twitter ad to promote one of my books, but the cost to get it to appear in a person’s feed was $2.75 – I make less profit than that for each sale of that particular book.

Joan has met some challenges in marketing her books. “Marketing is difficult for me despite my background. It’s one thing to promote an organization or product and quite another to promote yourself and your own work. It feels a lot like bragging, which is what we have all been taught is unacceptable.”

She’s also faced some surprises: “What surprised me was the amount of time it takes. Also the realization that over three hundred thousand books are published every year. I thought it would be easy to attract readers, but considering the huge number of books for sale, gaining a readership outside one’s personal circle is difficult.” This is so true; it’s so easy for first-time authors to naively adopt the “publish it and they will come” mindset.

Joan has found that what currently works best is promoting her books through personal appearances and direct mailing her contacts (and likely working to increase the volume of those contacts). She says it’s worked marginally well for her so far and she’s hopeful she will gain traction over time. Marketing books is definitely a marathon and not a sprint.

A strategy working for her most recent book, The Waterkeeper’s Daughter (2014, Whiskey Creek Press), is holding a joint presentation with the Quad-City Waterkeeper, Art Norris, at the Bettendorf Library’s Read Local series. This partnership has helped Joan spread the word in several ways, including an article in February’s Radish magazine, the library produced and distributed brochures and fliers, and inclusion in the city of Bettendorf’s email news briefs. And none of it has cost Joan a penny.

Joan says, “Connecting the novel with a local issue or personality makes it easier to get publicity because it will be promoted along with a topic of local interest and the event or news story won’t simply be an obvious effort to sell a novel.” She’s also had good luck with book signings at the local The Book Rack locations and Midwest Writing Center’s signing at Southpark Mall in Moline, Illinois.

The Waterkeeper’s Daughter

Of course, some things haven’t worked so well. Getting listed on various book listing websites hasn’t been beneficial. “While that sounds like the perfect place to promote a book, I haven’t seen much by way of results – although I have received several editorial reviews, which is helpful.” Joan has listed her book on Readers’ Favorite, Manicreaders, Shelfari, Authors database, Book Pleasures, and Night Owl Reviews.

Joan has invested in some paid advertising. “I signed up for ‘Author Shout’ which promotes books on Twitter. I’ve seen it promoted and had some retweets as a result. I can’t say whether or not sales resulted, although it did get my book title and name out there.” She also gave away three copies of her first novel on Goodreads and over 700 people entered, but none of the winners reviewed the books (a courtesy, not an obligation, suggested to winners). This evidences the volatility in book marketing – what works for one author or even one book might not work for another. I’ve given away book copies through Goodreads and though not all the winners gave me a review, some did.

We all have personal (sometimes personality-based) weaknesses when it comes to marketing books. Joan says, “Using social media isn’t really my strong suit. I realize I need to work harder at participating. I have a website and blog which I use to promote my novels. When I blog, it is automatically published on my Facebook author page, Twitter, Amazon, and Goodreads, so that’s a lot of exposure with not a whole lot of effort. I also participate in Pinterest and LinkedIn but again, not to the extent that I should.” She relates that using her website’s blog works best, though it hasn’t reached the volume she’d prefer just yet.

Joan offers this advice for marketing books: “Don’t overlook your personal contacts – friends, family, high school and college classmates, neighbors and co-workers. These are the people who will be most thrilled to hear that you’ve been published and will spread the word for you. Don’t be embarrassed to ask them to let everyone know and to post their comments on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes & Noble (if they carry your paperback or e-book).”

She also advocates creating a website to promote your book titles with a blog chronicling your journey before and after publication. “Hook your website up with Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads so every time you blog, it will get wide exposure.” She also advises, “Your book can be listed for pre-release on Amazon a month or so before it’s released, which builds excitement. Do the same on your blog, Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to send a news release to the local media, especially your local newspapers.”

The Mangled Spoon

I asked Joan if she had anything else she’d like to say about writing, being an author, or book marketing: “Many authors, myself included, give little to no thought about what happens once their book is published. They assume the publisher will do the heavy lifting with respect to promotion and marketing and all they have to do is show up from time to time and sign books for a long line of admirers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, publishers will send your book out for review and list it on some websites, but that’s about the extent of it unless you’re a top-selling author. The rest of us have to shoulder that burden on our own. While most writers prefer to sit in their study and write, the fact is, unless they actively participate in promoting their own books, their sales will languish and they will eventually be dropped by their publisher. Writing a novel is not only an art but once it’s published, it becomes a business. Writers who think they’re too good to promote their work will most likely be disappointed in the outcome.”

Obviously, Joan is doing a great job promoting her books, since all three of her titles have been published by Whiskey Creek Press:

Halifax (January 2013, Whiskey Creek Press). Forty-year-old Eleanor Hurley is leading a life of quiet desperation when a single moment of violence changes everything. She kills a homicidal man to save a group of children. Rather than being repulsed, she is exhilarated and fearing she may be turning into a serial killer, flees to Halifax, but cannot escape herself or the trouble that lies ahead.

The Mangled Spoon (May 2014, Whiskey Creek Press). Psychiatrist Marcus Rukeyser’s newest patient is catatonic. Discovered foraging for food clutching a damaged antique spoon, he learns she’s connected to three dead or missing nuns from a prominent Chicago parish. With only two weeks until she’s committed to a state mental institution, authorities make it clear they’ll go to any length to prevent him from uncovering the ugly truth—including destroying his career, his home—and potentially his life.

The Waterkeeper’s Daughter(November 2014, Whiskey Creek Press). Twenty-one year old Annie Whitaker arrives home from college to devastating news—her beloved father, Lake Okeechobee’s waterkeeper is dead. Meanwhile, a very angry man is bent on revenge for the damage done to his family by her estranged grandfather. Very soon the word “regret” will have a whole new meaning for the Whitakers—but by then it will be too late.

You can find Joan’s books on Amazon.com (click the titles above) and other online retailers. Visit her website at www.joanmauch.com. Click here to connect with her on Facebook.

THINK LIKE A BOOK STAR FOR BOOK MARKETING

Think Like a Rock Star (photo from Amazon)
Think Like a Rock Star (photo from Amazon)

Being famous. People waiting in line for hours to buy your book and get your loopy signature on its title page. Readers scrambling to get your next copy. Volumes of pre-orders. Admit it, as an author, deep down, that’s your ultimate dream, isn’t it? Don’t tell me you’ve not been the least bit envious of J.K. Rowling or Stephen King? (My hand is sheepishly raised.) Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy for all those book-star successes, but there is that teeny, tiny bit of bitterness.

Think Like a Rock Star by Mack Collier is a general marketing book with the subtitle, How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies that Turn Customers Into Fans. (I bought it at Brand Driven Digital’s 2014 Social Brand Forum.) The book studies rock stars and provides helpful advice about cultivating fan relationships with any brand. As an author deep in book marketing, your brand is more similar to a rock star’s than many products.

The book is good; not preachy. It presents case studies to illustrate real-world points. It also includes a backstage pass in each chapter with action items for putting the ideas into immediate practice.

Listen

The main takeaway is to listen to your customers. In your case, listen to your readers. Listen to what they engage with the most, what excites them, and give them more of that. If they rave about the way you describe your characters, repeat it in your next book. Don’t try to make your book appeal to all readers – the only people you need to please are your fans. Fans attract more fans.

Cultivate Fans

One specific idea for cultivating fans includes giving them an identity. For example, Fiskars® calls their website/forum members Fiskateers®. One of my author-friends has a series of books called the Greyhound Lady Walking series; she could call her fans the Greyhound Walkers (if she wanted to).

Take care of your fans. If someone takes the time to praise your book on social media, respond and thank them. Make your fans feel special. Give them backstage or insider information that only those who follow you on social media get to see. Do something special for them like hold a contest related to your book, perhaps a video, essay, poem, or writing prompt contest.

Let some of your trusted fans be beta readers. They already know and like your work so they can tell you exactly what works and doesn’t for your target audience; plus being a part of the product might make them want to tell their friends and family about their work, increasing readership.

Bad Reviews

Most of the advice in Think Like a Rock Star apply perfectly to book marketing, except for one. For brands other than books, responding (and empathizing with) negative comments is important. If you liken a negative comment to a negative review about your book, I believe it’s important to not respond. It’s especially important to not defend your book. If someone mentions a typo, respond, say thank you, and that it will be corrected in future editions. If someone has a problem with receiving an order or a book arrives badly printed, of course, respond and make it right, sending them a copy from your inventory if you need to, even if they ordered from a third-party vendor. However, if someone simply says they didn’t like your book or criticizes your writing, do not respond. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and the fact is, not everyone is going to like your book or writing.

Trolls

What if it’s a troll, you ask? Yes, you occasionally see a reviewer who simply likes to give scathing reviews for fun. It’s mean. But your true fans are not going to care. And most readers are intelligent enough to determine when someone is just being mean-spirited and when someone is giving a thoughtful review. If a reader is going to believe such crap and avoid your book because of it, is that the type of reader you want anyway? If someone’s really out to get you and posts numerous such reviews, you need more help than I can provide in this post (and I’m going to assume that’s not going to happen). If you’re really lucky, your true fans will respond to the review for you, singing your praises. Most likely, though, you will have several positive reviews which will negate the bad review. Plus, people get suspicious if a book has 100% 5-star reviews, so it might actually make your overall rating more credible.

This is just a small sampling of general marketing principles you can apply to your book in Think Like a Rock Star. If you enjoy marketing in general, need to learn about using social media, or if book marketing is one of the things you like most about being an author, this would be a good read.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What would it be like if you were a book-star? If you are a book-star, tell me how you made it happen (please)! Do you have additional ideas for cultivating fans?

Just pop in a comment below.