To make a difference, money must be spent. We are living in wicked hard times that require wicked smart solutions. Whatever we do, we must learn to have a sense of humor and not take ourselves too seriously.
I’m not one who travels around with jokes in my head, but I think you will appreciate the following, “How many publishers does it take to screw in a light bulb? Three. One to screw it in. Two to hold down the author.” Yes, we authors can be a little stubborn and strong willed. To be successful, we must have relentless persistence in our belief of ourselves and our work, to convince others to spend their hard-earned cash on our books.
Most believe authors run on instinct not marketing figures like publishers. John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market your Books says, “The best single advertisement for a book, other than giving away lots of review copies, is the author. An author is a walking, talking advertisement for his book…”
The author is his best sales person even though the best solutions emerge through trial and error for all of us. Like Carolyn Howard-Johnson, our Frugal Editor and Promoter says, “Sometimes we have to do what the publisher won’t.” We must remember whatever we do to market our books; nothing significant can be accomplished by acting alone.
Most of us believe the first and foremost marketing advantage is maintaining our own Web site. This is a must in today’s high-tech world. I personally think Albert Einstein had the right idea many years ago when he said, “Strive not to be a success but rather be of value.” You might have a great website but do enough people know about it and is it of value to others?
Another first is sending out an attractive and informative media (or press) release. This gives you more online visibility, better positions in search engine rankings, and more traffic to your website. If you haven’t done this yet, I suggest you check out Promotion a la Carte at where Aggie Villanueva and Nanci Arvizu spend their time promoting authors.
Besides creating this great Calendar of Events for me, they sent out two releases and created a wonderful book trailer with my poetry book for Christmas marketing. With Promotion a la Carte, you only pay for the services you need or can afford in the moment. They also set up for me book reviews with reviewers that love their work, as well as interviews with Blog Talk Radio hosts. They scheduled had podcasts for me that brought over 300 visitors to my Web site.
American Author is a site that focuses on publishers and authors. They help us create our own places and they are my favorite at Most web services have only five to eight pages whereas they allow over 100 pages. Mine is not just a selling web. It is all about Art Therapy, healing, recovery, entertainment, and other information. They charge no more than others but give so many more opportunities to engage our readers’ interest and promote ourselves and our work.
We need to keep in mind, the more traffic we can pull into our web, the more opportunities we will get for sales and affiliate revenue! Nevertheless, it is still important we write our promotional articles and blogs for our reader’s pleasure, not the search engines. Another sure way of getting ranked higher in the search engines is to attain additional domain names for your Web site. My domain names are below:
I’ve also been working a few affiliate programs; and after about six months, I started receiving small commissions. I am an affiliate for Cricut Expressions craft cutter. The Cricut Expression is a great working partner creative people interested in crafts or art. I have also had some success bringing in small affiliate commissions with Amazon. When choosing affiliates it is best they are compatible with our Website theme. It is also important to remember no matter what we’re selling, we have to effectively include relevant keywords and tags for search engine optimization purposes.
We can also blog, write articles, or book reviews; that also brings in traffic. Some of us co-author by setting up links to other compatible sites, with permission, and that helps both authors get more traffic. There are so many opportunities out in the cybersphere for independent authors right now. Most of us network with each other. It doesn’t take much time to comment on another’s work or thank those that comment on ours.
Thanks to Authorsden.com, I’ve been able to link my poetry, my articles and my interest in art therapy all in another central location besides my websites. Since 2008 I’ve managed to publish 17 stories, 100 articles, and 83 poems and many book reviews. All these were instantaneously published to the Web and have brought in more interest than anyone can imagine. They also have a Marketing Program where those of us with services can advertise and get paid for our services. I write book reviews. What is your talent, editing, book reviewing, formatting or promotion? Where else can you can you fulfill your own creative urges and still get paid to help others achieve their dreams?
The famed artist Vincent Van Gogh says, “I dream my painting and then I paint my dream.” Like him, we need to dream our writing and then write our dream.
Martin Luther King says, “Faith is taking the first step even when there is no staircase.” Keep the faith and step lightly but loudly.
Confucius says, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I agree. Writing is a job but it is no chore.
I imagine if you can maintain a sense of fairness for who is responsible for what; you can check out co-publishing material like the chapbooks published by Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Maggie Ball. For the last few years, they have co-partnered seasonal poetry books, the last one being Blooming Red, Christmas Poetry for the Rational.
Another way to frugally educate ourselves is by signing for interesting e-mail newsletters. We can all be sure our emails go straight to the recipient unlike letters or faxes of the past. Of course, we should all know we have to be careful when it comes to e-mail marketing. It has so many irritants and pitfalls. This kind of marketing can be very distasteful without honesty and respect by both the writer and the reader. Finally, to find out if you’re making any headway out on the net, just Google your name or your Web site’s name!
Don’t forget radio and talk shows to promote yourself and your work. Become a joiner.
Successful writers write for our reader’s pleasure, not the search engines or our ego. I write about all that interests me not just Art Therapy; however, I am Winged for Art Therapy. This is the pen name I use. No matter who we are, the more traffic we can pull in, the more opportunities we will get for sales and affiliate revenue! We can’t afford to be shy when it comes to getting the word out that we are messengers and we have something to offer others. Don’t believe everything you hear. Despite the fact that writers and authors are notorious for being alone a lot, thanks to the Internet and our computers, we don’t have to be lonely.
Networking is fun, socially acceptable and profitable. There are many ways of networking, and one especially informative and enjoyable way is by sending and receiving News Letters. My favorite is Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Sharing with Writers newsletter. You can subscribe to it at http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com/ or right on this blog. It was named Writers Digest 101 Best Websites.
Networking moves us all deeply when we discover kindred and compatible spirits. Despite its many advantages, there can be some that are repetitious and their sales tactics are questionable or downright dishonest. Of course, honesty and respect are some of the attributes we’d like to see more often in all the phases of networking and marketing. These values promote friendship and success. I’m sure most authors appreciate the words of Gandhi who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”