Fifteen Points for Marketing Digital Content by Jerry D. Simmons
Marketing published content whether print or digital is similar to cooking. In order to create great dishes you should follow a recipe. Marketing of published content requires a combination of advertising, promotion and publicity combined with variables that take into account format, price, category and any other unique component of the book. Regardless of who publishes your work or how it is published, marketing is essential if you hope to have any chance at selling copies.
When the big New York publishers develop marketing plans for their titles they start with expectations from the editors and evaluate what is possible considering budget and sales potential. Once the framework is outlined they go about cooking to the recipe and combining the necessary components to make the book as successful as possible. Each book is different, there may be similarities but overall the marketing plans contain individual pieces that fit the particular title.
For authors with limited budgets and time to promote their writing, there are nine key pieces of marketing independently published eBooks and Audiobooks:
1) Take advantage of web sites that offer free author profiles, most notably www.NothingBinding.com. Any site that provides a free platform giving you an opportunity to post your photo, author bio and other aspects that an audience may find interesting is worth taking part.
2) Some sites also allow for free excerpts of your manuscript or book as well as free articles of interest that has a direct tie-in to your writing. Provide sample chapters and always post the most dramatic scene, leaving the reader wanting more.
3) Book reviews are one of the best ways of sharing what others think about your writing. Reviews are not meant to express what Aunt Millie or your next door neighbor thought but rather what professional book reviewers think.
4) Readers like bookmarks and they are one of the best and yet most inexpensive way of putting your book title in front of a potential reader. They are also more likely to hang onto an attractive bookmark as opposed to a business card. Writing pens are okay but not as important as a bookmark.
5) Never underestimate the power of video or audio. Big publishers send authors on book tours so readers can see and hear their favorite authors speak. Create a program around your writing and be informative and creative. Then record on video and post to web sites and You Tube. The web site www.NothingBinding.com allows authors to post video and audio for free.
6) Another terrific way to promote using multi-media is with book trailers, professionally produce they are in essence an advertisement for your book. Prices vary but you can get a quality job for a lot less than you imagine.
7) Social networking is the buzz, everyone is doing it and yet some of us still don’t understand the relevance. The fact remains, you have to do it. If you aren’t on one of the major social networking sites you miss out on meeting fellow writers who just might help you promote your book on their own web site or social network. Reciprocal promotion works if you can build a network via social media.
8) Blogging is another one of those activities that if you are not participating you are missing out. It seems that everyone is blogging and you need to find a way to post relevant content to your blog. If you are writing an Irish love story perhaps you blog about Ireland and the majestic land it is or how visitors to the Irish countryside can enjoy certain attractions. The point is to share your writing and become someone who loves writing about a subject that relates to their work.
9) Subscribe to Google Alerts. Back to the Irish love story, you would want Google to send you daily alerts which will list information about Ireland. Then you can link to the article and respond to what the author had to say. By offering your unique perspective to an article that appears on a prominent web site you have a chance of getting your name and book title in front of readers that may never have heard of you.
10) Be willing to give your book away as a promotional item. You can accomplish this in a small group setting or even radio interview. A free book is a great way to promote your writing and if you publish on your own and not with one of the print-on-demand companies your printing costs are minimal.
11) Change your email signature on all emails so your title and web address are prominently listed. If you are emailing on a regular basis, event o family and friends, it doesn’t hurt they know the title and where to purchase. Be careful, do not say where all books are sold, be specific and if your title is only listed on Amazon then say that.
12) Issue press releases through your social networks and the press release services that are available. These services have access to hundreds of contacts that you have no way of communicating with so utilize what they offer. If you do not feel confident in writing your own press release then there are a multitude of services that can do that for you.
13) Keep your status as an author updated on all writer forums or chat rooms that you visit and contribute to. Don’t aggressively try and sell your writing or you will get criticized and shunned. Be subtle, provide answers to questions based on your experience and throw out a notice about your blog, profile on www.NothingBinding.com or the occasional press release. Be helpful rather than self-centered and it will go a long way.
14) Become an expert. If your book is the Irish love story then become an expert on Ireland and write about it, share what you know and become the local expert on Ireland. Whatever your category, find a way to share what you know with others and you will make fans of readers who may just buy your book.
15) Price your digital content aggressively which means under what the major publishers price their own eBooks and you will go a very long way to selling volume that makes sense. You cannot compete head-to-head so don’t try. Be smart and price accordingly.
Those are your top fifteen key pieces of marketing digital content. If those weren’t helpful enough, I’m going to offer you two more:
1) Associate yourself with a company that can distribute your content globally and has great reputation for quality content. It’s important the company markets their brand, which is key in independent digital publishing.
2) If all else fails, admit your weakness and consult a professional marketer who can work within your budget and create a plan that fits your title.
Marketing isn’t difficult, it’s getting the right pieces in place that can make an impact and hopefully get your noticed and your content purchased. Marketing takes time and consistency, even more so than money. Once you get the momentum going you have to keep it moving forward, otherwise you start from scratch at the beginning of the line once again. Best of luck and remember, answers to questions can be found free at www.WritersReaders.com.
Send me an email and let me help you become an eBook author: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Articles on Digital Content Available Free
- Seven Reasons Why Every Author Should Have an eBook
- How to Convert Your Manuscript to an eBook
- The Importance of Having Access to the Market
- Global Digital Distribution
If you would like any or all of these articles free, email: Jerry@WritersReaders.com.
Jerry D. Simmons is a 30-year veteran of publishing, 25 in New York with Random House and the former Time Warner Book Group as Vice President, Director Field Sales. His sales division generated hundreds of millions of dollars in book sales across the United States and Canada.
Over the years he has worked with hundreds of New York Times bestselling authors including:
He has also worked on thousands of New York Times bestselling titles including such multi-million copy bestsellers as:
He is the founder of www.WritersReaders.com which has become the source for information about publishing. His eNewsletter TIPS for WRITERS from the PUBLISHING INSIDER is read by writers in over 24 foreign countries. He is the founder of the online marketing platform for writers and authors www.NothingBinding.com. In 2009 Jerry launched the INDI Publishing Group, establishing a new publishing model for digital content while creating opportunities for writers choosing to publish independently in eBook and Audiobook format.
His book, WHAT WRITERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PUBLISHING is described by the #1 New York Times Bestselling author Sandra Brown as “The good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of book publishing, told in a straight-from-the hip manner. New writers take note.”
New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan said “The information was absolutely incredible! I would recommend your book to all aspiring and new authors.”
Jerry speaks around the country and his articles have appeared in Writers Digest and across the Internet. He spends his time writing, teaching, and speaking with writers about the importance of understanding the marketplace and educating them about the business of publishing while sharing the secrets of the largest booksellers and publishers in the world.
Jerry D. Simmons
15508 W. Bell Rd., suite 101-315
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