Thursday, February 7, 2013

5 Must Haves in Book Marketing

by Malena Lott

So this post is where my two worlds meet. I'm an author marketer. A marketing author. When I'm not writing fiction, I'm creating branded content for clients - everything from brand strategy like taglines and positioning to digital ads, web copy and traditional advertising campaigns. You can learn more about my company Athena Institute here. In 2011, I added publishing into the fold with the imprint Buzz Books USA. We've published 16 titles with 7 more coming this year, which means a whole lot of branding going on because each title or series needs a marketing plan.

Must haves?


  1. 4 Ws and 1 H. If you don't know who you are, what you're doing, why you're doing it, where you're going to promote yourself and how you're going to get it done, you'll feel lost. A marketing plan can be as simple as that. Work it out and stay the course. 
  2. Do something daily to promote yourself. It could be a guest blog or it could be simply having an ongoing campaign running to keep your name in front of your audience, but you do have to have action to make traction.
  3. Invest in your brand. This means both time and money. It can be as little as a dollar a day spent reaching new folks on Facebook or a pay per click campaign. If you have enough money to try "lump sum" advertising, go for it and see what results. If you're confident about your 4 W and 1H, then you'll feel better about advertising.
  4. Put yourself out there. Including in the real world. Digital is great and online will always be here, but it's actually noisier on here than it is in the traditional space. Reach is wonderful online, but effectiveness and return on investment can come a lot quicker with a speaking opportunity. I'm speaking to a group of young business leaders next Tuesday and I got my new business cards in. Or are they bookmarks? They are business card bookmarks. All business on the front and party on the back. And by "party," I mean my book covers. I'll offer those 60 attendees a card and if they email me, I'll give them an early review copy of my first branding book, The Little Brand That Could coming out in late spring. I'll also co-promote one of my author's books, PR Rock Star, which is the first Little Brand book. Always give them something in return for their time.
  5. Persistence and patience. Don't give up. I tell my clients and my authors, just when you're getting tired of your campaign, everyone else is just starting to notice it. Marketing should be ongoing and good brands should never die. You have to keep breathing new life into them and also work on reach and frequency. If you are talking to a lot of people but don't have repetition, you're message will be forgotten. If you talk to too few people, but hit them with frequency, you'll get results but only by those few. It takes both. 

If you're a marketer, small business owner or an author, and would like to read an early copy of either PR Rock Star or The Little Brand That Could, leave a comment below and let me know which title you'd like and your email address. If you have a marketing question, hit me up. I'll answer. 

If you're on Facebook, I'm doing a year-long True-Do campaign on my Facebook author page with tips on living our true purpose with as much peace, prosperity and joy as we can muster. I'm also giving away weekly prizes. 

18 comments:

  1. Great post Malena. Authors who think that the heavy lifting is over when the manuscript is done will be up against a tidal wave of disappointment. As with parenting, authors are their own best advocates and must be an integral part of marketing and promotion. The sooner you take charge, the better your odds. Great post!

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    1. Thanks, Saralee! Yes, The End is just the beginning. But it doesn't have to be awful. If we fit in the things we enjoy, it can be a pleasurable experience.

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  3. Malena, wow! I'm impressed. and I will have to figure out my 4 Ws as soon as I finish the bloody mansuscript...it's nice to have one among us who knows something about the real world of marketing!
    Best of luck with your new book.

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  4. Malena, you are amazing!!! 4 and 5---YES. I have 3 big speaking engagements on deck and my palms are ALREADY getting sweaty, but there's no way I'd have turned them down.

    All I can say is I'm glad I've been speaking to book clubs and classes for over 8 years now! When I first started, I'd have to use notes and my heart would beat so loudly I could barely hear myself talk. Now I wing things and tell funny stories and everyone has a much better time! :)

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    1. Good luck with your speaking engagements! People love to listen to people talk about things they are passionate about so you've got it! Yes!

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  5. Malena, you are a rock star!! You have given me so much to think about!!

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    1. Thanks, Brenda! Excited for your new book!

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  6. Thank you, Malena. Just getting close enough to publishing to need to know all this. WHo said writing was for sissies? Not me.

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    1. Kath - yes! Sissies need not apply. Tough skin, courage and confidence required. Best of luck to you.

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  7. What a wonderful, helpful and timely post, Malena!! I think we could all benefit by following your advice -- thank you ;).

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    1. You're so welcome, Marilyn. Thanks for commenting!

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  8. As a debut author preparing for a summer launch, the timing couldn't be more perfect. Your advice is simple, concise, and feels like something I can actually do. Thank you for sharing. I'd love to get an advance peek at PR Rock Star. The link to my contact form is above.

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    1. Reese, good luck to you on your summer launch. PR Rock Star will be sent to you soon!

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  9. Thanks, Malena. What I needed to hear! This PR for my pub month is like torture for me and your words like a balm of comfort. I took notes. I'd love to see your Little Brand that Could...sounds great. Thanks for all you do, Sam.

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