On this sequel, Xlibris author Gwyneth Montenegro shares her book promotion strategies that may be of help to plan your own marketing.
Bucking the trend
The reality is that many books enter the marketplace every day and if you are not careful, you’ll find yourself taking advice because “this is the way it’s usually done”. Take my advice, the way it’s usually done is the WRONG way. If you want to stand out in a crowded market you need to buck the trend. If you want to stand out, be prepared to be a little different from everyone else.
My title is a business firstly, and a book secondly. I have a good head for business and as far as I am concerned, a book is no different to any other retailed product. Branding was paramount to me. The title of the book needed to be eye catching and memorable. The cover design was carefully thought out. It needed to be different, thought provoking, and be instantly recognizable on the shelf.
Equally as important was the branding of myself. If I was going to get this book onto a world stage I’d need to get out there and promote not only the book, but myself. When most were seeking a literary agent, I was seeking a Public Relations agent. For me, the path forward involved me being as much the product as the book itself.
In the past months, 10,000 Men and Counting has been featured in around 400 pieces of world media and in around 20 languages. It’s been in print media, online media, glossy glamour magazines and on international television. It’s been in publications with up to 50 million subscribers and currently being translated into Turkish and Vietnamese with more languages being negotiated.
One of the challenges of a self-published solution is attaining the same level of reach a traditional publishing solution may grant. It’s not impossible as solutions are out there, but it can be difficult for a market newcomer such as myself to garnish the attention of an individual bookstore on the other side of the globe.
Sure 10,000 Men and Counting is a rather salacious and stimulating read. It’s designed to be, but it’s deeper than that, it’s a real life story. Almost every day I receive emails from young women around the world sharing their story with me, advising how 10,000 Men and Counting has helped them to reassess where their life is headed. This is something that is most gratifying and something that has made the entire process worthwhile.
My advice to anyone considering self-publishing a book:
a) Treat your book as a business. The best story in the world will never get read if no one knows about it.
b) Work close with your self-publishing representative. The whole process can be a little overwhelming, and it’s easy to feel removed from the process. The avenues are there for you to keep your finger on the pulse.
c) Invest some time into media training. You work hard to get interviews, it’s important that you get the most you can out of every second.
d) Listen to professionals, but remember that they too are humans and usually relay experiences relative to their particular situation, not one that’s necessarily relative to yours. Don’t discard your ‘gut feeling’.
e) Pay little attention to the literary snobs. They really serve little or no use. Just because a certain person likes (or may not like) your writing style really has little bearing on it’s marketability. In my experience there’s a market for everything.
f) Establish a marketing budget. It’s hard to get noticed if you enter the marketplace silently.
g) If you are fortunate enough to attain literary representation, don’t switch your brain off. The wrong Literary Agent can be more harmful to your brand than doing it alone. Ask questions.
Gwyneth Montenegro is the author of 10,000 Men and Counting. Visit her website at 10000MenAndCounting.com, and follow her on Twitter: @Gwyneth10000. Read the first part of her blog here.
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