The Author Success Coach - Finding Author Success and Cross Marketing Magic - Deborah Riley-Magnus
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The Marketing Quandaries of the Author/Entrepreneur

Lately in my live speaking engagements and various online workshops, I’ve come across an interesting new breed of author/business person. More than a few authors seeking help for their book marketing strategies are also real publishers who not only publish their own books, but many other authors’ books in their burgeoning businesses. This author/entrepreneur phenomenon is a seemingly easy marketing connection, but the more I work with these people, the more I feel there are some strict rules that must apply if both book and business are to succeed.
The problem isn’t that an author is also a publisher or editor or whatever … the problem is that a busy person tends to seek shortcuts.

When marketing anything – a product like a book or a widget, or a service like digital formatting, publishing, editing, website design, book cover design or book trailers – the basic principles are the same. Each business requires its own platforms, social networking, media exposure and plan. The problem isn’t that an author is also a publisher or editor or whatever … the problem is that a busy person tends to seek shortcuts.

This is natural, we’d all love to find the perfect shortcut for everything from losing weight to becoming millionaires – it’s just not always practical or effective. When an author comes to me stating that their book is being released soon, oh and by the way, they’re also a wonderful editor, so can they combine their editing business in with all their book marketing? First I shiver, then I smile kindly and say “NO!”

The primary key to marketing anything is to identify and understand the market for that product or service. Unless the author’s book is about editing, there’s no way she’s talking to the same market as business. These very vital and specific services – editing, website design, book cover design or book trailers – speak to AUTHORS and those in the publishing industry. A book, whether fiction or non-fiction speaks to a READER.
The primary key to marketing anything is to identify and understand the market for that product or service.

Both the business and the book can only succeed if they receive their own independent platforms and marketing exposure and generally, their own attention for success. That means only one thing … don’t look for the shortcuts, they won’t work. Finding real success means understanding what it takes to meet that goal. All success stories start and end with pure focus. No one says you can’t focus on your book AND your business, all I’m saying is to split the attention fairly so that both book and business have a fair chance to make money for you. 

Do you have a question for the Author Success Coach? Just click on Ask the Coach and I’ll gladly answer. This is the place for quick, free directions for the terrifying new marketing and promo responsibilities authors face today.

Deb Riley-Magnus
The Author Success Coach

A portion of the sales for "Finding Author Success" will be donated to the American Literacy Council. The American Literacy Council's main purpose is to convey information on new solutions, innovative technologies and tools for engaging more boldly in the battle for literacy.
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A Question of Pen Names from a Workshop Antendee

I just finished teaching a marketing workshop with an RWA chapter and more than once the question of using pen names was raised. Many of these romance authors not only wrote mainstream romance, but also erotic romance. At least three wrote in several genres and subgenres and one indicated that she wrote both erotic romance and children’s books.

"My obvious approach is to look at the author's prospective buyer and fan."

To Pen Name or Not to Pen Name, that really is the question here. My obvious approach is to look at the author's prospective buyer and fan. The whole point of effective marketing to is make the audience not only excited to purchase the book, but comfortable with the author. It’s a trust issue. Will that author deliver the same quality in all their books? If so, they gain fans. Do they offer a variety of relatable genres and subgenres? This can expand the fan base greatly.  Most romance subgenres can attract the same reader – historic romance, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, mystery romance and even horror romance. Does erotic romance always connect with these readers? It depends on the author and how they’re able to finesse the erotic nature of the work into a more mainstream romance reader’s taste.  Either way … if an author writes romance, I see no reason to assume a pen name for their erotic romance or vice versa. Well written work is just that, well written, and readers will respond to it.

My strongest suggestion for this particular scenario is to make sure that in the Book Platform, it is clear that certain books are mainstream romance, no matter the subgenre, and certain books are of a highly erotic nature. Simple. This way the reader perusing your Book Website or Blog can find what they’re looking for, explore what they might enjoy, and never feel pushed into surprises they didn’t expect.

Now … the author who writes erotic romance AND children’s books may seriously want to consider using a pen name for one or the other. Parents who buy the children’s books are the life blood of your sales in that genre and they will be careful about choosing an author to talk to their children. This is not a judgment about writing erotica, it’s simply a careful marketing strategy that treats the readers of each genre differently and makes them feel safe and important. Under this circumstance, I’d also suggest that the author have a separate Author Platform for each pen name, keeping the two completely apart and talking to very different fans.

Either way, it’s your choice – Pen Name or Not. Just keep in mind that whatever you do, you must make sure your prospective buyer and fan for each genre feels important and special, otherwise they may just move off to an author who has. Remember, nothing is irreversible and everything can be redirected … the goal is to pay attention to your market, use smart strategies and sell books.

Do you have a question for the Author Success Coach? Just click on Ask the Coach and I’ll gladly answer. This is the place for quick, free directions for the terrifying new marketing and promo responsibilities authors today face.

And speaking of FREE … To introduce you to the powerful skills in my book, Finding Author Success: Discovering and Uncovering the Marketing Power Within Your Manuscript, I’m offering a FREE handbook, Ten Tools for Author Success. Get started TODAY, even if your book is already out there … even if your book is just an idea … no matter how you are published or what your genre … now is the time to take the marketing bull by the horns!

Deb Riley-Magnus
The Author Success Coach

A portion of the sales for "Finding Author Success" will be donated to the American Literacy Council. The American Literacy Council's main purpose is to convey information on new solutions, innovative technologies and tools for engaging more boldly in the battle for literacy.
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Author Carole Schroeder asks...
Is controversy a bad thing?

Dear Author Success Coach,

How do I market a book that goes against all we are told about cancer? It critics and the billion-dollar prostate cancer industry uses research studies to show people that conventional medical treatment (early diagnosis an treatment) will not help them survive. The doctors and industry funded advocacy  groups will hate it and if it gets press, condemn it –  so cannot put it in urologists offices, MD offices, or on any prostate cancer support  groups – the men have all been treated unnecessarily and have bought the whole  myth. 

Thank you,

Carole Schroeder, PhD, RN

Controversy - Good
Carole is facing some concerns, since she is also in the medical field and her book goes against the standard medical practices for prostate cancer. Fear not, gird your loins and let’s get down to the most powerful ways to market this book.

First, let’s be sure Carole has got her ducks in line … that means, how are her platforms? What are they? How is she using the power of this controversy to expand those platforms?

By platforms I mean, does Carole have active live and online venues that attract the attention of men – the potential victims of this particular cancer – and the woman who love them. Concerning herself with other medical professionals is unnecessary, because it’s pretty much a given that she’ll receive criticism from that camp no matter how or where she markets her book.

Remember, controversy is good and a standard practice in almost any field, especially the medical field. Once it was believed the world was flat, once it was believed that disease was nothing more than bad luck, and once we thought the word cancer was an instant death sentence. Ideas and practices change and controversy is one of the most powerful ways of changing them. What we need to do in the case of Carole’s book is to control the responses to it and orchestrate the approach to the questions it will raise.

The first and most important way to do that is with very strong platforms. Carole needs several platforms. She needs a powerful blog, loaded with information that not only covers the subject of her book, but makes clear her qualifications to write it. She needs social marketing to the right audience … and that audience isn’t doctors, it’s men who may face prostate cancer. Her twitter following should be men and women from all walks of life, her facebook friend base should be the same. When she uses facebook or twitter, she must make the message less aggressive, for example, rather than tweet that the doctors are wrong, perhaps the better tweet would be “How will you deal with Prostate Cancer should it knock on your door?” Be less threatening and always be positive about the message. Image is vital here.

Carole’s blog must be chock full of added value, very positive and uplifting as well as informative. By avoiding the attack on the medical industry within her platforms, she will find a more positive road ahead.

Her website should include the following:

  • Information on the book, its availability and buy links
  • A list of resources for prostate cancer victims
  • A list of support groups and alternative treatments
  • Acknowledgements from patients who have used her methods
  • An embedded blog
  • Her twitter, facebook, linkedin, etc information
  • A MEDIA ROOM that includes
    • Author Photo
    • How to contact the author
    • Press releases
    • An excerpt from the book
    • Book reviews
    • Author bio and qualifications for writing the book
    • Author’s schedule of speaking engagements
    • All videos or podcasts of interviews with the author

This website information is very important because it is Carole’s business card. It clearly and professionally tells the whole story to anyone interested in learning about her and her book, whether that’s the media or a prospective book buyer. It’s the touchstone for every contact made with her and every outreach she makes to the public.

Now, the original question above was about marketing her book. The reason I’ve outlined the necessary platforms is because without them, a few bad things could happen.

  1. She may face harsher criticism by approaching her prospective book buyer in the wrong place (urologists, doctor offices and support groups).
  2. She may have nothing solid and public to back her positions and qualifications without the correct platforms
  3. She may not be prepared to reach the wider audience that targets possible future victims of this particular cancer.

With the right platforms, Carole can paint her marketing with a broader brush, one that covers the entire world because frankly, everyone on the planet has known someone stricken with prostate cancer. Carole’s marketing must move beyond the patients who’ve already chosen the accepted medical treatment path. She needs to market her book by speaking to women’s groups first – gardening groups, quilting groups, any organization that gathers women together for any reason because we all know that women are far more proactive than men where medical concerns are present. They care about the men and will purchase this book for them.

Carole needs to approach her subject carefully, without overt criticism to the standard practices for treatment of this cancer. Remember that the best, most successful non-fiction books do just that! They quietly, gently and subtly attack the accepted idea and open the floor for questioning it.

Carole’s marketing strategies will involve her directly, she will need to speak live, do Q&As live and online, request reviews of the book and ask to be interviewed. Soon, she won’t need to ask anymore, because with the right groundwork and approach, they will be asking her. She needs to be the face of her marketing. Just placing the book in urologists or doctor’s offices and making it available at support groups isn’t going to cut it. This book demands and deserved wide exposure.

Do you have a question for the Author Success Coach? Just click on Ask the Coach and I’ll gladly answer. This is the place for quick, free directions for the terrifying new marketing and promo responsibilities authors have.

And speaking of FREE … To introduce you to the powerful skills in my book, Finding Author Success: Discovering and Uncovering the Marketing Power Within Your Manuscript, I’m offering a FREE handbook, Ten Tools for Author Success. Get started TODAY, even if your book is already out there … even if your book is just an idea … no matter how you are published or what your genre … now is the time to take the marketing bull by the horns!

Deb Riley-Magnus
The Author Success Coach

A portion of the sales for "Finding Author Success" will be donated to the American Literacy Council. The American Literacy Council's main purpose is to convey information on new solutions, innovative technologies and tools for engaging more boldly in the battle for literacy.
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Writer, Mary George, asked The Author Success Coach …

Hi Deborah,

My name is Mary George and I just read your interview/blog with Debra Dennis. Very timely and your (marketing) strategies made a ton of sense. I write Contemporary and Paranormal Romance. I'm self publishing my first book in a series – an underwater series about a family of tiger sharks. Reviewing your suggestions about shouting out my unique marketing message found inside my own book, I'm looking at: tiger sharks, divers, poaching, the artificial reefs, ocean vents, love, family, acceptance and more love. The question is, I'm going to an ebook expo in the spring that a local library is putting on – what should be on my promotional advertisement that lay on the table in front of me?

Thank you,
Mary George 

I absolutely LOVE questions like this. They hint that the author truly understands that what she’s written is very unique to her style, AND that the special quality of the creative power inside her book is the best way to market it! You go girl!

What I’d said in the blog Mary refers to is:

“Standing apart isn’t standing alone at all, it’s all about SHOUTING YOUR UNIQUE MESSAGE and it’s the most basic of all marketing techniques. Everything that makes you and your books special is inside your manuscript. If there are a thousand romance authors out there talking to the same primary genre audience, doing free giveaways, low pricing and silly contests, and you are announcing not only a different message but to a different – more targeted - audience, it can only result in more book sales.”

Standing apart isn’t standing alone at all, it’s all about SHOUTING YOUR UNIQUE MESSAGE and it’s the most basic of all marketing techniques.

Let’s examine Mary’s list.

  • Tiger Sharks
  • Divers
  • Poaching
  • Reefs
  • Ocean Vents
  • Love
  • Family
  • Acceptance

I can immediately see several new directions for Mary to go with her marketing. While other authors are pounding away at Paranormal Romance lovers groups and fans, Mary can add several new groups to her target strategies. She can market to:

  • Online and live Diving Clubs and Organizations (she may be able to even speak at local gatherings of these diving enthusiasts. They’re always looking for interesting speakers at their meetings.)
  • Diving equipment stores and websites (Mary can ask the company if she can post a question of the day or story of the week on their website, complete with a small picture of your book cover and the buy link).
  • Why not have a book launch party at one of those diving store locations? Yes, a book launch party – even for an e-book! Have large pictures of tiger sharks. Do a reading from the book, followed by a Q&A about tiger sharks, the ocean and the current state of the eco-system. Set up one laptop showing the book video on a loop and another laptop, making it available for people to purchase the book online.
  • Do a fundraiser to save marine life while you’re at it. There are several opportunities to connect with a charity that will serve both the book sales and the charity. There must be reef saving groups, ocean and green groups, even ocean wildlife groups looking for funding. A small portion of the book sales will do two things, help a charity Mary cares about AND create sales from book buyers who also support that kind of charity. It’s a Win/Win.

Mary should also keep an eye on all the possible cross markets she can reach. The book is paranormal romance, but it can also sell to romance genre readers, eco and green enthusiasts, horror lovers, divers and people who love sailing or live near the ocean.

Regarding her promotional piece for the e-book expo, Mary will need to work on her 25 word pitch to make it far more hard hitting. Currently she has:

Drew will need to find true love with the shape-shifting tiger shark she believes killed her loved ones in time to save the ocean from boiling over.

I suggest a slight change:

The ocean is in danger of boiling over. In order to save her world, Drew must find true love with the shape-shifting tiger shark suspected of murdering her loved ones.

Both pitches work, but the second opens with the impact then follows with all the important information a reader needs to know about the book, including the primary genre and story.

The promotional piece for the ebook expo should show the book cover and the 25 word pitch as well as all the links to purchase the book. It might show photos of tiger sharks along with some interesting facts about them. All the elements mentioned earlier for the possible book launch party will also really help her and her book stand apart from all the other authors at the expo.

Thanks for your question Mary!

Have you got a question for me? Just click on Ask the Coach and I’ll gladly answer them. This is the place for quick, free directions for the terrifying new marketing and promo responsibilities authors have.

And speaking of FREE … To introduce you to the powerful skills in my book, Finding Author Success: Discovering and Uncovering the Marketing Power Within Your Manuscript, I’m offering a FREE handbook, Ten Tools for Author Success. Get started TODAY, even if your book is already out there … even if your book is just an idea … no matter how you are published or what your genre … now is the time to take the marketing bull by the horns!

Deb Riley-Magnus
The Author Success Coach

A portion of the sales for "Finding Author Success" will be donated to the American Literacy Council. The American Literacy Council's main purpose is to convey information on new solutions, innovative technologies and tools for engaging more boldly in the battle for literacy.
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What is an Author Success Coach?

It’s always best to start by explaining what an Author Success Coach is not. An Author Success Coach is not a writing coach. I don’t work with writers on their craft, I’m not an editor nor do I a assist with plot strategy. I don’t provide writing prompts or tricks for overcoming writer’s block I don’t help writers with character development. I’m not the person who will help you gain literary agent representation or a publisher, although the lessons I teach in my workshops and in the book, Finding Author Success: Discovering and Uncovering the Marketing Power Within Your Manuscript definitely do prepare you for those tasks.

Quote

What an Author Success Coach does is assure that you strategize well to find sales success for the book you have written or are writing. How cool is that?

Less than ten years ago, few published authors required such skills but now … every author desperately needs to understand the primary elements of marketing, publicity and promotions. Shifts in the publishing industry have cause publishers to back off on marketing their authors, leaving the task on our shoulders. The trick is to know the tools, how to use them and what they can do for you.

As an Author Success Coach, I layer old and new marketing skills and concepts, with unique and powerful ideas for platform building, promotion and publicity. The goal is to create the best possible solutions for author success, no matter how you are published. Books don’t just sell themselves and it’s time for you to step up to the plate. Anything is possible – but only if one looks for the possibilities.

Got a question for me? Just click on Ask the Coach and I’ll gladly answer them. This is the place for quick, free directions for the terrifying new responsibilities authors have.

And speaking of FREE … To introduce you to the powerful skills in the book, I’d love to offer you a FREE handbook, 10 Tools for Author Success. Get started TODAY, even if your book is already out there … even if your book is just an idea … o matter how you are published or what your genre … now is the time to take the marketing bull by the horns!

Deb Riley-Magnus
The Author Success Coach

Where to find Finding Author Success: Discovering and Uncovering the Marketing Power Within Your Manuscript, 2nd edition

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eBook - Kindle
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Also available on Apple at the itunes store.
Where to find Cross Marketing Magic for Authors
Paperback
eBook - Kindle
eBook - Nook
Kobo
Sony
Also available on Apple at the itunes store.
 

Deborah Riley-Magnus is a marketing guru, and it shows in her marketing workshops where she shares invaluable information every published author can use. Debbie’s enthusiasm is catchy, giving participants the boost they need to take on the often daunting task of marketing their work.

~ Carole Silvis
President, Pennwriters

Deborah Riley-Magnus soon had our writers meeting abuzz with enthusiasm. Deborah is a pro with timely strategies writers can turn to in these changing times in publishing. Those of us with a book, or working on one, can use her tips right away.

~ Allene Symons, program co-chair
California Writers Club of Long Beach

 
FREE - 10 Tools for Author Success, 2nd Edition
FREE - 10 Tools for Author Success
 
FREE - 8 Magic Spells
FREE - 8 Magic Spells for Successful Cross Marketing
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A portion of the sales for "Finding Author Success" will be donated to the American Literacy Council. The American Literacy Council's main purpose is to convey information on new solutions, innovative technologies and tools for engaging more boldly in the battle for literacy.