Does the very idea of using marketing strategies or self-promotion make you want to lie down in a darkened room for a week?
You may be launching your own book, course, or new product or even sending out a resumé or job application.
Having recently launched my own book, I've realised that, very often, the whole subject needs to be approached on more than one level. Both inner and outer work is required.
I have to start by saying that I have always had great resistance to marketing and self-promotion.
My 2 CDs featuring my violin and guitar duo, the Laurus Freestyle Duo, (there I go self-promoting!), lovingly recorded and beautifully designed, were pretty much left to fend for themselves. My Mum has been my best salesperson where they were concerned!!
And despite being on both Facebook and Twitter I have always had a love-hate relationship with social media. They have often felt too time-consuming, jealousy-provoking, guilt-inducing and fear-generating.
So when I received an email from a dear friend a few days ago asking me for the name of my ‘business marketing consultant’ I had to laugh…
I knew the reality behind my smooth, professional-looking book launch campaign.
The last minute panics, the things left undone or done very reluctantly and all the underlying fears and doubts which I have had to work through…
Just as I did in my book, I have realized that marketing and self-promotion, or rather, being able to market and self-promote, has to be addressed on two levels.
There are the outer actions to take (coming right up), but even more importantly (IMHO) the inner work to be done – which allows and enables those actions.
So depending on where you are at, you are welcome to skim, scan, skip or study…and with any luck this information will be of some value to you.
My 4 pillars of marketing ‘The Music Inside’ have been:
- My Launch Team.
- Promo Sites and Strategies.
- New Author website.
#1 My Launch Team
This consisted of 148 people, and they have provided me with a lot of support, joy and great feedback, and an ever-increasing sense of gratitude and wonder for my fellow human beings.
How on earth did I come up with so many people (you may be wondering)?
Well, first of all I joined a self-publishing school, when I realized that I would never get this book written and published all on my own. Through their community I met many fellow authors in the couple of months previous to setting up my team – reading other self-published books was extremely encouraging and an unexpected bonus of this whole process.
Then others from EFT groups. EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique or ‘Tapping’, is my ‘energy healing modality’ of choice and I have worked for the last 5 years with a wonderful EFT expert Brad Yates (it’s all in the book!) – and through him have met an assortment of amazing people who shared their interest in the book even before it was published.
A few fellow musicians, when they heard I was writing a book called ‘The Music Inside’, and who are also into the whole self-help aspect of my book got in touch with me too which was great.
In these different groups I posted asking for feedback about my title, subtitle and also showing off my beautiful book cover. The comments I received didn’t necessarily change my mind but all the suggestions have been put to good use on my new website and in the book descriptions I wrote on Amazon and for Promo Sites.
So a varied and very interesting cast of characters.
In order to contact all these people and keep them informed of progress, I set up Mailchimp and a Facebook group for my launch team.
is a way of sending multiple emails to multiple recipients without being frowned upon by the Internet god. It is free to set up and for this level of interaction works perfectly. And you get a monkey high-five every time you send a ‘campaign’ (email to the uninitiated!). What more can you ask?!
I’ve sent 10 emails to my team, including in each my name and the title of my book and a link to the PDF (set up Dropbox.com, again for free), and pertinent information about the launch date, the book (how, when, what, where etc) and about a marketing campaign called Thunderclap.
My Facebook Book Launch group
has been a wonderful way of finding out more about my team members as well as keeping them up to date about how it is all going. Even though it’s not mandatory (and, of course, none of this is) I would really encourage you to go this extra mile as it creates so much good will and makes this a very special process.
Just the name sets me shivering and shaking with fear, bringing up all the ‘Who am I to…?’ and ‘What will they want with lil’ ole me?’ and all my horrors of being ignored.
I was very lucky to have Brad Yates already on my side and he wrote me the most beautiful Foreword for the book.
And if your book already mentions other people they are the obvious place to start. In my emails I used sentences such as:
‘I believe it could be very valuable for your fans, as an example of someone who used your…etc’,
‘I have included a reference to your book/ course _________ and the following link:__________. Please let me know if there are any other links that would be helpful to include.’
‘It would be an enormous honour and mean the world to me personally to have your involvement in this on any level. I know you're incredibly busy, so I've attached the PDF manuscript of my book so you can choose which chapters you'd like to read. The __________is where I talk about (you), where I discovered and implemented the ideas in your book.’
I contacted about 6 people and received favorable replies from 3, and they provided me with an editorial review and social media shares. And a big boost to my self-confidence. You know what they say: if you want to become rich and famous you need to start mixing with rich and famous people…
My idea is to contact more influencers now that my book has become an Amazon #1 bestseller – and to keep on putting it out there.
#3 Promo Sites and Social Media Strategies
For me these were a piece of cake as I find it much easier to pay for marketing services rather than ask people for ‘favors’.
In the 3 day free period I used James Mayfield (well, his company!!), $10 + $12 (the second was a referral service he provides), Free Booksy, at $80 and Bknights, $10, and achieved 3295 downloads.
Day 1 of the paid promo (my book now at 99c) heard my classic conversation with my advisor. ‘So what promos have you set up for the next few days?’ ‘Uh, that’ll be NONE then.’ Followed by a flurried frenzy of contacting more sites. Yikes.
Reading Deals ($15), Bookzio ($54) and then Buck Books ($32). This last one I had set up previously and it made me 62 sales. Very nice indeed – even though I still find their humor very strange!
The ultimate in last minute support gathering was my Thunderclap campaign. Easy and free to set up at Thunderclap.it , but it does require work on your part – messaging and emailing and posting to receive your minimum number of participants (100) and so ensure that it runs. (Note from Editor - very sadly, Thunderclap no longer runs. What a shame, they were fab.)
Here’s a summary, with the downloads/sales of each day too.
|Date||Price of ‘The Music Inside’||Promos (what I paid)||Downloads/Sales
(Data provided by Amazon Kindle)
|Sunday 7th Feb||Launch Day – book free||James Mayfield ($22) His secondary service includes other free promo sites)/
|Mon 8th||Free||Freebooksy ($80)||1829|
|Thurs 11th||99c||Bknights ($21)/Influencers||17|
|Fri 12th||99c||Reading Deals ($15)||12|
|Sun 14th||99c||Buck Books ($32)||62|
|Tues 16th||99c||Thunderclap on FB and Twitter (110 supporters)||17|
|Fri 19th||99c||Bargain Booksy (25)||22|
|Sat 20th||99c||No data yet!|
#4 Author Website
This is more about beginning the business of making some money from your book. The royalties are nice, but not yet enough to keep body and soul together.
Setting up a website and offering coaching, courses, a blog with new articles, audios, videos, another book etc. etc.
The first step is to set up an email subscriber list and here is where your book can be very useful. Offer giveaways, if possible at the end of every chapter. Mine range from an Audio of the complete book (which I made hoping to sell, before I discovered that you can only do so if you are resident in the US or the UK. Go figure…), a video explaining EFT, audios of my music and PDFs to compliment the written exercises in the book.
But don’t just send them out for free. Nope, your readers have to sign up and give you their email address. Right now I have 95 subscribers (and I started at zero) and the list is growing daily. I am using ActiveCampaign for the subscriber email list as the free Mailchimp version doesn’t cover what I need (setting up ‘automations’ (which automatically send out the freebies, the next email etc)).
The Inner Work
I have discovered that marketing and self-promoting, just like playing the violin, is either easy or impossible!
I received a comment from a friend, a novelist in her own right (though still unpublished!), saying: ‘It’s easy for me to think, this is OK for Jenny, not for me.’
And I now see, with delight, that it is indeed ‘OK for Jenny’ when before it just wasn’t. I have done a lot of recognizing and clearing of fears (mainly using EFT, either with my Life Coach or on my own) – such as ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m not a writer’ (actually that one helped in a way because it provided me with a let out!), ‘What if my book is completely ignored?’ (that was a mega-wobbly just two days before the launch), ‘Allowing help’ (that’s going to be the subject of a whole other article!) and the biggie ‘What if it is a success and bring lots of changes that I won’t be able to handle?’.
I have also moved very much into the mindset of creativity rather than competition,
which allows me to celebrate, rather than be intimidated by, other books in my same categories and other people doing this successfully too.
I have also used what I call ‘intentioning’.
Back in October 2015 I wrote: ‘I intend to have a really good experience publishing this book, surround myself with friendly, supportive, straightforward, kind people. I intend to reciprocate and help them just as they are helping me.’ That has come true in spades!!
And I have used meditation and guided imagery.
Imagining myself ‘Safe, strong and protected’ and beaming good wishes (‘May I be happy, may I be free from suffering , may I feel connected within and without’) both to myself, to the people around me and even to the whole planet.
And finally, ‘Let go and let God (the Universe, quantum physics etc, whatever works for you.)
Taking the steps, setting intentions and then leaving the rest up to a Higher Power and trusting in the results.
Which have been #1 in 3 free Amazon categories, 3295 free downloads.
And #1 in 3 paid Amazon categories, sales….and the start of a whole new area of my life.
As Winston Churchill wisely said:
‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.’