Florence Osmund self-published her first book, The Coach House, earlier this year. In that time she has picked up a lot of great marketing tips, and she shares them here.
1. Give me the “elevator pitch” for your book in five to ten sentences.
1945 Chicago. Newlyweds Marie and Richard Marchetti have the perfect life together. Or at least it seems until Marie discovers he secretly attends a mobster’s funeral. And when she inadvertently interrupts a meeting between Richard and his so-called business associates, he causes her to fall down the basement steps, compelling her to run for her life. Ending up in Atchison, Kansas, Marie quickly starts a new life for herself in a coach house apartment. Ironically, it is the discovery of the identity of her real father and his ethnicity that changes her life more than Richard ever could.
2. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been the most successful?
One thing is for sure: books don’t market themselves, so we indie authors have to be diligent and creative in our marketing efforts. Two ‘musts’ I believe are creating a website and maintaining a blog. People just expect it, and if you want to get the word out about yourself and your books, you have to have these. Some other methods I’ve used are the creation of Amazon and Facebook author pages, adding links to my website and blog in my e-mail signature block, participating in online discussion groups, seeking out book reviews, subscribing to book promotion sites, sending out a good press release, including testimonials in my website and blog, participating in online interviews such as this one, contacting book club members, and networking with family and friends. If all my Facebook friends were to re-post my book announcement, I would reach close to 10,000 more people. That’s a lot of potential book sales!
3. Are there any marketing techniques you intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
I personally have avoided book fairs. There is something about standing in a booth waiting for people to come up to you to talk about your book that doesn’t appeal to me. If there was an easy way to determine which marketing methods paid off and which ones didn’t, I would certainly discontinue the ones that didn’t. But you rarely know what it was that prompted someone to buy your book. For example, if I see a spike in sales right after a book club has selected my book for their next read, is that what caused the spike? Or was it something else, or a combination of things? You just don’t know.
4. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about self-publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
I didn’t know I would be spending as much time marketing my books as I did writing them.
5. What are you currently working on?
I just finished Daughters, which is a sequel to my first book, The Coach House. I had started a third book awhile ago, and now I plan to pick that up where I left off.
6. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence, what would it be?
I love to create interesting complex characters who have to beat the odds in order to succeed.
7. How can readers learn more about your books?
Readers can visit my website and blog, not only to learn more about my books, but to also find a substantial amount of new author advice – advice I wish I had received before I started writing my first book.
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