Matthew J. Hooper understands the importance of hustle in selling a self-published work. Find out which marketing methods he’s used for his debut book.
1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
My latest and first book is The Coldest Girl. It is about a little girl who just loves all things cold and the silly misadventures she gets into with all things cold. But there is a little more to her love of cold than one would think. My daughter was my inspiration for this book. The story says that the coldest girl was born on the coldest day, in the coldest place in the world. The rhyme repeated through the book is one my daughter said for a while. I honestly just added some funny scenarios to pull it into a story, then a great hook at the end to seal it.
2. How have your sales been?
Slow going to be honest. Launching a book during a pandemic may not have been the best timing. This is also a new marketing challenge for me. It’s been an adventure trying to figure out how to build an audience. I’m starting to figure things out and build things up.
3. You’ve chosen self-publishing. How have you liked it so far? Talk about some of the positives and negatives you’ve encountered.
The nice thing about self-publishing is that you don’t have to rely on being part of a company’s marketing strategy. That was the comment that came back from most of the publishers I dealt with. The big downside is you are on your own, so now you have to be writer, editor, and marketing. It can be a lot.
4. What sort of networking have you done as an author, and what have been the results?
Join every social network and group you can. Shamelessly sell yourself as much as you can. Every time Facebook suggests a group I take it. I email coffee shops and schools, and libraries about the book. Being independent you have to hustle and hustle hard.
5. Talk a little about the sort of marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been most successful?
The best I’ve found is getting social influencers to share about your book. Anytime I can get one there is an uptick in sales.
6. Are there any marketing or networking techniques you’ve intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
I’ve avoided paid reviews. They cost too much, for what I find to be next to no results.
7. What are the most important things you’ve learned about publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
Just because your book exists, doesn’t mean people will buy it. You have to make sure they can find it.
8. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
I might consider paying a publisher as they can give you a marketing boost and sales in store. But it seems odd paying a publisher instead of them paying you.
9. New authors face the challenge of getting their books into the hands of readers. What advice do you have for an author just starting out?
Start building your audience beforehand. Try to launch as big as you can.
10. What other projects are you currently working on?
I’m always writing various articles, but I have two more kids books that over the next year I’m hoping will come out. Those being Amelia’s Other Family and The Hottest Boy.
11. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence, what would it be?
Books that drive kids’ imagination, and gives them a thirst to keep reading.
12. How can readers learn more about your books?
They can follow me on Facebook or on my website, and of course by buying the book on Amazon.
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