By: Amy Collins
I see a LOT of articles that outline the biggest mistakes that an author can make. I love these articles because they help other authors and industry folks learn from the mistakes others have made in the past. I find that the path I walk as an independent small press (read: self-published author) is MUCH easier with a road map marked up by others who have walked this path before me.
With this in mind, I would like to offer my experience and advice around mistakes that my clients and I have made while publishing and promoting our own books. This week, I have asked Joan Stewart, publicity expert and owner of www.publicityhound.com to help me explain the first mistakes I made and how I fixed them.
What I Did: Pitched My Book Instead of My Expertise
When my book came out, I KNEW promotion was the key. I was sure that my next step was to contact editors and bloggers, radio and TV producers and pitch the book.
Here is why that was a mistake: These folks are pitched books ALL THE TIME.
There are now thousands of books being published every day. The many online and computer tools at our fingertips can make anyone an “author.” There are authors under every rock. Joan Stewart reminded me that experts are more in demand than authors. What producers and editors are looking for are experts to comment on current events.
What I Should Have Done Instead
Editors need content from experts, and well-written content rises to the top of the pile.
Am I an expert in book sales and marketing? Then WHY am I pitching my book (one of many on the topic) instead of presenting the editors with a lot of great article ideas on book marketing?
I made the mistake of thinking that folks would care about my book and the advice in it. They didn’t. (They REALLY didn’t.) What they needed was great content from an expert.
What I Then Did
When Joan reminded me of the fact that books are everywhere, and authors are thick on the ground, I switched my emailed requests to offerings. Instead of asking editors to review my book or interview me about my book, I offered them my expertise.
Content IS king…. My writing and advice was starting to show up in blogs and newsletters across the US and my book sales increased. I was able to promote my writing BY WRITING.
What I Did: Rushed to Contact Editors and Did Not Research Who They Were
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