I've noticed that in the marketing world, people seem overly eager to jump on the latest marketing bandwagon. When you look at your options for marketing your book, be sure to take your own personality and lifestyle choices into account.
For example, I'm a fairly introverted person who lives in the middle of nowhere. Let's face it, some marketing tactics simply aren't an option. James and I refer to ourselves as "happy hermits." In other words, we moved to the middle of 40 acres of forest for a reason. We like our privacy.
Some book "experts" would say that to effectively market a non-fiction book, I need to drive to book stores and do readings, give speeches about my topic at Chambers of Commerce, or "tweet" 14 hours a day.
The things that might work in a city of 7 million aren't necessarily a good option for those of us who live in a town of 7,000. And some marketing tactics just don't feel right for me.
Countless marketing tactics exist. Your job is to run everything you read and hear through your own personal filters. As you compile your book marketing plans, make sure the tactics you select pass these three filters.
1. The Guru B.S. Filter. Out in the Internet Marketing world, I've seen people make what I regard as irresponsible recommendations. If someone is saying you need to mortgage your house to attend a "life-changing mastermind" program, just don't. You can probably get 90% of the information from a free book at the library. Don't let your emotions be swayed by hyped-up manipulative copy.
Be cautious with your finances. If it feels risky, don't do it. Trust your gut. Don't let people con you into spending more money than you feel comfortable spending for anything.
2. The Lifestyle Filter. Winter here is rough. I absolutely refuse to travel between late November and mid-April. The drive to the airport is just too scary. If you hate to travel, exhibiting at trade shows or speaking at events isn't going to be a good fit for you. Think about your lifestyle. If your home office is a corner of the bedroom and you have screaming kids and barking dogs wandering by, you might want to avoid doing teleseminars until you can come up with a quieter location.
3. The Personality Filter. Like I said, James and I are introverted hermits, and our most effective marketing tactics tend to involve our writing, technical, and teaching skills. People find out about our books mostly thanks to things we've written over the years. We have been earning residual income for about a decade from Web sites running on a content management system James wrote before blogs existed. We did "article marketing" before anyone had a term for it. When it comes to online marketing, quality content still rules.
I also have created postcards and bookmarks with images of our book covers that I mail out and give to people. People have been marketing books with postcards forever. Just because something is the "latest and greatest" doesn't mean older marketing tactics no longer work. Yes Twitter is newer, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's better, particularly if you hate it. For us, the people who yammer non-stop on Twitter are screamingly annoying, so we aren't exactly big on that method of book marketing.
As you go forth and market your book, try to focus on tactics that feel most comfortable and natural first. And when something works, do more of it!
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