I recently received a snail mail letter from a gentleman who had self-published a book via a large self-publishing press. In the letter, he requested my help with marketing his book.
The letter stated:
“I understand that you help self-published authors market their books…I do not have email, so I have to correspond by postal mail. I have limited funds which is another drawback.”
This author reported in his letter that he had done some advertising in Christian magazines with limited results.
Since this author does not have email, I can conclude that he also does not have a blog, nor is he present on any social media sites online. In other words, he is not an Internet user. Therefore, his book promotion efforts are severely limited. He can do the following two things:
- Advertising—which can be very expensive and usually has limited results.
- In-person marketing efforts such as speaking and book readings—although many of these are scheduled via email (again, the Internet).
In essence, this author is missing out on connecting with potential readers through numerous marketing opportunities that can be done for low- or no-cost using the Internet including:
- Internet presence through a website
- Internet presence through blogging and joining blog conversations
- Connecting with readers via social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
- Email marketing
- Internet radio and podcast interviews
- Video or live broadcasting
- Connecting with media through press releases and scheduling interviews, since this is now done largely through email.
Self-publishing houses or subsidy presses—like Xulon, Xlibris, and Westbow—receive all their money upfront when publishing a book. The author pays the company to produce the book. Therefore, these publishing houses have no vested interest in helping their authors promote and market their books to produce sales.
The bottom-line is that authors must meet readers where they hang out to promote their books. Since most readers hang-out online, if you are not marketing online, you are missing most of your audience.
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