The Pandemic’s Lasting Effect on Book Marketing

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing our world. Some of these changes will be long-term while others will cease once the pandemic is past. It is difficult to determine which changes will last and which won’t.

Many experts predict that many changes will be long-term. These long-term changes will transform the book marketing and selling landscape.

Pandemic Effect

Following are some of the changes that experts predict will be long-term. Since we are not God—who sees the beginning to the end—we are left to guess. I, for one, am hoping that not all these predictions will be true long-term.

1.  Working from home will continue.

 As many companies see the cost-saving without a loss of productivity from their workers, many will move to a new model of work from home.

2.  Print book sales to schools and universities will become obsolete.

As more institutions move to online learning models, fewer will host print books in their classrooms and libraries. Learning will become increasingly digital, including both textbooks and supplemental reading material.

3.  Large conventions and conferences will become a thing of the past.

With fears of spreading viruses, large conventions and conferences will become virtual events. Smaller venues may still be held in-person. This will leave fewer avenues—think book fairs, writers’ conferences, trade shows—for authors to promote their books in person.

Many experts predict that moving forward, events will be hybrid—meaning they will feature both in-person and online participation options. Hybrid events will broaden conferences’ ability to widen their reach by integrating virtual attendees with physical attendees.

For authors who specialize in speaking engagements to earn money and sell books, this will signal a big change. With virtual events, speaking engagements will be virtual, which means fewer impulse book buyers at the end of your talk.

4.  Physical bookstores will continue to decline in number.

Over 50% of books were purchased online before the pandemic. When COVID-19 hit, the majority of book sales moved online. Bookstores will have difficulty recovering and the new online book buying habit may stick, meaning fewer bookstores will survive in the new economy.

Fewer bookstores signal fewer venues for authors to host events such as book signings, book readings, and book launches.

In a nutshell, experts predict that the nature of our interactions will become increasingly more virtual. I think that it is harder to connect with people in a virtual setting. There is something to rubbing shoulders and physical connection that is lost in the virtual world.

Moving forward, those authors who embrace virtual interactions and conferences will be the most successful at marketing and selling their books.

I would love to hear from you. Which changes do you think will last?

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Grow Your Audience in Spite of a Pandemic
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Photo courtesy of Anna Schvets.

How to Land Local Media Coverage

Dream big. But, remember that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

The same is true for marketing your book. Maybe you have big dreams for your book. It all starts with a small step.

Marketing Your Book Starts with a Small Step.

This small step is done locally, right where you live. Whether you want to conduct author events like book signings, start a speaking ministry, or be a guest on television and radio, you must start locally.

In his new book, Landing Local Media, publicist Jason Jones explains why starting local is so important. He says:

Your local market is not only where you’re best known; it’s also where you’re most relevant. The chances of you landing local media are exponentially higher than landing a covered spot on one of the major networks, cable outlets, or national radio programs. Besides, before you appear before a national audience, you’re want to have honed your skills before a smaller and friendlier crowd—and local media can you do that.

Jason’s book provides great information on the following:

  • Landing Local MediaWho your local media is
  • What your local media does and how you can play a part
  • The myriad things you should do before you ever reach out to media
  • What to do when you’re ready to pitch
  • What to do once you’re booked
  • How to deliver a great interview
  • What to do when your interview is over

In my years of working with independently published authors, I see many of them making some serious mistakes both when it comes to trying to secure media coverage and in their interviews. Two really important pointers that I have given authors are also highlighted in Jason’s book.

1.  Publishing a book is not news.

Many independent authors think that publishing a book is news—even for their local media. A new book is not a news worthy event.

Local media outlets are looking for entertainment and information that will benefit their audience. This means unique stories about people and events in the community, service or products that meet a need, and experts who can expound on local news stories.

2.  Your radio, television or newspaper interview is not about selling your book.

Your media interview is not a commercial for your book. It is about providing entertainment or information to an audience. The purpose is for your message to add value to people’s lives.

When what you share resonates with the audience, they will look you up. If you mention your book briefly in your interview, they will remember that you are an author and find your book.

If you want to secure local media coverage, I recommend that you read Jason’s book, Landing Local Media. The book will give you the information you need to launch a successful local media campaign.

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Grow Your Audience In Spite of a Pandemic

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Photo courtesy of langll.

The Story Behind the Book

Stories are important. They help us make sense of our world and understand one another.

We think in narratives all the time. In fact, studies show that: “Personal stories and gossip make up 65% of our conversations.

Storytelling is one of the most powerful techniques we have as humans to communicate and motivate.Christian Indie Publishing Association

For authors, sometimes it is our backstory—the story behind our book—that draws people to want to read what we have written.

If you are interested in the backstory behind Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) and my book, Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books, then I invite you to watch the interview below.

Kent and Katie Philpott, Members of CIPA, recently interviewed me on their show “Why We Are Christians”. In the interview, I share how I became involved in writing and publishing.

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Grow Your Audience In Spite of a Pandemic

The coronavirus has upended our world. Almost everyone across the country – and even the world – is now facing “Shelter in Place” restrictions to limit the spread of the virus. Most businesses are taking a significant financial hit.

Grow Your Audience with Radio and Podcast Interviews

As an author, you can still grow the audience for your books—right from your home—during this pandemic. The good news is life has not ground to a complete halt. While where we go in public has been restricted, where we go on the Internet is still wide open.

Online radio and podcasts are still open for business. These shows are still interviewing people. Since radio and podcasts are all recorded over the phone or the Internet, there is fear of spreading the virus. So, the shows go on.

People are still listening to radio and podcasts, and may even be listening more because they have more time to do so, as their leisure activities are restricted. Being a guest on radio shows and podcasts is a great way to grow your audience.

As an author stuck at home, you can spend time securing radio and podcast interviews. And conduct them right from your home over your phone or computer.

After all, people need to hear a message of hope during this difficult time. As a Christian author, you have that message.

Christian Indie Publishing AssociationIf you are not sure how to go about securing interviews on podcasts and radio shows, I suggest that you join Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA). We are running a Coronavirus Special during the month of April.

The Membership fee has been reduced to $75. With your membership fee, you will have access to the following:

  1. List of over 100 Radio and Podcast Shows actively interviewing authors – with host names and contact information. The value of this list alone is worth more than your Membership fee.
  2. Reference Guides on:
    • Creating an Author Media Kit
    • How to Pitch the Media for a Guest Interview
    • Tips for a Successful Media Interview

Being interviewed on a radio show or podcast is one of the best ways to grow your audience and expose more people to your books. Take advantage of your “Shelter in Place” time to grow your audience. It will pay off.

Related Posts:
Are You Pursuing Radio Exposure?
Are You Leaning into Your Authority?
Do You Want to Sell More Books?

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Photo courtesy of Christina Morillo.

Are You Familiar with TikTok?

Do you write books for Middle Graders or Young Adults?

 

If you answered yes to this question, then its time to familiarize yourself with TikTok.

 

TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms: The app’s monthly installs

surpassed those of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat last year. Experts predict that TikTok’s popularity will continue to grow.

 

TikTok allows users to create and share micro-videos—up to 15 seconds long—and enhance those videos with songs as sound effects. Video content is extremely popular with Generation Z—the generation of digital natives.

 

Check out this infographic to familiarize yourself with this important platform for reaching your target audience.

 

 TikTok Infographic

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Are You Using the Right Social Media Channel?
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