MaFIA: Killer Marketing for Indie Authors. Kristen Boone's Marie
MaFIA: Killer Marketing for Indie Authors
Copyright 2012 Kristen Marie,
All rights reserved.
Published in eBook format by eBookIt.com
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
So, you’ve decided to give the big publishing houses the bird and strike out on your own as an independent author. Way to stick it to The Man! I should re-phrase that and say “Way to try and stick it to The Man” because if you aren’t successful, you aren’t sticking it to anyone but yourself. That is the whole reason I am writing this book: I want to use my ten plus years of corporate marketing and advertising experience to help indie authors like you get out there and be successful regardless of a system that often seems stacked against you.
This is the book I wish I had when I wrote my first indie book. It gives detailed instruction on how to:
•Create a long-term brand
•Package your book as well as—if not better than—the big publishing houses
•Design book covers that will be noticed
•Write strategic promotional copy based on buyer psychology and best practices
•Win book sales with smart digital strategies
•Do-it -yourself search engine optimization (SEO)
•Build a smarter, more profitable website
•Make social media produce dividends
•Get the best return on your advertising dollar
•Attract free media attention and what to do when you get it
•And lots more in a succinct, schedule-friendly book
My book is not just a “how-to,” but a “how-to-do-it-like-the-best.” It includes real-world examples from true leaders, easy-to-understand principles with graphic support and most importantly, I don’t just tell you how to do things; I provide actionable ideas and strategies that can help you be more successful. If you are serious about a career as an indie author, MaFIA: Marketing For Indie Authors is a whole new level of marketing book for savvy independent writers.
BE SEEN. BE HEARD. Get your copy today!
CREATING AN AUTHOR BRAND
People who like JK Rowling’s books buy all of her books. People who read Tom Clancy, John Grisham, Stieg Larsson, Janet Evanovich and Elizabeth Gilbert buy all of their books, too. Sure, they write great books, but what is it that people are really buying over time? They are buying the author.
Readers, just like any other consumer, have come to trust certain brands (authors)—they know they are going to get a decent book because generally speaking, they know what to expect with that particular author, and they know it is going to fulfill their need (entertainment, knowledge, etc.). Look at your own buying habits. Do you randomly take chances and invest in things, books or otherwise, that you’ve never heard of? Probably not. Sure, there may be days when you feel a little spontaneous or like taking a chance on something, but for the most part you probably stick to spending your money on products and brands you know and trust. It’s just the safest bet.
Your potential buyers make purchases the same way. For that reason, as an independent author you must create a personal brand that people trust if you want any sort of longevity in the marketplace. It is one of those fundamental things that can help you lay a great foundation to build on. And if you do it from the beginning instead of having to create later, it puts you that much further ahead. It can also help you in other ventures you pursue in and out of publishing. It is definitely worth creating for yourself and, in my opinion, can also be a lot of fun. It’s not every day you get to really define yourself or in some cases, redefine who you are as a writer and a person. In a lot of ways, it can be like a whole new beginning.
Who are you?
In the corporate world, when companies are trying to create a brand, they always start with the USP: the “unique selling proposition.” Basically, they ask: “What is the biggest benefit this product has to offer that is different from anything else like it on the market?” Sometimes it is something big. As a classic textbook example, in the early days of Apple and IBM, Apple differentiated itself with a ready-to-go personal computer. This was dramatically different from IBM whose systems were sold in kits that you had to build. It’s not always something big; sometimes it is a lot more subtle. For example, take a bar of soap. It’s just a bar of soap, right? Well, some soaps contain moisturizing ingredients; others are fragrance-free and even more are differentiated by the way they smell. Some soaps are cream-based; others glycerin. You get the idea. If it were just a bar of soap, people would just buy whichever was the cheapest or most accessible. Instead, there are thousands of soap brands and products out there that sell their soap from a dollar or less on up to $20 dollars or more. All these competing soap makers stay in business by differentiating themselves and delivering on their brand’s promise.
As a writer, you need to come up with your very own USP. It should reflect your personality, who you are as an author and your promise to your reader. Many times, this will come down to your genre, subject matter or writing style. To get started, get a pen and paper and think about the qualities you possess that make you unique as a writer and write them down. Do you have personal experience or an impressive amount of knowledge built around a certain subject of interest? Do your books solve a problem? For example, do your books give your readers advice or psychological help, or does your work help readers fill some void in their lives? Or, are you such a dynamic writer that they just can’t get your style of entertainment anywhere else? If you have an existing body of work, what is it that your readers like the most about you or your books?
If you’re just starting out and don’t really have a body of work or even “a” book, don’t fret. Honestly, as a marketing person, I identified my personal brand long before I had ever finished a project. So, instead of basing it off of your book, ask yourself “Who am I?” and “What do readers really get from me that they can’t get anywhere else?” The only caveat is, that your writing from here on out has to support the brand you have created for yourself, so make sure it fits.
When you have your list completed, eliminate general characteristics that others in your genre can claim (Remember, a USP is about being different). If you still have a list, whittle it down to two or three qualities. Once you feel good about them, turn the remaining qualities into a personal statement that is one sentence in length. Don’t just throw the words into a sentence, but really think about how these “uniquities” separate you from other authors out there. Think about what you have to offer and try to establish your “gotta have” factor that will hook them. To give you a better idea of how your USP might come together, here are a few classic examples from the real world:
“Fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free” Dominos Pizza
It’s been years now and lots of other pizza places these days can claim this, but when Dominos first introduced this concept, it was the only pizza place that promised fresh and hot pizza within that time frame. Then, Dominos took it one step further and backed it up with a guarantee. It was incredibly effective in differentiating them from its competitors.
“When your package absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” FedEx