As part of my new plan for 2015, I have committed to reading a book a week on a subject that I am interested in, then on the Sunday, write my thoughts on it. I read a lot of non-fiction spiritual and self-help books, and usually have several on the go on my Kindle. Because I decided to do this halfway through the weeks, I decided to finish a book I was partway through – called The 7 Graces of Marketing by Lynn Serafinn. I re-read part of what I had read a while ago, then continued on until I finished it this afternoon.
Because I find marketing difficult, I was hoping that Lynn’s book would shine a light on how to market my books in an ethical, holistic way. And though I have not yet processed all of the information, I do think her book has been most helpful in pinpointing how marketing currently works, and why I feel so uneasy about doing it that way. And in fact, I am already following the majority of the seven graces in my own marketing, but I haven’t quite reached the final grace, which she says is Collaboration.
I have been feeling for some time now, that I need to collaborate with others, that there needs to be a collective energy that has the same purpose and is enthused and passionate, and that when that happens, everything will take off. When you’re an Indie Author, you are on your own. Yes, I collaborate with my editor and graphic designer to create my books, but when it comes to selling the end product, I have done the majority of it on my own.
The thing is, I know how the old form of marketing works – you basically make people feel worthless if they don’t have your product, you make them believe that there’s a limited amount, and so they better buy now or they’ll miss out (which in the age of eBooks and POD books, is a ridiculous notion), and you make them feel like your product is the solution to all their problems.
But though the above ways might work well – after all, we have been conditioned for years to respond to marketing in the way companies want us to – none of those techniques have ever felt right to me. And it is my number one priority to be authentic and real. That’s why, when I got a press release written for the release of The Other Side, I couldn’t use it. Because it was full of hype and screamed ‘buy it now or miss out’, which is really inauthentic.
So how do I stick to this new paradigm of marketing, and still sell enough to be able to live? I have no idea. Lynn’s book is the starting point of this exploration into a new world of how we buy and sell, and ultimately, I think it will come down to the consumers changing things by changing the way they consume. If we continue to be drawn in by the limited time offers and hyped up promises, then marketers and companies will continue to use those methods. But if we step back and take a moment to really think about whether what we’re about to purchase is actually the right thing for us, or will actually help us, or is essential to our survival, and will help us thrive; then we will begin to change things.
Like I said, the 7th Grace of Collaboration is one that I think should be my focus this year. To work with others to market my books, and to find people who want to work with me to create something amazing. I don’t see other authors as my competitors, I would love for them to be my collaborators and friends. I think that working together, we can make much bigger changes. I really enjoyed working with sponsors and fans to spread the free eBook cards around the world for the launch of I’m Here, and I would love to do more projects like that in the future.
If you would like to find out more about how marketing currently works, and how it might work better in the future, then I would definitely recommend that you read The 7 Graces of Marketing. And I will let you know when my efforts start to gather momentum. In the spirit of the new paradigm of marketing, I have decided to keep offering free PDF downloads of I’m Here, as part of the I’m Here Book Tour. There is no limited time offer on it. If things change in the future, I will let you know in plenty of time.
I understand all your issues with marketing and have moved away from the ‘big boy’s’ style many years ago because it was not who i am. Since then I have relied on being me when selling me – what you are selling is only slightly removed from that as you have a product. In reality there are so many thousands of titles coming out each year you are in a very over populated market – and i know that you know all this. Availability is one of the key attributes with books as many purchases are on whim – the cover, you’re doing well there, if they see the book when they are browsing – hard to do on Amazon. I rarely go looking for a book to read, even if i know i want a specific book, i will buy it if it happens to be where i am – and a hard sell will make me put it down usually.
All sounds bad news so far, but knowing your marker’s buying habits will help you reach them.
I can see why you liked Lynn’s book it is full of stories, it is not a hard sell, although full of interesting learning moments – through the stories. I have ordered a copy, because i know i like learning through stories and i really like her style – although i ordered a hard copy, as i know mine. Your last blog finally moved me to buying your series that i have been wanting to do for ages – my barrier buying all the series on Amazon in hard copy and paying all that postage – but we’ve solved that now.
i looked at the press release and could not figure out the audience, unless it was the book selling world – am I right?
find a way to pull people in to your books through your stories – your deer video went well. Also, find out more about your audience – how did they get to you. Why are they staying with you. I know you have testimonials and you use them.
i’m sure you will have other responses to this and,as you know, i wish you well on this part of the journey.
Thank you for your comment, Annette, you know I always value your ideas and opinion. I think it’s really important to truly be yourself when you are the brand, you are the business, and I think it’s important for readers to get to know who I am so they feel that they are playing a part in any success I have.
I think word of mouth recommendations are still the best way to sell books because it’s more organic and authentic.
I have had people trying to do the hard sell on me and at times it has made me resist buying something, even if I genuinely want it or think it will help me- because I don’t like the energy of the exchange.
I have no idea who they thought the press release would appeal to, as yet there’s not been any response to it, despite supposedly sending it out to many media outlets.
I do ask every new reader or fan how they found my books, so that I know what marketing is being effective.
I will send the books out this week, though just to clarify- when you buy any of my books on Amazon, there are no postage costs. Speak soon.xx
What I like BEST about being an author is that a book can make an impression long after you’ve written it. I wrote ‘The 7 Graces of Marketing’ in 2010 and published it in 2011 (nearly 3 1/2 years ago now). What I really like about your review is how you share the way YOU are incorporating and applying the ideas from it in your own marketing. There is nothing more satisfying to me than when a reader takes one of my books and makes it his/her own. Thank you Michelle!
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Thank you for your comment Lynn, your book really has started me off on a mission to market my books in an ethical and authentic way, and it really made me much more aware of current marketing tactics, so I can avoid being influenced as much as I used to!