Please welcome professional writer/author/publisher, Michael J. Sahno, to Jemsbooks Blog as part of his blog tour to announce his new book. Nice to meet you, Michael. Thank you for coming and sharing your expertise on marketing with my readers and me.
Marketing for Indie Authors
The topic of marketing for independent authors can invite speculation, ridicule, and a flurry of advice from “experts.”
The bad news: there is no magic bullet. Marketing is not an exact science, and if you try to hit a home run, you still might strike out. I know this from my own experience.
The good news? You’ve always got another chance.
You see, in our brave new world, the options for indie authors are just about infinite. As Lou Reed once sang, “The possibilities are endless.”
One of the biggest problems I see is authors getting overwhelmed by all the options. In a feeble effort to stand out from the noise, they go on social media and post variations on the same basic theme: Buy My Book!
I could write a whole book on why and how this is ineffective (in fact, I did write a short e-book on Marketing for Authors. Join my email list at https://msahno.com, and I’ll give you the PDF. It’s free). Bottom line, though: if all you do is shout Buy my book, no one will want to buy it.
The best way I’ve heard it described: going on Twitter and posting mainly “buy my book” type self-promotional tweets is like going to a cocktail party and walking up to every guest, introducing yourself, and trying to get them to buy something from you. Obnoxious, right?
As an author, I think Twitter is an excellent place to meet and follow (and be followed by) other authors and readers. Thanks to posting interesting quotes and images, using hashtags judiciously, and retweeting other people’s posts, I’ve seen my own Twitter audience grow to over 12K. Each month, I gain about 1,000 new followers. On social media, it’s all about providing value, and building an audience requires just that.
Where Else to Go?
Of course, Twitter is just one of many platforms, and I have an entire course on where to go and what to do there. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. They’re all different, they all have difference audiences and slightly different functions.
And social is just one prong of what needs to be a many-pronged approach. Book blogs, reviews, the Amazon author page, and using Goodreads should all be part of an author’s marketing approach.
In marketing my current book, Miles of Files, I’ve actually started a re-launch campaign. You see, I think it’s my strongest book, but sales haven’t reflected that…at least not yet. This current blog tour is part of a marketing campaign that also includes a new cover, Facebook ads, and outreach to various media.
If you think all this sounds like a lot of work, you’re right. It is. But your books are your babies, aren’t they? And no sane author would launch their baby down the river in a basket, Moses-style. You’ve got to keep pitching, and I know I will.
Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt from Miles of Files. Don’t read it while you’re eating!
At 5:38 on the morning of his forty-first birthday, Graham Woodcock awakened to the sound of a cat retching. He heard three distinct thumps as the cat’s larynx contracted, then a sound with a different quality, liquid, gurgling: no doubt the discharge of some vomitous hairball. Or, worse, an entire meal. He saw it in his mind’s eye as he glared through the dark at the red numbers of the alarm clock.
When he finally decided to rise—after another hour’s sleep—he was roused not by the urgency of cat puke, but by the urgency of the breakfast hour. Not his—the cats’. One of them leapt on the bed and nuzzled his outstretched hand with phony affection, a clear message: get up, get up. Giddyup.
Graham crept into the kitchen, trailing the cats in darkness. He scanned the floor to avoid any cat vomit that might be there, but there was none. He flipped on lights and fed the cats, then wandered from room to room in search of vomit. Nothing.
He sat down to eat his breakfast, and everything was fine until one of the cats began to move its bowels while Graham was finishing his cereal. It was Truman, no doubt, whose bathroom routine was maddeningly predictable.
He decided to ignore it and finish the cereal in spite of the odor. Then Truman strutted into the kitchen, waving his tail like a dog. Somehow he’d managed to snake his tail across the gloppy pile of excrement in the litter pan, and a streak of it glistened in his fur like a grotesque flag.
Michael J. Sahno Executive Bio
Michael J. Sahno began writing stories at an early age. Eventually, he was selected for Editor-in-Chief of his high school literary magazine. The quality of his work led to several honorary titles and academic awards by his senior year, which made it clear he was predestined to serve a role in literary excellence.
Mr. Sahno earned his Bachelor’s from Lynchburg College and later went on to earn his Master’s in English from Binghamton University.
After college, Mr. Sahno served in several management positions, including Director at a marketing research firm, Assistant Vice President at a Tampa-based mortgage company and college professor in the field of English composition.
Sahno became a full-time professional writer in 2001 and, in the following years, wrote more than 1,000 marketing articles on a wide range of topics. His quality copy put him in high demand, and his work has appeared in a variety of national magazines, including Fortune, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg Businessweek, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and Woman’s Day.
Mr. Sahno has written and published three novels: Brothers’ Hand, Jana, and Miles of Files. He is the founder of Sahno Publishing and available for professional speaking engagements upon request. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, Michael, for the helpful tips on marketing. I wish you all the best with your book. I will be checking out your site soon.
Thank you, readers, for stopping by. Please check out Michael’s site and new book. While you are there pick up your free PDF.
Reading Gives You Wings to Fly!
Blessings & Hugs,