Mama Diaries

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Online Marketing Symposium



What Works – Online Marketing Symposium


Today, I'm participating in the first ever "Online Marketing Symposium" - a blogfest with information you can use!

Hosted by Arlee Bird, Yolanda Renee, Jeremy Hawkins, and Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Do you ever wonder why some books become bestsellers while others can barely be given away? Why some businesses succeed and others fail? How does a blog post or a YouTube video manage to go viral? Is it a matter of luck or is there some magic formula for success?

Well, now maybe we can latch on to some of the secrets and tricks that make success happen or what we might want to avoid. Authors are sharing their stories of success (or not so successful experiences) in this blogging event that will help us learn.

 I've been trying all kinds of things to reach marketing success with my books.  If you're like me, you've probably read a lot of books on the matter.  One of my favorites is, 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, by John Kremer.  It provides a lot of great ideas.

I'd say there have been two things that have really helped.  The first is social networking sites. Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, and JacketFlap are all good places to be.  (The latter is really good for children's authors.)  The key is to develop relationships with people on these sites.  Other writers and friends can be so supportive in helping you get the word out about your books and telling you about other places you can market.

The second, which is really important when you release a book, is a book tour. I've seen a lot of them on Blogger, and it's great how bloggers support other writers in helping to get the word out about cover reveals and book releases.  In case you don't know what a book tour is, it's an online event, where bloggers feature an author and the author's new book.  Usually it's done in the form of an interview.  Prior to the post, the featured author answers a bunch of questions related to the book and talks about what it's like being an author.  A picture of the book is provided along with a compelling blurb.  There's also an author bio and information on how readers can connect with the author and buy the book.  This is really helpful, in that it reaches more people than if the author was doing it alone.   The key to this, is careful planning - contacting bloggers who are willing to help, and scheduling tour dates so it's not overwhelming (one place a day is good).  I've seen a lot of author/bloggers put out sign up lists, asking blog followers if they'd be interested in helping with cover reveals and tours.  That's a good way to  get help.

If you're not into organizing things on your own, or you don't have a lot of followers (which was my case five years ago), you can pay to have a book tour.  Since I am a children's author, I used World of Ink network.  It was a great experience!  They set up the blog visits and provided the interview questions.  They also did a lot to publicize the event.  Through that event, I actually gained blog followers - some are still my friends today (like Susanne Drazic).  They also make book trailers, which are really nice to have up on your website.  Here's one they did for me:     
 
 
 
Those are my two tips. I hope they were useful.  Do you have any marketing tips that have worked for you?


73 comments:

  1. I completely agree with both! Blog tours still work and the key is to have a good relationship with your hosts. One stop a day is also important. (Thanks for mentioning that.)
    And thanks for participating in our symposium!

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  2. Never did blog tours, kinda lazy there lol but social media sure helps me a ton

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    1. You have an amazing amount of blog followers, so I'm sure that does indeed help you out a ton!

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  3. Good tips, indeed, although I did always wonder if blogtours attract anyone else outiside other writers and blogowners!

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    1. It does attract writers and blog owners, but if those writers and blog owners are interested in your book, and purchase it, and then write a review on Amazon for you, it will attract more readers.

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  4. Great tips. I need all help I could find as my debut book finds its way slowly in the world.

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  5. I'll be doing a book tour in the near future. But it may be the last one I do. We'll see. But I think I need to think outside the box a little more next time around.

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  6. great post! i enjoyed spreading my blog book tour out. it was a more relaxing pace and it kept my book out there for longer! i met so many new people through it too.
    ps, i mentioned you in my post today!

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    1. Your book tour was great! I saw you mentioned me in your post. Thank you! Let me know where you'll be in Atlanta, and I drop by for a visit!

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  7. Very informative post! There's so much out there to help, and it pays to know the best ways to utilize them.

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    1. This was a good idea to see how other writers promote their books.

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    1. Thanks! Can I get a candy cane for them? ;0)

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  9. I had an up and down experience on my tour last year, so many things you aren't ready to see until it happens. It for me got so bad I needed to cancel early, it was a sad but learning tool.

    Jeremy H.

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!
    [Being-Retro]

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    1. Sorry your blog tour experience wasn't a good one. If you do another, maybe you'll know what not to do.

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    1. You should find you get more followers, too. Good luck with yours!

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  11. Awesome. Tours really are great, aren't they? It's amazing how supportive all of us crazy bloggers can be when it comes to screaming about our friend's releases. =)

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    1. I really enjoyed my tour. Yes, we bloggers are completely nuts!

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  12. Great tips! I enjoy helping authors by hosting them on my blog.

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  13. *hangs head* I SHOULD have done a blog tour... there were just so many out there and I didn't want to bug anyone *whines*

    Next time.... next time I will. Thanks Sherry!

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    1. I think you'll be happy with the results!

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  14. Thanks for the quick tips. I jotted down World of Ink because I'm so shy about asking people to help me out.

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    1. VS Grenier over at World of Ink is so nice to work with!

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  15. I enjoy hosting blog tours. Someone is visiting me during February.

    Love,
    Janie

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  16. I am going to have to check out that book by John Kremer! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  17. Sherry, thanks for sharing this. :-)

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  18. You're absolutely right, cultivating relationships on social media and blogging is key.

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, with Joy)

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    1. Absolutely! You can do so much more with friends!

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  19. Thanks for sharing. All great tips and advice!

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  20. Thanks for the tips! Networking has definitely helped me in more areas than just marketing. This community is fantastic. :)

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  21. Thanks for participating Sherry, great tips and networking is key for the tours and reaching readers, it's all about getting the word out and reaching that wider audience. Good luck with your books, how awesome to know some sites for promoting authors are successful. I've thought of doing that but have been shy about putting money on the table and not knowing what I'll really get.
    Again, thanks!

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    1. Thanks for cohosting this event! I've seen a lot of great tips!

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  22. It's my first time to read JacketFlap and the World of Ink Network. Saving that info. Thank you so much! :-)

    SittieCates
    The Musings of a Hopeful and Pecunious Wordsmith

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    1. If you're a children's writer, those are two great sources for marketing!

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  23. I've seen both all over Blog Land. They must be helpful, since so many people use them in their marketing efforts.

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    1. Can't argue with lots of people saying the same things!

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  24. Thanks for the great tips! I hadn't heard of World of Ink or JacketFlap, will check them out!

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    1. They're perfect for children's writers.

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  25. Wonderful ideas. I'm saving them for future use. Thanks.

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  26. I love John Kremer's book. It's been around a while, I think? Speaking of books, you just reminded me that I bought Angela Hoy's 90 Days of Promoting Your Book Online. It's been a while since I read that book.

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    1. I haven't seen Angela's book. Thanks for telling me about it. I'll have to check it out.

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  27. I use Twitter to network as I am finally realizing I can't do this alone. Thank you for all the great advice on book tours. It's a new concept for me, but am learning more about them as I make my way around. Thanks again!

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    1. Good luck getting the word out about your book!

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  28. I wasn't familiar with World of Ink network. Always like to learn about new products/services for us out there. Thanks!

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    1. World of Ink did a great job with my tour!

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  29. And you can't underestimate a social site, either. When my series came out, I did a couple book 'tours' through the site Deviant Art. A lot of people helped and it stirred up interest and sales.

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    1. Thanks for the Deviant Art tip. I'll have to look into that when my next book comes out.

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  30. Great tips, Sherry! Social networking is definitely invaluable. I've never done a blog tour, but I've seen countless others do those, and they seem to be a big help, too!

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  31. I never heard of World of Ink. Thanks for the tips!

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  32. Great tips. I wanted to do a book blitz lasting a week, where bloggers choose a day, but maybe I need to stagger with no more than 3 posts a day. Blog tours look like so much work. I want to do it, though.

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    1. They probably are a lot of work to organize. Just answering interview questions takes a lot of time. But the results are worth it!

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  33. yup! good stuff!
    i checked out jacketflap and it looks more like they connect authors who need publishers? is there more to it?
    thanks! and i look forward to seeing you in atl!
    btw, there's a writing conference downtown the weekend i'm there, and i am planning to go - check it out! the novel experience

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    1. It's a big social networking site for children's authors. The way I've used it, is to be proactive and welcome new members. I've made a lot of author friends and illustrator friends, and we've connected on Facebook and Blogger as well.

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  34. Thanks for the tips! I wish I had some to share, but right now I'm really in the learning stage :)

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    1. Then this is a good blog hop to learn a few tips!

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  35. You've got to be super organized and detail-oriented to do a good blog tour on your own. Fortunately there are sites that will do one for reasonable cost. The blog tour well-done is an amazing marketing tool.

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  36. All great tips. I have never read that book, I will have to put it on my to read list.

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  37. That was smart to hire someone to help you do the book tour. Very cool stuff.

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  38. I'm trying to work my way slowly through the symposium posts. There's so much great info.
    The book tour is the number one favourite marketing tool mentioned by most participants.
    Thanks for sharing Sherry.

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