This blog is by Archway authors for fellow authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Elizabeth Rosso, author of “Meet Max”. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.
Welcome back! So far you’ve stuck with me (thanks!) through coming up with the idea for “Meet Max!,” shaping that idea into a manuscript, editing my book, finding illustrations, and deciding to self-publish. Success! Right? Well, not so fast… I mean, yes, I have a book, and yes, I love Max, but I’m just one person. Now it’s time to tell the world about Max and his adventures! Which led me back to my recurring question: how do I do that?
Through pure dumb luck, I started out by identifying my audience. At its most basic, my audience is children. But it’s also adults with children in their lives, and children with dogs, and people of all ages who love dogs, and people who love reading.
Next I started to think about ways to reach those audiences. Bookstores seemed to be the most obvious choice, but I also thought that any store with a connection to any of my audience segments, or with a focus on local products, might be a good target. So, I started cold-calling all those types of places. One of my sales calls took me to a national retailer with fairly detailed requirements for requesting that they carry my book. One of those requirements was to submit a marketing plan.
I hadn’t realized it (I don’t have any business training or experience), but building my marketing plan was exactly what I had been doing. I sat down to write out a more formal plan, and it became obvious that bookstores needed to be my primary target. All those other outlets were fine if an opportunity presented itself, but they wouldn’t give me the kind of return on my effort that I had been looking for.
Okay, lesson learned the hard way! But while I had been expending a lot of effort for small (but exciting!) returns, I was also using some of the marketing services available through Archway. Currently I’m at the beginning of my social media campaign, setting up a web site, a Twitter account , and a Facebook page. Some of that technology is new to me, so there’s a bit of a learning curve, but I recently doubled my Twitter followers, and am working to get the web site and Facebook page to take off as well.
It’s been a lot of work and I’m still hoping for my “big breakthrough,” but the small successes have been energizing and I’m definitely learning a lot along the way. I hope that you’ve been able to learn something from my experiences too. And if you need a great children’s book about a curious dog with a bushy tail, I know just the one!
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