Whether you choose to self publish a book or are lucky enough to land a book deal with a publisher, one of the harsh realities is that you will have to do a lot of the marketing of the book yourself. This sometimes comes as a big surprise to an author who has focused mostly on mastering the art of fiction writing or developing the expertise needed to write a credible non-fiction book.
Making matters worse is the fact that the field of marketing itself is in a state of rapid transformation. Even experienced PR and marketing professionals are struggling to keep up with some of the opportunities and challenges associated with new media platforms and social networking.
Because there is no magic, one-size-fits-all formula for marketing a book anymore, how does an author even know where to begin? It’s certainly not a dumb question, and one that a new crop of book-marketing services would be happy to try to help you resolve.
For example, today I ran across an online press release for Book Marketing: The Authors Marketing Powerhouse website. The site provides authors with a centralized hub for book marketing activity, education, and networking. It is intended to be a one-stop resource to help authors find success in today’s confusing and ultra-competitive Internet marketing environment.
Each author can create a personalized page, upload photos, bios, book covers, video and book trailers, and integrate their promotion activities with Facebook and Twitter. The site also offers discussion forums on book-marketing and website optimization strategies and segmented special-interest groups for authors of different genres of books.
The site is a joint collaboration of Don McCauley of the Free Publicity Focus Group and Danielle Hampson of eBroadcastMedia.com. The Free Publicity Group is a marketing and publicity firm that helps authors develop strategic marketing plans that integrate many of today’s free publicity and social-networking tools. EBroadcastMedia.com produces professionally recorded and edited interviews in a “Show” format that can help the author appear more credible.
“The site can be treated as a place to create awareness of one’s work while, at the same time, allowing authors to network with like-minded individuals,” explains McCauley. “The segmented groups allow for the exchange of book marketing ideas, while the discussion forums can serve as an educational resource for those who may need to increase their own knowledge with regards to creating marketing and publicity plans that produce real results.”
I’m not surprised to discover websites such as The Author’s Marketing Powerhouse. Whenever technological change (in this case, on-demand book publishing) causes pain and confusion in the marketplace, a slew of start-up companies and organizations emerge to help address the new problems. Some solutions turn out to be wonderful; others are not-so-great.
So when I call attention to a new service for creative professionals on this blog, my purpose is not necessarily to endorse it. I just think it’s important for creative professionals who want to find new markets for their work to always stay aware of what new services and resources exist to help them.
I know from experience that some of these start-up services will inevitably crash and burn, while others will adapt to the needs of their customers, evolve, and grow.
If you’ve had any experiences with some of these new book-marketing services, I’d love to hear from you!