Introducing the Author Marketing Series

Today, the Wednesday blog feature introduces a new series on author marketing – but this isn’t your typical marketing “seminar.” Like all of my publishing legal and business blog series, this one will address not only marketing techniques, but legal and business issues that go with them.

This new series will cover multiple aspects of author marketing, business planning, and “public voice,” with an eye to helping authors at all points on the publishing spectrum. Unlike the previous series, Publishing 101, which targeted mostly traditionally-published authors, this series is designed for authors on any publishing path.

The threshold question for authors is often, “why should I have to market my work at all?” 

Many authors believe that “publishing” is an industry where the author produces the book and a publishing company does the rest. This is no longer true. In some ways, it’s never been true – popular authors have long understood the value of having a public voice & regular reader contacts.

In this regard, self-published authors often have a leg up on the traditionally published. They know from the start that the marketing falls on their shoulders alone. 

Unfortunately, many authors feel adrift in the sea of marketing options, and have great trouble creating a public voice. In the weeks to come, we’ll look at the various options in detail, and with instructions, to help all authors improve and design an effective marketing  strategy.

The first step in this process is to realize that “marketing” is less about advertising than it is about creating a “public voice” for the author and his or her work. The concept of “public voice” incorporates the ideas of “platform” and “branding” and recognition, but also goes beyond them. All of the things an author does while wearing the “author hat” – from promotion, to speaking, to social media, and everything in between – add to the author’s public voice.

The person you are is just as effective a marketing tool as advertising – and sometimes even more so. In fact, the most effective “author marketing” often involves no formal sales and marketing effort at all.

Your homework, between now and next week, is to answer the question “WHO AM I” using something OTHER than “the author of book X.” Find at least three hobbies or unique facets to your personality – these will be useful as we talk about building your public voice. By way of example: I am a lawyer, I keep a seahorses, & I love humor. Find three things about YOU before next week. And yes, this series will have more options for interaction than in previous months – in part because it doesn’t matter where you are on the publishing journey. You can start putting these techniques into effect today.

I hope you’ll join me next week, when we dive right into techniques for creating your public voice.