With great pleasure, I welcome today’s guest, Sylvia Dickey Smith, who will talk about marketing. I know Sylvia to be an excellent writer and a world-class marketer of her books. I also know she once sold 170 books in one weekend, so I think every writer would be wise to read what she has to say on the subject.
Marketing Tip: Have Fun
Often, I’m asked to speak on the topic of marketing and promotion. I call my presentation Marketing For Fun & Profit. (Of course, we know it takes a long time to get to the profit part of that equation.) My philosophy on marketing is if you’re not having fun doing what you’re doing—stop—do something different. Try another strategy, learn to enjoy just being. Relax, don’t get hung up on sales, simply enjoy the event. Yeah, I know, that sounds rather Pollyannaish, but it works.
At a recent Barnes & Noble book signing in Beaumont, Texas, I wore a pirate costume and toted a wooden treasure chest filled with “play” jewels, skulls, gold-wrapped fun-size Snickers, a pirate rally flag, and coordinating paraphernalia. The B&N CRM, Cindy, walked up to me and said, “I just love when you come to do a signing. You put yourself into it. You bring something to the table. You’d be surprised how many authors show up and sit behind a newspaper. They never look up or speak to anyone the whole two hours.”
Now that’s a mystery. Why would anyone take up space in a bookstore and not try to meet the customers, invite them to take a look at their books, enjoy free candy, and then wish them a nice day whether they buy their books or not? If I were a CRM, I wouldn’t be happy if an author came in and sat there like a blob, breathing my air and taking up floor space that could be well-used by someone else.
Speaking of mystery, folks tell me I’m one because I not only market for myself, but for other authors as well. Why? I embrace the belief that what goes around comes around. What I put out I get back.
That is why I conduct Murder, She Writes, a radio talk show where I interview mystery writers. Web address: www.blogtalkradio.com/murdershewrites.*
After taking on a newspaper column with Examiner.com interviewing authors of both fiction and non-fiction, I decided to cancel the radio program due to time shortage. Soon as I started notifying scheduled folks of my intent to discontinue the show at the end of the month, I received word that the program has been selected a listener favorite. Now, how can I quit with that? So, for the foreseeable future, I will keep doing both. If readers are interested in being featured on either one, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. And if you were scheduled, you still are. I’ll be in touch.
Have fun marketing!
*NOTE: If anyone has a marketing question, I am happy to correspond in the Comments section of this blog, or at the above email address. As a friend often said, two heads are better than one, even if one is a goat head. (The goat head being me.)