Believe it or not, I am still working on my book. Having finished the revisions and first-round edits from my ace editor, I have forwarded the draft back to her for a last going-over for copyediting. To help a friend (and save myself a little money), I’ve got a friend who needed some experience on his resume researching how to format my document for Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook apps/machines. Meanwhile, how do I plan to sell this book? That’s today’s discussion.
Going Where the Readers Are
Some of this will require market research. I know my primary audience: students, young professionals, and mid-career professionals in the technical communication field. Students are easy to find–they’re captive audiences in technical writing classrooms–but it’s less work to reach professors. The audience for this blog has grown steadily over the past 6-7 years thanks in part to college professors referring to it in their classroom reading assignments. I will need to find those professors!
I’m hoping to use this blog as a marketing tool, along with my Twitter feed and Facebook pages. I might need to talk to my marketing buddy Chef Katrina about using Instagram as a marketing platform as well.
If/when I have print copies of the book available, I could sell them at the Society for Technical Communication (STC) Summit (2021—not sure I’ll have a product by May). Hm. Might help to renew my STC membership, too…try marketing in one of their listserv groups, if they’ll let me.
There might be internet banner campaigns I could pay for as well. Things to think about, anyhow. Self-publishing is a bit more challenging, but even with traditional publishers, the writers end up doing a lot of their own marketing.
After helping my friend Laura edit her book, I started asking questions about marketing since she’s got her book in print and so is a few steps ahead of me in the process. She suggested a media kit, which included a bio (long and short versions); author contact info; book description; copy of the cover image; press release; product information (ISBN, subject matter, etc.); and answers to potential interview questions
Some of those I have; others I should probably be doing while I wait for my manuscript and formatting researcher to get back to me.
I need to set up book and author pages in Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s system as well as a book page for this site (in work).
I’m considering a list of potential readers/reviewers who might be good to include for endorsement blurbs on the back of the book.
Anyhow, after much delay and foot dragging, progress IS being made. I realize there might not be a groundswell of pending demand for my book, but I’m feeling the pressure personally because I’d like to see something in print with my name on it. No doubt that’s my impending old age creeping up on me. These things happen.