Thursday, October 7, 2010

Look Around; Write a Column; Promote Your Platform

I perused my email this morning and I noticed an invitation for a seminar presented by Kevin Smokler CEO of I decided to look for Kevin on FaceBook and immediately sent a friend request after I read his great book marketing blog.

I got caught up reading his compelling marketing advice and I even checked his guest blogs on other blogs like this one where I was struck by this sentence:

"That authors must promote, often on their own, is now an accepted reality."

I sighed. I finally get how much publishers don't do. Previously I was seriously delusional thinking not me, my publisher is different. I wish I'd started with a stronger independent marketing plan, but drawing up plans are is not my strong suit. Authors be warned: be careful what you optimistically read into emails etc, then if you realize you perhaps expected too much from your publisher, get over and get on with fitting marketing into your life. If you have to mail your own books for reviews, do it.

And check out Kevin's blog --of course he's promoting his own businesses and PressFinder but maybe that will also interest you as a promotional vehicle for your book.

Also, if you're wondering what else to do right now, look around, and check out magazines and newsletters that pertain to your book. Maybe you can dream up a column that would be perfect for the publication. Check out specialty organizations, garden clubs, book stores--any place that might support a regular colum. A column can help satisfy your passion for writing and promote your book at the same time. Consider a column free advertising for your book and instead of paying for the ad, you get paid. It doesn't get much better than that.

One day as I was looking through my book to see what articles I could spin off, I realized I had a number of ideas that would make a fun monthly column. I called my column Take 5 because the information could easily be broken up into topics and the article wouldn't take that long to write. I proposed my column to Marlene's Market and Deli's Sound Outlook editor Lori Lively.

I mentioned this new column in an earlier blog post, but it wasn't until my friend Kathy Gehrt pointed out it was great advertising every month, that I realized what a great idea writing a column is for an author. Molly Wizenberg, author and blogger of Orangette fame has a column in Bon Appetit; Mathew Amster-Burton, author and Roots and Grubs blogger writes a column for Culinate; and Amy Pennington, author and gardener writes a column for Edible Seattle.

So consider promoting your platform and your book promotion will follow. Build your name recognition like a house, brick by brick, and any place you get your book mentioned every month is certainly worth considering.

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