Months before I released MAY THIS BE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE, I started to explore my options for marketing my memoir. I sought out noteworthy experts like D’vorah Lansky, Sandra Beckwith, Chuck Sambuchino, and Jane Friedman. I read a multitude of other blog postings as well. I listened to free and fee based teleseminars and webinars from Book Marketing Alliance, Writer’s Digest, Book Baby, CreateSpace, and many others.
Everyone agreed on one point:
A well thought out marketing plan was essential for a first time author, especially an unknown entity. Most marketing experts recommended that authors should establish their identity on a blog and/or website and also become an active participant in social media at least 6 to 12 months prior to the anticipated publishing date.
- How much time did I need to create my identity?
- Should I have started sooner?
I was overwhelmed. I was in the midst of writing and editing my first book and now I had to dive into another unfamiliar area. I read. I read some more. I asked countless questions of bloggers. I waited patiently for their responses. Oftentimes they replied. Now and then, I read contradictory information. Occasionally, I followed up with additional questions. I observed what others were doing.
Then, slowly, I started to create the image I wanted to project to others. Simultaneously, I continued to edit, revise, and rewrite my memoir.
My website was designed and made live for all to see. I looked through all of my pictures, trying to capture the visuals that best reflected who I was and what I had experienced. I started to write a blog. I stumbled around for an identity and felt that a multi-faceted one was best. Many claimed I should just write on one topic.
My memoir, MAY THIS BE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE, is targeted to a diverse audience. Somehow, I had to simultaneously appeal to people who were interested in education, travel, living abroad, India, women facing challenges, and Jewish culture. I continued to refine my categories and updated my website.
- Was it possible to maintain momentum when I was trying to wear so many hats?
- Did my blog posts connect with my audience?
- I waited for readers to comment. Only a small portion did.
As I purposely rotated between topics, Google Analytics and other entities illustrated a cross section of popular blogs. Along the way, my audience started to expand as I became more proficient using Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Formatting my book took longer than expected. It was a blessing in disguise. I had more time to build my platform.
While participating in a teleseminar organized by D’vorah Lansky, I was exposed to the concept of video book trailers. I started watching video book trailers on Twitter, Facebook, Linked and YouTube. The concept behind a video book trailer was fascinating.
- Could I create a visual and audio file that surpassed the written word in effectiveness?
When I decided to invest in a video book trailer, I searched the internet again. I listened to people selling their services. My head was spinning as I tried to figure out whether it was a worthwhile venture. The overall quality varied almost as much as the pricing. I set my goals on finding someone who could relate to my story and produce a quality video within my targeted budget.
- Was that enough?
- Would she be able to capture some of the strands of my memoir on video?
- I wasn’t sure.
A short time later Marissa, the managing director at JKS, sent me a digital file. “Wow!” was my initial reaction. With approximately 45 minutes of video footage, Marissa was able to condense my story into a 2 ½ minutes video
- Will people watch my video book trailer? I hope so.
- Will watching my video create interest in buying my book? I don’t know.
- After watching the video book trailer, are you interested in buying my book?
I’d love to hear your honest feedback. Published authors thrive on blog comments, Amazon critiques, Goodreads reviews as well as other online book evaluations