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Selling the Self-Published Author with Kinetic Marketing

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Created on: Sep 29, 2009 2:59 PM by CreateSpaceResources - Last Modified:  Oct 26, 2010 5:15 AM by CreateSpaceBlogger

Selling the Self-Published Author with Kinetic Marketing

By Richard Ridley


According to R.R. Bowker, approximately 560,000 books were published in the United States last year. That gives the consumer a wide variety of books and genres to choose from. How can self-published authors get their books to stand out in the sea of literature choices available to readers?


Authors Can Publish & Sell Their Work Independently

In today's competitive publishing market, many authors are moving away from traditional publishing methods and looking for ways to independently create and publish their work.


With new technology and print on-demand offerings, aspiring authors now have the opportunity to upload their unique content and create their very own book without securing a contract with a publishing company or worrying about the costs and risks of creating and storing inventory.


By using print on-demand, independent authors can upload their content for free and create a professional-looking book to sell through various distribution channels of their choice. Authors may also choose to take advantage of a self-publishing option that offers additional help through design, editing and marketing services. Print on-demand is also cost-effective for independent authors because their books are only manufactured when a customer order is placed. With many self-publishing companies, like CreateSpace, authors maintain creative control over their content and keep the rights to their work, so they are free to take advantage of any publishing opportunities that may come their way in the future.



A Marketing Plan for Independent Authors

With more aspiring authors going the print on-demand route, they also take on the task of promoting and marketing their own work. How do they make their mystery, romance or science fiction novels stand out from the rest of the pack? How do they create a name for themselves and their work so that consumers will want to purchase their book due to author name recognition or familiarity with the book itself?  The bottom line is that a book cannot succeed today without the author taking an active role in the marketing plan. It doesn't matter if the author is self-published or not - the book needs its biggest cheerleader shouting from the mountain tops to get the word out and help it move up the sales charts. In fact, one could argue that in order to sell a book, you have to sell the author. Who better to do that than authors themselves?  The challenge is that many authors with little experience in sales and marketing have a misunderstanding of what marketing actually is and what strategies they need to implement.


Over the years, the term "marketing" has grown and fragmented into many different types of promotion. Large traditional publishing companies employ a marketing staff that will help their authors navigate the marketing minefield, but an independent author very often doesn't have a marketing expert - or marketing department for that matter - at his or her disposal.


Marketing in Today's Web 2.0 World

The good news is that marketing a self-published book is much easier today than it was even just 10 years ago. With Web 2.0 tools, the growing market share of print on-demand titles, and the expanding popularity of purchasing books from online retailers, marketing and selling a self-published book has become surprisingly easy and profitable, more so than ever before.


As an author, you should develop a marketing strategy that relies heavily on kinetic marketing.

The Kinetic Marketing Approach

Simply put, kinetic marketing is marketing in motion. For example, it is an active blog tied into as many social media sites as you can manage. It's a community-based approach, where a brand (the author) and consumer (the reader) can connect, with two-way communication.


By using a kinetic marketing approach, you are regularly contributing posts to your blog and responding to comments in a timely manner, interacting with your followers on Twitter, communicating with your friends on Facebook and uploading videos to your YouTube channel, to name a few tactics. The more you participate in these types of activities, the quicker you will build your brand and make a recognizable name for your book and your brand as an author. The quicker you build your brand, the sooner you will start to sell books.



The Dos and Don'ts of Kinetic Marketing

As you move forward with your kinetic marketing strategy, there are a few things you should keep in mind:


          Blogging: Maintaining a blog is a bit of a tightrope act. You want your blog to reflect the basic rules of etiquette and common sense. Treat everyone with respect and be grateful for your visitors' participation. At the same time, you are the blog owner. You must control the conversation and tone of the comments. Don't be afraid to set rules and enforce the rules. Your visitors will appreciate you for it.


          Social Media: There is no hierarchy in this environment. This is a level playing field, and you are now engaged in peer-to-peer conversations. If you try to impose your blog rules here, you will alienate yourself from your own community. Stay engaged and show interest in everyone else.


          Video: Brevity is the key here. Keep it short, simple, professional, entertaining, and informative. As in the blogging environment, respond to comments about your videos in a timely fashion. 



A kinetic-based marketing strategy gives you the opportunity to become an author that consumers recognize, to become a household name. Remember, the key to selling a book is selling the author. 


As publishing on-demand becomes more prevalent among aspiring and established authors alike, and customers are turning to online social-based media to consume information, kinetic marketing is the low-cost solution for capturing the interest of potential customers and, ultimately, book sales.




This article was originally featured in Target Audience Magazine.


Richard Ridley_Fall09.JPG


A writer for more than 20 years, Richard Ridley understands the complexities in the publishing industry. In his role as an Author Marketing Specialist for CreateSpace and BookSurge, he offers a unique perspective on book marketing based on his own experiences as a self-published author. He is the author of the IPPY Award-winning young adult series The Takers: Book One of the Oz Chronicles, Delon City: Book Two of the Oz Chronicles and The Pure: Book Three of the Oz Chronicles. The Takers is also the winner of the Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Award in the Middle Grade/Young Adult category. Richard is currently represented by the PS Literary Agency.





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