Marketing Your Memoir
You’ve probably heard all the standard book marketing advice. There’s speaking, networking, newsletters, podcasts, and of course social media. But how else might you reach folks who would appreciate your memoir’s message?
I reached out to ask a group of creative authors for some fresh ideas. One of the best: Create a bookmark featuring an eye-catching image of your cover; then spread those bookmarks far and wide! Distribute them at coffee shops and libraries, and ask retailers who already sell your book if they’ll hand them out with every purchase.
“I know not everyone wants to pay for a paperback when I’m selling them, but people take the bookmark and buy the ebook. I’ve seen a spike [in sales] following events I’ve done live,” says Sharon Dukett, author of the memoir No Rules. “I designed them in Canva, and printed them on PrintRunner.”
Bookmarks have been a successful tool for other authors, too. “I made up bookmarks and left them all over a cruise ship when we went on one for five days,” says Debbie Burke, author and award-winning jazz blogger. Her book, The Poconos in B Flat, was a great fit with the jazz theme of the cruise!
And here are a few more fresh marketing ideas to help get the word out about your book!
* Join other memoir authors whose books share a common theme message. Create a joint Facebook page, or create an event together.
* Reach out to clubs and support groups that might welcome your message, offering to speak on a topic related to your book.
* Send a press release to your local newspaper, and mention your availability to do a Q&A or interview about your book. They’re often eager for fresh, community-based news and content.
* Post a flyer on community bulletin boards featuring the cover of your book, with tear-off slips with the link to your website or Amazon page.
* Reach out to local retailers (coffee shops, grocery stores, museums) about a sidewalk pop-up shop for your memoir and books by other local authors.
* Don’t overlook holidays that dovetail with your memoir’s theme as you create your marketing plan. If your book explores family issues, for example, consider an ad campaign celebrating both the joys and hard work of parenting for Mother’s Day. If your memoir shares recollections from your years in the armed forces, Veteran’s Day could be a great time to highlight your message. Or if your story includes a happy childhood memory about learning to sew, share some tips for making costumes as Halloween approaches.
As you craft your marketing outreach, remember these three important marketing basics:
* Be careful not to fall into the “Buy My Book!” trap. “Nobody wants a sales pitch,” emphasizes Allison Lane, a career publicist and now a marketer for authors. “You are the brand; the book is just one product.”
* Let your imagination run as you identify your ideal reader. Ask friends – or if possible, a marketing professional — to help you brainstorm additional possible readers or affinity groups. Your message may resonate with a far wider audience than you initially imagine.
* Instead of chasing buyers, think “What can I give?” Share your hard-won tips and advice via print media, videos, or lectures. Create a gift basket that includes your book for a local charity or event related to your theme. Offer your book at a discount to local book clubs, with a list of discussion questions. Or volunteer to host a discussion group at your local bookstore.
Ready for even more marketing suggestions? Here are two additional resources you might find helpful:
“How to Get Buzz for Writers” – a YouTube webinar by publicist Allison Lane: https://youtu.be/NWPQyU1Yl0w
“101 Ideas to Market Your Book” – www.tinyurl.com/sa2b5sym