Blogger: Kathleen Y’Barbo, Publicist
Location: The Woodlands, Texas PR Office
Weather: Typical Texas sun/rain/sun
“Success is not how high you reach; success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom.” General Patton
Have you had to bounce yet? If you’re writing for publication, you’re somewhere on the cycle of getting, being, or staying published. Either you’re on the hunt for that contract, working toward a deadline, or, as in the case of seasoned authors, both.
What does this have to do with publicity and marketing? Plenty! Where you are in this cycle will determine the direction of your publicity plan. For the author seeking to be published, publicity should concentrate on name recognition and developing a platform. Authors with a contract in hand will want to develop a plan that sends readers flocking to bookstores for your book.
But what if you’re an author who has made it to the third category? Perhaps you’re flying high with sales numbers that are going nowhere but up. Fabulous! May we all be in that situation! Unfortunately, not all authors experience such a trajectory. Sometimes a writer’s journey zigzags instead. I’ve heard it said that an author is only as good as the last book sales. While I’m not sure I agree with that, I do think all who put pen to paper should be mindful that someday he or she may see the cellar rather than the penthouse.
So what’s an author to do?
Yes, bounce. When headed down–be it book sales, name recognition, or some other writing-related woe– turn things around and aim upward. Sounds simple, right? But how?
Start by looking back on what you’ve done, make a list, and eliminate any marketing efforts that flopped. Make note of what worked and add that to a separate list.
When you’ve exhausted your brain cells remembering what has and hasn’t worked, brainstorm what’s to come. Start by setting goals for bouncing back from this adversity. Are you looking to drive sales up? Then craft a publicity plan that will elevate your book in the public eye. Perhaps a blog tour (see last week’s column for ideas) or a few well-placed press releases will make a difference in this book. Have a bent for being interviewed? Start hunting places where you can get on-air conversations going about your topic. Not so connected? Find a good publicist and have him or her make the arrangements for you.
It’s all about the bounce. How high? That’s up to you.
So what have you done to revive sagging sales or a sinking career? Don’t have that problem? Tell me about something you’ve seen work for someone else.
Next week we’ll explore in greater depth the idea of bouncing back from anonymity, slow sales, or whatever angst is ailing the author.
Patton is always a great place to begin! Thank you for that quotation.
Today when ordering lawnmower parts from an 800 number, I asked the inside sales person if she would be interested in looking at a website. She said she sure would and thus began a conversation.
No one else is going to toot your horn like you will!
Looking forward to reading everyone’s ideas!
Thanks for this topic!!
Karen, I simply love that bit you said about “No one else is going to toot your horn like you will!”
I’m just off to do that, right now!
Bouncing is what I do best. I was telling my writer friend, even if an agent rejects her to keep trying. To get a thick skin and keep trying.