Thanks to Ivory and Huntington I am now happily ensconced in the Red Room community. I thought I might share some stories on the book marketing front, because while the process of researching, interviewing, writing and editing was fun, the real test is coming up. Can we successfully market a self-published book? Lest you think I know the end of this story, please understand that our on-sale date is 7 days away.
I knew before releasing How They Did It that of course we had to have a website, and so we do. But that’s not enough. We wanted the site to be more than just a billboard for the book. We wanted to engage potential readers. The solution was to add a blog that could be repurposed other places (posts on Facebook, links from Twitter, etc.). Wordpress, a free open source tool, proved to be the best option for combining an informational website with blogging capabilities. With its user friendly design, virtually anyone can create a customized website. Keep in mind, this was all before I was introduced to Red Room, which I think is going to obviate the need for standalone author websites.
You can see our final customized site at www.howtheydiditbook.com.
A few years back I was involved in publishing a book and on publication date we had received a total of about one day’s effort from a PR person, which amounted to a bunch of radio interviews for my partner in a variety of markets.
So this time around I knew we had to make our own buzz. Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn. We knew that we needed to create a presence for the book…everywhere. I will go into all of these online efforts later, but first let me tell you how we decided to leverage the content of the book. Since the main focus of How They Did It is entrepreneurship, we decided to create an event that celebrated entrepreneurship (and the launch of How They Did It). The Great Lakes Entrepreneur Bash is taking place next Tuesday, November 16 . Since we were able to turn this into something bigger than the book itself, we were able to get the support of 23 organizations who graciously stepped forward to co-host the event. It looks like we’ll have about 300 attendees. We’re not there yet, but we do have a plan to reach it ….more on that tomorrow.