October 5, 2015
Speaking at Conferences, Niche Audiences, and the Like
(Marketing and Promotion Post Number Twelve)
The last few blogs, we’ve looked at eleven different ways to promote yourself and your books. I’ve saved today’s venue of marketing, “personal appearances,” until last because, for me, it’s been the most effective and profitable way of marketing my books. Why? There are several reasons:
- When I’m invited to speak, the inviting party usually pays for, at least, travel expenses. I don’t have to put my own money up front. Most of the time, I also receive a speaking honorarium as well. Even when I don’t sell many books, I have a little some monetary reimbursement for my time and effort.
- For some reason, authors are held in high regard in our society. People want to “get close to” authors and sometimes treat them like celebrities (even though you might be a no-name), so they will buy your book to take a piece of you home with them! It has been calculated that, when you speak, you can usually sell to at least a quarter of your audience. So, when I stand before a crowd, I usually have favorable sales. I’ve always had the opportunity to display my books on a table and sell before and after my spiel. I remember one time, I spoke on a Saturday at a ladies’ seminar in a New York town that hosted about 250 attendees. I took 50 of my Bible study guides with me and could have sold more (besides the first two books in the Keystone Stables series.)
- During book signings when I might be asked to speak, I consider it a great advantage to meet and greet fans, who have taken the time to come and see me. Sometimes they bring a few of my books they bought someplace else for me to autograph. But most of the time, they make that special trip to buy an autographed copy. Ever since my first book signing many years ago, I’ve offered special deals, token gifts, prizes in drawings, or free books to those who buy my books, especially a complete Keystone Stables set. However, if they buy only one book, I can be fairly certain they’ll be back for more, either by getting them from me, going to a local book store, or ordering them online. No matter which way the fan makes the purchase, it’s another book tallied toward the best-seller status.
Develop Your Unique Platform
So, your book’s being published, or it’s already released. If you haven’t developed a platform for yourself yet, spend some time thinking about that. If you’ve had a book published, then you can be considered an “expert” about something you’ve written. Speaking engagements WILL sell your books. You just need to get your name out there and go for it.
Do you write for children? Then speak about children to parents, PTFs, support groups, club leaders, etc. Do you write devotionals? Then speak to church groups, Bible study groups, missionary societies, etc. Do you write about animals? Just imagine all the groups, clubs, and organizations that support the care of animals of any kind.
And what kind of speaking engagements are most profitable? Here is the list that has helped me become a best-selling author:
1. Writers conferences – other writers want to read what has brought you your measure of success.
2. Church events, i.e. ladies’ days, children’s Sunday schools, Mother/Daughter banquets, homeschool gatherings – of course, with my Bible study guide, homeschool book, and K.Stables books, these groups are my niche.
3. Schools and niche audience clubs, i.e. riding academies
4. Community organizations, i.e. Senior Citizens clubs
5. Book stores (I’ve already addressed this issue. Make sure you are there on a BIG sales day of an authors’ fest day when a group of authors are invited) Sometimes, the manager will want you to do a reading. That helps draw an audience.
6. Radio and TV interviews (I’ve not been fortunate enough to do any TV)
And one last note about speaking. With the explosion in technology, I’ve converted all my “speeches” to colorful, graphics-active Power Points, and the audiences love them. It’s the most entertaining way to keep everyone focused on your books and you, and you can have a good time doing it, as well.
Well there you have my marketing heart in a huge nutshell of a dozen different posts. We’ve discussed 12 different venues for marketing your book over the last few weeks. Analyze your niche audience, plan a strategy to sell books, and hit the road, Jack.
Marsha (Web) www.marshahubler.com
(Writers Tips) www.marshahubler.wordpress.com
Montrose Christian Writers Conference http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx
(Horse Facts Blog) www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com
More Shameless Promotion
SUMMER CAMP ADVENTURE
KEYSTONE STABLES BOOK VOLUME 4
Skye and Champ face some tough challenges at a summer camp
when deaf boy Jonathan runs away on a horse and gets lost in the woods.