Saturday, February 16, 2019

How Authors Can Exploit Their Network

Who do your connections know?  Will they introduce you to those who can help grow your writing career, sell books, get media coverage, or influence the public with your message?

That’s what book marketing comes down to:  Who you know, who they know, and even who those people know.  It’s your best hope.  It costs nothing.  You risk nothing.  It’s not hard to do.  The potential payoff is immeasurable.

Ok, so how do you break down the necessary steps here?

Let’s start with your database.  Divide it up into different sections, such as these:

·         Family
·         Friends
·         Acquaintances
·         Work Colleagues
·         Community
·         Social Media

Now let’s break this down further:

You have immediate people – spouse, children, grandkids, grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, first cousins.  You know who you are close to and who you are not.  Those closest to you should be approached.  Those not so close can best be reached not just by you, but by other family members who are closer to them.  For instance, get your aunt to help reach out to her grandkids or have your mom reach out to her distant cousin.

It should be obvious who’s your friend, but there are also people whom you lost touch with but didn’t have a falling out, like former classmates, ex-coworkers, former neighbors, or someone who used to belong to your house of worship.  Reach out to who is close – and enlist their help to approach others that you both know.

It’s a loose term.  The guy you see daily at the bus stop, the friendly baker down the block, the security guard at a child’s school, the secretary of your temple, or your dog walker.  These are people you interact with but never elevated into friends.  You are friendly to them, though.  Chat them up with a purpose, seeking out ways they can help with marketing your book.

Work Colleagues
Anyone in your company can help you, assuming you feel secure in discussing your book with them.  This could include those your company does business with, such as vendors.

Community is your neighborhood, including those who you see at the gym, church, school, Starbucks, and ball fields.  This overlaps with friends and acquaintances, but this has a geographic foundation.

Social Media
This no doubt, is your biggest pool of connection -- likely hundreds, if not thousands.  Problem here?  You don’t know many of them well.  In fact, you probably don’t recognize the names of most of your connections nor could you tell me much about any of them.  And yet, this group is most valuable to you.

For each group, devise a plan to approach each one, one on one, with a purposeful request.  You need to clearly state what you are asking for, provide a sense of urgency, and to give them a reason to act. Guilt, love, a reward -- whatever will work with that person, given your history with them and the circumstance you both find yourselves in, should be tried.

What you ask of each person will vary, not just based on the type of relationship you have with them, but on what any one person can actually do for you.  No one can give you any more than they have the ability to give, no matter how well intentioned they may be.

Avoid making a general request and avoid asking multiple people simultaneously, where each person knows you asked the other. Obviously, you should make a personalized plea with a customized request.  What motivates one to act may not work on another.  Besides, different people are capable of delivering different things.

So what should you ask for?  Well, what can they give you?  What do you need?

You certainly welcome anyone who can:
·         Buy the book for themselves.
·         Help sell multiple copies of the book to a group.
·         Provide a worthwhile testimonial or book review on Amazon.
·         Help get media coverage for you and your book.
·         Share something about your book with their networks, via social media or other means.
·         Arrange for a speaking engagement.
·         Introduce you to people who can help you in some capacity, from a vendor like a website designer to somebody who would be interested in blogging about you, to someone who is famous, powerful, influential, and wealthy.
·         Be an investor or sponsor for your events or marketing campaign.

Like Santa, make a list and check it twice.  But whether they are naughty or nice, solicit their help and give yourself the gift of having a successful book.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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