When you write your final sentence for a blog or a book, your work is half done.
The other half is in making sure people know you wrote something - something that is worth reading.
Writing should be read.
The number of people who view my posts, comment or share what I write is important to me.
The numbers aren’t a validation of my writing, but they do let me know that what I write is read. The comments let me know what is appreciated. The shares tell me that readers are happy to associate my content with their network.
Struggling With The Business End Of Writing?
Writing a book was my hallelujah goal.
When I signed the agreement to publish my first book I knew that marketing was the next step. Marketing was the harder half of hallelujah and surprisingly, it was also the more fulfilling half.
Publishing “Ornament” brought my story to readers.
Promoting “Ornament” brought the readers to me.
My advice to you? Marketing is your business and your blessing. The business end of writing will be a bigger blessing to you than the writing. I met incredible people marketing my book.
Four Unforgetable Encounters
She is an RN at the hospital where Kristen, the young lady my book is about, was cared for in the last days of her life. Nurse Karoline contacted me requesting ten copies of my book. We met at the hospital in ward 7. As I signed each book she told me she was giving them as Christmas presents to the nurses who had cared for Kristen. “Kristen’s life and death left a huge impact on the staff. They were impressed by Kristen’s and her family’s faith. As nurses we look after hundreds if not thousands of people through the years, but she is one patient that is not forgotten.”
A woman who had never met Kristen purchased a copy of “Ornament.” She was so taken by the content that she ordered fifty-five more copies to give away to her business associates. She drove two hours to meet me and have me sign the books on the night of my book launch. Wow.
The Six Year Old Superhero
Mabel Tooke is a six year old diagnosed with leukemia. She became Edmonton’s superhero through the Children’s Wish Foundation. When the evil “Mysterio” kidnapped the Edmonton Oilers’ captain, “Spider Mabel” was called upon to save the day. And save the day she did, freeing Captain Ference and delivering Edmonton from evil.
A few days before Christmas, Spider Mabel was a special guest at the Jubilee Auditorium where I was signing books. Mabel’s smile is her real secret power. She had me at hello. Her parents insisted on purchasing a book because all the proceeds go to a trust fund for Kristen’s sons. Autographing Mabel’s book was my early Christmas present.
The Established Author
Marty Chan is one of Edmonton’s most well known, if not one of the city’s most well loved authors. He made time from his focused schedule to meet with me at a Starbucks and offer some pointers on how to market a book. Marty had recently hosted a book launch on Halloween where he dressed up like “The Cat in the Hat” much to the enjoyment of his readers. It was through Marty that I got the opportunity for a book signing at Audrey’s Books in the historic MacLean Block. I want to be like Marty when I grow up as an author.
God’s Open Doors
God opened numerous doors for me through marketing. He brought me in contact with Sheila Webster of Inscribe Writers. Sheila put me in touch with Tracy Krauss who asked me to guest post on this blog. The blog has connected me with inspiring Alberta authors.
I met the unforgettable Sarah E. Ball through promoting “Ornament.” Sarah introduced me to her readers through a guest post on her blog “Virtuous Woman Exposed.”
Dez Melenka of CTV called me for an interview about “Ornament.” She ended up producing a six-minute prime time News feature that can’t be watched without tearing up. Amanda Anderson of CTV and Moira Brown of 100 Huntley Street also featured “Ornament” on their shows. Each feature caught the attention of people who purchased the book.
On a ministry trip to Toronto I was introduced to a woman who was given the book to read. She heard I was in town and sought me out to autograph her copy. She apologized for being an agnostic, but she loved the story. We talked about Kristen’s faith. A prayer I had written in the book could be her first step to experience the same kind of faith that Kristen had. Could she take that step? Yes.
I employed the following opportunities to market my book:
1. A well publicized, “official” book launch.
2. Book signings in bookstores, our church and public libraries.
3. Book readings in schools.
4. Book reviews in newspapers, on blogsites and online book distributors like Chapters, Amazon, and Christianbook.com
5. A Facebook community page where people could post their comments.
6. Public events associated with the content of my book such as the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree and Christmas gift sales.
7. Media interviews.
8. Television features.
9. Newspaper interviews.
10. Book exchanges.
11. Author meet-ups.
12. Book endorsements.
All of the above helped make “Ornament” the #2 non-fiction best-selling book in Edmonton.
Writing worth reading is worth marketing.
Make marketing your business and it will be your blessing.
Robert (Bob) W. Jones is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He writes to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose.