I haven’t taken advantage of one of Steve Harrison’s free teleseminars for some time. So, with a nonfiction book that just came out in June, when I saw “7 Most Common Mistakes Authors Make” it seemed like a golden opportunity.
What I like about Harrison’s teleseminars is that they offer concrete ways to improve whatever skill or goal you’re working on at the moment. He doesn’t just say things like “Increase your social media presence” which we all know we need to do but have no idea how or where to begin!
Another thing I like is that they are a good way to see what I’m already doing right. Having never published a book before, this is all new territory for me and it was gratifying to realize that some of my instincts were spot-on. Here are three tips:
Marketing begins the minute you start writing the book
I didn’t start talking about the book until we finally got a publisher because, quite frankly, I was not sure we’d ever finish it or get a contract. Once we signed on the dotted line with Rowman & Littlefield though, I told everyone! How did I do that? In person, by phone or email, in my blog, and on Twitter and LinkedIn. Who did I tell? The parents, students, and educational professionals I had interviewed, the people who had referred me to those people, my family, friends, colleagues, and social media connections.
I also rebranded myself from Finger Lakes Writer to SueHenninger.com. I had a new website designed that would be mobile-friendly, invested in a professional headshot for all my social media profiles, and ordered new business cards with that image, as well as the word “Author” on them, and started distributing them at conferences and other networking events. It was expensive but, as Harrison reiterated multiple times, trying to do everything yourself rather than outsourcing work you aren’t adept at, can be even more costly.
Though this self-promotion felt a bit awkward and uncomfortable at first, before too long, telling people I was the author of an upcoming book on college transfer became second nature. Because I am!
Tell your “origin” story
Harrison encourages authors to share how you became involved with the topic and why you’ve made it your mission to share this story with others. Luckily I have a great origin story (which you can read in “About the Authors” at the end of The Ultimate Guide to College Transfer: From Surviving to Thriving) Spoiler alert-I was a transfer student myself in the 1980’s and a book like this would have made the process easier and much less painful.
Use believable stories in the book to illustrate your points
Our book contains multiple common, and less-common, vignettes of students considering transfer. It clearly demonstrates if and when college transfer is indicated; immediately, in the near future, or not at all. There are also many “real life” examples and quotes pulled from the countless interviews we conducted that highlight both positive and less-positive behaviors and approaches to college transfer.
That’s all for now! If you’re interested in trying out a teleseminar yourself, go to Harrison’s website and sign up for his announcements on upcoming marketing events.