At the end of the day, book marketing is really all about connecting with people and enjoying the process.
Colleen Hay, Tellwell Book Marketing Consultant
What does a typical week look like for you as a marketing consultant?
A typical work week as a book marketing consultant is never very typical! What I love most about the role is how varied it is day-to-day. Some days, I’m busy consulting with authors on various marketing activities they can do to help promote their books, and other days I’m designing websites, promotional materials, and social media campaigns to help get them started on their marketing journey.
What do you enjoy most about working with authors?
I am inspired daily by each author I work with. I’m amazed by their bravery in making that first move to get their words and thoughts down on paper. It’s such a pleasure to be able to meet authors of all ages, every walk of life, and from so many different countries! I love to hear why they wrote their book and to watch their level of enthusiasm surge once they’ve received some guidance on when and where to start marketing their book.
What do you tell authors who aren’t interested in marketing their book?
As a book marketing consultant, I work with authors to show them how they can connect with their audience through various marketing activities. It’s my goal to give authors a better understanding of all the tools they have at their disposal when it comes to marketing their book, and teach them how to effectively use those tools.
2.What does a typical day or week look like?
A typical day includes a mix of meetings and consultations, writing marketing strategies, designing websites, creating social media graphics and promotional materials, and pitching to bloggers, media outlets or bookstores. I love that my work week always contains a mix of writing, strategizing, phone calls with unique authors, and creative work.
3.What did you do beforehand?
I was the marketing manager for a California based start-up. I worked remotely from Victoria with a lean-team based in Ottawa, Oakland, and Los Angeles. We all came together to launch our company in early 2017. What a whirlwind that was! I wouldn’t trade that time for anything though. Not only did I hone my time management and communication skills, and learn just how adaptable I really can be, but I was also able to experiment with all kinds of marketing activities. My responsibilities included social media management, blogging, B2B and B2C email marketing, media outreach, partnership marketing with California event planners, as well as managing and executing brand awareness campaigns, mostly through influencer marketing on Instagram.
4.How would you describe your personality? What inspires you?
I thrive when I’m able to socialize with others – friends, family, even strangers at events or concerts. I love getting into good conversations with people. Learning through sharing ideas with others charges me up like nothing else. With events and social gatherings on hold though, I’ve been turning to other sources of inspiration. I consume books, blogs and podcasts on the regular, but my consumption rate has increased tenfold since social distancing came into effect. I’m still getting outside and spending time near the ocean or on a remote trail – there’s nothing like nature to keep me feeling whole.
5.What do you enjoy most about working with authors?
I love hearing why authors wrote their book, why they want to share this particular message with the world. Starting with why is a driving force behind just about everything I do when it comes to business and marketing – thank you, Simon Sinek.
Understanding an author’s why helps me better understand who we’re trying to reach, which determines my recommendations and strategies for how to connect with them.
You’ve already got one book under your belt. Now’s the time to work on the next. But how can you afford to do this? The answer for hundreds of authors is Kickstarter, the popular crow-funding website. By executing a successful Kickstarter campaign, you could be paid to work on your book while you’re writing it. True story. Here’s a few tips to get your started:
Do your research. Check out book campaigns that worked. Ask yourself – why were they effective? What language did they use to encourage support? Who provided the funding and why, do you think, they did so? Check out this Kickstarter success story for inspiration.
Do the math and set your goal. I’m sure most of us would like a cheeky million to sit on the beach in Mexico and pen our crime thriller but that ain’t gonna happen. Figure out how much it costs to make a book, and be reasonable and realistic. If it’s a good project, people will contribute. Make sure you factor in the ‘boring’ costs like printing and postage. Remember to add a 15% buffer to cover the Kickstarter, credit card fees and extra fees to run your campaign. Also include a budget for marketing. Enough to either outsource it or to make your own website and promotional materials. At the very least, you should budget for a consultation with a marketing professional who will identify the strategies most relevant to your book that you can implement yourself.