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Using Tech for Book Marketing

Kate Gingold from Sprocket WebsitesKate has been building websites with her husband Don since 1996 for all sorts of clients, including authors.

Kate regularly writes about online marketing for Sprocket Websites and provides tips and techniques for entrepreneurs and small-business owners. Since being an author today is not really different from being an entrepreneur with a small business, most of those tips are just as useful to authors.

Kate is an author herself. She writes books on local history, including the award-winning "Ruth by Lake and Prairie," a fictionalized account of the true story of Great Lake pioneering to the shores of Chicago and beyond to found Naperville, Illinois. 

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Ruth By Lake and Prairie

Author Tips and Tales

Why You Should Have Your Own Author Presentation
Kate Gingold Host
/ Categories: Author Tips

Why You Should Have Your Own Author Presentation

Yes, it’s totally unfair that folks who like to create worlds in their own minds should ALSO have to deal with the real world, but that’s just the way it is. People respond to what’s happening at the particular moment of experience and they respond especially to anything that smacks of celebrity.

That, in a nutshell, is why you want to have your own author presentation.

When you are scheduled to appear by a library, school or community group, that cachet of “celebrity” suddenly applies to you. “Surely,” people think, “this is someone important because the library wouldn’t have scheduled them otherwise.”

So they come and listen to your presentation. Each individual audience member gets to know and like you, and as marketing agencies always tell us, people buy from those they know and trust. You are much more likely to sell books to people you are looking in the eye.

No, they won’t all buy books from you. But a higher percentage of your physical audience will buy than your social media audience. So getting folks to turn out to see you is important.

For a really big celebrity, people will line up just to get a book signed. The rest of us need to provide a little more incentive than just our smiling faces. If you’ve ever sat alone through a couple of hours at your own book-signing event while shoppers try to avoid your eye, you know the feeling.

Giving a presentation rather than sitting with a pile of books not only keeps you busy, but also creates a little buzz. Random shoppers will wander over to see what it is you’re doing and the presentation topic gives you some meaty marketing material as well.

Once you have a presentation in your repertoire, you will be pleasantly surprised to find places where you can use it. In addition to libraries, bookstores and schools, try senior centers and churches. Community service groups are overwhelmed by please-support-our-cause presentations and will welcome something new and different. Book clubs, homeowners groups, scouting organizations – there are tons of options.

Some groups will even PAY you to give your presentation, which is a big plus. It’s nice to at least cover your gas money. But even if they don’t pay, it’s usually worth your while in book sales and leads. Remember, however to stipulate that you be allowed to set up a sales table for your books before agreeing to an engagement.

Having a presentation is an involved topic and we’ll continue to discuss it. In the meantime, roll the idea around in your head and get used to it as a vehicle for sharing your books with new readers. 

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Full disclosure:  Writing for Sprocket Websites is my day job, so if you have questions about digital marketing, I'm happy to help!


Marketing Author Interview

Following a presentation for In Print Professional Writers Group, Kate's husband (and publisher!) Don was interviewed by author Louise Brass for WBOM Radio. During the conversation, Don shared many of the marketing tips from his presentation. You can listen to it online here.

The Sprocket Report

The Sprocket Report is published every other week with Internet marketing tips, tools and techniques. The archive features articles from 2011 up to the present. You are welcome to read how business owners are using technology to market themselves and apply those tips to your author business.



Get a Book Siging Checklist and our Sprocket Report

Kate will be happy to send you her brief Book Signing Checklist. Treat your book promotion like a business - because it is!

AND, since much of your efforts will be online, she'll also enroll you in her Sprocket Report, an email newsletter sent every other Tuesday, that includes 2 Internet Marketing tips and a post from a guest blogger on related business.

No worries! She won't use your email address for anything else, and you can unsubscribe from the newsletter anytime, but the checklist is yours to keep.

Any questions of Kate? Leave them in the message field and she'll get back to you ASAP.

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