Building a creative business: Marketing and Publicity (part two)

There are a few things that are covered in the word ‘lifestyle’ so I’m writing a series of four posts instead of cramming it all higgeldy-piggeldy into one.

I’ve been published now for eight months. I’ve done well, all things considered, but I know I can be more strategic and make a bigger dent in the book world. My main goal is to reach a position where I have creative freedom and an income I can live on from my creative work. Around this time last year, I made my first business plan. It had a five-year breakdown, and each year was assigned an overriding purpose: 2015’s purpose is publicity.

Why Focus on Publicity?

A few months ago, I wrote a guest post for children’s author D.C. Grant about the marketing rule of seven. You can read it here. Essentially, this rule states that a consumer has to ‘see’ your product seven times in a period of 18 months before they are likely to take action (i.e. buy your product, book an appointment etc.). In a recent conversation with my illustrator, she told me that for the average person to remember an image, we need to see it three times.

Hm. Exposure is starting to sound important!

In addition to these rules of thumb, we all know how important word of mouth is for any business. I’m far more likely to take a punt on the new guy (or gal) if they’ve been personally recommended by someone I know and trust.

How can I get publicity?

While I am certainly trying to break even on my costs (printing a stack of books ain’t cheap!), my biggest aim this year is to gain publicity. In every business task I do, the underlying reason is to get my name out there, get my books out there, and get people talking about me. Below are some of the things I’m doing (or planning to do) to help build a ‘profile’ for my writing business.

Of course, most of these things are just things I enjoy with people I think are awesome. It’s an extra bonus that it counts towards my publicity goal 🙂

Online

  • Blogging
  • Guest blogging
  • Being active on social network platforms
  • Participating in group discussions
  • Commenting on other people’s blogs
  • Review requests

Offline

  • Self-hosted events
  • Craft fairs and local markets
  • School and library visits
  • Meeting with other writers
  • Talking about my work / networking
  • Print media articles
  • Business cards and bookmarks

How do you hear about new authors? What makes you pick up a book from an author you don’t know?

Part three of this series will be published around the same time tomorrow, and look at ways to contribute back to society & the creative industry.

5 Responses to “Building a creative business: Marketing and Publicity (part two)

  • Morning Zee! For me, I discover new authors in just three ways:

    I go into my local bookshops, and I either seek a bookseller’s recommendation or pluck a book from the shelf. The third is I hear about it online. This could be from watching a Google Plus Hangout where the author takes part, or their book is recommended, or I follow the writer on social media/their blog, or I chance upon a review.

    I just thought of a fourth one lol. Kobo’s recommendations works very well! (I don’t find Amazon’s one very good at suggesting things.)

    • Z.R. Southcombe
      2 years ago

      Evening, Drae! I often choose a book from a local bookshop, just from browsing. There’ll usually be a few reviews written up on the shelves and sometimes that sways me.

      It’s interesting to note that booksellers play a big part in finding new books.

  • Good, helpful post again, Zee.
    Enjoyed Drae’s comment too. Funnily enough, I had a great experience yesterday. Was at a charity luncheon and a lady I met there said my book was one of her Amazon recommended reads and she’d popped it on her wish list. Having met me, she was going straight home to buy it. ?

    • Z.R. Southcombe
      2 years ago

      Woohoo! Sometimes it’s hard to remember while you’re in the midst of putting time and energy into non-sales publicity, but it’s moments like those that you *know* you’ve done something right.

      Keep up the good work, Christine!

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