I hear tell that there are book marketing consultants out there charging upwards of $3500 a pop to help you do something they're calling a "blog book tour," or something like that.
Sounds impressive, doesn't it?
While I don't know the details of these services, I sincerely doubt that you'll get your money's worth when the campaign is over... and my reasoning is simple: such a campaign will inevitably be about YOU and YOUR BOOK. That kind of marketing doesn't work anymore.
Using the recent election as proof...
Senator Obama made one simple word change that made all the difference in his campaign. You may not be aware of this, but the Obama campaign had one of the busiest social networking sites on the Internet. I'll explain what a social networking site is in a second, but for now I want you to understand the concept of "Social Proof." Once you get this, you'll have a much better idea how to market your book.
Instead of saying "You" in his messaging, Obama repeatedly said "We."
Think about the difference. One is exclusive, while the other is inclusive. McCain and Palin seemed to make the election either about THEM or about Obama. Obama mostly made his campaign about "Us" and "We." Inclusive versus exclusive.
Once he got critical mass - enough people thinking "we" - his juggernaut kept picking up steam. That's what we call social proof. It's the phenomena where people do what others do... or even THINK what others are doing, simply because others are doing it.
"1 billion sold."
"Recommended by 9 out of 10 dentists."
Here's another recent example, in case you're not quite sure what I mean. A recent promotion on the Home Shopping Network broke all previous sales records by changing a few simple words. Instead of having the announcer say, "Operators are standing by, so please call now," she had the announcer say, "If the operators are busy, please call back again."
The first gives the image of a bunch of operators sitting around filing their nails. The second says, "we're selling a TON of these, so they must be good."
That's social proof in action.
Now, back to Social Media
Social Media is a whole universe unto itself. It consists of a wide range of online tools, web sites, and applications that enable people to create communities, openly discuss and share ideas, and tell each other what they like or don't like.
One good "Digg" (a "social bookmarking" site), and your book can start flying off the shelves. Have someone with 5,000 "followers" on Twitter send out a "Tweet" about your book, and you'll have nearly all of those 5,000 people flocking to your web site to check out your book.
And what about all the friends you can create on Facebook who will spread the word in an instant about your book, simply because they think you're a fabulous person.
The social media universe is huge... enormous... with an expected 1 billion people using some form of social media within the next 2 years. Unfortunately, being so ginormous, it's also something of a beast to figure out. As one fellow network marketer pointed out, "You can Twitter away your time, or Twitter your way to more business."
It's all in HOW you use social media that counts.
If you're using social media (Facebook, MySpace, blogging, Pownce....) as a means to promote yourself or your book, you'll be slammed to the ground faster than you can say "Republican." Social media is designed as a "people's tool." In other words, it's a community where playing nice means that you do as little self-promotion as possible.
You'd think that this would make selling your book hard with social networking, but that's not at all the case. For example, if you're out on the social universe chatting away, helping others, and sharing your experience and expertise, people will be tickled pink to recommend your book... often without you ever having to say more than, "Hey... my book is in print!"
There is a definite etiquette to social networking. If you follow it, you'll do great. If not.... better go pay someone $3500 to help you out.
And social networking is, as I said, complex. I can't possibly go into all the nuances and details in one article. Heck, it would take about 2,000 good articles or more to give you just a taste of what you can do.
In any case, I'll give it my best shot. Watch these pages for more articles about social media. I'll be spreading the Gospel according to Twitter (and other social networks), pointing out how YOU can sell more copies of your book by using social media. And the good news is that all it takes is time and patience.
If you're ready RIGHT now to get your social media muscles primed, then I want you to visit the web site of a colleague of mine. I'd say that the PERFECT time to start using social media is when you START writing your book. But, really, any time is a good time to get going.
Check out this Social Media membership site. It's designed for the total newbie - someone who knows nothing about computers, the Internet, blogs or any such thing. If you've already got experience, then you'll do even better. The resources range from total novice to seriously advanced... and he's about to come out with an incredible tool that will AUTOMATE much of the social networking process. Cool.
Again, watch this site for more articles about Social Media. I'll keep them coming (probably a couple every week). In the mean time, PLEASE check out Charles' Social Networking site. You'll be glad you did.
About the Author
Sid Smith is a copywriter (that's copy WRITE, not RIGHT, so don't ask me legal stuff). He sees his purpose in life as that of "extreme marketer." His primary objective is to help people sell their wares on the Internet, by whatever means possible. Find out how he can help you get Top Search Engine Ranking for your business.
After you've hit a "brick wall," I may can help - go to www.PamPerryPRcoach.com - request a free diagnosis for your ministry marketing book problem and I can offer you some ministry marketing solutions. :)
God bless you!