Well, we did it! We gathered, book publishing professionals and authors of all types, in one room and shared ideas. There is just something about hearing an author talk about their passion, and what is working for them, what they have tried and what didn't work as well. Sixteen people joined us for the first Monthly Book Marketing Summit at Swanson Library to exchange ideas. There are lots of writing groups, but I wanted something different: A meeting of published authors talking about marketing!
There were children's authors, non-fiction authors, and fiction, with greatly varied topics -- but the one similarity tying us all together is their desire to share a story with others. Some of the topics that were shared were:
Blogs, Facebook and other social media - The discussion was "Do they actually translate into sales?" The general consensus is that they don't work in isolation -- you have to use them concurrently and frequently.
Traditional print media - Newspapers, magazines -- risky for books because unit cost is low for an individual sale, Must have distribution through bookstores for this to be effective.
Publicity - Is it worth the trouble? The discussion was the full spectrum with one individual thinking it doesn't really work anymore, one person thinking it is the holy grail and the rest of the room happy to spend a few hundred to distribute a press release a couple of times a year.
Events - Book Festivals: (No general book celebrations in Omaha or the area; too snooty); Farmer's Markets: good for some types of books for the right author (but not for everyone and you have to be accepted); Craft Fairs: A lot of work, but can be lucrative with good placement.
Next Book Marketing Summit: December 10, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm - Millard Public Library