One of the biggest challenges to publishing a book is marketing. You can pay people to market for you, but I believe no one will do it like you. You know your product like no one else! And so, with the firm belief that I could market my book better than anyone else, I researched marketing books and marketing children book marketing. My research led to development of the brand, Team Shipman; identified my target audience, and helped me develop marketing strategies,Who is my target audience for my books? Teachers, parents’ grandparents, women and children. That list has been narrowed down a great deal. Every author wishes everyone would read their book. I came to the hard reality that not everyone wants to read my book. It was painstaking, but I run test almost every day to see who my target audience was. Once I thought I had grips on it, I began to try different marketing strategies.
At first, I was so excited about marketing my book, trying all the ideas I been researching. But then I slowed down after watching a video about music mogul, Berry Gordy. He stated how his team would test every new song before it was released. They would have to okay it by vote before it was released. I employed this strategy with Team Shipman, and it worked out great for us and saved us money. There will be times you when you want to trust your instincts and just go for it without the teams “OK” but try to rely on your team more. Your instincts can get caught up in your feelings and that doesn’t work at all.
I tried email, text, letters, merchandising, starting a website, using Messenger and social media marketing. I was successful at some, but not all. I’ve grown better at some and others am still working on them. No, it’s not easy putting yourself out in front of the world for scrutiny and, in some cases, insult, but to be successful with self-marketing, you must face your fears and do it. Put your product out in the world because the world needs to see it! It’s about your product, not you! Try to maintain professional personal separate from your private life; and develop a thick skin very fast.
As my marketing campaign built, I had people tell me stop texting, emailing, and posting ads. People don’t read why are you trying to sell books and asked me to stop tagging them in post.
There are many positives to self-marketing. Most of my sales come through online marketing. I’ve been told several times, “Hey, I saw your ad online.” I was told a person must see your ad seven times before they decide to buy your product. I have worked hard on the Terance Shipman brand. I realized early what I was good at and worked on it. Whichever one you decide to do, study, work and master it.
I was told the best form of marketing is word of mouth. I agree; people can make or break you by the tongue. My saying is you must get the word to the people for them to speak about you. Marketing changes every day. What worked for this book may or may not for the next. I keep learning, looking and trying new ideas. If I had to tell you one thing about marketing, that would be to have fun with it. When you get the chance smile and enjoy that moment when someone comes up to you and says I saw your ad online.