Phase 3: Ideas and Strategies for Marketing and Promoting a Self-Published Music Teacher Education B
This post is the third in a series of posts on my journey with self-publishing. Read Part 1 and Part 2.
The first need-to-know about marketing and promotion is this: It never ends! I was waiting until this phase of the process was “over” before I started writing about it until I realized after a few months that it literally never ends. Instead, I’ve turned this into a list of ideas that I have used to market my book that you could use too! Each has an example of what I have done and suggestions on how to do it. Some sections will present you with everything you need to get going on it yourself without all the research!
The second need-to-know is that there is a difference between marketing and promoting. Marketing is the on-going, long term campaign from who is your market to how you will sell it to that market over a long period of time. Promotions are short campaigns that give customers within the market more of a sense of urgency to buy like a sale or a giveaway.
I am, by no means, an expert in marketing but I have done a lot of marketing for Rock Coach over the past year and a bit and have learned the reigns so-to-speak of how it works. Here are my book marketing ideas and strategies:
1. Book release party
I put on a book release party a couple of months after I released the book. I called a local brewpub to see if they could host the event and I promoted it as an open jam session book release party. I put an ad in the local entertainment paper and on the local CBC Radio station (both free). I sold some books and was able to open to a bit of a new market at the event. The worst a venue operator can say is ‘no,’ and if worse comes to worse you can open your own home to celebrate your achievement.
2. Presenting at conferences
Due to the topic of my book, I am able to market it to music education conferences. I was able to land a few gigs as a presenter and a feature presenter at another where I was able to set up a booth to sell my books in between presentations. I always google conferences in my area to check to see if they are looking for presenters.
If you don’t have a Twitter account, you should. I never really appreciated the power of Twitter until I started using it only about a year ago. It really is designed for marketing. Using hashtags, you can essentially target your tweets to potential customers, or markets.
4. Asking for reviews
I’ve asked some music education journals to review my book in their journal and I have also asked others to review on Amazon. Reviews are great ways to get noticed, especially if they are good! On Amazon, reviews can help more people see your book. Reviews are also important for potential buyers. How many times have you checked reviews on something before you’ve bought it?
Facebook seems to be an over-saturated social media platform as of late, especially in North America. I have a Facebook page for my website and business but it is incredibly difficult to get traction on it. Facebook groups, on the other hand, can be very useful for a marketing strategy. For example, joining a “Music Teachers” Facebook group would be a very worthy group to enter for my purposes. If you do this, be sure to be courteous. By this, I mean read the rules around promoting products in the group because some have very stringent rules around this while others do not. It is usually acceptable to promote products if a question is asked within the group that relates to the product. However, make sure you are an active participant within these groups too and don’t make your first post about your books.
6. Reaching out to universities
If your book is for music teachers, universities are a good market to get into. I e-mailed the head of music education in every university program in Canada that has a music education program, and a few in the states too! With those efforts, I was able to get my book on a list of curriculum material for particular courses within Canada and the US. It doesn’t hurt to ask. The worst thing that can happen is that they now know about your book.
7. A book giveaway
I hosted a book giveaway last December where I gave away one book every week in December. I had a contest on Facebook where interested people would like, comment, and share my contest post and at the end of every week I would use a third-party app to choose someone from the list. I contacted them through Facebook and sent them a complimentary signed copy. There are rules and regulations around contests. It isn’t as straight-forward as you might think. I had to do up an official rules document so as to not break the law. Here is my copy, feel free to use it for your purposes.
8. Book Awards
I am currently looking deeper into book awards but book awards can add prestige to you and your book. Back in February of 2018 I signed up for the TCK Publishing Book Awards and entered my book in the Advice category. It was all based on votes from the public but it was free to sign up. In December of 2018 I found out that I won that category! So now, I can market me and my book as