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Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Speak Out: "Marketing With What You’ve Got: Learning to Use Technology to Jumpstart Your Book’s Success," Guest Post by Michele Howe

Marketing With What You’ve Got:
Learning to Use Technology to Jumpstart Your Book’s Success

by Michele Howe

Becoming active on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can quickly render an author feeling overwhelmed, defeated, and somewhat hopeless. Why is this? Simply, it’s the age-old trap of making comparisons. One author’s speaking/writing/publishing platform compared to the next; one author’s sales numbers compared to the next, or one author’s three signed book contracts compared to the next (or more specifically, to yours). As soon as any of us begins to make comparisons, we’ve made the biggest mistake ever. Our job, our personal mission, is to write and work and market according to our best ability.

Easier said than done, I know. After a brief period of lamenting all that I couldn’t do (or didn’t have the resources to utilize), I started looking at FaceBook/blogging/enewsletters/websites from a different angle. Once I did, it changed everything. Instead of focusing on what I lacked in comparison to bigger name authors, I decided to watch and learn.

The Essentials

Facebook -- First, I set up my Facebook account for sharing and updating primarily work related information with family/friends/colleagues/readers and anyone interested in my writing/reviewing/books. Second, I added a “fan page” for my new book project; Burdens Do a Body Good. Here, I posted all current book information/media exposure/quotes from the book/quotes from the book’s endorsers/reviews and anything remotely related to this specific project.

Twitter – This is a simple device to open and use. It’s important to link this marketing tool with others such as Facebook. Your “tweets” are very short, pithy updates that alert your followers of what you’re up to at the moment.

Linked In – A good place for your business profile and to continue building and connecting with others in your field.

Blog – I use, it’s free, it’s pretty straightforward to get started, and they have excellent customer care when you’re setting up a blog for the first time. This is also your “home base” to situate any/all your work related information.

Daily Habits to Incorporate

Check your sites – Every morning, I do a brief check on my main sites (FB, Linked In, blog, journalist enews requests, and two email accounts). I quickly answer emails/requests/queries, and then move on.

Promote all current work regularly – I keep that ongoing (and always changing) marketing list next to my computer and give it a brief read every day to make sure I’m on time/on target with any upcoming book deadlines.

Help someone out – Almost everyday on FB, some other writer will ask for help and I offer that help when I can. Often when perusing the journalists callouts for information, I’ll frequently see something another writer can speak to better than I can and I pass that request on to them immediately.

Keep tabs on what’s effective and what’s not – As I look down my marketing list, I can quickly identify those areas that are not working for me. When I write to a number of editors but get no response, that’s the clue I need to change my approach.

Be willing to try new things – Refuse to say no to a new opportunity without giving it ample thought and consideration. Don’t see the obstacles, see the possibilities.

Look ahead – Just when I think I’ve exhausted all I can do to market my work, I think some more. Here are some specific angles that get me jumpstarted when I’m fresh out of ideas. Think local. Think state. Think national. Think online. Think in print. Think in person.

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Michele Howe is the author of ten books for women and has published over 1200 articles, reviews, and curriculum to more than 100 different publications. Her articles and reviews have been published in Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Christianity Today, Focus on the Family and many other publications. Michele’s newest title, Still Going It Alone, was released last year. After having undergone four shoulder surgeries, Michele saw the need for an upcoming women’s inspirational health-related book co-authored with her orthopedic surgeon, titled, Burdens Do a Body Good: Meeting Life’s Challenges with Strength (and Soul), released May 2010. Michele also writes a parenting column at

Read more about Michele at


Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


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