Word of Mouth Marketing for Authors

logoI took part in this year’s online Romance Festival again this weekend organised by Harper Collins and the really wonderful thing was that this time, I was able to do so as an author! I was able to submit an author Q&A for display on the Romance Festival site and I also submitted one of my blog posts entitled ‘5 Things I Have Learnt from Writing my Debut Novel’ which you may have read on my blog recently. They were both viewed and shared many times and that felt really satisfying.

Not only that but from 2 – 8pm on both days of the weekend, there were Twitter and Facebook chats, virtually every half an hour by famous authors and industry people with tips to share, and there were also Google Hangouts with a number of different authors. I learnt so much from all these people but most of all, I had a lot of fun! I was struck again and again by how much time these people were willing to give up to help aspiring authors or to talk to their readers. It was not at all sales orientated but you can bet that sales will go up for these authors or business will go up for the trade people who took part because people like me will talk about them to others, just like I’m doing here today.

One of the Twitter chats was actually about Word of Mouth marketing and was run by a lady called Molly Flatt. Her Twitter page is here. She began by saying that WOM marketing is about getting other people talking about you, inspiring their thoughts, rather than just throwing messages at them. She went on to say that an author talking about their book on their Twitter feed isn’t WOM. Others discussing it on THEIR feeds (or at their dinner tables) is. Her main idea is that WOM marketing isn’t really even marketing at all. It’s about building relationships with people and that has to happen over a long period of time of course, it can’t just happen overnight. The phrase that really struck me was ‘You have to give to get’ because I think that so many of us are doing this without maybe even realising it! Just look at #MondayBlogs for example. I have met so many wonderful, supportive friends through having my blog posts shared on Mondays and by sharing those of other people.

So how would this work for the readers you are trying to attract? Well, she suggested that the first step is to find people online or offline who share your subject matter. You can do a Twitter search for this if you’re starting with an online approach. Then tap into their shared passion. I have met a few people because of my love of country music, for example. Once you meet them, let them get to know you and they may check you out as a result and find that you’ve written a book and hey presto! After this, you can think more about what would inspire them to engage with you. I haven’t really explored this yet because I’m really worried about hassling people so this is something I’m going to take slowly but I like the idea of it very much.

There is now only one week to go until my debut novel From Here to Nashville is published and I want to tell you how lucky I’ve been with some of the friends I have made online. Firstly, Emma Wicker, another Indie author featured my book on her blog last week and she’s doing it again for me next week. Then I was able to get a feature on the Alliance of Independent Authors Members’ Showcase which goes up every Saturday. Then I was featured in Sonya’s round-up of book news on her website here. As I’ve mentioned, I also had a lot of exposure through the Romance Festival this weekend too. Today, my RNA friend, Heidi-Jo Swain is featuring me on her blog for #MondayBlogs and I really can’t tell you what a good feeling all this support gives me. I have quite a few other blog posts lined up in the coming weeks and I count myself really blessed to have made so many good friends via social media. This is what word of mouth marketing means to me right now and I look forward to being able to do the same for these friends in the future.

Thank you all for reading and I’ll see you next week on Publication Day!!! Please do leave a comment below if you’ve tried WOM marketing in another way that’s worked really well for you. Have a great week everyone 🙂

10 thoughts on “Word of Mouth Marketing for Authors

  1. Great article and helpful. I missed much of Saturday because we were travelling back from France. I’ve advertised in the past in those little local papers that some small towns and villages produce. They hold a lot of adverts and very local news but also sometimes take small articles of very local interest. Since people knew me and I was local to them it generated quite a bit of chat – and trade. Does your school allow celebration of pupil and staff successes in their newsletter?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading and for leaving a comment, Ros. I may well go for a write up in our village newsletter but I’m not sure how parents would take it, ditto the school newsletter if it were allowed. The Head has been supportive so that’s fine but in a way, I think the whole school zone maybe is best left well-alone. I only live 10 minutes from school as well so the village is full of children I’ve taught…and their parents 😉

      I read an article by an author recently though who goes to lots of farmers’ markets and sells his books there and other similar local festivals. That sounded like a good idea to me.

      Like

  2. I have to admit I love twitter for finding like-minded people and for finding readers too.
    I see from your comment re farmers markets – eek, I do think it’s a great way to meet your readers but having done a couple of agricultural shows (with my farming book so it’s a perfect target market), I found I sold less than I expected. Sold about 44 each day which sounds good in one way but it’s a long day! I much prefer networking online I have to admit.
    I just wrote a post on my other blog about what my blog did for my book sales 🙂 http://www.writeontrack.ie/blogging-for-success/why-your-website-needs-a-blog/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’m not sure whether my book would go terribly well at the Bedfordshire Country Show, lol but I think you have to keep an open mind and try a few things out. And 44 sales is still worthwhile, although I can see it would be a long day 😉 Apparently, you really do have to suffer for your art!

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      • Yes, it was a good result but I expected the Ploughing Championships to be better but such huge crowds meant I was competing with other buisnesses for their money! I used it to get good press coverage though and had 7 radio interview and a couple of newspaper pieces too.
        I think it’s a good idea to get yourself out there and also to hear the reasons why people decide not to buy too. Anyone who uttered the words “I don’t read books” went way down in my estimation 😉
        I wouldn’t like to do it every week thought.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The newspaper and radio interest was a good by-product as well then, so to speak 😉 Yes, words that will not make you friends with an author – ‘I don’t read books.’

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  3. Reblogged this on Lloyd Lofthouse and commented:
    Word of Mouth (WOM) is the most powerful promotional tool there is, and Julie Stock reveals the secret of how it works: “The first step is to find people online or offline who share your subject matter. You can do a Twitter (or Google) search for this if you’re starting with an online approach. Then tap into their shared passion. I have met a few people because of my love (with an emphasis on passion and love of the subject) of country music, for example. Once you meet them, let them get to know you and they may (with an emphasis on may) check you out as a result and find that you’ve written a book and hey presto!.”

    Did Julie ask anyone to buy and read her book? No. She let them discover the book and make that decision by themselves without any prodding by her.

    Liked by 1 person

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