Welcome D. Grant Smith to the ePen Guest Room! Grant stopped by to tell us about his new book The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook and to give us some tips on book marketing. Enjoy!
Book Marketing is that subject a lot of folks avoid. It’s easy for creative folks to get ideas on new storylines and develop the characters that make those stories come alive. For authors who write about their expertise in the nonfiction realm (like me) more than create works of fiction, marketing your books to new audiences is still a bit of a mystery for many authors. It doesn’t have to be.
I’ve spent most of my professional career working with musicians and creative entrepreneurs. The similarities that musicians and authors have is strangely similar. Both paths involve taking a creative work and attempting to get it in front of a chosen audience with the goal of growing a larger audience. That audience getting exposed to your work creates opportunities for people to pick it up, buy it, and follow you. Musicians do this with radio airplay, playlists, blogs, and other media through submissions and contacting curators. Sound familiar?
It’s all marketing. The interesting thing is that marketing isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Actually, reaching both bookstores and book bloggers and reviewers have the same “secret” that radio stations have for musicians. Getting these folks to respond positively to you and your proposal to feature your book isn’t rocket science. It’s actually just a little bit of basic psychology. Dale Carnegie talked about this marketing phenomena in a book that was never intended to be about marketing. Instead, it was about creating influence and getting people to connect with you. In How To Win Friends And Influence People, one of his core ideals involve doing the opposite of what modern marketing has turned into. We’re so used to seeing creatives market themselves by focusing all their energies on talking about their work and talking exclusively about it. This isn’t the way to get someone’s attention so their ears and minds are open to learning more about your book. Instead, Carnegie says “You can make more friends in two months by showing an interest in other people that you can in two years trying to get people interested in you.” Think about that. You gain more influence with people in sixty days by first taking an interest in them than you can in 720 days spending your time talking about you. That’s pretty powerful stuff.
Marketing is really a method of conversations that lead to conversions. Effective marketing gets people talking, asking questions, and taking actions that lead to change and growth. Marketing that fails doesn’t lead anyone on a journey. It simply falls on deaf ears (take that pun wherever you want it to). With this in mind, we can find creative and powerful ways to market our books by doing just a few simple things.
First, we need to be specific about who it is that we’re trying to market to. If you want to get your book out to a specific audience, dystopian fiction for instance, be specific on book reviewers and bloggers who have an audience in this field. Yes this takes a little more time than getting a massive list of contacts who do reviews and sending them one blanket e-mail. Blanket e-mails are like spam: incredibly generic, boring, and unsavory in every way. No one goes to the store looking to pick up some fresh spam. Think of that with how you reach out to folks.
When you’re specific on the category of book reviewers you want to reach out to, invest the time into making a list of contacts with their name, blog or review site, e-mail or contact info, and two things you enjoy about their reviews. Make note of that, because referencing the person’s work that you’re contacting goes a long ways. It ties exactly into Carnegie’s methods. When you reference and make note of what you like about the one person you’re contacting, they take notice and respond. We’re wired this way as humans. When people notice us and talk about us, we pay attention. This attention leads to a conversation.
My reference point for this different method of marketing comes from experience, not just reading a book from 1933. In 2003 I created a radio program that I worked to get syndicated five years later. Syndication is simply getting the show picked up by other radio stations across the country. This is a process of contacting a lot of station managers I don’t know personally, getting their attention and getting them to buy into adding a two-hour program to their schedule each week.
What worked in syndication was doing the steps I illustrated here and more in depth in my book The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook. Over the years, I’ve also helped indie musicians get radio airplay using the same method. When my book was published earlier this year, I worked directly with my small publisher to get her titles in both fiction and nonfiction picked up by blog reviewers and indie bookstores. I used the same method. It worked for us, and it will work for you too.
Book marketing and music marketing are similar. What ties them together is making connection and conversation the goal. When you show that the person you want to connect with matters to you, and you have a personal experience with their work, they will do more to connect you with their audience than a mere “book pitch” or review request will ever do. You potentially gain a friend, and friends help each other succeed much more powerfully than anyone does for a stranger.
Musicians are constantly looking for opportunities to reach new audience. Radio airplay continues to be one of the best outlets to grow your audience and reach new fans. Yet getting your music on the radio is complicated and difficult for many artists. How can you get your music heard on radio so that you can build a stronger and larger audience?
The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook illustrates a practical and thorough step-by-step process for gaining radio airplay AND building solid connections with the people who make radio happen. Jump into the mind of a radio programmer to discover what works and why to gain radio, media, and music industry success with your music.
Author D Grant Smith is not just a music marketing pro. He’s the creator and host of the internationally syndicated program The Appetizer Radio Show, and a former radio station manager. In the book, you’ll see why radio programmers make their picks on what music gets picked up, and how you can get your music on their radar. Discover the proven process that has helped countless musicians go from unknown and undiscovered to known and celebrated through indie radio airplay. For creative entrepreneurs outside of music, this book is also helpful in seeing how creating human connections and valuing others is the means to create growth that provides long-term benefits. Bloggers, authors, and media creators can gain insights here too.
Thanks so much, Grant, for stopping by and sharing a bit of your marketing world! Feel free to comment below and let us know what you think. Then visit Grant here at: www.dgrantsmith.com/books