Christoph Trappe (aka The Authentic Storyteller ™) is an author, keynote speaker, global content marketing executive and healthcare influencer. He has a few tips for newbie authors.
I almost didn’t write my book “Get Real: Telling Authentic Stories for Long-term Success”. I was blogging away, sharing things on social media and beyond. That should be enough, I thought. But, as I learned digital content marketing (blog, social, etc.) and offline content marketing (print, book, etc.) do go hand in hand.
I’ll share my road to becoming an author and then my top tips on how I promote my book through content marketing strategies.
My story to becoming an author
I’ve been blogging and telling stories for my whole career and launched my current blog – The Authentic Storytelling Project – in 2013. Starting in late 2014 or so people started encouraging me to also start writing a book. Some of the common themes I heard:
“All the experts have books.”
“Most of your content is already on the blog.”
I did eventually decide to repurpose and restructure my older blog posts into a book. And while I did learn a lot from self-publishing and selling copies I’m glad I finished the project. Of course, once the book was published I had to promote it. Here are some tips on what I do.
How content marketing tactics help me sell my book
I use a number of content marketing tactics to sell my book.
Search engine optimization
The best search engine strategy is the one that continues to share relevant content that your target audiences are looking for. So, I blog at least weekly, often multiple times a week. Those articles bring new and returning readers to my blog. Once they are on my site, there are a several ways they can “run across” my book.
Sidebar and other ads
I showcase my book in the sidebar in two ways.
- I share a link to more information about becoming a self-published author.
- I share a link to Amazon where people can buy the book.
I also run this ad, created for free with Bannersnack near the footer.
I also mention the book from time to time in articles as it’s relevant. If I’m talking about the book, I’ll link to where people can buy it.
Popups do work, but don’t be too annoying with them. My site’s popup shows after about 20 seconds and usually allows people to sign up for my mailing list. You could also promote your book this way.
Twitter direct message
When people follow me on Twitter, I send them an auto direct message with CrowdFire. My message says: “Thanks for connecting. How you’ll check out my storytelling book at http://authenticstorytelling.net/book.”
Every once in a while somebody will message me to let me know they hate direct messages. I hate them too when they are annoying. I also get lots of positive messages letting me know they appreciate the message of the book and sometimes that they just bought a copy.
Share photos and social media updates
When I mail out signed copies from time to time or order more printed versions to have at hand I always share photos on social media. “Just received 30 copies. Let me know if you want a signed copy.” Something like that.
One day, I was sending copies to three countries, so I posted about that:
“Just sent 60 copies of my book to three countries. So exciting.”
Every once in a while, I give books away at events or on social media. I try to do this minimally since there’s a cost associated with it, but occasionally it’s a nice tactic that helps me share the message further. It’s a marketing expense.
I’ve started running Amazon ads where my book appears in recommended sponsored searches alongside books I believe my target audience also reads. The ads are working and people are buying books. So far, it’s not a huge money maker but breaks even. I’m considering to keep doing it since it gets my book out there. And book sales can lead to paid speaking engagements.
I usually bundle book sales with speaking fees. “If you buy this many books this is the speaking fee.” It’s a good way to get the book in front of people.
If an event planner didn’t want to buy books as part of our arrangement I try to get some copies in the event’s bookstore, if it has one.
These are some of the tactics that have helped me sell my book and grow my blog audience. Will they all work for you the same way? Maybe but maybe not. Experiment and pick the ones that work the best. Remember: It might take time to see results.
About the Author:
Christoph Trappe (aka The Authentic Storyteller™) is a career storyteller who has worked as a journalist, a nonprofit executive, and a content marketing strategist and consultant. He is a global keynote speaker, frequent blogger and author. His digital initiatives have been recognized globally. He is currently helping hospitals across the United States share their authentic stories.
He is a globally-recognized content marketing expert who frequently speaks at marketing conferences about social media, blogging and results-oriented storytelling strategies.