Monday, October 19, 2009

Guest Post and a Q&A with Tony Eldridge!


Today I'd like to welcome Tony Eldridge, a marketing master!

Tony was nice enough to supply today's guest post as well as answer a few questions...

Leveraging Your Marketing Efforts By Cultivating Relationships
By Tony Eldridge

There are so many things that an author can do to market his or her book. But for many authors, the word marketing sends chills through them. Most authors, given the choice, would rather be writing than marketing. That’s totally understandable, but at the end of the day, authors must engage in marketing activities in order to find readers for their books. After all, writers write to be read and long gone are the days, even for the vast majority of traditionally published authors, that authors can rely on others to do the marketing for them.

As you start to put together your marketing plan (yes, you really need a marketing plan), I want you to consider a strategy that will pay compounded dividends for you as a marketer. Instead of trying to reach every reader yourself, spend a significant amount of time cultivating relationships with people who can help you market your book.

The truth is that building a following takes time. While you can count on a portion of your followers to help spread the word about your book, if you can tap into the established follower of others, you can spread the word about your book exponentially. Here are some ways you can tap into existing followers by cultivating relationships:

1. Blog Owners- Blog owners have followers. Reach out to these people and they can do wonders by introducing you to their readers. But don’t expect blog owners to just offer you their followers. Develop a relationship with them. Read their blog, comment, offer to guest blog for them. If you invest in them, they will be more likely to invest in you.

2. Other Authors- Authors are a close knit group of people. Authors like to see other authors succeed. They like to help each other (well, most do). Read authors who write similar to you and correspond with them. Ask their advice and be willing to follow it if it’s sound. If you have written a good book, and you develop a good relationship with an author, he or she will be more likely to tell their readers about you than if they don’t know who you are. We talk about our friends more than we talk about people we don’t know.

3. Gurus- A guru is an expert who serves as fountain of information. Gurus have followers and their followers are very loyal to them. If a guru suggests that their followers check you out, they will. So, where do you find gurus? Do an internet search and see who people are talking about. What experts are people recommending? They may be (and often are) blog owners, but they don’t have to be. Many gurus are active on Twitter or other social networking sites. Many gurus are group or forum owners. It won’t take long to find them when you start to look for them. They are the ones people are asking questions to and giving thanks to.

4. Offline Groups/Clubs- Look around for writers groups, local meet-ups and other offline groups you can join. Be active in the group and you will be surprised at the support you will receive. Members like to see fellow members succeed and they can do wonders in helping spread the news about you and your book. Don’t focus on joining “writing related” groups only. Civic groups, non-profit groups, and professional clubs will support you just as well, and maybe more, than writing related groups. After all, you can be a celebrity if you are the only author in a club.
Think about what life as an author would be like if you had an army of people helping to spread the word about your book. The quickest way to develop this army is by cultivating relationships. Here are two articles from my blog that you can read to look into this further. One is written by a legitimate guru, John Kremer: Create Relationships On The Internet With Key Websites and the other is written by me: 8 Tips on Creating An Army Of People To Market Your Book.
Want to see a real life example of this principle at work? A few months ago, I ran across Diane and asked her to be a guest blogger for my blog, Marketing Tips For Authors. She was able to get in front of people she never would have met without that opportunity. And now, you know about my award winning novel, The Samson Effect, through the relationship we have forged. The same thing can, and should, happen with you. Cultivate relationships with others and you will find a lot of people who will help spread the word about you, your book, your product and your services.
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Tony Eldridge is the author of the award winning action/adventure novel, The Samson Effect, which NY Times Best Selling authors Clive Cussler calls a "first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure." He is also the creator of Marketing Tips for Authors, a site the publishes free tips and videos to help authors learn marketing techniques for their books. You can read the serial release of The Samson Effect at Marketing Tips For Authors

And now for the questions!

What types of things do you offer at your blog, Marketing Tips For Authors?
Marketing Tips For Authors is a blog that offers authors low cost/no cost ways to market their books. I use my years of experience as a successful marketing director for a local internet company to adapt proven strategies for authors.

At what point did you feel you were a “book marketing expert?”
The “marketing expert” came after years in my role as Marketing Director for Techniacllead, a company that creates videos to teach people how to use products like Flash, Photoshop, Dreamweaver and other technical software. I was fortunate to be exposed to tens of thousands of dollars in training and learned from one of the best internet marketing gurus I have met. Though you don’t have to be an author to have the skills you need to market books, having written a novel did help me understand some of the nuances of book marketing. But in the end, a book is a product, and my marketing experience has helped me outsell in less than month what the average self-published authors sell in a lifetime.

Tell us about your upcoming book & video series.
My next book/video series is on conducting Twitter contests. I am excited about this because I am bringing together my experience with a company that produced video tutorials with my experience as an author. More to come about this on my site very soon.

Which do you enjoy writing more – fiction or non-fiction?
It depends on the mood you catch me in. I love to research and teach so non-fiction, especially instructional material, is a passion. But when I need to get away from it all, I love to get lost in a world that I create and interact with characters that I breathe life into. It’s an experience that’s hard to explain but one that another novelist understand explicitly.

Is it true “The Samson Effect” is going to be a movie?
I hope! A major Hollywood producer did acquire the film rights to it and is currently working it with the studios. The way this came about is something that even Hollywood could not contrive. You can read about how The Samson Effect caught the eye of Hollywood by reading Los Angeles Producer Acquires Film Rights For Adventure Novel.

How on earth do you stay looking so young?
LOL- Well, I really need to update my pic. It was taken when I got married at age 30. On September 18th, I just celebrated my 40th birthday. I have a few more gray hairs, especially after spending over three years with 3 year old twin boys (whom I adore).

And the last word Tony… ?
Thanks so much for the opportunity to meet your readers Diane. Along with visiting my blog, I invite your readers to check out my free video subscription. Here, authors and business owners can learn some of the more technical aspects of internet marketing.

Find Tony Eldridge here-
Twitter
Website
Blog

Author of The Samson Effect and
Creator of Marketing Tips For Authors
For free Video Marketing Tips For Authors: Video Tips

18 comments:

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Thanks for introducing us to Tony, Diane. As a real novice in the marketing world, I love to read about marketing ideas and these sound easy enough to actually do. I plan to check out the rest of the articles as well as his blog.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Tony lists a lot of good stuff on his blog! I'm glad I found his site earlier this year.

Marvin D Wilson said...

Tons of great advice here! Thanks for sharing, Tony and Diane. I'm going to check out his blog also.

The Old Silly

Stephen Tremp said...

I'm glad I stopped by. I always appreciate a blog where I can gelan a few marketing tips/

Stephen Tremp

Helen Ginger said...

Some great tips. Sometimes it seems like, as a writer, you're climbing a giant hill, then along comes someone who says, here, you need to be lugging this marketing plan with you. It's nice when someone says, you need to be carrying this marketing play, but you can enlist others to help - and at the same time, you're helping them.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Karen Walker said...

I have a marketing background, but when it comes to marketing myself and my book, it might as well be Mt. Everest I have to climb. These are great ideas and it's very nice to be introduced to Tony. Thank you.
karen

Tony Eldridge said...

Diane, Thanks so much for the invitation to guest blog! I had the privilege of spending the day with my twin boys and am thrilled at the comments on the post I saw when I got back home.

Tony Eldridge said...

Jane and Marvin, thanks so much for your kind words about the post. Marketing your books and products can be very lonely, but it doesn't need to be that way. There are a lot of people who can help!

Helen, I couldn't agree more! I hope that writers learn that there are people out there who will help shoulder the load. It can be a very small world of great friends if we look for it to be that way. That's exactly how I met Diane and how we helped each other as well.

Stephen, I am always on the lookout for marketing tips from writers. If you want some great ones, look at my Friday's posts- I share 10 sites/articles I find around the net in a series I call, Marketing Tips Around The Net.

Tony Eldridge said...

Karen, I have a marketing background too. You would think that the skills would make an easy transition for authors who have marketing skills, but they don't. The tips I have learned came from a combination of my past experiences and what I learned by modeling successful authors. I am also not afraid to try anything for the sake of my book, which has produced some interesting, and sometimes unexpected, results.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great advice here. I agree that writers are a really giving, helpful, supportive group of people. Becoming part of the writing community is really a must for anyone interested in marketing, or just learning more about the craft.

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Oh, c'mon Tony. 40 is young. But a few years can make you a better author and marketer. (-:
Best,
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thanks for visiting, Tony!

Tony Eldridge said...

Hey Elizabeth, Joining a writing community, online and/or offline, can be a great way to network. Professionals in corporate America know the importance of networking, authors can get the same benefit by networking as well.

Tony Eldridge said...

Carolyn,

Yep, 40 is still young, but not as young as 30 and 20 were ;) You're right, though, more years equal more experience. Truth is, I would trade a few years for experience any day.

Tony Eldridge said...

Thanks for having me, Diane! All the best to you and your readers.

Allyn Evans said...

Good info! Thanks, Tony and Diane.

Creative Chronicler said...

Thanks for giving me another great blog to explore. I love the tips!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Tony's got some good stuff! And his Friday post is like mine - lists stuff around the Internet.