Make Sure You Have A Tribe In Your Pocket!

It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.  Robert Benchley


Let's go viral with our marketing

If you are a writer and you want to make money with your books, then you are a business. This is the message that comes through loud and clear as I criss cross the internet researching how other people have become successful selling their books. It is a discipline.

Once you’ve adjusted to this mind shift, then you can get on with the business of marketing yourself and your book. The first move is to create a road map of how you will go about selling your book. Building a successful business requires capital. I know this is a delicate topic, but one that needs to be met head-on. If you think you can do this without spending something, then you are selling yourself a load of rubbish. How much are you willing to spend on marketing? How about products or services of other people? What is necessary to meet your goal? This does not mean a lot of money needs to be set aside, it only means that this should be a well thought out process.

Once a realistic budget has been set, tap into your social networking circles. This is easier said than done. Research shows that the more people see your ad, the more they trust the product. Don’t post your ad one time and wait for the money to roll in. It takes a minimum of seven times for your ad to be viewed before it becomes effective. It is suggested that you run the ad once a week for 2 months. This is, of course, after you have built this social platform into a marketing machine that welcomes your ads.

Marketing your book into a best seller is far easier if you have a large platform from which to spring off. Trissa Tismal calls this platform, a fan base or a tribe. Simply put, it is a group of people interested in what you have to say and love your work. How do you build an online tribe that acts as a sturdy platform? Building this group must be a priority that can start well before you’ve finished your first piece of work. A writer must use the 90/10 rule. When you are connecting with people on or off line, then expect to give them value rich content 90% of the time while trying to sell your book only 10% of the time. I thought this was an extremely useful guideline that Ms. Tismal shared and it makes a lot of sense.

Be generous. Share your knowledge. Be there to offer information to others. This creates a sense of trust and appreciation between you and your tribe. Another way to do this is to connect people within your network. Introduce them to each other if you think they will benefit from it. People will be impressed that you thought about them enough to make this gesture. Above sharing your knowledge and connecting people together, be very generous sharing your heartfelt wishes with them. Cheer them on if they’ve been successful and support them if they need a kind word. Sharing emotions establishes a greater sense of community and trust.

Once that platform is established, try giving people a free sampling of your book. Set up your website or the messaging system of your social network where visitors can give their name and email address so they can download a few chapters of your story. Ms. Tismal even suggests that you can be creative and give out something other than your book that will bring in people and give them a sense of what you do. I believe this is a strategic bit of advice because for every person who gives you their email and reads your material, they then become new members of your tribe. You will be able to communicate with them regularly through email, articles, teleseminars etc.

Don’t forget to let your friends and family that aren’t on social networking sites be included in your efforts. Use a phone call, an email or the old fashioned letter in the mail to let them know about your book. You can ask them to put in a good word for you with their friends and to make a referral sale. You CAN go viral on and off the computer, it just takes effort. My friend, Melissa Ohnoutka, joined her mother’s book club after they read her book (on her mother’s urging). They, in turn, told their friends how much they liked it and how enjoyable it was to have Melissa come to their club. It’s much like a pebble dropping in a pond and the concentric circles spreading out across the still water. The pebble is our effort and it will bring results that reach far beyond our little corner of the world.

13 Responses to Make Sure You Have A Tribe In Your Pocket!

  1. jbrayweber says:

    Wonderful post, Stacey! Great information.

    Sometimes the efforts we make are minimum, other times the efforts require chunks of time. But the bottom line is putting forth that effort. It will pay off in the end.



  2. The thing that keeps jumping out at me is that we need to treat this like a business and have a plan. Shooting in the dark is kinda like a crap shoot. If you are going to make the effort of writing a book then it seems logical to make the effort of carrying through on the back side!


  3. Terrific post, Stacey. And you’re entirely correct; this IS a business, and one that needs constant attention and tending.


  4. Ruth says:

    Hi Stacey,
    Great Blog. This ties in with a course I’m taking on another chapter loop about Branding yourself and the good uses of social media like facebook and twitter. One of the ways mentioned to get your name out there is to expand your tweets by adding the hash tags to it, thus sending it out to thousands of other twitters, not just the ones that follow you. She also mentioned that when you send out information, use the name you write under so that when they do searches it is easier to find you. Looks like for every three hours you spend writing you need to add at least one more hour for your marketing.



  5. Tess says:

    Great post, Stacey!!


  6. Rania Sarri says:

    Again, a very useful post!
    When I started my first book I couldn’t imagine how much time I was going to spend on marketing it. Somehow selling and promotion took away the magic of writing. It was something like falling from the clouds for me. Nevertheless, I have been trying to acquire some promotion skills by reading articles, posts like yours and watching what others do. So I have made some progress but I still have a long way to go. My biggest problem is that considering writing as a bussiness kind of puts me off. Am I too romantic for this?


  7. Diane Holmes says:

    Excellent , excellent post, Stacey! And just because it’s a business doesn’t mean it can’t be a huge amount of fun and VERY creative. 🙂


  8. Hi Will,
    This is a business, but I’m trying to find creative and ” out of the box” ways to keep it feeling more un-business like! As we all know, being businessy doesn’t come easily for me!! What I’m finding is that it can be a learned trait if approached with a creative heart.


  9. Ruth- Those are terrific suggestions!! I may even include them in my next blog on marketing. Thanks for the tip about the hash marks. I haven’t started twittering yet so you’ll have to show me how it’s done. Thanks so much for participating and adding such value to our discussion here!!!


  10. Thanks Tess! I’m glad you enjoyed the article and hope it helps with some marketing ideas for your new book.


  11. Welcome back Rania! I was going to email you about my article last week since you seemed so interested in this topic, but i didn’t want to bother you un-necessarily. BTW- I enjoyed reading your article on being an angry Greek. It gave me a lot of food for thought!
    I know exactly what you mean about the business side feeling a bit cold and un-romantic. Ruth-who commented above- gave a good rule of thumb. For every 3 hours spent writing, donate 1 to marketing. That way it doesn’t feel like an overbearing elephant in the room. You can manage with bite size chunks. I try to approach it with a creative heart to see what I can come up with!


  12. Hi Diane!!! Waving at you from the middle of 400 very green pastures in Oklahoma.
    Thanks for reminding us that just because it is a business doesn’t mean that it has no soul and is fun sucking!! As usual, you are 100% correct. I wouldn’t expect anything else from the resident pitching/marketing genius.


  13. Rania Sarri says:

    Hi Stacey,
    Thanks for the reply. I think I’m going to follow your approach .
    Feel free to e-mail me any time! I get really lonely being so far away from all of you..


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