I should have known.
In the passions of finally committing myself to the authorship of a book, one I knew from the beginning I would not shop with literary agents or publishing houses, I utterly failed myself in not treating my book, All That I Need, or Live Like a Dog With Its Head Out the Car Window, as I would a client. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.
I don’t know WHAT I was thinking! (Obviously not.) As a marketing communications person of nearly thirty years I have written and launched my fair share of strategic communication programs. But those efforts were in high-tech and this, this, is about me and my little book.
Just like the cobbler whose shoes have holes in them- the marketing person is usually loathe to market themselves. (I suspect the writer/author is more discomforted!) I don’t have the option of failing here folks – I have already started writing the sequel and developing an iced tisane & tea line!
Standing in the spotlight is nothing I ever aspired to, but in the stark reality of the paradigm-shifting publishing world of 2012, I truly need to get out from behind, over myself, and stand squarely out front.
So, here I stand like a deer caught in the headlights on an unfamiliar highway trying to make up for lost time and secure access to fertile grazing without becoming literary road-kill. That tractor trailer bearing down on me looks like it might miss me if I move – NOW!
OHMYGOODNESS how do all of you do ‘this’ without losing your mind? (Word to wannabe authors – you don’t.)
First bit of advice, submit the cover art, your bio and your press release to your local paper ASAP. (It took nearly three months for my local paper to promote my book in the Living Section.)
Second, ramp quickly to the value of Social Media Marketing, aka #smm!, Twitter has provided me with an almost Zen-like calm in condensing my thoughts down to 140 characters including #hash tags, other Twitter avatars and urls (often saved by www.bit.ly and improving as a result of Ken Herron’s prophetic Fast Start 40!).
Far less easy is staying focused on ‘what’ I should be Tweeting – creating my unique brand and that learning curve is steep.
My Led Zeppelin meets Mary Poppins, glass overflowing, do-something-nice-for-the-sake-of-doing-it-but-expect-nothing-in-return brand is gaining traction. By the end of week twelve on Twitter, I had ‘Followers’ in 10 countries, an ideal cross section of human-kind with the extreme of personal circumstance from music artists and promoters to CEOs, movies, not-for-profits, philosopher/wellness folks, a couple of New York Times best-selling authors, finally other writers – who of course are also, very importantly, READERS!
My Klout score is now 47 (evidently anything above 40 makes me a force to be reckoned with, and at 70 your head explodes) I now have a cool Blue Swath across my Klout avatar that tells the world I am a “positive energy” influencer.
Blogs! OMG, I am un-earthing so many people writing about books I can’t imagine why every author isn’t a best seller. Segmenting out my specific genre of Happiness, Travel, Memoir, anti-self-help to specifically target the right bloggers is nearly a full-time job! So very grateful to have been invited by Wise.Ink to submit their first guest blog (and mine!), a second now, and this one for BooksByWomen.org – it’s all exciting, uncharted territory for me.
Traditional Media. The universe seems to be aligning to have provided me with opportunities! A 4.5 minute live segment on our local ABC affiliate, a two page (gorgeous) print spread featuring an excerpt from the “Knowing Love” chapter (digital here) in Rochester Woman Magazine and, with said glossy coverage, I dropped a gift wrapped copy (along with its companion and matching journal) with a pink ‘sign here’ flag to mark the pages in the magazine to Ellen DeGeneres – no word yet, but EVERYONE that’s read All That I Need seems to think it will find her favor. On 3o March I did my first live radio interview on WCEO Radio.
It might be #SMM that makes our efforts global –faster- but along the way to best seller status it’s your friends who you can still count on to help you find a way to change the world. There’s a HUGE, twice a year, show at the Javits Center in NYC for book sellers that I seemingly MUST attend. I have recently met with a partner in a global accounting firm about speaking to their brethren at various conferences and a friend found a way to place a gift-wrapped copy of my book into a vast pile for Richard Gere as he was being honored at a gala!
As part of an integrated strategy you ABSOLUTELY MUST co-publish (SlideShare, Pinterest, Linkedin and Facebook). I am still trying to uncover the mysteries of sales conversion. Based upon views of chapters 1 and 3 on SlideShare, even at a 2% conversion rate, All That I Need should be farther along its rise to regain its #6 place between Dr. Andrew Weil and the Dalai Lama on Amazon’s “Hot New Releases” list of happiness books but I couldn’t even find it! So, I called Amazon’s Author Central only to discover that it had been placed in the Self-Help > Transformational category. WHAT? Nnnoooooo! Fixed, but Amazon renews its rankings hourly so my SMM, publicity and PR efforts become ever more critical. For any of you thinking about buying your own books as Sarah Blakely did with Neiman Marcus and SPANX – don’t even think about it, Amazon will not hesitate to pull an author if you are found out!
In the end, it’s due diligence dear fellow authors, and some much needed luck!
Teresa Fritschi’s book is available on Amazon.com: All That I Need, or Live Like a Dog With Its Head Out the Car Window .
About the Author (Author Profile)
Teresa Fritschi is a serial marketing communications professional whose experience includes not-for-profits, political candidacies, almost two decades in the high technology vertical specific to enterprise level solutions.
Fritschi parlayed a Fortune 50 communication and change management consultancy with Pfizer Global Research & Development into Thistle & Broom, Inc. paradigm shifting convergence of ‘Fair Trade on steroids’ and luxury leveraging the application of micro-economic theory, sustainability and advances in technology for artisan and craftspeople who make Scotland their home. Thistle & Broom, Inc. is now a global brand with customers in 23 countries, securing earned media in such diverse publications as The Economist, MSNBC and treehugger.com.
Terri has now applied her passion as a story teller in writing All That I Need, or Live Like a Dog With Its Head Out the Car Window .
Terri is @TeresaFritschi on Twitter. You can read Chapter 3 of her book, All that I Need… on SlideShare. Visit the Facebook Page for her Book.