Sunday, April 20, 2014

Using Images to Sell Your Work

By Jodie Cain Smith 

Unless you want your book to die a lonely, dusty death, rotting on the shelf until the pages decompose, selling your book is up to you. But do any of us really want to turn off the creative side of our brain once the writing is done and focus on marketing techniques? I say, “Don’t!” Bring your natural born creativity to your marketing plan.

Post “Buy my book! Now!” on Facebook and I’m sure your momma will comply. Heck, she might even tell the other members of the local orchid society to buy her baby’s book, but beyond that, you will likely fall short of your sales goal. Create a beautiful author website with your latest headshot, book description, and link to the Amazon Kindle store. Then watch only your inner circle click “buy now”. Keep pinning and tweeting your brains out about summer fashions and perfecting your brownie recipe, or use social media and your super-human, creative brain to sell your book!

Did you know that 80% of the content on Pinterest is images that have been re-pinned over and over again? That’s right. There are people all over the world trolling for pretty pictures. Why not create your own picture to be pinned?

Idea #1

My novel, The Woods at Barlow Bend, mentions my grandmother’s love of cooking. Among the many delicious treats she fed me over my childhood, her fried okra was my favorite. Her secret was fresh okra and a little bacon grease. (I dare you to resist okra cooked in bacon fat.) How can I use this to sell my novel? I make Granny’s fried okra, snap a couple of pictures (okra frying in my cast iron skillet, okra on my bright, red serving tray) and upload the picture to Pinterest. When the image is clicked, the link will lead to the recipe posted on my author website written within a childhood memory of Granny. Just below the recipe the reader can click on a link to purchase the novel.

Idea #2

Have you, like me, saved every shred of research you did for your novel? The research that you did enriched your work and was a fascinating treasure hunt. Make your research work for you again. From my research for The Woods at Barlow Bend, I have pictures, court documents, newspaper articles, and census reports. Using Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, I will publicize these items along with teasers from the book and, of course, a link to purchase the book. Here’s a little “for example” nugget to be posted on social media along with an image: Can you believe what Hubbard was arrested for? Find out what happened after the arrest in The Woods at Barlow Bend (hyperlinked, of course, to Amazon).

What other images could you create in order to publicize your book? What interesting and innovative content could be used social media? Telling people to buy your book is not enough. You must show them why they want to buy your book! Share your brilliant ideas below in the comment section below.


Anonymous said...

Pinterest--a great idea. Definitely will use that for selling my writings.

Leigh Stevenson said...

Great ideas, Jodie. Not only will I buy your book, but I want to try your grandmother's okra.