Book Title: The Book Marketing Bible
Website URL: http://www.normschriever.com/books.html
Social Media Links: https://www.facebook.com/NormSchriever
Twitter and Instagram @NormSchriever
What is your latest book about?
The Book Marketing Bible: Essential marketing strategies for self-published and first-time authors, or any writer looking to skyrocket sales. [Kindle Edition]
To all of you authors out there: congratulations on finishing your book! Now comes the hard part—trying to market it. That’s a daunting task, especially if you self-published your work or are a new author. The good news is that The Book Marketing Bible will empower you to grow your audience like wild fire and ring up huge sales numbers!
What inspired you to write your book?
Starting out as a new self-published author, I didn’t know my ass from my elbow when it came to enticing people to actually read my books. So I tried a little of everything, made a ton of mistakes, fell flat on my face more times than not, and also took note of which marketing techniques were effective. I wanted to give back to the community of writers, authors, and those going the self-published route without a big marketing budget or resources.
Can you describe your writing process?
I wake up at an ungodly early hour, load myself with enough coffee to kill a hippopotamus, and bolt myself to a table and chair without emancipation until I’ve written. After a few days (or years?) of that routine it’s not so bad, and now it’s actually the best part of my day.
When it comes to content, I try to remain pretty organized so all my scatterbrained ideas won’t disappear. I make a Word document for every topic or idea and take notes all day long, adding them to the appropriate doc. I also do tons of research online and reading, and add the high points to these docs. So when it comes time to actually write, it’s more like molding clay—cutting things away and shaping an existing blob—than it is trying to create from the ether.
How did you come to do what you’re doing today?
Back in the day, I was working in real estate and mortgages in California and doing all right for myself (for the first time ever). I had the big house, fancy cars, threw lavish parties, all the toys, blah blah blah. But I was smiling and enjoying my life less the more money and material things I gained. Pretty soon, I was miserable and kept coming back to the deeper meaning of my life: to be a writer and help people with my words.
So I freaked out (my “Jerry McGuire moment”) and sold or donated all of my possessions. I quit my great job and moved down to the beach in Costa Rica and started writing. Four years and five books later, I’m still writing, traveling, and exploring the world we live in through words, and trying to make it all a little better.
Can you describe a typical day in your life?
Wake up. Check to see if my wallet is still in the room and all of my organs are intact. Then I grab breakfast and get a bunch of writing and work done from about 6-9 a.m., which are my most focused and productive hours. The rest of the day could consist of surfing in Costa Rica, boxing in Nicaragua, visiting temples in Thailand, doing charity work in Cambodia, taking 3rd-class trains around India, or just sitting around on the couch in my sweat pants, listening to sports radio and trying to squeeze out a little bit more work. I guess there really is no “typical” day for me since I travel so much and I’m always forcing myself out of my comfort zone.
But seriously, the work and the words are the consistent parts. I do professional blogging and social media marketing for about six clients, as well as all of my own personal writing, so every single day I write about 3,000 words—seven days a week.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
Being able to take a siesta in the middle of the day and justify it as a “creative rejuvenation technique.”
Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey?
Rivethead by Ben Hamper, anything by Charles Bukowski. Stephanie Chandler was a wonderful mentor as I started my journey in writing, and is still a great friend. Jason Sheftell was always good to me and took the time to offer encouragement and help. R.I.P., Jason.
And all of the haters, naysayers, and critics have helped me as well to build a thicker skin and get laser-focused on who I was and what I had to say that would survive anything, so I thank them!
Can you share some book marketing tips for our readers?
Wow, there are so many (hence why I wrote a book about it). But in general, I’d say that authors should utilize technology and social media. By marketing with those mediums, you have the potential for exponential reach, branding yourself in perpetuity, and really connecting and building relationships with people all over the world—for little or no money.
Also, I think authors should do what they love, what they’re good at, and what interests them as they book-market. If a marketing task feels excruciating, you probably shouldn’t do it. Stick to authenticity and be your genuine, charming, but ALWAYS humble self as you market your books. (We authors sometimes have a hard time with the humility part.)
Anything writers should NOT do when marketing their book?
DON’T try to lead your marketing with a sales pitch. With gazillions of books published every day and all those authors clamoring for readers’ attention, the sales pitches get annoying and just turn people off. Instead, focus on connecting with people about shared interests or experiences, adding value, and building genuine human appreciation. They’re smart enough to see that you’re an author and will buy your book exactly at the moment they want to, not when you poke and prod them to.
Can you share something that people may be surprised to learn about you?
I’ve been to jail. (Actually, those who know me aren’t that surprised.) I’m also a big softie for kids, old people, those who have it tough in life, wallflowers, geeks, and anyone who’s an outsider or an underdog.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently in SE Asia, living in Cambodia and finishing up a book I started a year ago when I lived in the region. The book is called The Queens of Dragon Town, and I am really hopeful it will be my most impactful and socially significant work yet.
Is there anything else you would like to add?