A Book Marketing Experiment

A brief overview of part of the book marketing process I’ll use to promote The Artist’s Manifesto, due for publication 2nd April 2018

A brief overview of part of the book marketing process I’ll use to promote The Artist’s Manifesto, due for publication 2nd April 2018. I’ll let you know if it works!

A little less than a year ago I wrote The Artist’s Manifesto, a 30 page document outlining what was important to me from a creative perspective. The short sections are, in fact, applicable across all my life and not just in an insulated creative bubble.

I wrote it because I had to, I was compelled to.

Almost 1000 people have downloaded that document to date and I had only one mildly negative response. That’s not a bad result.

Now I’m in the process of expanding on these concepts. On 2nd April this year I’m self publishing The Artist’s Manifesto in paperback on Amazon and everything I’ll do up to then is in preparation.

I’m doing as much marketing as one man with a day job (self employed), studying a BA in psychology, three kids, a wife who wants him to do stuff and a 30k+ book to complete can possibly do.

If I was to attempt to break this down in one post it would be a book in itself, so rather than try to, I’ll just give you an overview.

The Artist’s Manifesto

Book Marketing Overview

TDL081 A Book Marketing Experiment
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I’ve been working away on a book marketing plan for The Artist’s Manifesto recently. I’m looking to Medium, LinkedIn and other social channels to market my book. I’m also using podcasting with apps like Spreaker and Anchor.

In today’s episode of The Daily Larb Podcast I want to share with you a little of how my LinkedIn book marketing will work.

Quick note on the podcast: The Daily Larb is rough and ready podcast show that I record on the fly using my iPhone and an app called Anchor. In this and other episodes I jump in and out of different subjects and tend to get deep.

So if you like my articles and other audio material you’ll like this too. I add lots more than what you hear in each episode on my channel including other people’s stuff, call ins, songs etc. so pay me a visit there to check out what’s happening.

My LinkedIn Book Marketing Plan

Ok, so this book marketing plan of mine is not very complex. I made sure that it wasn’t on purpose because I’ve tons of other stuff going on that I need to tend to including kids and college.

So it absolutely needed to be simple.

Here’s a couple bullet points outlining where I’m focused…

  • LinkedIn articles

  • Medium articles

  • Daily podcast

  • A Giveaway (for writers)

  • Amazon marketing (Pre and post launch)

  • Goodreads (to be explored. I’ve no plan here yet).

  • Submit to book promo sites

I’m really looking forward to launching the Giveaway. I’ve managed to bring in 5 brilliant sponsors for the top prize. And the good news is everyone will win with this giveaway. Prizes for everyone who enters!

Join my list and I’ll mail you when it goes live (in couple weeks)

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For today’s article (and audio) I’m focused on LinkedIn.

I’ve been on linkedIn for many years. As you probably know, it’s a social media platform for professionals and business people.

It’s way behind the Facebooks (2bn MAU) and Instagrams (800m MAU) of the world with 106m monthly active users but it’s still a viable option because it can be highly targeted.

If it doesn’t work for me then it doesn’t work. This is an experiment and if you don’t try you don’t win, so I’m giving it a go.

The reason why I’m taking a punt on LinkedIn is because the very first book I wrote online did quite well for me there. I simply published it to my timeline and over 100 people got a copy within the first couple of days.

No I understand the platform algorithms have changed since then but I’m willing to give it a go nonetheless.

In short, I’m doing this…

  1. Create an automated sequence of curated articles using Feedly, IFTTT and Buffer

  2. Set this content to go out at specific times using Buffer

  3. Share my own daily articles & podcasts to LinkedIn via Feedly, IFTTT and Buffer

  4. Write one new LinkedIn article per week related to The Artist’s Manifesto

  5. After 2 weeks download LinkedIn contacts .csv file and upload to my Gmail account

  6. Send my contacts a short and sweet email invitation to check out The Artist’s Manifesto

…and that’s it.

I have about 1200 contacts on LinkedIn, some of those are poor and some are good. Most I must admit I really don’t know. So I accept if this strategy bombs.

However, if I get a 1% or 2% sign up rate then perhaps it may be worth the effort. What this will depend on is to what degree my LinkedIn contacts enjoy the material I’ve been sharing and if message in TAM resonates with them.

We’ll see.

The above automation using Feedly, IFTTT and Buffer requires a little setup which this article explains so I won’t get into that here.

Just make sure that you select your sources carefully. You don’t want to share stuff that is out of sync with the product of service you will ultimately offer.

On The Ethical Nature of Marketing

Contrary to what some creatives might be thinking, this isn’t a spamming exercise. Many people I’ve connected with on LinkedIn engage in that practice but I don’t.

You could say it’s a matter of perspective and, in fact, views on marketing as a whole practice. Some have a total adverse attitude to selling and if that’s you then you’ll likely never be converted.

However it should be noted that if nobody ever bought anything then nothing would happen in this world. Your job as an artist, as is outlined in The Artist’s Manifesto, is to share your work with the world in exchage for something.

In doing so, there is a right and a wrong way to do it.

My wish is to show you a right and ethical way to market your work wherever I can.

If you become a connection of mine on LinkedIn or elsewhere today, I’d be a idiot to start hitting you with offers, right?

That’s doesn’t stop people from doing it, but it is very poor practice. There needs to be a buffer of time where I become exposed to your material after which you may be in a better position to offer me something interesting.

No pressure, no cost, no risk, to me the subscriber.

But you’ve got to build up to that. You don’t do something like this the same day we connect…

There’s a right way to reach out and make contact with someone and there’s a wrong way. Even though we are online here, there is a requirement of us in our marketing to respect other people’s space.

Take the time for others to become familiar with your stuff, then make an unobtrusive, respectful request or offer.

The words we use in emails form a tone and if we choose our words carefully we can make the offer work well. Both parties end up in a good place.

Choose the wrong sequence of words in your email to your LinkedIn contacts and you’ll appear spammy and salesy.

You only get one shot so you better make it good.

An Alternative Way To Reach Out On Email

Too many of us have been exposed to really bad business practices in the past. Since the advent of email communication marketers have had the opportunity to get even closer to us.

Social media has let marketers even closer inside our lives and I can understand precisely why you and perhaps others might be averse to offers coming in on email when you didn’t expressly request them.

Too many marketers take advantage of your permission to spam the email inbox off you. Many just don’t know how to communicate.

I started in business almost 20 years ago and in the intervening time I’ve had the benefit of seeing what poor communication does to a relationship.

There’s just no going back when we get it wrong.

Now, if you’re a subscriber of mine you’ll know I don’t do spammy, untimely offers. That’s just part of what I’m made of.

But at the same time I want to build an income around my writing and art so I have no choice but to find a way to get your attention ethically.

That means I have to market what I do.

To do that, to gain your permission and make you an offer is a great challenge for me. And for you too if you’re in the same boat as me. So I try things out, and I attempt always to be cognisant of your privacy.

Sending The Email

In sending a mail to my LinkedIn contacts I must be especially respectful of this because they didn’t choose to join my list — yet.

And it should be said, I’m not adding them to my list. That practice is a BIG NO NO despite it being common. I’m merely sending them a once off email from my gmail account.

So I’ve got to make it good like I said earlier.

Check Out This Tutorial
Here’s an article and tutorial video I put together that brings on the subject. It’s well worth a read and watch.

The Email Copy

Here’s an example of the email copy I might use

Hi [first name], I hope you’re having a good day.

Firstly, please forgive me invading your inbox uninvited, I’ll keep it short. We’re connected on LinkedIn and I wanted to ask you for your input on something I’m working hard on.

The Artist’s Manifesto is my first paperback book due out 2nd April. It’s focused at creative people and if that’s you I’d love you to read and offer some feedback. Ignore grammar and spelling as the proofreader will cover that.

Read about it here [link]

If it’s not your bag then no sweat. Thanks for reading my mail

Have a great day

Regards, Larry

This copy, in most cases will put any surprised recipient on the back foot in terms of feeling aggressed at receiving an email from someone they may not be familiar with.

You’re also letting them know that like them, you are working hard on a project. This perhaps may make them feel inclined to feel some common ground with you.

The next line will rule out many people, but that’s what I want. I want people who are creatively minded or perhaps wish they were.

Those who do not class themselves creative or have little appreciation for creativity will just delete the email and go no further. And that’s ok.

The sign off is a casual and easy. It says I’m human, I’m not a corporation.

A Final Word

I’ve no idea how this campaign will go. It could totally bomb like many before it, but it could work out well too. If the calibre of the sponsors I have lined up is anything to do with it then it will do well. So I’m giving it a blast.

Let’s see how it goes.

If you’d like to stay up to date with my progress marketing The Artist’s Manifesto, subscribe here. I’ll shoot you a mail with articles like this on a weekly basis.

I’ll also be podcasting daily and writing here and on Medium, although the Medium post will follow a day behind this one.

Thanks for reading, check ya later!


This article was originally published on 4th Feb on larrygmaguire.com as part of the weekly Sunday Letters and has been edited for publication on Medium

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