John Kremer’s 1001 Ways to Market Your Book was the first book I ever bought on marketing way back when I started self-publishing in 2008. He has revised it several times since and is still a prolific content creator around book marketing. I’m thrilled to discuss long-term book marketing for authors in this interview.
Today’s show is sponsored by Draft2Digital, where you can get free ebook formatting, free distribution to multiple stores, and a host of other benefits. Get your free Author Marketing Guide at www.draft2digital.com/penn
John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, as well as other nonfiction titles, and founder of the Billion Book Initiative. Over the past 37 years, he has helped thousands of authors, including me, to sell more books.
You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and the full transcript is below.
- Why time in the market is so important
- Building relationships as the key to long-term book marketing
- Pitching vs attraction marketing
- How to decide what to focus on with marketing — because you can’t do everything!
- Why we both love audio and podcasting for marketing
- How do you know when to give up on a particular way of marketing?
- Ideas for Substack email
- Streams of income from your book
- Take one marketing action a day — and keep going
You can find John Kremer at BookMarketingBestsellers.com and on Twitter @JohnKremer
Transcript of Interview with John Kremer
Joanna: John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, as well as other nonfiction titles, and founder of the Billion Book Initiative. Over the past 37 years, he has helped thousands of authors, including me, to sell more books. Welcome, John.
John: Thanks a lot, Joanna.
Joanna: I’m so excited to talk to you. And you were one of the first people I learned about marketing from, back in 2008, when I self-published my first book.
In case people don’t know you, tell us a bit more about your writing and publishing background.
John: I can’t believe it took you 20 years to find me, since I’ve been publishing since 1984 or 1986, I forget which now. I think it was 1984 when I first started publishing, and writing about publishing and marketing books. So it’s been a while.
People find me when they are ready to do something. And that’s what you hope will happen with your book, whichever kind of book you’re publishing, you hope that when people are ready to find an entertaining read, they find your novel, or they’re finding a book for their kids and they find your children’s book.
Your goal is to stay out there long enough that the people that need you or want you or hope to find you actually do find you.
Joanna: Absolutely. We’ll circle back to that, but just on your own writing journey, way back in 1984. Why did you get into publishing in the first place? What is it about the book industry that you love?
John: I was writing books, and I wanted to get them out somehow. And so, at first, I was just pitching to different publishers, but you know how that goes with a lot of authors. It’s like, if you’re not well-known, the publisher doesn’t pay attention to you.
So I decide to self-publish, and then I found, well, gosh, there’s nothing out there about how to get your books printed. Back when I started out, we didn’t have print-on-demand. We didn’t have Amazon. What we had is book printers that called themselves short-run book printers, which meant, ‘We’ll print 10,000 copies for you,’ when, as a poor starving artist, you don’t want to print more than 500 or 1,000.
So I created a directory of book printers. That was one of my first books, because I needed it.
That’s how a lot of us end up writing a book, is because we actually need the information.
Joanna: That’s amazing. So, you wrote that nonfiction book, and self-publishing back then, obviously, was just the print copies. 1001 Ways to Market Your Books is on its sixth edition, I think?
John: Actually, it’s on the seventh edition, the ‘Real World Edition.’
Joanna: The ‘Real World Edition.’ Oh, okay. Why did you call it the ‘Real World Edition?’
John: Because, for the most part, I took out the information about marketing online, because the book would’ve been too big with all of that information. So I wrote a book about how to market in the real world. How to work with bookstores, how to get distribution, how to do publicity, how to get on TV or radio, get into magazines, things like that. I spent a lot of time actually writing about marketing in the real world.
I was planning to do a follow-up book on marketing online, but the world has chased me around like a little rabbit or something, and I haven’t gotten to it yet. I’ve done little pieces of it. But the reality is online marketing changes so quickly that you sometimes wonder whether or not it’s worth writing a book like that. And quite honestly, I just haven’t gotten to it yet.
Joanna: It’s interesting you say that, because there are a lot of things that change so fast, but some things stay the same.
What has stayed the same since you wrote that first edition in terms of marketing principles, or overarching strategies?
John: The key thing that you need to still do is connect with people that can help you.
Connect with the distributors, the editors, the producers of TV shows, the bloggers, the podcasters, and so on.
The one thing I did include in the ‘Real World Edition’ was a step-by-step process of how to go about connecting with important people, either offline or online. There is a really core principle in the ‘Real World Edition,’ that also does apply to online marketing, in a very, very core way, because your main job is still to connect with the people who already have the audience you want to reach.
Joanna: As an introvert, and I know many of my listeners are introverts.
Do you have any tips for those of us who are introverts and do not do phone calls?
John: Basically, I recommend that you connect with people through email. That’s something that even us shy introverts can do. You start by their social media, you start commenting on what they’re writing about, what they’re doing. You start to try to make some sort of connection.
Then, at some point along that line, you actually send out an email to them. And again, as you said, you’re an intro…or, I don’t know if you’re an introvert or you’re just speaking for all the introverts of the world.
Joanna: Oh, I definitely am.
John: Because I don’t feel that you are. But the thing is that you have to connect with people more than once. If you send out one email and you say, ‘Okay, I did my job of marketing my book. The world’s going to come and find me and they’re going to march and buy my book through some magic process that I don’t know…’
The reality is that that magic process doesn’t exist unless you make it happen. So, you do have to, and you have to persist. You have to try to connect. If you don’t connect the first time, you try again. You really have to be a little bit obnoxious.
Joanna: Maybe persistent?
John: And for the introverts in the world, you have to be a whole lot of obnoxious, more than you’re comfortable with, to some extent, to connect with the people that you want to connect with.
Now, the minute you connect with one person, it’s almost like then the magic starts to happen. There is actually some magic that, if you connect with one top influencer, and they write about your book, chances are that other influencers follow that influencer, and they go, ‘Okay. If he’s going to interview him on his podcast, I want him on my podcast.’ And that kind of thing happens, and they start to reach out to you.
But you have to get the doors open, and that means you gotta connect with at least several influencers that actually say, ‘Yes, I’d love to do something with you. I’d like to have you on my TV show. I’d like to write an article in a magazine, and feature your book.’ Whatever it might be. ‘I’d like to do a podcast. I’ll blog about you.’ Whatever it might be, you know, something like that.
It happens that people will reach out to you. I was reminded about you and your books because you advertise on Amazon, connecting with my name and my book. At least you show up there.
Joanna: Yes, exactly. It’s interesting, because I was going to say to you, so, I don’t pitch.
Over the last 15 years, I have barely pitched anyone. What I decided to do was go the attraction marketing route, which was build something where people come to me.
That’s basically what has happened with this podcast, is that people pitch me.
So it’s kind of the other way around, because I just hated that whole pitching thing. I guess that’s another option, is the attraction marketing, the content marketing, building a blog or a podcast that bring people to you.
John: Yes. And I do follow that very specifically. My bookmarketingbestsellers.com website has probably 1,000 articles on it now, trying to attract people to find out about me, things like that, then they connect with me and so on. Now, I knew about you for what? Since 2008, I presume, and…somehow it seems longer than that.
Joanna: That’s the world now!
John: I knew about you, and then, for something I was doing…I was doing some research, and so I was looking to see who was advertising on my book page for 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. And I saw your books, and I saw you had a book about audio marketing for authors.
And I was going, ‘Okay. That’s something I’m working on right now.’ I reached out to you to interview you. Your passive marketing worked in that way. But you’re not really passive marketing when you’re doing advertising on Amazon, which I think almost every author should do, especially an unknown author, because it’s one way to get people to notice you.
Joanna: Absolutely. And I should say on that, that I do pay a freelancer (at Reedsy) to manage my Amazon advertising, because I’m not so into all the data stuff myself. So, yes, I agree. Doing it is very important, but many authors struggle with those skills.
Would that be another tip? Hire professionals to help you if you can’t or don’t want to do it yourself?
John: Yes. Hire somebody. If you don’t like doing that particular activity or you don’t want to do it, or you don’t have the time to do it, then hire somebody that can do it.
But that costs some money. And for most authors, they have actually more time than money. But the neat thing about advertising on something like Amazon, or Facebook, or Google or wherever you might want to advertise, is that most online marketing, you can set a budget, even a small budget, $10 a week or $25 a week, and at least test the market and see if by advertising you make book sales, or you make connections, or in some way, it helps you move along in your goal to become a bestselling author.
And you can actually target, like you do on Amazon. You target the people that are trying to find me, or my book. And as a result, they also find your book. And that’s a beautiful tie-in.
I really like creating relationships, whether it’s in that passive way, through advertising on Amazon, or it’s a more aggressive way, where you’re trying to reach out to people. A lot of authors, as you say, are introvert, they love nothing better than to sit in their room and write books, and they don’t want to be spending the time doing the marketing that, quite honestly, needs to be done.
In some way, again, you can use your passive way, or the attractive model, which works sometimes, and sometimes doesn’t work. But I think authors have to be a little bit more aggressive than they want to be.
Joanna: I think the title of your book, 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, demonstrates how many options there are. And I feel like a lot of authors get overwhelmed with all the possibilities of what can be done, and perhaps what should be done.
How does an author decide what to focus on and what to ignore, and to pick a handful of things that they can become good at?
John: The criteria for what you do to market your book, I can give you some of the criteria.
One is you have to be able to afford it. So, you’re not going to probably hire a plane to fly over a beach and say, ‘Buy my book’ or something like that, because that’s expensive. You’re probably not going to hire a $10,000 a month publicist. You have to work within your budget, whatever that is.
The second thing, you have to have the time to do it. So, if there’s something that takes an incredible amount of time, you’re probably not going to do it. But there are things you can do that don’t take a lot of time, and that’s what you would try to do.
Now, beyond that, you have to look at, ‘What connections do I have? Who do I know?’ Because that’s one criteria. Now, ideally, if you’ve been writing a book, you’ve found out about some of the other thought leaders in the area that you’re writing about, whether it’s a children’s book author, or a novelist, or non-fiction. And so, you reach out to them if you can. But you try to make the connections early.
Tim Ferris, when he did The 4-hour Workweek, he started by just connecting with internet marketers, because he thought internet marketers, they’re lazy, so they’d like my book about working four hours a week. And they did. They fell in love with it.
He went to a lot of internet marketing conferences, and he just went up to people and said, ‘How can I help you?’ So he didn’t say, ‘How can you help me?’ He went in and said, ‘How can I help you?’
He’d take people out for drinks or out to dinner, and he’d just talk to them, and talk about what he’s working on in the conversation, he was mainly asking him about them and what they were doing and how they were working, but he also would mention what he was doing with his book. By the time he was ready to publish his book, he had several hundred internet marketers with big mailing lists, ready to talk about his book.
It actually started selling so well that major media started going, ‘What is this book? Why is it selling?’ And they’d reach out to him. He eventually, I think within the first couple weeks of his book being out, he had some major TV shows wanting to interview him. But it started with his online marketing and his connections with a lot of people that had big lists that they mailed out to.
Joanna: You’re right. I remember that. And Gary Vaynerchuk as well was just coming into his first book at that time. And, of course, both Tim and Gary are now absolutely huge in the online space and…
John: Right. And have huge audiences and are top influencers on their own.
Joanna: You said right at the beginning there, it’s about also staying out there long enough that people notice what you do, or they eventually look for what you do.
John: That’s one reason that I actually say that you should think about marketing… If you love the book you wrote, spend three years marketing it. That doesn’t mean you spend full-time marketing your book. You go out there and at least do one thing a day for that book for three years.
You think it’s something you do. You send out an email to somebody, you do a podcast episode, which you talked about it as being one of the passive ways to do things.
Right now, that’s what I’m writing about. I’m trying to teach people how to start up their own podcast, and how to get noticed through that podcast. Because a lot of authors, I tell them, ‘Do a podcast.’ And they don’t.
Joanna: It is hard work.
John: I’m creating a course through email, and I’m sending it out to them through my paid email newsletter on Substack. And what I do is I tell them, ‘Here’s the first step. Here’s what you have to do to set up your podcast. It’s not that complicated.’ And then I’m going to be teaching them how to syndicate that podcast, which you love, because it’s passive.
Once you create a podcast and you set up the syndication, all you have to do is create more episodes, because the syndication will take place automatically. And that’s one of the really, really neat things about doing a podcast.
You can have a podcast be on top 20 websites, like Apple Podcasts, and Google Play, and Spotify, and so on. You just syndicate them, and boom, every episode you do will show up on those platforms. And you don’t have to necessarily do the marketing. People can discover your podcast through their favorite podcast listening tool. And for most people, that’s iTunes, but Spotify is making a big, big push.
Joanna: Actually, I think Spotify has overtaken Apple now, Apple Podcasts, in quite a few markets. [TechCrunch]
John: Oh, wow.
Joanna: I’ve certainly changed my listening to Spotify. And I think, just even more from what you’re saying is that what has changed in even the last 18 months is the voice recognition is so good now.
SEO (search engine optimization) for voice is really starting to work.
When I’m interested in a topic, whereas I used to go on Google and search for an article, now I go on Spotify and I type in a title or something, like keywords, and then I find podcast episodes on that topic.
So, I’m actually using Spotify as a search engine for audio. And they also feed in transcripts now. So, all of my whole transcripts go in, which, as you know, is very good for search engine optimization. So, you’re exactly right. It’s only getting better for audio.
John: Well, and the thing is that Spotify, they’re really, even now, today, still trying to build up their podcast listening audience, because they make a lot of money in the advertising versus within the podcast. It’s become a major source of income for them, so they’re actually trying to grow their podcasting platform.
It’s a great time to get in and to syndicate your podcast on iTunes and Spotify and other places. Because, even on Amazon, Audible is looking for more podcasts. Because to them, it’s free content.
Joanna: How do you feel about audio versus blogging? When I first started out and found you, it was start a blog, that’s the way to get people to discover you.
Is it now that the podcast is the new blog, or social media is the new blog, or does blogging and articles still have a purpose?
John: They have a purpose because search engines can still discover you that way. But I think, for most authors, they’d be better off doing a podcast at this point. Audio is hot, and the neat thing is that with a podcast, you can also do a video version of your podcast, and put it up on YouTube and Vimeo, and a key source right now is Rumble.
Rumble is sort of the free speech alternative. A lot of people think Rumble is just a political platform, but it isn’t. The most popular videos on Rumble are about dogs.
Joanna: Oh, wow. That’s just like YouTube, the beginning days of YouTube, when everyone’s like, ‘Oh, it’s just, like, funny cat videos.’ And now it’s obviously not.
John: Right. And the thing is that if I were starting off in video, just plain old video, my first choice would be Rumble because it’s sort of like YouTube in its beginning days, when you could actually get discovered on YouTube.
Nowadays, what do they do is something like a million videos a day, new ones, or something like that. So it’s really competitive. Will people find you? They might, but in the old days, YouTube used to have this wonderful algorithm that if you played off of a popular video that was already on YouTube, they would discover your video as well. And it would be one of the top videos on the sidebar.
That’s no longer the case on YouTube. So often, I’ll be searching for something on YouTube, I’ll find one video, but I’ll look at that one and all the other videos are totally unrelated to the video I’m watching.
Joanna: They’re probably paid ads or something. That video thing is what’s kind of happening on TikTok, is people are relating videos and responding on videos.
This does bring me to another point. You said that in the old days, which was classic because you could just mean last year at this point, when we, again, when I found you, MySpace was still around, which, of course, went the way of the Dodo. And some people say Facebook’s maybe on its way out, and even Instagram, people moving to TikTok, and maybe blogs are gone, and blah, blah, blah. We just can’t keep up with all this stuff. It is not practical for authors to just keep up.
I’m not going anywhere near TikTok. Just not doing it. And I don’t blog anymore. I’m focused on podcasting. How do we know when to let something go? Because it’s almost like that sunk cost fallacy. It’s like, ‘Oh, but I’ve been building my platform here or doing this for a decade. I just don’t want to give it up.’
How do we know when we need to give up one way of marketing and find another one?
John: When it’s not producing results is one of the best ways to know. If you’re not selling books any longer through that particular platform or whatever you’re doing, nobody’s discovering you, nobody’s emailing you, things like that, then you know that, ‘Okay. What I’m doing now isn’t working.’
I have a lot of friends that are in internet marketing, so I’m pretty in touch with people there, and one of the things they’re telling me is that Facebook advertising isn’t working anymore. Not like in the old days.
Again, there was a time when you could run a Facebook ad and you could sell a thousand of almost anything. It was like you were reaching out then, the Facebook ads were reaching people. But that’s not really happening now. Not in the same way that it was.
I don’t see as many ads when I go to visit Facebook as I used to. I’m not sure quite what Facebook is doing to make money, but I’m sure they’re still making money. Even in Facebook, they’re going more and more towards virtual spaces and Oculus and things like that.
That will be a new frontier at some point, but I don’t think there are very many authors who are selling books by tweeting. Twitter used to be a hot platform, but I don’t hear about many authors who are actually selling books that way.
Joanna: For me, Twitter comes back to what you talked about at the beginning, which is connection.
Most of my author friends are people I met on Twitter. Many of my paid speaking engagements have come from Twitter. Because Twitter is my number one social platform, that’s what I focused on since 2009 when I joined. So, for me, it’s the top of my funnel.
John: Hey, if it’s still working, then you use it. I don’t get any traffic from Twitter. I check my websites to see how people are coming to it. My top referral engine is the search engines. My second referral, and probably very close to being equal, and some days surpassing, is Pinterest.
Joanna: That’s interesting. I do use some Pinterest. Do you use it a lot, Pinterest?
John: It depends on how you mean a lot. I pin probably three times a week.
John: But if you know how to pin, if you know what to pin, you can get a lot of traffic through Pinterest. I created a course about Pinterest, ‘Real Fast Social Graphics,’ that I partnered with Daniel Hall on. Most of the content is mine, but Daniel’s got all the connections.
I talked about connecting with people. I use Daniel for that, because he loves doing that part of the promotion, and I love creating the content. So it’s a great partnership.
Find a partnership like that for yourself. Somebody that loves doing some marketing aspect that you don’t like to do, and you do the other part, and you guys work together, and you make a sale or something like that.
I’m doing something now, coming up, I have a friend, Rudy Shur, he’s a publisher at Square One Publishing. And he publishes a number of books on writing and marketing. So, he and I and a few other people are going to partner together to co-op market, market each other, market a book, put together a package, something like that. I think that’s a great idea.
I think all authors should be connecting with other authors, and doing some sort of co-op marketing where you help each other.
Joanna: There are quite a lot of newsletter swaps, and blog tours, and that kind of thing.
John: I don’t think blog tours work anymore.
Joanna: Oh, I’m glad you said that. I completely agree.
John: I think a podcast tour could work. In other words, you connect with 5 or 10 key podcasts, people who are podcasting in your area, and I would probably approach those podcasters by first saying, ‘I’d like to interview you,’ which is what I did with you, and then you said, ‘Well, I want to interview you.’
Now, it doesn’t always happen that they come out right away and say, ‘Well, let’s interview each other.’ But once you do an interview with somebody, let’s say you interview them, and they had a great time, there’s a very good chance that they’re going to come back and say, ‘Hey, I want to interview you for my podcast.’
Joanna: Yes. Again, that’s about that connection.
Coming to email, because I signed up for your Substack — https://bookmarketing.substack.com/ — and I feel like one of the principles that I guess we’ve often had with marketing is it’s better to own your own email list, it’s better to control your platform, and what if they change the terms and all this.
What made you use Substack, and what’s your email marketing principle at the moment?
John: Subststack.com is a free platform. It doesn’t cost anything. You can build up a list of 10,000 people, and they will email for you for free. So, it’s a no-brainer to me, because they make their money when you upgrade people to a paid version of your newsletter.
On Substack, I have a free newsletter that goes out to thousands of people, and that’s free. At least a couple times a week, I’ll send out something free. But then I also upgrade them to the paid version and in the paid version, that’s where I’m teaching people a lot of the inside secrets that take a little bit longer to get into.
So, if you want that inside secrets, if you want my course on how to use Substack to market your books, and how to use podcasting to market your books, you pay me. You sign up for the paid version of the newsletter.
It’s all run through Substack. The neat thing is that Substack, besides that email capability, and the paid version, which is like a membership site, they also offer podcasting. So you can do your podcasting on Substack, for free. No charge, and it’s up and running, and you can syndicate it.
They help you get connected with a number of top platforms. I think they do Apple Podcasts, and I think they do Spotify. I forget right now. I’m just working on that lesson now. But they help you connect with at least five of the top podcasting syndication services, the ones that will help get you the exposure you want.
Substack, it’s all free, because they make their money on taking a piece of the action when you upgrade people to your paid newsletter. And, everybody, I don’t care what kind of author you are, whether it’s fiction or whatever, there’s always an opportunity to upgrade people to a paid version of your newsletter, where they get insider tips.
Even if you’re writing a novel, I guarantee you that if you’re writing fiction and you have three or four books in that fiction series, there are people that are going to want to connect with you personally, and you can connect to them in an insider’s club on Substack, where they pay you, say, $30 a year or $5 a month, something like that, and they get special emails from you.
They get the opportunity to maybe meet you somewhere, or a Zoom session with you, or whatever it might be, that it’s an upgrade. You can do this if you’re writing memoirs, children’s books, it doesn’t matter. People want to make connections with you. The guy that wrote…I think it was Andy Weir. I think that was his name.
Joanna: Yeah. Wrote The Martian.
John: He started podcasting his book as he was writing it. He got 80,000 people listening to his podcast because he was writing his book, and he said, ‘Well, I’ll just podcast it. I’ll read it out as I’m writing it.’ And he built up such an audience that they said, ‘Andy, you gotta write a book.’
[Note from Joanna: Andy Weir blogged his book, not podcasted it. But the same principle applies!]
Because at the time, he was just podcasting some thoughts and ideas, initially, and then he started writing the book and podcasting that. He built up the 80,000 readers. They all wanted his book when it was ready to come out.
Joanna: Yes. He did really well. And a lot of people use Patreon, including me, which does email people who support you, and I put extra audio and things on there. It’s interesting how many of these other options there are.
I did want to ask you about this, because, of course, you have built essentially a non-fiction business around one key book, and then obviously, you have tons of other books, and products, and courses, and things.
I wondered if you’d talk about what are these multiple streams of income. Because many people think, ‘Oh, I just have to make my income from book sales.’
But that’s not true, is it?
John: The most successful authors don’t make all their money just from book sales.
They’re making it by going out and speaking, and getting paid for speaking, if you’re nonfiction. If they’re fiction, they’re probably selling the rights to their book to make a movie out of, like The Martian, or the kid’s book series from the British author.
Joanna: Harry Potter has his own theme park, for goodness sake.
John: Well, I mean, she became a billionaire, not from selling books. She would’ve been a millionaire from selling books. She became a billionaire by selling the rights to the movies. And there’s a lot of that you can do.
Now, for a lot of authors, the best thing you could do is to create some sort of course built around your book. If you’re a fiction author, people that read fiction, almost all of them dream at some point about writing a book themselves. So, if nothing else, if you’re a fiction author, you could teach people how to publish and become successful with doing a fiction book. You did it.
Joanna: That’s true.
John: You could just take them through the steps of what you did, in terms of marketing your book, and go from there. Children’s book authors, the same way. Almost every adult that reads children’s books dreams of writing one themselves. And almost everybody has a book inside them of some sort.
That’s one reason that part of my content that I do in some of my websites has nothing to do with marketing or books in general. It’s just a way of attracting people to my website, so they can discover, because I believe almost everybody has a book inside them. So the world is my audience for how to market a book.
Now, obviously, not everybody’s going to be interested in that, but at some point, I think a lot of people really do dream of writing a book. And why not capture that as soon as you can?
And the thing is that a lot of people have discovered my marketing information through the information that I share on… I have a sort of a hobby website called myincrediblewebsite.com. I started out that website just to use it as an example when I was doing a course on how to market online and how to create a website. So I created a website, I made videos about it. I called it ‘My Incredible Website.’
Over time, I loved having it, because it’s like my hobby website. Everything that doesn’t fit into book marketing, I throw on that website. I have a whole section on how to pray, and I’m writing several books on that topic coming up. I share my other hobbies, like, I love TV series, so I actually have a whole set of pages on that website about where TV series are set. Are they in Texas? Are they in Missouri? Are they in Michigan? Things like that.
It just fascinates me how people will create a TV series. They’re built around a strange town in Washington state, or Oregon, or whatever. So I started collecting that information. I’m a packrat.
Joanna: We’re almost out of time, but I do want to ask you about this, because if anyone goes to your websites, they are absolutely packed with content. And as you’ve talked about, you learn something, and you turn it into an article, or a course, or another email, or a book, and even your hobbies, you’re turning into other things.
I’m the same. I started a second podcast, ‘Books and Travel,’ because I love walking and travel and that kind of thing. We take something, we learn something, and we turn it into something else, like the kind of creative thing.
I’m in awe of your productivity. How do you manage your time? And this is also a question about marketing. One of the things that people say is, ‘Well, how do I balance my time?’ Do you have any productivity tips, since you are incredibly productive?
John: I am, but that’s just because I’m persistent. I’m actually ADHD in some way. I just jump from one thing to another. It’s hard for me to stay focused sometimes and end up finishing a book.
The key thing is, if you’re going to do marketing, do at least one thing a day.
If you do one thing a day, whether it’s send out an email, do a podcast episode, get interviewed by somebody else, over time, that’s 365 action items a year.
If any of them are even targeted a little bit towards reaching out to the audience you want to reach out to, you’re going to start to get noticed. Most authors give up marketing after about two weeks.
And the thing is, is that you have to do something every day, for every book that you wrote and love. Ideally, at some point, you find somebody that’s even better at marketing your books than you are. For me, that was Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. They loved my book, ‘1001 Ways.’
Jack actually has a video where he talks about putting my entire book up on the wall, basically the ideas, and then acting on them, and taking them down as he acted on those ideas. He did five things a day. Most of the time, it was being interviewed or something like that, or reaching out to people that could interview him, because, of course, Chicken Soup for the Soul was a wonderful interview subject because all he had to do is tell one of the stories and people would be bawling on the other side of the line.
The first time I heard Jack and Mark speak and they told a story from Chicken Soup for the Soul, the first book, I had tears streaming down my face. I just let it out. It was such a moving story, and it did make me cry.
Joanna: And look at that franchise now. That franchise is a juggernaut.
John: They’ve actually, almost close to 800 million books, and I think they’re moving up towards a billion. And the thing is that they did what they loved doing. And it was really interesting because they told me, ‘We sent it out to 250 publishers and they all rejected us.’
The publishers believed that short stories don’t sell. But what the publishers didn’t understand is that book was backed by 100 professional speakers. And every one of those speakers had a stake in that book being a success. And boy, it wasn’t just Jack and Mark marketing that book. It was 100 speakers, professional speakers, getting out there and saying, ‘This is an incredible book. You should buy it.’
Joanna: Absolutely. Right. Well, we could talk all day, but we’re out of time.
Where can people find you and your books and courses and everything you do online?
John: At bookmarketingbestsellers.com.
Joanna: Brilliant. Thanks so much for your time, John. That was great. Thank you.
John: Joanna, thank you.
The post Book Marketing Tips For The Long Term With John Kremer first appeared on The Creative Penn.
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Author: Joanna Penn