I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, October 17, 2011

Guerrilla Marketing

Gone are the days when writers can crank out great novels and sit back on their laurels reaping huge royalty statements.

What? Huge royalty statements are mostly a figment of vivid imaginations? It figures. A published author once told me never divide a royalty statement by the number of hours put into a manuscript. Too depressing to see what you really earn per hour. In fact, the more you learn about the publishing industry, the more you understand what Gene Fowler wrote: "Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." (Read here for the fascinating metamorphosis of that quote.)

But bleeding your life's blood onto your paper--or computer screen--isn't enough. (And don't drip on your Mac or PC.) Once you're fortunate enough to get your baby published, you've got to market the little darling. In other words, you've got to find readers who you hope will pay full price, not find it on eBay. At a discount. Two days before it hits the stores. Like an author did.

According to my good friend Wiki (online encyclopedia Wikipedia), guerrilla marketing was created as an "unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than on a big marketing budget."

Well, that last phrase is certainly good news for writers. Because after that not-huge-at-all royalty statement, who has a lot of money for marketing? Yet it must be done because if you don't market your book, chances are no one will. Publishers today don't have much of a budget to promote your book until you have a large platform. (Translation: number of readers.) Yeah, a Catch-22.

What's needed is a great book on the complexities of marketing just for authors like Guerrilla Marketing for Writers 100 No-Cost, Low-Cost Weapons for Selling Your Work by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, Michael Larsen and David L. Hancock.

An endorsement for the book says:
"As a veteran author myself and president of a PR firm specializing in author promotion, we know what it takes to promote a book. Every author on the planet should read Guerrilla Marketing for Writers and devour every word. In this age of lightning-strike attention spans, this book will keep you glued to every page. If you write a book, be sure to read this one first."
--Robyn Spizman, president of the Spizman Agency and author of more than sixty how-to books.

If that doesn't have your fingers skipping over to Amazon right now--Wait! Not this second, please. After you're finished reading this post--I don't know what else will convince you that you need this book. Seriously, stop shoving this part of your career into the back of a closet like those size 8 jeans you still dream of wearing one day. So while you're trying to write and publish the best books you possibly can, don't forget to add some of the 100 guerrilla weapons to your marketing arsenal. In doing so, you'll gain readers by marketing your book as diligently as you wrote it.

~Roxanne Sherwood


  1. Great post, Roxanne! I've never heard of this book, so I'm so glad you mentioned it. Marketing is daunting in my mind, so I'm glad to know there is a good resource I can turn to as I walk down this path.

    What was the one thing that impacted you most when you read it?

  2. As someone who is in the middle of marketing her first book, it is tough. My publisher is with an established brand, but my name is one of hundreds Harlequin authors. I need to create strategies to make my name memorable for readers. Heading to Amazon right now to check out Guerrilla Marketing. Thanks for sharing information about it.

  3. Ooh, good resource, Roxanne. Thanks! Although, I was slightly disillusioned by the first line...hehehe. Just kidding. :) Such great info and I'll definitely have to check out that book!

  4. Hmmm, size 8 jeans--maybe delusional--I was probably 8-yrs.-old when those fit.
    Interesting topic humorously and informatively presented. Thanks so much and blessings!

  5. As one of those writers who would like to banish the word "marketing" from her vocabulary--but knows she can't--I appreciate this post. Going over to Amazon!
    Thanks, Roxanne!

  6. Something ate my earlier comment! Great post, Roxanne. I've sent it to several people and I plan to get Guerrilla Marketing too.

  7. Hey, everyone! Thanks for your comments. I've been out of pocket due to my husband's surgery. I'm glad to pass on a good marketing resource.