Pose for the paparazzi. Autograph your books.
Write like a dream, promote like a rock star.
Fame and fortune are yours!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How to fast track your author marketing platform in a reality tv world

Infamy and controversy sell today. If you're desperate to sell millions of books, here are 5 ways that will guarantee you financial success, but will you be able to sleep at night?

1. Release a sex tape. Kim Kardashian's sex tape launched an empire, and now the sisters' book, Kardashian Konfidential, is #40 on Amazon. Note: releasing a sex tape should not be confused with "sexy marketing," as I explain here.

2. Star in a "reality" tv show. Controversial roles in reality tv are rewarded by big publishers. Lauren Conrad (The Hills and Laguna Beach) has written 2 best selling novels. Love them or not, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino of the infamous Jersey Shore are going to be authors. I guess they don't mind folks laughing at them, not with them. 

3. Become a polarizing politician. Politicians are by nature lightening rods for love and hate in society. According to The Daily Beast, President Barack Obama is the top selling political leader of all time, but Sarah Palin is a contender for the title. Her current book, America By Heart, is #9 on Amazon.

4. Write about a polarizing politician, and it doesn't matter whether you're for or against. The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power by Geoffrey Dunn is ranked #30,798 by Amazon. The Faith and Values of Sarah Palin by Stephen Mansfield is #6,913.

5. Become a polarizing pundit. What do Keith Olbermann, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Howard Stern have in common? They have mastered the science of splitting the country right down the middle – and they have New York Times and Amazon best sellers to prove it.

The moral of the story
So how can self-publishers with bare bones budgets and integrity ever hope to compete in such a market? I submit that we don't even try. We need to get some perspective on this issue.

What does success mean to you? 

Could selling 2,000, 3,000, or 5,000 books be considered a successful book run? Yes, especially if selling books is just one revenue stream of many in your financial strategy.

Does success mean getting a multi-million dollar book contract even though you must sell your soul in the process? Even Barack Obama admitted that he lost his privacy and autonomy when he became president. I thought that was a heck of an admission. 

Wouldn't you prefer the freedom to write about your passions and market them in a way that allows you to maintain your integrity? I want to be able to face my family, friends, and self when it's all said and done. I long to hear God say, "Well done." 

Authors who sell millions of copies have a general market focus. On the other hand, self-publishers tend to focus on niche markets. Self-publishers who market aggressively to their niche can expect to do well. Sales into the tens and hundreds of thousands shouldn't be unusual for us.

Let's not even participate in this rat race. The beauty of self-publishing is that we create our own path on our own terms. 

Besides, what if you released a sex tape and nobody cared? All that for nothing. 

Note: Amazon rankings as of November 23, 2010, 11:15 p.m. (CST).

Donna Marie

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