"Nothing matters more than the marketing, and no author can be an effective marketer without press."
No matter how well a book is written-- if no one knows it exists, then it won't sell.However, that is where the similarities end. Yasmin goes on to marry Nisay, the illegal immigrant. despite her anger, hang ups, and grief, and I don't. I never married the illegal immigrant that offered me quite a few dollars to become his "fake" wife. In reality, I bounced from home to home and couch to couch, until I eventually ended back up in my hometown of Columbus, Georgia. Then, I was lucky enough to get enrolled at Columbus State University, where I graduated with a Bachelors degree in 3 years. Yet, no matter how hard I worked, it took me seven years to get my younger brothers. My brothers had to go through their own challenges before I was able to get them, and I often wondered what our lives would have been like if I had not taken so long to get them out of social services. It took less than a year for Yasmin to get her sibling, and Yasmin was my what if. What if I had taken that proposition? What if I had married the illegal immigrant? What if I had made a different decision that day in my friends basement? In fact, the book was so true to life that I took some of the very statements that social workers said to me and placed them right into the novel. The Shade of Devotion was my life-- and the life I could have had if I had taken an alternate road. So, since I was masking my life in the fictional realm of romance, why not tell my audience about its true inspiration.
So, I wrote my press release: "How a Local Teacher Goes from Homeless to Home Publishing," and I include my reviews, my personal background and the synopsis for my story-- and of course I sent it all over. I sent it to everyone from Essence magazine to Black News, and I waited. Actually, I didn't wait too long, because as always I expected it to go nowhere. Instead, I continued working on Black Magic, my newest novel that has recently been released to Kindle, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, and vending. Until something happened that changed everything. I had no idea what I had done until it was too late.The Shade of Devotion was my life-- and the life I could have had if I had taken an alternate road. So, since I was masking my life in the fictional realm of romance, why not tell my audience about its true inspiration.
One day, I logged on to Twitter to see my press release being passed around-- not quite viral, but close enough. First, Black News, then Black Homes School, then Black Pride Magazine, and more. Every time, I picked up my phone there was new notification, a new post, a new share. The views and likes started adding up until I got the attention of a local reporter who happened to send me a message on Facebook asking for an interview. Of course, it was Scott from the Columbus Ledger Enquirer. He was sweet, charming and pretty young, and was excited to interview ME, a local author on the rise. I was ecstatic. I was absolutely floored; my press release and personal story had garnered up enough publicity to land me an interview with our local paper. This was proof that my marketing skills and handwork were paying off-- not only was my book selling, but I was getting noticed.
This was proof that my marketing skills and handwork were paying off-- not only was my book selling, but I was getting noticed.
One of the most important things about being an author is that not only do you have to have a story to tell, but you have to be well liked. If people like you-- they will like your product. If they hate you-- well, your product won't do to well either. Yet, the trick to being well liked was simply to be yourself, to be honest, and to smile This was my plan when meeting Scott, I was simply going to be myself, be charming, smile and tell my story. Hopefully, that would be enough. When I arrived at the coffee house, I was dressed in a simple jeans and shirt, and I met Scott who was waiting for me at the far end of the coffeehouse at a low wooden table. He was a lanky, attractive white male on the thin side, with a nervous grin. We introduced ourselves and shook hands. He invited me to sit and even pulled out a chair, which let me know that he was not just a journalist, but a gentleman. As I crunched awkwardly on a bagel, and he sipped his coffee-- he explained to me how he had just graduated, and I was his first real story. I laughed at the thought that I was breaking his journalistic cherry. Then, he took out his tape recorded, and I proceeded to tell him my life story in disjointed almost rambling sentences with a smile and a few jokes.
If people like you-- they will like your product. If they hate you-- well, your product won't do to well either.
Regardless, in that coffee shop with people milling all around us, sitting on a hard stool with my books artfully displayed and his quirky smile, I was able to get out everything I needed and more. I was able to offer hope, some guidance, and give words of wisdom. I was able to be a positive black face in a media that is full of negative images and stereotypes. I was able to be a small piece of change.
When he stopped recording, we walked outside into the sun and down the busy downtown area of Columbus. The day was pretty cool, and the wind was anchored around us in shivering circles. We walked between two buildings, and I let him take more pictures of me and my novel. He remarked that my story was amazing, and then noted that my story would probably not be very big in the paper, and I laughed. Of course, I assumed it would be a small blip. A sideline with more important news like another comedic speech by President Trump.Money is never worth your mental health-- or sanity.
However, when I woke up in late December, a few days before Christmas, I was bombarded with phone calls and emails on my article in the paper. I smiled as I looked it up on Facebook! I was astounded at all the likes and shares. I had 4 times the number of interaction and engagement as the other articles, which was proof that my story was one people wanted to hear. When I finally received the paper in my hand, it wasn't a small article at all-- in fact, it was huge. I had a full spread paper complete with a front page photo and even more writing on the next page. I was shocked and a little afraid. However, this was the legitimacy that my writing needed. Now, I was officially a respected author. And to think, all of this started with a press release. A press release can be the difference between unknown and well-known, between J.K. Rowling and Roberta Towns.
Being an author is not enough. An author must be celebrated-- and to be a celebrated author, that takes marketing yourself, your craft, and your story. To get the word out there, you have to get yourself out there, and there is no better way than with a well-crafted press release. That press release has led to speaking engagements, newspaper articles and even radio appearances. Publicity is a publicity; so make any author that is a good author will make sure they receive as much publicity as possible with a press release that can thrust them and their novel into the spotlight.A press release can be the difference between unknown and well known[...]
Being an author is not enough. An author must be celebrated-- and to be a celebrated author, that takes marketing yourself, your craft, and your story.
If you want to read more, here is a link to the actual article by the Columbus Ledger Enquirer:
To Read more, click here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/local/article190737944.html
Dawnell Jacobs is the author of The Shade of Devotion, Brains Not Included, Black Magic, and The Monsters of Within: Heart of Darkness. She has also published a self-help book Your Story Matters: Leaning How To Be The Author of Your Destiny. You can find all of her books on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, and Barnes And Noble. She is also a motivational speaker to young audiences. She uses her personal journey to inspire hope and change. All pictures and entries in this blog are subject to copyright laws. ©Dawnell Jacobs 2017
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