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Self-Published Marketing: It's Getting Easier Being Green – Part I

 If one was to ask some of the most successful self-publishing authors what it takes to become an effective  marketer,  a good number would say they learned from on-the-job training. The creativity that transformed  their  labor of love  from pen to paper is a valuable resource many found could easily be repurposed – to market… [Read More]

proelphaba If one was to ask some of the most successful self-publishing authors what it takes to become an effective  marketer,  a good number would say they learned from on-the-job training. The creativity that transformed  their  labor of love  from pen to paper is a valuable resource many found could easily be repurposed - to market  their  voice to a targeted  audience. As a result, the happy accident that often occurs allows those that are  green, greener pastures.

Market as far as your imagination takes you...

It's often a self-published writer's passion that becomes the driver, fueled by their creative juices. What traditional publisher's Woolmarketing tactics could possibly match the imagination displayed by one self-publishing author who hosted an "Ask Me Anything" session on the popular social news website Reddit -- for 12 hours straight. Yet such was the case for Hugh Howey and his post-apocalyptic best-selling thriller series Wool. He not only sold the film rights to "Alien" film producer Ridley Scott [with the early hype comparing it to the Hunger-Games-on-steroids], but also kept his e-book rights when he negotiated with Simon and Schuster.

It's all in the brand...

HUNTER-WSJ-TAGLINE-FINAL-UPLOAD-smaller-190x300 Branding is something indy authors have embraced and made their own. Mulling over a crime-thriller book  for almost  a decade transitioned mild-manner magazine editor Robert Bidinotto at the ripe young age of 60 into a  "Vigilante  Author." Creator of HUNTER, A Thriller, he made the "Top 25 on the Kindle Bestseller"  list shortly  after it was  released in 2010. "Since my novel is about a mysterious vigilante hero, I decided that my brand would be 'The Vigilante Author,' said  Bidinotto, and then used that positioning to distinguish himself and his book from others in his genre. His 21st Century 'noir' hero is also self-reflective and philosophical - two additional traits that set the author and lead character apart from the pack.

Travel the Yellow Brick Road less traveled. . .

Author, Actor Felicia Ricci took inexperience to another level, as she not only penned an intensely personal memoir, titled, Unnaturally GreenUnnaturally Green, but also chose wisely to use the concept of "greenness" as a branding iron to impress her audience. From peddling software in NYC to understudying for the lead role of Elphaba, in Wicked, the musical, "I explored the idea of 'greenness' - of being unseasoned (on the stage) and with my inaugural self-publishing experience," notes Ricci. "To me, Unnaturally Green needed to seem of the same world — not endorsed by Wicked, but just as worthy of attention." So, despite her budget ($0) and lack of a publishing house's marketing manpower, this savvy marketer generated buzz via mailing lists, blogs, social networking, book trailers, polls and YouTube videos, including singing tips on how to belt "Wicked" songs.

Passing the torch. . .

Another one of Ricci's marketing initiatives included a writing contest for her fans to send their stories about the introspective moments in their lives when they also felt "green" - again, an opportunity for the author to reinforce her "greeness" brand. The Grand Prize winner received a signed, personalized copy of Ricci's book, a $25 Amazon gift certificate and an acknowledgement on the her blog. "The winner was a spitfire of a woman named Bettie Lavin who wrote about her first time parachuting, many decades into her life (she didn't divulge her actual age, but she did self-describe herself as being "older than dirt")," stated Ricci. "As for her writing: I felt her entry had just the right blend of levity, suspense and self-awareness. It was thrilling to see the concept of green-ness expressed in a narrative so different from my own. In this way, the contest served not only to involve readers and foster interesting storytelling, but to show that the core theme of Unnaturally Green wasn't just theater-specific, but was universal," added Ricci.

More to come. . .

This is the first part of a two-part series that highlights real-life experiences of budding self-publishing authors and their first attempt at marketing their work. The novice who works outside of the legacy boundaries of traditional publishing is learning as he or she goes. And in so doing, these authors are gaining control over all aspects of their work. One's creativity gene is being used to not only produce the best book an author can offer up, but it's also a catalyst for their greenness to blossom into something their targeted audiences are eager to see more of. "It's getting easier being green," no matter what that little green frog has been trying to sell us all these years!


5 thoughts on “Self-Published Marketing: It's Getting Easier Being Green – Part I”

  1. Steven Krohn says:

    This was a very well done and educational article. I’ve actually been thinking writing a book and this sort of advice makes me want to do it more. The advice here is sound hits it spot on. Being “green” as you put it is the best way to learn through trial and error.. Nice body of work…thanks.

  2. roksprogar says:

    I am currently prepping for a campaign for my own book and I am trying to come up with ideas what extraodrinary features (like the 12 hour reddit session) I could add to it…great article, hope it spurrs some ideas…

  3. Dave says:

    I’ve written a book recently and I know the frustrations of publishing a book. Going Green is a great idea. It not only saves the trees but you can correct your book faster if need be. Tx for the blog, will be bookmarking this one

  4. I really appreciated your post on Branding. As a newly published author, I am still trying to discover how to best brand myself and my autobiography. Thank you. Will check back for more in the future…

  5. vincestead says:

    I just got done reading your article, and really enjoyed it, thank you. You can see some fun self-published books at where they are in paperback, digital and audio also now. all of them are indie and self published, any questions or help, please ask me, I do this full time and would love to help anyone that needs help or advice, thank you, Vince Stead.

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