Lynn McGinnis has always loved books. She’s been an avid reader since she was big enough to pick up a book. So when it came time to think about how to transition her twenty-five years of experience in marketing, public relations and small business development into a new field, the decision to enter the field of author marketing and being an author marketing coach was a no-brainer.
In 2017, Lynn worked as managing director of an indie publishing company. She got to experience the entire book publishing process: manuscript review, editing, design and distribution. However, the indie publishing company lacked a book promotion program for its authors. Publishers typically do not provide marketing programs or services for their authors, and these days, even traditional publishers provide bare-bone marketing to all but their best-selling authors. Bottom-line: if authors want to market themselves and their books, they are on their own.
Lynn sensed an opportunity to support authors in their marketing. She decided to focus her efforts on publishing, where, in her own words, “I could do the most good.” Authors typically lack the skills and resources to take on marketing. With her background in marketing, small business and now publishing as well, Lynn knew she could help. Soon after, she launched her service of being an author marketing coach.
Lynn’s approach to author marketing is unique. “We treat authors like a small business,” says Lynn. She goes on to remark that often authors are surprised when their books don’t sell. They’re caught off-guard by the fact that not everyone likes the book or knows where to buy it. “What we do is promote the person as a business and the book as a product,” Lynn explains. “After all, a book is a creative endeavour.”
While Lynn offers a book launch service and hands-on marketing for authors, she loves coaching authors to market their own books. When coaching authors, she takes the same personalized approach and individual attention that she used for years when coaching small business owners. In her one-on-one coaching sessions, she starts by getting to know the author, their goals and their audience. She will also assess their marketing and technical skill level.
When asked for some tips on how to be successful in marketing, Lynn exclaimed, “That depends on your definition of success!” Lynn works with authors of nonfiction, and in this market, success can be subjective. “It depends on the author’s goal,” she explains. “Success is not always about book sales. If an author wants to increase the number of professional speaking engagements, they will probably give away a lot of books in pursuit of that goal. So will they sell a lot of books? Maybe not, but they will have a good chance of reaching their goal of more speaking engagements.”
So, with that in mind, here are a couple of tips from Lynn on marketing for indie authors:
- Take five copies of your book and give them to a local bookstore. Ask the manager if they would sell your books on consignment. Offer to autograph one or two. Autographed books are special but aren’t returnable to distributors, so getting an autographed book without the worry of returning it is a big plus. Local bookstores love their local authors, so don’t be shy!
- Make sure you are using the right social media platform for your audience (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.). Focus on that one platform, work at it, and be really good, rather than spreading yourself around and not being great anywhere.
We are thrilled that Lynn McGinnis is offering her eight-week author marketing program, especially for 1106 Design. In this program, authors will work one-on-one with Lynn; it’s not a group program. They will meet with Lynn individually via the easy-to-use video conferencing platform Zoom. (Editor’s note: Having used Zoom, I can tell you it’s so good that you quickly forget you’re not sitting in the same room with the other person!) “Authors will get eight, one-hour meetings with me, face to face. In this program, there are no modules, no videos. It’s just you and me talking about your book,” Lynn emphasizes. “On top of the eight hours they spend with me, authors get email access as well.”
Lynn’s expectation of authors who are interested in the program is that the book has been professionally edited. She also asks that authors commit the necessary time to the program, with no cancelling or rescheduling.
And what can authors expect from Lynn? “Lots of homework!” she laughs. “It’s a done-with-you program. We’ll walk through the steps to market your book and I’ll be there to help you as you implement.”
We’re excited to offer Lynn’s author coaching services to authors who are struggling with marketing (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), and encourage you to take advantage of this special coaching offer. You can learn more and reserve your place in the author coaching program by clicking here.