"I can help you!"


I've worked for over 25 years in advertising, promotions and sales, and spent nearly 2 years as a motivational speaker for a major international company. Currently a bestselling novelist and 'shameless' promoter, I've shared my experiences and techniques as a Book Marketing Coach for nearly a decade.

Whether you're published or unpublished, I can help. My last publisher called me a "marketing guru" and "whiz", although I prefer to think of what I do as teaching, or coaching.

"Dare to Dream...and Dream BIG!"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

BISG Surveys Consumer E-Book Habits

Here's an interesting survey on consumer e-book habits. For authors thinking of pursuing e-book publishers or those who want to publish e-books on their own via sites like Amazon's Kindle or KoboBooks.com, you'll want to read this!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Create an Internet Identity - For Authors

Quick! Go to Google and do a vanity search. If you don't know what this means, it's simple. Type your name in the search bar. See how many direct hits to your site (or anything that pertains to you) come up. A few years ago, I did this and was quite depressed to see that I was nowhere to be found. In the internet world, I simply did not exist. Since then, I have learned a few tricks of the trade, and I am now deeply entrenched in the most popular search engines. What does this mean? It means that anyone, anywhere, can view information about my books and me. What this means to you is that if you are not at least 10 pages deep after a vanity search, you have a lot of work to do.

Your job as a published author is to "get known". The fact is, the more your name is out there in cyberspace and the more people who read about your exciting action-packed thriller or suspenseful murder mystery and the more people who see your name pop up when they search for ‘Canadian mystery authors’ or ‘American romance novels’, then the more potential customers you have reached. People buy more of what they know, what they frequently see. This is branding. Online, it is known as creating an internet identity.

Read my article: Create an Internet Identity - For Authors.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
Canadian suspense author

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why doesn't every bookstore carry my books?

Is it true that once you're published by a traditional royalty-paying publisher your books will be in all the bookstores across Canada and the US?

The answer is...no. Many writers believe that this is the big advantage to being traditionally published. But it's a myth.

Since my first novel was published in 2003, I have often been asked why my novels are not in every bookstore across North America. There are a few reasons for this, actually, but one of the main reasons is that the book industry just doesn't work like that. Yes, you'll certainly see the top 25 or so bestsellers in every store. These are big name authors who have proven time and time again that their books sell by the truckloads, and the 1 or 2 breakout authors whose book flies off the shelf at record speeds may be among them.

Believe me--I would be quite happy (and possibly a bit manic) to see my novels in every bookstore. It is a partnership between so many divisions of the publishing industry that helps increase a book's availability. I know one thing for sure, there are thousands of authors whose books have less exposure than my novels.

If I want my books to sell, I have to do whatever I can to 'move' them off the shelves. I owe it to myself. Every author does.

In the years (okay, decades) that I've been researching the book industry, I've heard these statistics many times. And they're so true. I've heard how publishers in the US are publishing nearly 200,000 new titles a year. This sheds some light on why my 3 novels aren't on every bookstore shelf. Can you imagine the size the bookstore would have to be to accomplish shelving every title? But it is a common assumption with aspiring or newly published authors that their books will be everywhere, in every store automatically. That's just not the case.

Today's authors have to take on the role of marketing even more than ever if they want to succeed. You can't wait for the sales to happen; you have to go out and get them. Book signings are a plus. I love doing them, meeting people and talking to fans. But most authors, including me, can't afford to tour all across the country 2-3 times a year. And publishers certainly can't pay for all of their authors to do so either.

I was the first author from Kunati Books to hold a virtual book tour (VBT). For one month, I blogged, wrote articles, answered intervews, spoke on radio shows--I loved it. VBT's are becoming more popular every year, and I believe that's where author tours are heading. Even bestselling author Margaret Atwood knows the trials of traveling; she invented the LongPen, a device that signs books with the author in one city and readers in another. I've signed up for that too.

I embrace the marketing of my novels and I am excited to do so. With three novels published, I am constantly searching for new ways, new ideas, and the majority of them involve online marketing. From my own experience, I can say that being computer savvy is a huge advantage as more and more authors are turning to internet marketing. Authors experienced in web design, HTML code, navigating the internet, and those who blog regularly and update their websites routinely have a headstart. I believe in working smarter, not necessarily harder.

Selling books is a partnership between everyone involved--author, agent, publisher, distributor, booksellers...they each have their role, and the common one is to sell books. Today's authors have to be bold, daring, open to learning, open to selling, persistent, and driven. That's how you become one of the 2.1% of authors who sell more than 5000 copies.

Hire me as your personal Book Marketing Coach and learn how to get your books on more bookstore shelves, and even get better placement free.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling author of Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Will a publisher do the book marketing for me?

I often receive emails from aspiring authors who want to know if they can find a publisher who will do all their marketing (or most of it) for them. Sometimes the author isn't confident they can promote their book; sometimes it's a matter of the author having no money to invest in their marketing endeavors. Getting a book published is only half the battle, and authors need to recognize that and prepare for the other half--marketing their books.

In my experience, and from everything I've read and heard from publishers, agents and other authors, there is no such 'free' ride. Authors must be willing to promote their books if they want them to sell. Publishers nowadays only want to take a risk on new authors who are enthused about marketing their books. In fact, they often ask you upfront, before they sign you, what your marketing plans are. And you have to have some. It's that simple.

Most publishers do little marketing beyond their initial catalogues, industry notices, ads in magazines or newspapers--unless you're a big-name author. It's really up to authors to get the word out. Your publisher might print some promotional material for you--posters, bookmarks or business cards. Most authors pay for their own expenses during book tours, including travel, lodging and meals. The distributors have sales teams who go into bookstores to try to sell books to the store owner/manager. Sales teams often don't do much for authors who don't promote their books. Why should they when they have other authors out there busting their butts to sell books? :-)

An author in today's world--who wants to be successful and actually make some money back to pay for their marketing endeavors--must be proactive.

The five musts that every author should have:

  1. a professional author's site with domain name and no free hosting
  2. a blog that's updated at least once a week
  3. Facebook account and knowledge in how to use it properly
  4. MySpace account and knowledge in how to use it properly
  5. Twitter account and knowledge in how to use it properly
Those are the basics in today's marketing. Nothing is free. It takes hard, dedicated persistence to make a book successful. The meaning of success can vary from person to person. I look at success in two levels--basic level: lots of readers who love the book and enough sales to pay for the $5000+ it costs to market a book efficiently; and advanced level of success: major traditional publishing contracts, great distribution, and major bestselling status, which all equals money I could live on.

What I've described above is the real world of publishing. It's a tough industry to break into because the competition is HUGE! You're competing against billions of authors. If you want your book to sell and be successful, you have to be part of the marketing--a huge part.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling author & book marketing coach