Five Things I’ve Learned About Marketing: Part II

By Lana Wayne Koehler

Part I: It’s All About Me
Part II: It’s Not About Me
Part III: I Can’t Do It All
Part IV: I Have To Do It All
Part V: It’ll All Turn Out in the End

Part II: It’s Not About Me

In Part I, I talked about how marketing my book is all about how I connect with other people to promote my book. In Part II, I’ll help you understand how and why it’s really not all about me.

The best relationships with a readership take time. Internet platforms require not only following lots of people, but having them follow you back. To do that, you have to offer something of value. Ideas, advice, and recommendations all require lots of research and time. Take the time to build a solid platform. Which segues nicely into Part II—It’s Not About You…

Have you ever gotten a Robocall? You know what I’m talking about—the call that tells you everything they can do for you—and they don’t even know who you are! My favorite call was the one I got because I bought my daughter some baby stuff on the Internet and they offered me diapers for life! Although I’m advancing in years, I don’t think that I need that yet.

So, they missed the mark. They spent time (and money) sending out something that I had no interest in buying. In fact, I was a little insulted by what they offered.

Don’t want to insult your reading audience? RESEARCH!

Find out who is buying your book. Find out why they are buying your book. Find out why they’re not buying your book.

Who’s buying your book?

Of course, you worked hard to make your book as perfect as possible. You joined critique groups, had it heavily edited, sent it out to the editor or agent and cashed your advance check. Congratulations!

But do you know who’s buying your precious book? Does it meet the needs of teenage angst? Are parents buying it or is your book a “Grandma” book?

When marketing your book, make sure you are sharing what you love with the people who want to hear it.

In my book, “Ah-Choo!”, I thought that parents who had a child with an allergy would buy the book. What I found out was that aunts and grandmothers bought this book for children of parents who had allergies. Who knew?

Why are they buying your book?

I thought that as long as someone was buying my book, it wasn’t up to me to find up why. But, how can I market my book unless I know why someone would buy my book in the first place.

One of the best examples of knowing why someone is buying your book is “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”. Who ever thought that a Dr. Seuss book would be the number one graduation gift? Watch the ads and displays of this book as the graduation season approaches. The Dr, Seuss people know who is buying their book and why. Do you?

Why are they not buying your book?

Have you done any kind of promotion to let people know that your book is here? No one can buy a book that they don’t know exists.

Yes, if your book is traditionally published, your publisher will promote your book when it first comes out, but after that, it’s all up to you.

Did you know that Facebook has an algorithm that only allows 30% of the people on your friends list (or Follow/Like list) to see what you post? Facebook has “campaigns’ that allow you to boost your posts, for a price. They also have demographics lists to help you focus your boosts.

Twitter, Instagram, and Amazon have similar programs. Each individual search engine uses Key Words, sometimes called Meta-tags. Choose your words wisely. For my book, I always choose animals, siblings, and allergies (there are character or word limits for each platform). The order is important, too. Animals probably get more hits than allergies so I put it first.

Amazon rates your book (and you, as an author) based on reviews. Get as many as you can on your site! I highly recommend that you establish an author page, which will give you a lot of information about your sales. It also gives you another platform as an author. Use all of the tools available!

If you’re not tech savvy, you can hire someone to do all of this for you. Or, to save significant amounts of money, you can learn the process yourself. I recommend local library classes or webinars to help you navigate the maze of internet marketing.

The bottom line is that it’s still up to you to market your book. How you do it depends on your time and resources. Use them wisely to target your readership. After all, not everyone needs diapers for life!

Next: Part III--I Can’t Do It All

Lana Wayne Koehler is an author, speaker, and teacher in Northeast Ohio. To contact her, please visit:

Writer’s Workout

By Gloria G. Adams

As I sit here willing myself to get up and do my morning cardio workout (moan), I am reminded that it’s good to work the writing muscles as well.

In addition to working on my current project, I sometimes take some time for some fun/different/silly writing exercises to stretch the writing “muscles.”

Flash fiction stories are challenging, but fun. Tell a story, with an arc, in anywhere from 15-500 words. The shorter, the more difficult.

Poetry offers a plethora of forms from which to choose: shape poems, cinquains, sonnets, palindromes, etc.

One of my favorite things to write is ABC poetry, something I learned about on a site called Fan Story (

This is the format:

ABC poetry contains five lines. Begin your poem with any letter of the alphabet.

The next three lines must follow sequence. If you start with the letter "G", the next line must start with the letter "H". The last line can begin with any letter of the alphabet.

The poems can be anything you can think up:

They can be sparse…

I am

Just a fragile

Kite in the sky,                               

Living only as long as

The wind.                                                     Be very


                                                                     Don’t drop those



They can invite discussion…

Always a bridesmaid, never a


Could be a blessing in


According to my married friends.

                            Therapy creeps

                         Underneath the psyche’s skin, conducts a

                      Visual inspection, then lays

                    Waste the pretense

                    Of sanity.

They can rhyme…

Procrastination, full of

Quiet hesitation, never

Reached my destination,

Should have made that reservation,

All from lack of…motivation.

They can be funny…

We added a wolf tetra to our aquarium that already had an

X-ray fish, a

Yellow-tailed violet cichlid, and a

Zebra Loach.

He ate them.

Whatever you do with them, have fun. Have you stretched your writing muscles today?