Dana Kaye is the owner of Kaye Publicity, Inc. and author of the book, Your Book, Your Brand: The Step-By-Step Guide to Launching Your Book and Boosting Your Sales.
Dana is a frequent speaker on social media, branding, and publishing trends, and her commentary has been featured on websites like The Huffington Post, Little Pink Book and NBC Chicago.
We spoke to Dana about how authors can better their PR campaigns, which platforms service which authors, and what she’ll be speaking on at DBW.
What’s the biggest mistake authors make when it comes to their PR efforts?
Not having a plan! Too many authors just start doing things—social media, blog tours, etc.—because they see other authors doing it. They’re not strategic, and often, don’t have a clear understanding of their goals. At the beginning of any PR campaign, authors should understand their goals, create a plan for achieving those goals, and then stick to it.
Is there one platform or avenue you recommend above all others?
That’s kind of like asking which vegetable is the healthiest vegetable. Some are better for you than others, but they all serve different purposes, so it really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.
I will say that community building is crucial. All the successful authors I know have cultivated a community of readers and brand ambassadors who help spread the word. One of the most straightforward and effective ways to do this is through an email newsletter. By gathering email addresses and communicating on a regular basis, you can keep your community engaged between books, which will encourage them to continue buying your books.
Are there definite things authors can do to increase sales, or are marketing and PR for books far from an exact science?
Definitely not an exact science. We’ve executed campaigns that worked really well for one book, but didn’t hit for another. The key is to know your target audience and then work backwards. If you’re trying to market to teens, think about where they get their information. Are they watching TV or streaming on YouTube? Do they use Facebook or are they more into Instagram and Snapchat? If you can focus all your PR efforts on your target audience, you’ll increase your chances of boosting your sales, not to mention save a ton of time.
Sure thing! My talk is Branding Your Future, When It’s Time to Staff Up, Hiring and Handling the Best Help. I’ll be discussing the different types of professionals indie authors may consider hiring to help with various pieces of the promotion process, from outside publicists to online marketers and web designers. I’ll also go over what questions to ask and what red flags to look out for.
What are you most looking forward to about the DBW Indie Author Conference, and why did you want to be a part of it?
Publicity and marketing is something that confuses and often overwhelms most authors. I find it very gratifying to demystify the process and guide authors in their individual promotion efforts.
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