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Using ACCESS Marketing To Get Your Book In Front Of The Right Readers, With Sacha Black And Orna Ross: Self-Publishing Fiction & Nonfiction Podcast

Using ACCESS Marketing to Get Your Book In Front of the Right Readers, With Sacha Black and Orna Ross: Self-Publishing Fiction & Nonfiction Podcast

In this #AskALLi Self-Publishing Fiction & Nonfiction Salon, Sacha Black interviews Orna Ross about the concept of ACCESS Marketing from her new book, Creative Self-Publishing.

ACCESS stands for Attract, Captivate, Connect, Engage, Subscribe, Satisfy, Sell and ACCESS marketing is a carefully crafted sequence of communications—which you also use to get words for your work-in-progress—that gives you direct access to the right readers for your books.

Our fiction and nonfiction salon is brought to you by specialist sponsor Izzard Ink: helping you navigate the publishing world while you stay in control of your work. Izzard Ink Publishing—Self-Publishing is no longer publishing by yourself. We would like to thank Izzard for their support for the show.

Listen to the podcast on ACCESS Marketing

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In this #AskALLi Self-Publishing Salon, @sacha_black interviews @OrnaRoss about ACCESS Marketing from Orna's new book, Creative Self-Publishing. #indieauthors Click To Tweet

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About the Hosts

Sacha Black is a bestselling and competition-winning author. She writes the popular YA Fantasy Eden East novels and a series of non-fiction books that are designed to help writers develop their craft. Sacha has been a long-time resident writing coach for website Writers Helping Writers. She is also a developmental editor, wife and mum.

Orna Ross launched the Alliance of Independent Authors at the London Book Fair in 2012. Her work for ALLi has seen her named as one of The Bookseller’s “100 top people in publishing”. She also publishes poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and is greatly excited by the democratising, empowering potential of author-publishing. For more information about Orna, visit her website: http://www.ornaross.com

Read the transcript on ACCESS Marketing

Orna Ross: Hello, everyone, and good evening to you from London. I’m Orna Ross, and I’m here with Sacha Black. Hi, Sacha.

Sacha Black: Hello. Welcome back. It’s been a lovely break over the summer, and we are back now.

Orna Ross: Yes, our summer is now officially over. Though, it’s still really nice here in London, actually, surprisingly.

We’re here, for those of you who do not know, and who may be new, we are here for the Alliance of Independent Authors monthly podcast about self-publishing fiction and nonfiction books. Sacha and I have been doing this for a while now, we pick a different theme each month and we kind of go into detail and point out some of the differences, where relevant, the differences between publishing fiction and nonfiction, and our session is sponsored by the wonderful Izzard Ink Books and, their slogan is, where publishing means not doing everything by yourself. I’m sure I haven’t said that exactly right, but you get the picture. They support you through the entire process if that is something that you feel you need.

So, today we’re breaking up the process, we’re looking specifically at marketing and a type of marketing that I call ACCESS marketing.

It’s one of those acronyms that I love from my teaching days, where you get a little acronym that helps you to remember all the different steps. So, Sacha is going to guide us through what ACCESS means, how it works, and whether it’s right for you.

I do want to set the context; I say marketing is personal and there are so many ways to do it. You will hear people saying, you have to do this, you have to do that. You don’t have to do anything in particular, but you do have to do something. And so, this is a very popular and relatively low-time investment method of marketing that really a lot of indie authors use.

What is ACCESS marketing?

Sacha Black: So, shall we literally start with the definition, because I think lots of people will hear ACCESS marketing and go, what?

So, tell everybody what access marketing is. And importantly, how does it differ from another term that hopefully, lots of people know, which is a reader funnel.

Orna Ross: Okay. Yeah. So, it is connected to the reader funnel. It’s also, you may hear people talking about subscription marketing or permission marketing. It’s connected to all of those things. So, it is using social media or ads or some other way, combined with some other way of attracting readers, combined with the free content that you give away to them in order to get access. It’s there in the name, get access to the reader’s direct contact details, usually in the form of an email and essentially their permission to contact them.

So, you will hear it described as permission marketing, and the funnel is, sort of, the physical way that you bring them through from that first point of contact, where they hear about you, into where you are actually in their email box.  Why I like the term ACCESS is, not just to make this up just for the sake of it, why I like the term is because I think people hear permission marketing, they hear funnels, buckets, all sorts of different terms, ACCESS breaks it down and says what each of the different steps are.

And, yeah, the acronym is to remind you, so ACCESS stands for attract first, captivate, then connect, engage, subscribe, which is when you get them to sign up, and then satisfy.

So, what happens in my experience of watching lots of authors doing this is, somewhere along the line, they will say to me, it’s not working, you know, it’s not working. And you will find that somewhere along the line, those six steps are not, so one of them is weak or broken, and they’re not aware of which one it is.

And so, ACCESS marketing breaks it all down into small, tiny pieces. So, you can actually see where the strength is and where the weakness might lie.

Attract

Sacha Black: Okay, perfect. So, let’s start at the top then and start with attract. What does that actually mean? What steps should authors be taking? Talk us through each one individually.

Orna Ross: So, I think the first thing that it’s really important to say, in terms of attracting readers, is that you need to have a way to do that. So, there are ways of marketing that don’t involve having these things in place, but if you’re going to go in for this kind of marketing, you do need to have something that is actually going to let readers know that you exist, let readers know that your book exists.

And that sounds really, really basic, but it’s really important. And that means you must have a blog, a podcast, a video series, you know, ads; you must touch something that you’re putting out there where the reader is going to encounter. You have to assume they don’t know about you; they haven’t heard about you.

It is not enough to just to put your books out there through the distributors that we have, you have to actively go out there and try to attract readers. So, that means going to where they are and giving them something that gives them a taste of what you do and how you do it and what they can expect from the reading experience if they are going to connect with you in some way.

Sacha Black: So, can you give us an example, given that this is fiction and nonfiction, and you have both fiction and we have ALLi in terms of the nonfiction, how is ALLi doing that?

Orna Ross: Yeah, so ALLi has, as you well know, my dear, ALLi has a daily blog which is really our prime way of letting people know that we know our stuff, that we have a large community that you can trust us, that lots and lots of indie authors, thousands of indie authors, do trust us to give them all their options and good information. We also have this, what we’re doing right now, where, every week, we have a Facebook Live like this, and that gets turned into a podcast and it also goes out on YouTube and Facebook and lots of different places. So, we are constantly putting out everything we know. We don’t hold back on anything in terms of, we have lots and lots of specific features on benefits for our paid members, but when it comes to information about how to self-publish well, we make that freely available to the entire community through selfpublishingadvice.org, which is our blog.

It’s an outreach service to the entire community. So, it’s also a way of us letting people know that the Alliance of Independent Authors exists, and what they can expect from us, and our tone. The thing about the attracting part of ACCESS marketing is that you just put yourself out there as you are. You put your books out there as they are. You don’t try to be anything except what you are, and you trust that over time that process attracts people who are like minded readers, who will come to know and like and trust you, because you’re the person they know, like and trust. So, yeah, that’s the basis of it.

Then, when it comes to fiction. So, I do something quite different now, this is relatively new actually, but it’s really interesting already the level of engagement that it’s having.

So, I’m putting out my next book. I’m actually using Facebook like a Fiction notebook and putting up snippets of dialogue, and, you know, just descriptions and ideas, even the planning method, and just talking about that on my Facebook group. Again, as I say, really interesting just to see how different that is, and what I do for poetry is different again. So, you can be creative with it, I think that’s the important thing to say.

Captivate

Sacha Black: And I think some of that slips into the next one, which is captivate. So, what does that mean and how do authors captivate their specific audiences? Because I think that’s really the point behind captivate.

Orna Ross: Yeah, it’s two things, I think. Exactly what you’ve said that it is the right reader, and that’s really important. It’s also though got to be something that fits with your schedule as a writer, and the more you can bring that together.

So, just to return to the previous example about the Facebook page. So, In terms of actually putting something out, my Facebook page was kind of a bit of everything up to very recently, and I decided to devote it purely to fiction, and what I wanted to do was essentially do what I had done on Instagram for poetry, by setting my poetry up in such a way that I got more words, really. I wanted to replicate that for fiction because that would suit and fit into, you know, what is a pretty busy schedule. So, I was thinking about ways in which I could do that and struck on this idea of actually using the Facebook page to get more words. And then behind the scenes, what is happening is that I am sending a chapter or two to people who have signed up on the page, every couple of weeks. And they’re getting to actually have input into what’s going to happen next in the book. So, that really suited me because I get more words. It makes me push on with a new book while I’m still doing some other projects, but it also attracts people who are interested in that kind of book by definition, because if they’re popping in and they’re liking what they’re seeing, then they’re signing up and you’ve already got them.

Sacha Black: It’s the ultimate accountability for an author because it is reader accountability. That’s genius, Orna.

Orna Ross: And scary.

Connect

Sacha Black: Yeah, I wasn’t going to go there, but yeah, it’s also a little bit terrifying, but you know. Okay. So, we’ve attracted, and we’ve captivated. So, how do we then connect?

Orna Ross: So, I think the first point connecting, I think this is one of the places where people jump the gun a little bit. So, very, very keen to do the next step, which I’ll talk about in a minute, obviously, at this point in time, at this point in the process, you just make yourself available.

So, you have an email address that they know they can contact you, if they want to contact you. And you have a sign up form there as well, which we’ll talk about a little bit more in a minute, but it’s about letting them know that you are available and having a working email address that does get answered. It doesn’t have to be answered every day of the week. You can always run all of these things on your own terms, you can just, if somebody signs up for something, you can ping them back with an email that says I’m only available on Tuesdays and Thursdays or, you know, you can make it fit around your schedule and you should, but be available.

The whole point of ACCESS marketing is that you are actually available to your readers. You’re not off in your ivory tower. You’re going to answer if they get in touch, you’re going to be thrilled if they get in touch.

Sacha Black: So, for me, this is in two layers. So, the primary layer is important (inaudible) very much a Facebook forum where my nonfiction audience primarily wants to engage with me, and I can answer questions for them. For my fiction audience, it’s very much about Instagram. So, as well as having my mailing list, I have a secondary forum where people can connect with me, because my readers hang out on Instagram, for my fiction.

So, I want to connect with them in the place that they hang out. So, yeah, I obviously prioritize my mailing list, but I do like to have a secondary social media forum. I don’t know if that’s the same for you. I mean, you’ve mentioned your Facebook page, so.

Orna Ross: Yes, and Instagram too. And I think you’ve raised a really important question because, very often, authors will ask, should I do a blog or social media? Should I have an email list or a Facebook group? And very often the answer is actually both. The best answer is both. They work in tandem. And, again, this is about where you do what they need, and you provide them with what they want, and then they find their way over eventually to what you want, but you’re guided and kind of led by their needs. And very often, I find that the people who do this best, it’s grown up organically.

They have actually set it out from the start. It’s something that’s evolved over time. And I’m really glad you mentioned it because Julie has a question there about the captivating. If you don’t want to go down the scary example of doing what I’m doing. So, yeah, I think, Sacha laid out some stuff there, but in terms of captivating, Julie, it really is about just thinking about, what would your readers enjoy, and providing that in some ways. So, it’s about putting yourself into their shoes. What is it that they love already about your work from, you know, I know you’ve published a book already, what is it that your readers are coming back to and telling you that they enjoyed? Developing that, it really can be any aspect.

You could just take settings, in a fiction context, for example, or you could take a character and do side stuff that isn’t available anywhere else. Really, you are limited only by your creativity. There are lots and lots of things that you can do. And I think, this is one thing that I would encourage people to do. It’s great if you fall into something, and the readers are there, as you’re talking about Sacha, and they’re highly engaged, fantastic. But if not, then think outside the box, don’t do what every other writer is doing. Do something that feels good to you.

Sacha Black: Absolutely. I can’t see comments, so I’ll have to be guided by you in terms of just the comments. Okay.

So, the next one then is engage. So, tell us what engage means, how we should do it. I guess splitting it by fiction and nonfiction. What does engage really mean?

Engage

Orna Ross: So, engagement is, you know, what it says, it means that you’ve gone beyond now just putting stuff out. People are actually coming back to you and you’re having conversations. So, this is really about trying to have valuable conversations, that’s the way I would put it. The important thing is that you’re in the engagement phase, you’re looking back at everything you’ve set up to get them this far, and you’re looking forward to what it is you want to happen as they get a little bit further into your funnel, to use the funnel word. So, you’re making sure that you’re aligning in those conversations very much with what you’ve set up. So, sometimes, this is a mistake that I would see authors making, at this point when they get engagement, they start to talk about their personal lives; if they’re not feeling great, if something’s going on. Fine, if you are working in that arena and your book has something to do with, but if you, in your novels, are aiming to be entertaining and amusing, but then when it comes to your engagement, you’re telling them about, you know, your teenage daughter won’t come home at night, or whatever it might be, that’s not the way to do it. So, you have to think about those conversations aligning with the values that you’ve already set up in the first three stages and with what they will be receiving from you when it gets to them signing up.

Sacha Black: I don’t know if you found this but, over time, the more you do the previous steps and you put out conversations and you initiate, after a while, people sort of build the confidence to then initiate themselves. So, your readers will then initiate those conversations, which you will then be able to contribute. I think there is a very clear tipping point, but it takes a lot of time and effort and a lot of initiating, a lot of putting questions out there, a lot of putting content out there before it then sort of comes back the other way.

Orna Ross: I I’m really glad you raised that. It’s so true. At the beginning, it can feel literally like you’re throwing things out into an echo chamber and absolutely nobody is listening and you’re talking to yourself-

Sacha Black: But you’re not.

Orna Ross: But you’re not. That’s the really important thing. They’re not necessarily engaging, and I’ve had the experience as well, where you’ve got a lot more engagement going on behind the scenes sometimes than out in front, because people are shy. And especially if you’re talking, you know, it really can.

And this is where most authors fall off, actually, because they can’t bear it. They can’t bear the thought that there’s nobody there. They feel exposed. They feel silly. They feel, Oh my God, I am talking to myself, this is a waste of time, I’d rather be writing, you know, and they kind of fade away. So, having done a huge amount of work in the first steps, then find that they can’t actually hold it here. So, it’s really, really important to hold that space and keep on doing it and, as you say, have your own schedule, ideally daily, if it’s social, but you’re putting something, however small, just a question, just say whatever fits in with what it is you’re trying to achieve. Have a schedule whereby you setup some of it in advance, so you’re not always relying on being in the mood, that you have a bank of stuff that’s ready to go out, even if you’re on the fly, or your day gets busy or art gets derailed, and just hold on, keep on, keeping on.

Sacha Black: Absolutely. And if you are ever stuck for inspiration or ideas, then follow other indie authors in your genre and see what they are doing and grab inspiration. You know, you don’t have to post exactly the same things, but it will give you ideas and perhaps trigger other things that you could do that you might prefer to do.

So yeah, if you are stuck, because I think a lot of the fear around this is, oh, I don’t know what to do, or say, or post.

So, just follow other people and see what they’re doing.

Orna Ross: And engage in their conversations because people can get to know you through other authors who are in a similar genre, they get to know you over there, and then they’re more inclined to wander over to where you are. So, don’t be afraid to engage outside of your own loop.

Subscribe

Sacha Black: Absolutely. All right. Well, the next one is subscribe. So, tell us about that.

Orna Ross: This is what it’s all been about. So, you’ve had attract, captivate, connect, and engage, before we get to the subscription. And here is, again, attraction comes in here in a big way again, you’re really trying to attract them now, over the line. What do you want them to do is to actually sign up and basically give you their precious email address, or other contact details if you’re doing something different with texts or whatever.

So, in order to make that happen, you need what’s called, generally, a reader magnet, a bribe basically.

Something again, very important, I think, that it’s not, you know, an iPad Mini, or whatever. I know most of us can’t afford that, but I have heard people saying, much better to do a huge, big giveaway for a big ticket item and invest in it, than to give away a free book, who wants free books, we’re all bored and books and blah, blah, blah.

I think that’s completely the wrong way around. You’ll just get a whole load of followers who will enter for the iPad Mini, and then be gone in two weeks’ time. It’s much slower, of course, to give a book, but ultimately, they are the people that you want to be attracting.

Sacha Black: Yeah, and I think the other thing to say is, sometimes, I know when you’re earlier on in your journey and you only have one book, saying give away a book is really overwhelming.

So, you know, there are lots of other things you can do. You can give away a character interview, for example. You could give away a set of maps if you’ve had maps illustrated. You could give away a bonus epilogue. That’s only one chapter, you know, you could write a short story from another perspective or another character in your novel.

Or you could take one of the side characters and do a short story. So, there are lots of things you can give away that don’t necessarily have to be an entire book. And on the nonfiction side, you could give away an extra chapter, perhaps that you cut, you could give away a cheat sheet, you could give away a resource list, or even a recommended reading list if people want more. So again, there are lots of things that you can give away that don’t necessarily require you to give away an entire book, if you only have one or two books. So, you can still do this, you can still have a reader magnet.

Not having one, there’s no excuse for that. You know, having one book is not an excuse not to have a reader magnet. It is a very, very good method. And the other thing to say is, I have done this both ways, I’ve had a mailing list where I had a sign up, but no giveaway, and the moment I had a giveaway, it 10x my signups.

So, you know, you don’t have to do it, but I think the majority of authors will find that their signups are a lot slower without a reader magnet.

Orna Ross: Yeah, definitely. And I think now we’re getting almost to the point where readers expect it, because so many people do it. They’re going to say, well, why would I sign up for that? I can go over here, in the same genre, and I sign up and I get this, that and the rest and again, yeah, some brilliant ideas there, and again, you know, be creative. A free book maybe is a little bit old hat and we want to think about different sorts of ways. So, you know, you can invest a little bit of money in your website, maybe in setting up some kind of a quiz, particularly on the nonfiction side, this can be really useful. So, I was thinking that, for ALLi, we will set up, in a while, this idea of the product ecosystem and that we should have different kinds of products, you know? So again, bringing people through the process of seeing, do they have the right products for their readers, for example, and that will be set up as a quiz rather than a takeaway, as such, but the signup process would apply.

Sacha Black: Yeah, and I’m in the process of updating all of my nonfiction one as well, and although this is requiring a lot of time and some technical skills, I am, instead of giving away just a cheat sheet, I’m giving away like a mini course. So, each email, I am writing a short craft lesson and filming it so that people who don’t necessarily like to read, but like to listen, can watch that. And they are only two to three-minute videos, one very short, sharp, quick tip, but it’s just something different that you don’t see in a lot of mailing lists. A lot of them are just, you know, a cheat sheet or whatever. So yeah, it’s a spectrum and some require a lot more time and effort than others, but, you know, I like to do something a little bit different, so that’s another idea.

Orna Ross: Yeah, and doing something a little bit different, I think, is really to be recommended, and every so often changing up your offering because people will get bored, you know, the people who are returning to your website will get bored to see the same thing. But if you get something new, then they can spread a bit of buzz about it, and Oh now look at this, this is happening.

Julie has a question; how do you publicize your lead magnet other than by plaguing the life out of everyone with the same post promoting it? Well, there are lots of ways.

Sacha Black: Sorry, can I jump in?

Orna Ross: Go ahead.

Sacha Black: Well, I suppose it’s the same way you advertise your books. So, it depends if you’re doing fiction or nonfiction, but yes, obviously having a popup on your website really helps, if you have social media channels and you’ve just updated your reader magnet, then promote it on your, your channels; promote it on your Instagram or your Facebook page, you could run ads to it if you wanted to. It’s not a requirement. Also, if you go on to different podcasts and you are interviewed, then, of course, mention the fact that you…most podcasters will say, oh, and where can everybody find you at the end of the interview, and make sure you say, oh, this is my website, and if you want to sign up to my mailing list, you’ll get X, Y, and Z, but it’s really cool.

And you’d be amazed at how many people will come and sign up and find you. I think listeners are being trained to do that because podcasts don’t necessarily always have the link. You know, we have to go and find the people afterwards. So, that’s another way, I don’t know if you want to add something?

Orna Ross: Yeah, I think, again, not to kind of labor the point, but again, thinking about it creatively, Julie so that, any way in which you can kind of go around, carrying that offering under your elbow, ready to give it to whoever might want it. The most important place, actually is at the back of your book, of your existing books so that people are brought…anyone who’s just finished your book, and has got as far as reading the end, is very warm and very ready for more. So, if you offer them a nice gift at that point, I think that’s a really good thing to do. And just, generally, to keep thinking about it, rather than trying to think about selling your book to somebody, think about giving them this gift instead, it’s a much better route. You mentioned ads, Sacha. I mean, a lot of people are using their magnet for the ads, not trying to sell the books, getting the sign up. And I remember Mark Dawson saying, at one point, that he would rather have a sign up than a sale any time.

So, you know, yeah, go on.

Sacha Black: Well, I was just going to say, and that’s exactly the point because once you have them on your mailing list, you have your autoresponder sequence, which is a set of prewritten emails that goes out at your pre-decided amount of days, that could be once a week or whatever. And each subscriber that comes on is new to you. So, they may not know that you have five other books. So, you can always launch a book to them as you in that autoresponder sequence. So, whilst you’re not necessarily getting a sale at the point of sign up, as long as you’ve included an email in that sequence that says, Oh, and by the way, you might be interested in this. Much later, you know, obviously put that later in the series, you want to warm them up a bit more in the earlier emails, then you could get that sale later down the line.

So, yeah, I don’t know, I lost my train of thought, but you know what I’m saying?

Orna Ross: Absolutely, really important.

Julie says she’s trying most of that, but it’s really not working. And I’m interested to hear that. So, if something is not working and you are genuinely doing it, and by the way, if it’s genuinely not working, because sometimes authors say to me, you know, I’m doing this and it’s really not working and I’m only getting X number of signups a week. And I say, well, actually, in your genre at the moment, with one book that is an excellent sign up rate. So, make sure that your expectations aren’t a bit unrealistic, especially when we compare ourselves to some of the things that we hear about in terms of signups in the indie space, it can be quite confusing and fiction and nonfiction are very different. Fiction is much slower, it tends to get much faster down the track, but slow at the beginning.

Sacha Black: Yeah, and with those expectations, let’s put it into context. So, they say, ‘they’; the wise and literary gods that may or may not be, say that you can expect, on average, one review per 100 plus sales. So, if you’re only getting one review per 100 sales, the amount of subscribers is probably going to be similar or less, because to give over an email address is quite a thing at the moment, especially, if you don’t have a reader magnet.

So, if you do, then it could be around that, but just to manage the expectations, you’re not going to get 10 sales and, you know, six or seven subscribers. That’s not how it works. This is a numbers game. The more sales, the more subscribers you will get. So, it is slow at the start.

Orna Ross: And I think it’s important to say, if it’s not working, then you need to do something different. So, it isn’t like a list. Here’s a list, tick, tick, I’ve done that, I’ve done that. Oh, it didn’t work. Oh, right, that stuff doesn’t work. You need to look at which part, you know, do an analysis, and that’s one of the reasons for breaking it down into ACCESS, is to look at each of these and ask yourself genuinely, is this the best I can do here? Could I do something that’s more interesting? Is there a way I can get more? It’s very often, well it can be any of the stages, so it’s really worth doing an analysis of each of them and asking yourself, okay, I’ve done what people say I should do, but have I done the best that I can do here? Am I following my own intuition about what my readers would actually like? How can I improve what I’m doing here? And particularly around the engagement stuff, are you actually going out there on, and are you doing that engagement work? Very often, this is the difference with nonfiction and fiction, with nonfiction it’s easier for a whole set of reasons. Fiction’s more exposing, fiction is more difficult to kind of analyze in a linear and analytical sort of way. So, you’ve got to go more on your gut, and you’ve got to kind of let go sometimes of what feels reasonable. Also, you’ve got to do scary things. So, you know, putting yourself out there with fiction seems to work better than ticking the boxes.

Sacha Black: I also think there are differences in different genres. So, with nonfiction, people are coming to have a problem solved, which usually means they have lots of questions. Whereas with fiction, people are coming for the story. They don’t necessarily have questions in the same way. They don’t necessarily want to engage with authors in the same way.

Obviously, of course, there are some genres where, you know, young, teeny bopper fans, they get very superfan-like, but not all genres are like that, and not all, you know, romance readers for example, are absolutely voracious. They just want to consume, consume, consume. I don’t write romance, so I can’t comment on the readers, but they may not, for example, be as engaged on a mailing list or on social media. So, it would be good, I think, to speak to other authors in your genre to see what experiences they are also having.

Right, we are at thirty minutes, and we still have one left to go. So, shall we whip through satisfy?

Satisfy

Orna Ross: So, satisfy, I think, is sometimes, having put so much work and effort into all of this, authors get their email, and then very strangely to themselves, don’t actually respond appropriately. So, just to say that having got the email address, having promised to do A, B, C, D, or whatever you have promised to do as part of that, it’s a precious thing. Make sure you use it, satisfy the people who have connected with you. Give them things that align with the values, steps that you have set up already. Everything that’s been put out there, make sure that you’re staying in touch with them, that you’re ideally on a schedule, but certainly that you’re in touch regularly.

And that you, you know, you want to make it so that when they come to seeing your name popping up in their email inbox, that they are thrilled, they’re delighted, it’s a break from the boring, mundane, horrible emails that they’ve probably got from other people. You want your email to jump at them as, yay, can’t wait to read this.

And that takes a bit of time and crafting and again, thinking about how you fit that in with your other writing tasks and everything else, can be a little bit challenging, but it can work. You know, it’s the essential part, because there’s absolutely no point in going to all that work to make it all happen, if you’re not enjoying and engaging yourself fully in the process of satisfying the people who have signed up for your list. But I will say, so it isn’t an easy marketing method, but I will say, it’s hugely rewarding and it is probably the marketing method, that’s most aligned to the reason that you’re writing your books in the first place.

So, you can really make each step, each of the ACCESS steps, you can get the voice, the tone and everything else that is in your book, you can actually put them into these shorter communications. So, yeah, it can be really, really rewarding and it’s very easy once you’ve got it setup well, to tell your readers then about your books.

In fact, they’ll be plaguing you. They’ll be saying, when’s the next book out. It won’t be you saying, please buy my book, as you see a lot of new authors doing on social media. It’ll be a matter of them saying, when’s the book out. And they will be your best promoters. They will go out and tell other people about it.

So, it takes a little time to set up for that but, I would say, between starting and getting up and running, to where you are looking forward to sending your monthly email or whatever, and you’ve got a good cohort of people, takes at least six months to a year. So, to also be prepared to give it that amount of time, and then it’s a rolling thing. It’s exponential, the more people you have there, the more people you get.

Sacha Black: Yep. Okay.

Orna Ross: Okay, so that is ACCESS marketing. Next time, we  might talk about influencer marketing, because that’s a completely different way to approach this whole thing, but, yeah, if you have any questions, do leave them in the comments and we will answer them. And we will see you again in a month’s time for our Fiction and Non-Fiction Self-Publishing podcast.

Until then, happy writing and happy publishing.

Howard Lovy

Howard Lovy is an editor and writer with more than 30 years of experience in journalism, from newspapers to magazines specializing in business, science, and technology. He has spent the past few years guiding coverage of independent publishing, amplifying voices of the marginalized. Howard is also a book doctor who enjoys working with authors to get their work ready for publication.

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