I'm really excited to introduce to you today, Penny Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (AME). She is also a best-selling author and internationally recognized book social media marketing, book marketing, and media relations expert. She began her career in the publicity, book marketing, and literary field over 15 years ago. During that time she has been an author, freelance writer, publicist, and instructor. She has been instrumental in creating several highly successful marketing, social media market, and publicity campaigns for author events and book launches.
Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most leading-edge book marketing campaigns. Her company researched, developed and implemented the first comprehensive Internet publicity campaign called "The Virtual Author Tour."
1. Thank you so much for your willingness to take some time to share your expertise in book marketing with us today, Penny. You have a detailed bio on your website, but can you take a moment to tell our readers a little bit about you? Including how you became an author, and then later started your own marketing business?
Sure and thank you again for inviting me to share this topic with your readers! I started Author Marketing Experts (AME) over 11 years ago - since that time it's grown well beyond where I ever thought it could go. I started this company because I felt that there was a need that wasn't being filled. At the time, self-publishing was just in its infancy. There weren't a lot (if any) companies that were working with the small press or self-published author and so that's where I started. Since then we have worked with all sorts of authors - from bigger houses as well as smaller publishers and quality self-published books. My own book was published in 1999 - my first fiction book. Since then I've written four more (one more fiction and three non-fiction) and have several editions out on the non-fiction books. I love this industry and love the change that's recently started emerging. With eBooks taking such a strong-hold in the industry, there's never been a better time to see your work in print.
2. You have published several books both on publishing and marketing, do you have another book in the making or plan on writing another one soon?
Yes, actually I have two more due out this year. A full revision of Get Published Today and Fans, Friends, and Followers...
3. You are doing what you love and loving what you do, do you have a favorite part of your job, and if so, what is it?
Well, having just come from two awesome conferences I would have to say being one-on-one with the authors. Meeting them, talking with them, brainstorming - that is my favorite part.
4. Can you tell us why internet marketing is so important in today's world?
Well with 1,500 books published daily. There are very few channels left that are really open for an author. Virtually any form of media is tight - but the Internet has really leveled the playing field. Without any traditional media (though having that is always great) an author can build their platform and fan base. It's really amazing. What used to take an author years to accomplish, can now be done in half the time (and sometimes less).
5. Would you be willing to share a little bit about your Virtual Author Tour program with us? What is it and what results have you gotten from it?
I developed this tour about 8 years ago - since that time it's changed a lot. As the Internet changes, so do our programs. I mean four years ago no one knew what Twitter was - now, practically everyone knows what Twitter is. Our results have really varied for our Internet programs and often it depends on the initial goals of our authors. But we've seen 11 books in the last 20 months on major bestseller list(s) such as New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal. The Virtual Author Tour is just what the name implies: it's touring the author online. Sometimes this is via blogs, other times it's on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. We don't do cookie-cutter programs, but rather we tailer a program to suit the book and goals of the author.
6. You place a big emphasis on blogging, including posts about why it is important and how to become a powerhouse blogger, is there anything that bloggers should avoid doing or posting on their blogs? Or any common blunders that authors make when blogging?
Yes, I think the big thing is making sure your blogs are edited. Remember that everything is your resume. With that, I would also remind bloggers that because everything is searchable and your resume as I mentioned, don't post anything you wouldn't want your grandmother to read. I think the most common blunder, however is that authors start on a blog and then abandon it. When you do that it looks like you've abandoned your own message and doesn't send a good signal to your readers.
7. If you could give our readers one piece of advice when it comes to marketing, what would it be?
Make sure you have a plan. So often authors jump into marketing without any kind of a plan or idea of where they need to go and what they need to do to get there. But really, who can blame them? There's a lot of confusing information out there and if someone from your writing group is having great success on Twitter, does that mean you should hop on there too? Maybe, but maybe not. Know your goals and know what your audience wants. Give your reader what they want, and they will give you what you want.
8. Thanks again for taking the time to interview with us, in closing can you tell our readers how they can learn more about your services and stay in contact with you?
Yes and thank you again for inviting me! You can reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org - and be sure to sign up for our free newsletter: The Book Marketing Expert - it's packed with a ton of free advice, tips, and no-charge classes authors can take to learn about marketing their book. Good luck!
Penny really does have a ton of great information on her website, blog and newsletter. Go check it out right now!
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