Kristen Fischer, self-published author of Creatively Self-Employed, is one of the more effective authors that I've come across when it comes to using blogs as a marketing and PR tool to promote a book. Find out how she embraces the DIY style of book marketing with CSE and her upcoming book through Super College LLC.
What can you tell us about Creatively Self-Employed to give readers the
gist of your niche?
CSE is a book about life after you take a creative plunge. It's not a how-to; rather, I highlight 65+ real-life creatives who discuss the ups and downs including marketing, rejection, time management, business practices, support systems and harnessing creativity.
You're a self-published author, publishing Creatively Self-Employed
through iUniverse. Do you feel that self-publishing presented you with any
unique challenges in marketing your book?
Marketing and promotion is always hard when you're self-published unless you have the money to hire a PR person. I've taken the book just about as far as I can. I'm still looking to place it with a publisher. But if that never happens, I'm OK with that.
I've seen plenty of self-published authors who make the assumption that
once their book is available online (through Amazon, etc.), it will
essentially "sell itself." You seem to be rather active in marketing
Creatively Self-Employed, maintaining a website for your book, blog, media
kit, and more. What book marketing tactics have helped you the most? Are
there any that you would recommend as a bare minimum collection of
marketing tools to a new writer, self-published or not?
There are so many people who expect their books to sell--even when they have a publisher. You have to be prepared to do a ton of work not knowing if it will pay off. My website and blog are a huge help. The one-on-one connections have really helped me create a sales space online.
Self-published authors sometimes find themselves being taken less
seriously than authors working through traditional publishers. Yet, you've
managed to pick up some decent publicity mentions. What tips would you
offer other self-published authors to help them overcome the negative
stereotypes and succeed in getting media and blog coverage for their
You have to go in there professional. I used to work in news, so I knew how to write a press release, for example. You need to approach places professionally and contribute as a writer--self-published or not.
In nonfiction publishing, establishing your own credibility as the author
(and dealing with author publicity) can be just as important, if not
moreso, than publicizing the book itself. Have you noticed a correlation
between book sales and/or coverage and increases in your own exposure?
What kinds of steps have you taken to get your name "out there" in your
I find that targeting places your readers will go is most important. I write for a site called Freelance Switch I started out to promote my book but now I just love coming up with posts and interacting with people on the podcast. I try to reach out to places where I think my readers will go. For example, many may read Home Business Magazine or check out Start Up Nation. I've placed articles in both sites. Plus, local newspapers love local stories. So I had to promote myself to get in the newspapers I have been featured in, then add about my book.
Are you a complete DIY author, handling all of your own book publicity and
marketing, or have you consulted with publicists or a marketing firm to
help you promote Creatively Self-Employed?
DIY all the way. On HGTV, they say "Start at Home." I start in the office and have created a masterpiece with CSE. It's my baby.
If or when you publish a new book (and do you have any plans to?), what if
anything would you do differently when promoting your book?
I have a new book that got placed with a publisher while I was writing CSE. So I'm taking an interactive role in marketing but I have the support of a wonderful publisher. The book will be out in Spring 2008 and Super College LLC is the publisher. They rock because they took a chance on my idea and we're a really great fit.