Springtime greetings from Marti Pieper in Florida. I just returned from teaching at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, and one of the first people I saw back home in Florida was my good friend, Cheri Cowell. Cheri is a prolific writer and speaker and also happens to be one of the first authors from whom I learned marketing tips. I’m delighted to share an updated interview with her today!
Cheri, how many books do you have published? 4 What are a few of your latest titles?
Living the Story: Reaching Outside the Church Walls, and Parables and Word Pictures of the New Testament in the Following God Bible study series from AMG.
You were last featured on the CAN blog in 2009. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about the writing life since then?
We need to have a long-term view of things. A longer view helps me not get so stressed about the little things and allows me to enjoy the fruits of my labor along the way.
That’s great advice not just for marketing, but for life in general. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about promotion since your last CAN interview?
We can’t be experts on everything. Find what you are good at and what you enjoy and do those things well. That implies we’ve tried everything, so we do need to know about everything, just maybe not as an expert.
What are the most effective means of book promotion you’ve tried?
I know I’m a people person so speaking is most effective, but so is building relationships through Facebook and my daily devotionals where I feed my fans every morning.
Relationships are key, aren’t they? What are the least effective promotional activities you’ve tried?
I’m on Pinterest but not consistently, and I need to do more with Linked-in.
So what’s your favorite way to connect with your readers?
Face to face, but in the absence of that my daily devotional connects to my fans on a personal and intimate level.
You’ve written more devotionals than almost anyone I know, Cheri. True confession time: what’s the craziest promotional gimmick you tried?
I have a sheep on the cover of my Bible study, so I thought it would be fun to create a YouTube promo with live sheep. Well, the bloopers were so funny and get my hits than the actual video because the sheep upstaged me.
I’ve seen that bloopers video and think it’s a great marketing tool. Did you see God open any doors you never expected in the promotion of your books?
I now have my own publishing company (www.EABooksOnline.com) to help authors with their e-books, audiobooks, niche’ market books, and out-of-print books.
No wonder you stay so busy! What would you say are are your top tips for new authors promoting their first book?
Start a database and develop a way to feed your fans—maybe a newsletter, a blog, or as I do, a devotional. Allow everything else you do filter to this one thing because well-fed fans keep coming back for more.
Thanks for all your wise words, Cheri. I need to pay attention to many of these tips myself. Thank you for allowing me to share your thoughts with our CAN audience.
To learn more about Cheri and her books, please visit her website (and look for the funny sheep video she mentioned on the home page, too). .