Interviewer: Kailey, HYW social media manager
What inspired you to start the emPower PR group?
Some things in life you plan for; others plan to find you instead. I never dreamed of writing a book. I never hoped to publish one. And I definitely didn’t expect to start a business. But the book bug bit me while I worked in corporate America. In the wee hours of the night, I found solace in writing, and a manuscript was an unexpected outcome. After being impacted by a large corporate layoff, it was time to publish my book. Before the book was released, I was charged to share my book promotion plan with my writing community, and after doing so, my publisher and book coach saw a business need that I could solve. My book had nothing to do with book marketing, but my skillset did. I had worked in PR, communications, and marketing for 15 years at that time and knew it like the back of my hand. Without any promotion, I quickly had more clients than time, and the emPower PR Group was born! What a joy it’s been to help authors across the world ensure their readers know they exist!
As an author, what do you wish someone had told you about marketing your book(s) when you were starting out?
To be honest, I’m glad I didn’t know much because writing a book is a hike, publishing a book is a marathon, and marketing it can feel unattainable. I encourage authors now to know where they want to go but instead of focusing only on the end result, keep committed to taking the next right steps and ask for help when you don’t know what they are. When it comes to book marketing, my biggest piece of advice is to be consistent. Show up and do so methodically, purposefully, and consistently. Consistent marketing always wins.
How did you start writing, and what inspired your first book?
I never wanted to write a book. (I know, that’s blasphemy in the book industry!) I had other plans, and a book was never one of them. Instead, the “book bug” bit me. While deep into the depths of pregnancy insomnia and work/life balance stress, I found writing as my solace and would turn to it to try to better understand the world around me. What I didn’t know is that while doing it, I was actually writing a book that people began to demand. My first book, Color Today Pretty: An Inspirational Guide to Living a Life in Perspective, I wrote because I needed it. It just so happened that it was one others needed too. I started writing a book by writing. I didn’t expect it to be a book but when it was time to pull it together, I leveraged my writing (which had evolved into a blog) and was able to package it into sections that told the story I wanted to inspire others with.
What makes a book marketable, in your opinion?
A marketable book is different from just any book. “Just any” book is one that has words on printed paper, is bound, and ready for people to purchase. A marketable book is one that people need and demand. It’s a book that will make a difference in the lives of many, inspiring change, igniting action, and leaving the world a better place. Marketable books are ones their readers need because they offer a solution to a problem they are facing. Readers invest in books that they need, and my goal is for books to be more than a beach read…they are books readers are vying for but just don’t know it yet!
What advice would you give young writers about book marketing and PR?
Many authors think their only job is to write a book, which, don’t get me wrong, is a large undertaking. Writing a book is no joke, and it takes talent, commitment, and persistence. But writing the book is only half of the journey. A book that is written but no one knows about it is a dusty book that sits on a bookshelf and isn’t read. (I am not a fan of dusty books!) I know how hard it is to write a book, and I want people to read them! I want them to read my books and yours too. Marketing is the second half of the book journey, and it’s pivotal! Books don’t sell themselves; people do. The best piece of advice I can give a young writer is to start marketing their book now, before the book is live. Invite potential readers into your journey with you. Pique their interest now. Give them Easter egg nuggets of information that leave them wanting more. Capture interest, build an email list, and stand proud in the goal you have…to write and publish a book. Marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all journey. It ebbs and flows based on so many factors, so don’t get overwhelmed by what you should do and just DO! Those who start marketing early find it easier to continue it (and likely greater long-term success too).
In addition to being an author and speaker, Stephanie Feger is also the founder and chief strategist at the emPower PR Group where she provides customized coaching and consulting to authors, small business owners, and entrepreneurs, ensuring those who need to hear their empowering message can and do!