The below video has profanity. NSFW.
Author Teri Woods on grass roots book marketing:
“I would be out here crying sometimes. Nobody buys your book in the beginning, nobody supports you in the beginning. You have to keep after your pursuit of happiness. Nobody’s gonna give you nothing! And eventually what happened was you sold one book today. You only sold one book because only one person would buy your book. But you sold that one book. That one book! And don’t you know when you come back next weekend you got ten people looking for you.” – Teri Woods, author of True to the Game
Teri Woods was one of the first writers I saw who not only self published, but marketed her own book and did so successfully through grass roots book marketing tactics.
One day while home from work, I caught her on an episode of Montel Williams and was impressed by her story of selling thousands of copies of her debut novel on the street and by word of mouth. Her story resonated with me because it was around that time I decided I wanted to write a novel. I’m not sure I’d even heard of self publishing before then but I was impressed with her drive. This was long before social networking was popular. Long before Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. As of today Teri has sold over 300,000 copies of True to the Game. Now that’s what you call a successful grass roots book marketing campaign!
What is grass roots book marketing?
If you watched the video, the one thing that should have stood out was Terri’s hunger; an undeniable desire to succeed. Grass roots book marketing isn’t for the faint of heart because it requires you to be aggressive, radical and unconventional. A hunger for success needs to be evident within you. Grass roots book marketing isn’t an overnight process, it takes an investment of time, but that hunger will give you the drive to work another day towards your goal. At times it might feel like an uphill battle, but the reward is usually great.
The Advantages Of Grass Roots Book Marketing
Teri understood how to market a book and who to actually market her book to. She knew what her demographic looked like, talked like and even dressed like. Knowing her demographic helped her to focus her time on people who’d appreciate the genre she writes (street-lit) and as a result she sold over 300,000 copies of a self published book. She branded both herself and her publishing company, all as a result of being fearless.
Let’s put this into perspective…
Teri self published during a time when traditional publishing was the norm. Now think about the advantages you have as a writer today. There are literally millions of people on the Internet and some of them WILL be interested in your book. If you employ the grass roots book marketing tactics that she used many years ago to a now social media driven world, can you imagine the results you’ll receive?
How hungry are you? Are you willing to forego traditional book marketing for the more radical grass roots book marketing approach? Please share in the comment section below.