Founder, President at Experience Digital Marketing for Authors and Publishers
Michael Mejer is an established, trusted digital marketing expert in the non-fiction business book space. The culmination of years of experience in publicity, marketing, and sales in this niche has empowered him to help dozens of authors take their social media platforms to the next level to help promote and grow their books, brands, and businesses.
How did you find your way into the space of digital marketing, particularly for that of authors and their brands?
I started my career working at a PR agency where we specialized in non-fiction, business book publicity and marketing. It was right around then that social media started to become a more prominent vehicle for authors to market their personal brands and book(s). After working with dozens of authors on developing their social media presence I realized there was going to be a growing need for it, and decided to branch out on my own and create my own agency.
What’s the discovery process like when writers want to work with you? Do you make an evaluation of their online presence via their social media accounts and website(s) to see areas for improvement, and does anything else go into that discovery process?
First, I evaluate an author’s online presence to have an understanding of what they’re currently doing and what it looks like they’re trying to accomplish. From there we have a conversation about their current strategy, how they execute on that strategy, what’s working, what isn’t, and what we can do together to achieve their goals not just with their new book, but they’re personal brand as a whole. Ideally, all of this takes place eight to twelve months before the official publication date of their new book.
“The cost of entry for the opportunity to have your voice heard is much lower than what it was in years prior to the digital world taking off.”
Has the new digital landscape of marketing for authors created a lot of opportunities that the print advertising world hadn’t previously allowed for, perhaps due to limited space and cost? Does digital marketing also allow for a better system of measuring the metrics, click through rate, impressions, or success behind the marketing of a book?
Absolutely. The cost of entry for the opportunity to have your voice heard is much lower than what it was in years prior to the digital world taking off. The beautiful thing about marketing online is that you have a very clear view of what’s working, what’s not. This gives you a clear, confident sense of where you need to double down and spend more time, energy, and resources to promote yourself. Spending thousands of dollars on print ads, billboards, and things of that nature is very costly and difficult to determine whether or not that effort is producing any results. The new digital landscape of marketing for authors has created a lot more opportunities at a cost of entry that almost anyone can afford.
When you work with authors on their marketing, do you also interact with the marketing/publicity department at the author’s publishing house in order to coordinate your efforts?
100%. It’s always a good idea to be on the same page as the current marketing and publicity team that the author is working with. If a publicist tells us they’re working on coordinating an interview with a particular outlet or reporter, my team and I make sure we follow and engage with that individual via the author’s social media platforms. It’s a great way to complement the PR efforts on campaigns.
As someone who has done a lot of work with marketing/promoting nonfiction business books, do you feel as though you’ve carved out a niche in that particular area? Do you also work with other types of nonfiction, as well as fiction?
It takes a much different approach to market a non-fiction business book than it does a fiction book, and it’s a niche that Experience Digital Marketing is working hard to dominate and make a name for itself in. If I feel we could deliver 110%, the furthest we’ll deviate away from business books is personal development or self-help books. At the end of the day, we know what we’re great at and want to provide as much value, knowledge, and results to our authors as possible.
“...publishers and agents are big fans of working with authors who already have an established online presence.”
In one of your online articles, you write, “The publishing industry has undergone a lot of changes in the last decade, and if you're still thinking it works the same way it did back in 1998, you're going to be in for a rude awakening.” Are you able to speak to one or two of the major ways in which book publishing has changed since then for literary agents and authors?
There are so many ways that publishing has shifted in the last decade, but from all the conversations I have with authors, the one thing they almost always tell me is that publishers and agents are big fans of working with authors who already have an established online presence. They’re always excited to talk to you when they see that you’ve already laid the foundation for your personal brand before they invest a minute into you and your book.
Publishers seem to only be able to devote their very best attention from their marketing/publicity departments to their lead titles and key titles. That leaves the marketing/publicity departments at publishing houses spread thin for other authors at the publishing house. How much of the burden of the marketing/promo has fallen on the shoulders of authors in today’s book publishing landscape?
It used to be the publishers that would be the marketing and publicity machine behind you and your book. Now, you tend to get support from the publishers for about one to three months after publication and then you’re on your own. You’re responsible for generating traffic to the Amazon page, media coverage, book signings, etc… That’s not to say that it’s impossible to launch your book successfully. What this means is that you need to be more committed to being in control of your marketing efforts after the publication date, which could play to your advantage if you put the time and effort into building a great team around you that can execute the right strategy for your book.
I see that your organization has done some work with the Michael Magro Foundation (non-for-profit, 501c3 organization) which focuses on helping families battling pediatric cancer and other illness. What appealed to you about this type of charitable work and how has your company helped that organization?
I’m a huge believer in the philosophy that we can all give back in some way, shape or form. The Michael Magro Foundation does a tremendous job of helping families battling pediatric cancer and other illness. Whenever they have an event they need help promoting my team and I are always there to design whatever flyers, logos, or graphics they may need. It’s the least we can do to support such an incredible organization.
Are there any books out there on book marketing that you might recommend to authors as a good starting point?
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk. Hands down, one of the best marketing books for someone looking to leverage the power of social media to promote their brand.