Each week on “Marketing for Your Future,” our hosts talk to experts in the marketing industry. Today, Jordan Ferrell sat down with Dr. Tracy Alloway from UNF.
Dr. Alloway has published over a dozen books, as well as a number of scientific studies on the role of working memory in learning from kindergarten to high school and is also interested in the benefits of training working memory. She has also published research on the role of working memory in students with ADHD, motor dyspraxia, reading and language difficulties, and autism spectrum disorder.
Website Address: www.tracyalloway.com
Company: University of North Florida
Interviewee: Dr.Tracy Alloway
How did you get started writing books?
Publishers started approaching me actually. A lot of my research was on something called working memory, which at the time was a fairly new topic in research and even in practical applications like clinics and hospitals and so on. When I would give talks, people would come up to me and say, you know I work with language difficulties, how does memory play a role there? So I began first starting by writing educational textbooks, with Sage with Pearson and so on.
How are you separating yourself in the field of children’s books with marketing?
Yeah, that’s a great question Jordan and a lot trickier than I thought it would be. If you’re not a well-known author like J.K. Rowling who writes a Harry Potter book it’s very unlikely that people are going to come out to want to hear you read on a Saturday morning when they can be watching cartoons or something else. So I find it most effective for marketing to target schools that work with these kinds of populations. They’re so excited because that is exactly the kind of kids that they have in their classrooms. Then I also try to do a parent event, and every single time I’m parked, there are people that are out in the hallway because they’re invested in that particular topic. I found that for marketing it was most effective for me to think about really who my audience is and I know people say that all the time. But in this case, it held so true that I couldn’t just think of all children need to read this book. I had to think of right now who are the types of children that would benefit the most and how can I access that population
How much time do you spend digitally marketing yourself online?
Parents, when they are online, they want to find a community of other parents that also work with this population. So there are a lot of blogs that do that. I will offer writing a blog for free for them. I will join forums and talk to them in that way. So I do spend a lot of time online which then also helps set it up where they will be more interested in wanting to pick up the book on Amazon.
If there is one piece of advice you give a published author or somebody who is doing publishing and writing of these books what piece of advice could you give them in terms of marketing themselves and separating themselves from that group of people out there that are doing that.
I would say create an audience for yourself. When I first wrote my first popular science book, it was published by Simon& Schuster and I thought, great! I landed this huge publisher. I can just kind of sit back and let the book take its own journey. That never happens, the larger they are the less time that they’re going to invest in you. So getting your book out there it’s all up to you and you really have to be willing to do the legwork. A lot of times and certainly my misconception was that as an author the hard work was in writing the book. And while that’s certainly true a great book does nothing. It just languishes under books. No books or a bookshelf or so on unless you’re out there saying you know posting thank you so it’s so picked up my book and it kind of creates a snowball effect the more you say this is this positive review I got it kind of primes people to already view your book Positively so I can’t. The best piece of advice I would say is to keep posting even the positive reviews that you get so that it creates a buzz. If you have to be responsible for generating your own buzz for your books.