Welcome to Episode 22 of Publish Your Purpose: An Author’s Journey.

In this episode we cover –

  • The End Game
  • Marketing Efforts
  • Book Description
  • Packing it All Up
  • Accountability Partners

The Publish Your Purpose Podcast: An Author’s Journey features the unique relationship between an author and their publisher. This podcast follows author, Mark David Gibson, through the publishing process of his memoir “Served in Silence.” Alongside him you’ll hear from Publish Your Purpose Press Founder and CEO, Jenn T. Grace, as she navigates Mark through this journey. This authentic, empathetic, and at times comedic duo will take you on the journey from having an idea in your head to holding a book in your hands. You’ll go through all of the emotional ups and downs with Mark as this podcast covers his experience in real time. You’ll learn how to be better prepared when you set out to write your story. Whether you are writing a memoir or any non-fiction where a piece of your story is shared, you’ll be better equipped for success after having listened to this show.

Jenn and Mark have volunteered and donated their time. If you’d like to support the show on Patreon you can do so for just a couple of dollars a month, which is less than a cup of coffee! Your contribution will help with the hosting and transcription of the show. Support us on Patreon at Patreon.com/PublishYourPurpose.

Music provided in this episode was provided by www.bensound.com.


Read the transcript below or download the PDF by clicking here.

Publish Your Purpose Podcast

Episode 22

38:32 total time

Jenn: I’m Jenn Grace, the CEO of Publish Your Purpose Press. And you are?

Mark: Mark David Gibson, the author of Served in Silence.

Jenn: Today’s topic is marketing. We have talked about all of the process’ to date from you writing your book to you having your proof copy in hand to now talking about all of the marketing related activity that you’ve been doing in preparation for your launch which will be an entire episode.

Why don’t we go back? Marketing is my background so I could go in a thousand different directions with this. I’d love to hear your interpretation of marketing, in terms of what you felt like you had to do for a successful book launch. I want to keep the expectations realistic for people. You have gone way above and beyond any other author that we have worked with in terms of the amount of marketing that you’ve done.

You can do a little bit of marketing and be successful or you can do a ton of marketing to be successful. Let’s start with your interpretation of what you feel needs to be in place for you to successfully launch your book.

Mark: The AUTHOR’S ACADEMY does a good job on marketing though it is not the focus of the academy. First thing I’d like to tell listeners is “calm down.” Settle down, relax. Marketing is such a big, overarching word. It can be very daunting. It can be overwhelming. This should be the creative, fun part. If this is not your forte or don’t feel comfortable with this, you can always seek the assistance of friends. We all do it.  We sit around and say “wouldn’t it be cool if…”, “what do you think about this idea?” and that begins your marketing strategy. Make it fun.

What does the end game look like? What is the desired effect that you are looking for from the results of your marketing efforts? With your background and what we learn in the AUTHOR’S ACADEMY, the overarching principle is that really the sky is the limit. We can talk for days and days on one aspect of marketing. We can tape a podcast just on that. With my background in communications, taking the two of those and everything I learned in the academy and button it up as far as a strategic or focused approach. Some of those words sound sterile and icky, but it is kinda fun.

With that in mind, I like to do the idea of working things backwards. I’m going to be thinking about: What is the brand? What is the marketing message when you see that brand? It’s actually easy to do when you start just drafting out something on a scratch pad. Just take it from the standpoint of the cover. I can make an event out of any step of this process. I made a party about the cover. That’s marketing folks. It was the build-up to the cover. It was personally rewarding for Mr. Wonderful and I because we worked really hard to get to that point, so why not celebrate?

This is not a science folks; I’m not professing that I’m an expert in any of this. I just started on a white board, just free flowing, brainstorming ideas. A lot of those did start from the AUTHOR’S ACADEMY. When I got to this phase I looked back to get a refresher and it toggled my mind of some ideas. “Oh yeah! I have a friend that works at the radio station, and was really interested when I told him I was writing a book.” And then, with an email “Hey, I’m about done.” The response was “Great! Let’s book you on a radio interview right before your launch.” And so it begins. Just keeping in mind your overall strategy…once you publish your book, how are you going to get your message out there (beyond your close circle of friends, associates and family?) That’s really with effective marketing strategies.

Jenn: How do we break this down? How did you know what that first thing to produce was? We’re talking about a combination of strategy and marketing tactics. The strategy is something that we cover extensively with our authors. From marketing strategy, business strategy, the speaker strategy… strategy all day long, every day. But then there’s the tactical thing. So how did you focus and say this is the first thing I want to produce as it relates to my book? What was your process for that?

Mark: In the very beginning when you interviewed me and were talking to me as a potential author you asked “what is your book about?” Now it’s time to impress, “it’s going to be about…” and it’s like 30 words long. You being the mentor that you are… “he’s craftable; he’s moldable. I can help him.” Because you’re going to get that down to about 10 words. Or get that down into a sizable chunk. I remember at one point in the podcast, after the fact of “My name is Mark Gibson and I’m the author of Served in Silence, the book is about… And you said “Look at you getting it down to a short bite!” Once I got that and I felt comfortable, let’s call that the elevator pitch. Then I decided, “Okay, I’m not quite done. I’m in the manuscript process. But I would like to start cultivating a relationship with people to let them know that I’m actually writing a book.” You gave us homework where we had to post it on Facebook. We had to go on LinkedIn and tell the world. At that moment I felt that didn’t hurt so bad – so what’s the first piece?

Just be careful here folks. You don’t have to spend gobs and gobs of money. You can do quick and effective things that are pretty inexpensive. I’m a coupon kind of guy, I love a coupon. I ran across Vistaprint. They had a coupon and I developed a post card. Very easy. After dinner I put a 3 bullet summary of the book, front and back and I think it was $20-$30 for a big stack of post cards. That was my first marketing tool. It’s funny now that I look back on it. I have been perfecting what the story is about. As you become more intimate with your manuscript that now the skeleton is the same on my postcard but I really honed and I really perfected the pitch and it doesn’t quite look like that original one, but that’s okay. That’s why we only ordered 200. That was the first piece that I could get out to people. The response was pretty good.

Then it came to the cover party. I did the same thing, not that much quantity, but kept the postcard idea going. Quick hit. Not that expensive.

The other thing I did was that they were having another sale, on business cards. I made a business card just for the book. So, I thought of it as a book marker and gave that away. I could put some branding. I could put some information about that on there with my website and book title, etc.

Jenn: That is such a perfect base, introductory level, of things that one needs. I find that post cards are so effective. You usually have the content already. You already have your author bio, you have the cover, you have the book description, so at the point where you’re creating that post card, you just have to reassemble it and put some brand colors on it. Of course you can hire a professional to do it (I always recommend) so your cards look nice. If you have the skills and the resources to do it that’s awesome.

I think that it was also wise of you to limit the amount that you purchased. Things change over time. You might be talking to someone and say “Damn it, I should have put a testimonial on this thing! How did I forget to put a testimonial on it?” And now you have 8000 to go through. Even though it costs more to buy less, in the long run it just makes more sense. We have authors that also do bookmarks. You talked about using your business cards as bookmarks. We have a handful of authors that have done bookmarks specifically. They’re cute. It’s in alignment with the brand. Makes perfect sense. You have contact information on it. Whatever it takes. I think that these are all very easy to do things. They don’t have to cost a lot of money. Then there’s that next layer of marketing.

So you had gone hog wild with the creation of banners. I would love to hear your rhyme and reason for the banners you had done. What made you do them? What your intended purposes are for them?

Mark: I kind of did go a little wild with them. Like a kid in a candy store. I think it was a buy one, get one or buy one, 50% off the second one or something like that. It’s all about marketing. It’s all about consistency in the message and the brand. So those are very effective for any opportunity that you get.

My cover party started in my hallway of my condo building. When you got off the elevator, I had a pop-up. You get off the elevator and it’s “I guess we’re going to Mark’s event because there he is! At the end of the hallway!” They’re quick, easy to set up, weigh under 20 pounds, throw it over your shoulder and away you go. You can literally set up a whole book signing from a duffle bag or briefcase. That was the idea of having the pop ups. I wanted a variety. Different events that we go to or one might be better for a restaurant if I’m going to be doing a book signing. The other one is for the bigger picture for my launch. It’s a very big space so I have lots of opportunity for branding and marketing. I want to take advantage of that when I can. It’s a roll up banner that just pops up. You can put yourself in a situation for selling or marketing your books on the go.

Jenn: All of our authors are busy professionals, on the go. We are always trying to think about how can this be portable? How can you just throw this in a suitcase, check your bag, and be on your way. I’m a huge fan of pop-up banners.com. I love their prices. You can also

go to Vistaprint. You can go to Overnightprints.com. There’s a million different places. You can get the 8’ banner. But there’s also a 2’ table top banner. There’s a 3’ table top banner option. Those are great too because then you can put the 3D image of your book on it. It pops up, it’s not big at all. You can be sitting side by side with it. If somebody is looking from afar, they can at least see the cover of your book from a distance. You can get them for like $60 or $40 for the size. It’s a good quality.

And then there’s the tablecloths. Those ranging from $100-$300 depending. You can have solid colors with your logo on them. For our authors, we have a lot of different examples that we provide when we’re working with somebody new. Or in the AUTHOR’S ACADEMY. It’s all about the complete package of you as a brand, as an author. I think that everything has to tie together. You want to use the same colors, the same font, the same imagery, the cover. Everything. So that when someone see’s something they’re like “that’s Mark” or “that’s Served in Silence” or that’s Publish Your Purpose Press. They know instantly because you have a cohesive nature in which that you’ve done this. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It might just be finding two colors and a font that you like and using them over and over again. You can start small. It doesn’t have to be a $10,000 brand strategy package that you purchase from somebody. It can be small and contained.

[19:28 commercial break]

Mark: I was also going to mention that table top pop-up. Think about what you can do with that. When you go somewhere, what do the optics look like? For example, if you’re invited to do a podcast or an in-studio, sometimes they are going to have video or take a photo and put it on their website as a promotion for their next episode, so now you’re in studio, put up your pop-up, you’re next to the microphone, it’s a beautiful optic that’s very easy to get. Don’t be shy – give your camera to someone in the room and say “Can you do me a favor and take a photo of me?” They’d love to do that. And then you have an inventory of assets that you want to use when you’re tweeting, when you’re putting stuff on Facebook or LinkedIn to link back to keep the conversation going for your communication/marketing strategy.

Jenn: Yeah. I think it’s wise. I wrote my first book in 2013. I have the postcards. I have the book marks. I have the pop up stand. I had the things from Staples that you put brochures in on a table – a display thing – that I put copies of the book in. I had the plastic 8.5” x 11” thing that displayed whatever the price was at the time, for the book. It’s almost like a kit. If you can get all of those things, you can have them in one bag, one suitcase, which is what I always did. I even had the raffle bowl in there to get people’s business cards. Or I had the give-away. Or the credit card authorization forms. (That’s a whole other thing that I’ll talk about in a second.) Having that, so that when you roll into wherever you’re doing a book signing, you have everything you can possibly need.

You just have to have a check-list. I am that OCD person! I have a physical checklist. Do I have my business cards? Check. Do I have the postcards? Check. Do I have the card reader? Or the credit card? Check. Make sure you have all of those things. Or if you’re doing a presentation in conjunction with this, do you have the adapter? Because not everyone has a Mac adapter if you have a Mac. Check. So you have your whole list of things. Do you have the PowerPoint clicker for your laptop? These are all the things that, as an author, you have to be thinking about to make sure that it’s seamless and you are self-contained. Do you have your Sharpie Markers to sign your books? Check. Make sure all of these things are in place.

The one thing that I just brought up… especially if you’re at a conference and you’re in a building that the Wi-Fi is shoddy or unpredictable, have a back-up for taking credit card orders. I learned that the hard way many moons ago at a speaking event in Kansas City where I had a ton of people who wanted to buy my book, and we were in a fortress where the credit card reader just would not work. Fortunately, another person that was selling books next to me had extras of a form to take credit cards. I was able to take credit card information and reach out to the people afterwards. I gave them the books on the spot. It was a trust situation. I trust that you will pay me. But if I just had my own form, that I authorize Publish Your Purpose Press to sell this book for blah, blah, blah, it would have made life a lot easier. At this point, I make sure that every single author that we work with has a template of what that thing looks like. You just fill out your information on it. To never get caught in those tricky situations. To me that’s kind of a function of marketing and sales. So it’s a very small thing but people don’t necessarily think about it. Sometimes the card worker doesn’t work and you have to have a back-up plan.

Mark: You just reminded me. I just wrote that down again for myself! To your point about the check-list, I take it another step further.

Jenn: Naturally.

Mark: Yeah right? So I’ve got my check-list. I’ve put everything together. I pack it all up. Then I take it all downstairs and I unpack it to make sure. It’s like proofing. You can only read your own stuff so much. I unpack it like I got there. What did I miss? What do I need? Oh I have some room, let me throw a bottle of water in there. These are really valuable hints and nuggets to take with you in your tool kit.

Jenn: If anyone is interested and they want to get a copy of the checklist or even the credit card authorization form, happy to send it to you. Email hello@publishyourpurposepress.com, we will send it to you.

One last thing along the line of banners… Not every author will do a trade show expo and be required to have one of the big 8’ x 8’ banners or 10’ x 10’. So tell me your process for deciding that you needed one of those and what it took to create it. I love the picture of you sitting in front of the picture in the same position. I think it’s really fun. You could post that on your Facebook page. That would be kind of cool, if anyone’s

interested in seeing what this looks like. Tell me why it made sense for you to do something like that?

Mark: I am a big visionary guy. I’m color blind, but for some reason I can dream in color (or at least I think I am.) I had this vision of success. What does my book look like? Daydreaming at a really rough moment of writing the manuscript… I tend to do that in life anyway. For example, I couldn’t even spell triathlon, let alone competing in one. But I could visualize me crossing the finish line. And I’d never done a triathlon before. But at least I could visualize what did it look like? what did it feel like? I had no idea the amount of pain I was going to be in, but it was the idea.

With the trade show, the expo backdrop, I thought about what does it look like when I am introducing Served in Silence to the world? If I had unlimited space and I could put this all up, what does that look like? In my mind it brought me all the way back to Afghanistan when I got the idea (oddly enough I had the title before I even had the words written) and then I wanted to bring it full circle that that is the photo where it began and now I’m standing in front of you. I can tell the story about that photo. I can tell you where I was north of Kabul; in the Hindu Kush. I can go into the whole thing. And then the kids that are in there, all doing thumbs up. It’s a pretty great photo. So, I’m thinking about this.

Mr. Wonderful never knows what’s happening in the upside down, so it arrives, a giant box. I was working at home that day. So, I set it up. Put it in our living room. It’s a pretty big, imposing thing to have in your living room. And he comes home from work and he’s like “so this happened today!” Let’s see. Oh, and it has lights and it does this!

So now, what is it going to do in the future? I envision being with you at some point in the future; that you and I are side by side; and I’m so proud to have Publish Your Purpose Press as my publisher, and right next door is the book. Here is a book that was created through the AUTHOR’S ACADEMY process. Then into the publication process. And it just tells a whole complete story on its own.

Jenn: It absolutely does. It 100% does. And I think what’s great (and I don’t know if other publishers do this, I have no idea, I pay limited attention to how other publishers are doing things, unless it’s something terrible and we just make sure we do it better), but what I like to do, if I am going to be at an event, and I know that some of our authors are going to be at that event, I want us to all get together and represent in a big fashion. There’s six of us all going to be at the same conference in August. I want us to represent. I’m proud of all of you. It’s like you’re my children. Last year at the same conference it was like wrangling cats trying to get everyone at the table at the same time and now I’ve added two more people! Okay, we can do this! I had to have a checklist – where the hell is Jenn? It was insanity! But the beautiful thing is that it’s a like one big family. Dysfunctional maybe. Happy maybe. I don’t know. But we’re all a family at least. And my goal is to promote all of you.

So if I’m at this conference or I’m at a women’s conference or wherever I might be, I want to grab any of our authors that are also going to be there and make sure that we’re basically pimping everybody out! So that’s my goal. I feel like maybe I’m the madam. I’m not sure. [laughing] I want to make sure that everyone is getting business. Everyone is out there getting exposure so I create marketing that has everyone’s face on it; whoever’s going to be there. To say like “now, go off.” Everyone has that thing with everyone else’s name on it, so there are opportunities like that as well. At least with us. And maybe other publishers do the same, I have no idea.

I think that for somebody who is watching this, think about collaborative ways to work with other authors who are published by the same company. But you know you don’t need the publisher to collaborate like that. I feel great when I’m involved because to me it’s the rising tide floats all boats. Everybody wins. There’s no one that does not benefit from this scenario. So it’s another creative way you can partner with people. Or do a road show together. You and two other authors if you have a similar-ish theme to what you’re writing about. Go on your own road show. Go hit up a couple of cities. Because then it makes it worthwhile for those cities; makes it worthwhile for you; the marketing’s easier. It’s again that rising tide is floating everyone. I think it’s an incredible feeling.

Mark: With regard to the marketing and communications – just have fun with it. This is your time to shine as an author. Really celebrate that victory. As you have seen over 20+ episodes, it’s a lot of work! You didn’t do all of that work to get to the end and then “yeah – there’s my book. Eh.” No! You’re super excited about it. You’re sharing it with the world. And you don’t have to be elaborate with an 8’ x 8’ expo/trade show. You can have that banner that’s only 8’ tall or the table top that has your logo and the cover of your book in front of you. Just make it fun. Be strategic in your thinking and brand recognition. So it’s consistent. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. It’s just what looks good for you. Rely on your accountability partners. They are not shy about holding you accountable; they are certainly not shy about giving you advice. Especially for a color-blind person it’s like “No Mark, that doesn’t match!” That part of it has been fun. It’s a little bit more work to do. I am looking forward to that day when you and I walk up in that expo and what a beautiful site to see all of our authors right there in one spot.

Jenn: I’m looking forward to it too. Our podcast will long have concluded by the time we are at that conference. We will do a Facebook live. We will be all over the place and having chatter with you and some of our other authors. Really make it a big thing. People can see what happens when authors collaborate and work with each other. I think that’s truly the key. It’s getting everybody together to help serve everyone else.

Mark: I’m smelling a Facebook live event with the publisher.

Jenn: Oh yeah. One more thing to add to the list. This is episode 22. The next episode we are going to talk in more detail about book launches, book signings. We gave a little bit of it as it relates to marketing components of those things, but we’ll talk about the strategy, the

goals, your logistics of setting up your book launch. And then the next episode after that is going to be the “Holy Shit the book launch happened!”, “the book is launched, it’s here” and then we will have some kind of conclusion episode. We’ve got our work cut out for us. You’re in the home stretch of getting your book done. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago that we started this, but at the same time, you’ve gotten so much done! I feel like it’s been so awesome to have this podcast to encapsulate all of what’s been happening for other people to listen to and be inspired by.

Mark: When I approached you, I was so excited about the AUTHOR’S ACADEMY. I didn’t want to miss a thing. I am honored and proud to be working with you. We did it. We captured every essence of the ups and downs and the journey of an author. I hope it is inspirational and educational for somebody else whether they’re going it alone or if they just want to use this as an accompaniment to the road map of the AUTHOR’S ACADEMY. Very pleased and I appreciate you and everybody at Publish Your Purpose Press. Just been phenomenal through the whole process.

Jenn: This is a great way to finish. We will be back for episode 23. Thanks everyone for watching or listening. Continue to check out our YouTube channel, and Facebook page. We appreciate the kind words we’ve been getting as a result of the show.

[38:04] closing commercial

Ready To Publish Your Book, But Confused About Which Publisher You Should Work With?


  • The Publishing Process
  • Your Publishing Options
  • The Right Questions to Ask

This comprehensive guide will save you time, heartache, and money, by preventing you from going down the wrong publishing path.

We won't spam you. Promise. You can opt-out at any time. Powered by ConvertKit