Catalogs, especially e-catalogs, go all over the place, so having an ad in one provides great exposure. I include these types of ads in my marketing budget because they add to my arsenal: social media, newsletters, email services, Twitter services, and catalogs.
I have two ads in Southern Writers Magazine’s summer catalog and one in the Christian Small Publishers Assn (CSPA) catalog, and these are aside from Ingram’s and Amazon’s catalogs, which I become enrolled in when I publish through them.
Getting into a catalog, however, has the added expense of belonging to the organization that publishes the catalog or otherwise being involved with the organization. To get into CSPA’s catalog, I became a member. This organization has more author and publishing benefits than I’ve had time to use, but suffice to say, it’s worth its price. The biggest benefit of being in their catalog is that it goes to retailers and libraries, just as Ingram and Amazon do. Southern Writers Magazine (SWM) also offers terrific opportunities and benefits, though their benefits are different in that they’re primarily for author promotion to readers instead of retailers. And each benefit has a price–though the price is amazingly reasonable.
Professional organizations also provide great opportunities for exposure. At the first of each month, for example, I post a list of new Christian titles released for that month. The post itself is provided by ACFW–American Christian Fiction Writers. All I have to do is set it up on my blog, though I also run it in my newsletter and website. Member volunteers do the same all over the internet. I belong to other organizations that promote its members and their books along with providing other benefits and opportunities: Christian Authors Network (CAN) and Texas Association of Authors (TAA), for instance.
Each year, around the time membership renewal is due, I analyze the value of these organizations to me and my business. I’ve dropped some and picked up others. Some are still in the testing stage. But the concept in general is an important one–belonging to organizations provides opportunities and benefits that are more difficult to obtain when you’re on your own.
I am a Christian romance/women’s fiction author from Texas, so I belong to organizations that fit me. If I really were more of a rancher/country girl, as my books suggest (and my future promises), and could offer anything of value to groups representing ranchers and farmers, I’d belong to their organizations.
Do your research. Look into organizations that fit you and can help you reach your audience. Then, look into your budget to see if membership is right for you financially. Promotion is a huge part of this business. Be willing to spend a little to gain the benefit.
By the way, you will find some great books in SWM’s catalog for your enjoyment this summer. Click on the link and fill your summer vacation with rest, relaxation and pleasure.