1609 – A Unique Way to Say Something with Author Marketing Experts’ Penny Sansevieri

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Book Marketing & Business Marketing Specialist of Author Marketing Experts, Penny Sansevieri.

Penny C. Sansevieri, founder and CEO of Author Marketing Experts, shared insightful strategies for effective book marketing. She emphasized the importance of targeting your core base – your dedicated followers. They can become ‘superfans' and enhance your book's visibility by leveraging their loyalty.

Penny also championed the benefits of podcasts and collaborations with influencers, underlining their roles in message refinement and audience diversification. However, she cautioned authors to focus on influencers who are relevant to their target readers rather than concentrating on celebrity status.

She underlined the significance of micro-influencers with a smaller follower count but a highly engaged and relevant audience. Penny shared a case study of a pregnancy book, where a micro-influencer focusing on childbirth was more impactful than a celebrity influencer.


About Penny Sansevieri:

Penny C. Sansevieri is an accomplished and internationally recognized figure in the publishing industry. As the Founder and CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., she has made significant contributions to book marketing and media relations. With her expertise and experience, she has helped numerous authors achieve success in the competitive publishing world.

In addition to her role as a CEO, Penny also serves as an Adjunct Professor at NYU, where she imparts her knowledge on self-publishing to aspiring authors. Her teachings provide invaluable insights into the intricacies of the publishing process.

Penny's impressive literary accomplishments include authoring eighteen books, such as “From Book to Bestseller,” “How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon,” “Revise and Re-Release Your Book,” and “5 Minute Book Marketing.” Her books have garnered widespread acclaim and have topped prestigious bestseller lists, including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal.

Penny's dedication to helping authors succeed, her innovative Amazon Optimization programs, and her recognition as one of the top influencers of 2019 by New York Metropolitan Magazine has solidified her position as a highly respected and influential figure in the publishing industry.


About Author Marketing Experts:

Author Marketing Experts, Inc. was founded to provide authors with comprehensive support and understanding of the publishing industry. Penny C. Sansevieri, an author, established the company to offer services tailored to authors' specific needs and desires.

Drawing from her own experiences as a writer, Penny recognized the importance of having a marketing and promotion partner who truly understands the challenges and aspirations of authors. Through Author Marketing Experts, Inc., she sought to create a company that would guide authors through the intricacies of the publishing journey.

The company emphasizes the value of enjoying the process and journey of being an author while instilling the importance of persistence. Penny encourages authors to embrace and love their books, as that passion and belief are fundamental in capturing the attention and interest of readers.

Author Marketing Experts, Inc. provides services and expertise to help authors achieve their goals. From book marketing and media relations to innovative Amazon Optimization programs, the company is dedicated to supporting authors in their pursuit of success.

Combining Penny's firsthand knowledge as an author with a deep understanding of the publishing landscape, Author Marketing Experts, Inc. has become a trusted resource for authors seeking effective and personalized marketing strategies.


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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Author Marketing Experts, Inc website at

Check out Penny Sansevieri on LinkedIn at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now. Penny Sansevieri. Penny, you are the Founder and CEO of Author marketing Experts. You're found on the web at a weight a marketing And Penny, it's great to have you here. By the way. I should also point out you are the author of 23 books. Yes.

Penny (00:01:20) - Thank you so much for inviting me to be on the show. I was really excited.

Josh (00:01:24) - Well, great to have you. All right. So, yeah, give us an overview. Again, the website, a marketing expert. What does AME do?

Penny (00:01:32) - So we are a primarily a marketing and publicity firm, and we work with authors of all different genres. We work with a lot of business authors who are looking to grow their business using a book.

Josh (00:01:48) - Yeah. All right. Well, what's the secret to getting a book seen and heard and read today? It's a different world than it was ten years ago, even, man.

Penny (00:01:57) - It's a different world than when I was 23 years ago when I first started this business. I mean, there are 4500 books published every day in this country. I think if you are thinking about writing a book, you really have to find a unique way to say something that frankly, has probably already been said hundreds if not thousands of times.

Josh (00:02:23) - Yeah. And. And that's not enough, though.

Josh (00:02:26) - I mean, I guess a lot of people are like, okay, let's say I have the just the most perfect book. It's not going to sell itself.

Penny (00:02:33) - No, it's not going to sell itself. And I think that you also have to be smart about. So, you know, if you have let's say you have a business and you have a mailing list and you have a book that's done, you're going to want to go after your core base initially, obviously, but then also kind of decide what you why you wrote this book. I mean, in some cases we've worked with business owners who write a book because they want to get more speaking, because we know that if you have a book, a lot of times it's easier to get a speaking event. But then we have other businesses who, you know, we've never done a single piece of advertising for my company. My books advertise the company. So they, you know, it helps to grow the base. But I also use my books as speaking.

Penny (00:03:18) - If you want to get your book out there, you're going to have to get you figuring out, first off, obviously, what your goals are and don't necessarily think about big national media because when was the last time that you saw an author who wasn't a household name, for example, on The Today Show? Right? Yeah. Yeah. So go ahead. Go ahead.

Josh (00:03:44) - No, no, no, no. I was just going to interrupt with something.

Penny (00:03:49) - But I think that, you know, if you are if you have looked to your own base. Right. Look to your social media following, look to, like I said, your newsletter list and start there because these are people who are dedicated to what you're doing. And many times they're going to be superfans. I've had authors that have launched books on Amazon that end up getting 4000 reviews within 48 hours of the book launching, all because they really honed their mailing list and their fan base and, you know, encouraged and ignited them to help them on to help them get the book out on launch day.

Josh (00:04:31) - Yeah. Penny, is it possible to get a book and, you know, kind of work through the ecosystems that exist today if you don't have much of a base?

Penny (00:04:43) - It is because a lot of times. So, you know, conversely, sometimes we get authors who say, I need this book to help me build my platform, right? And that's really so, you know, the book becomes kind of the foundation for everything else that you're building. And maybe you start using the book and teaching on Zoom or doing speaking. It varies, obviously, depending on the industry that you're in. But honestly, I mean, that's how I grew my business, right, is I started writing that first book on How do you get published? And that was my first sort of foray into publishing, which helped to build the foundation and everything else that I've done. So it's definitely doable.

Josh (00:05:35) - Yeah. What does the work look like when you're working with an author? Do they already need to have the like they come to you and they're already like, they've got a path for getting that book done, so you're not going to get involved so much on the editorial side, right?

Penny (00:05:53) - Sometimes we.

Penny (00:05:55) - So we're not a publishing company. But there are times when I'll get on the phone with an author to talk them through in a coaching session to kind of talk them through, okay, so they want to write this book. The biggest issue that I find with business owners is they just don't have the time, right? So A, the other one to work with a ghostwriter who they can just dictate something over like and get them get the book put together in six months and be done with it or they want to figure out other creative ways to pull content together. So that's a piece of it. And then we kind of brainstorm that and I turn them loose. Once they come to us, then we need to talk about, All right, so are we going to do influencer pitching? Are we going to pitch you as a speaker? Are we going to do some media? And this depends a little bit on what their industry is, what they're specialized in. So we might go after freelancers, we might go after local markets, things like that.

Penny (00:06:51) - But many times the author will come to us after the book is already out and maybe they even tried to do some marketing on their own and realized, Whoa, this is a lot of work, or it's confusing or whatever. And so then we work with them after the book launch, After the book launches.

Josh (00:07:08) - Yeah. So let's talk about some specific tactics here. And you mentioned working with influencers, sending just sending a book to an influencer and, you know, just some spray and pray. What I can say is, good luck with that. That's probably going to be not real awesome. What's what does it take to like collaborate with influencers? Like how do you, how would you even get that done and started? Because again, influencers get just get hit up non-stop with people wanting to sell their thing, promote their thing. In fact, we'll talk about podcasters in a world in a moment, the podcasting world in a moment, because we've launched over 200 shows. All of them are interview shows.

Josh (00:07:57) - And there's a meme of just kind of penny, the kind of the broke author, speaker, coach that's just out there shilling their book and that is a known persona in our world. But can you talk about maybe influencers first? We'll get into podcasting in a bit.

Penny (00:08:10) - Yeah. So I think, you know, when you think about influencers, a lot of times we think about the big names on Instagram, for example, who have millions of followers. But one of the things that I like to talk to authors about are micro-influencers. And by micro, I don't necessarily mean that they are small potatoes by any stretch of the imagination, but they have a much more dedicated following in many cases. And when you think about micro-influencers, think about people that you also have, again in your sphere of influence, right? Micro-influencers may have a base of 5000, 4000, maybe even 8000. But everything that they post is gets a lot of activity. So when you're thinking about pitching to influencers, get away from the big numbers and the like.

Penny (00:08:58) - It's great to target that. Like, I understand what an author says to me. I really want to get, I don't know, Taylor Swift to talk about my book. Great. Everybody Needs a dream. But realistically, the micro-influencers are going to get you further. Um, they're going to because they're following tends to buy or take all of their recommendations. So that's another thing to consider. And then as well. Who. Your sphere of influencers is. And it's interesting because once I start talking to authors like, Oh yeah, that's right. I know such and such. I mean, you really almost have to kind of get out of your own space and look at that. But when we're pitching influencers, obviously we're not working with the authors base necessarily. In many cases, they're going after their own connections of people that they know. We're going after influencers who are either topic specific or book specific. So topic specific could be how to start your business, how to start your business from the ground up, how to build a business, how to build a virtual business, whatever it is, right? How to become a TikTok business.

Penny (00:10:06) - I don't know what it is. So we're looking for influencers who have a specific focus in that. So we're not going after the, you know, we are going after bigger influencers, but we're not necessarily going after general people because you'll get much further and I do this, I will say that I do this with media. I do this with freelancers who write for a variety of different publications. The more focus that you can get on who you're targeting, the more yeses that you'll get because you're going after somebody who is already interested in what you're talking about and has an audience base that is going to be receptive to that as well.

Josh (00:10:45) - Yeah. And so. This already talk about the role of podcasts for authors.

Penny (00:10:52) - You know, podcasts are great, and I know that there's a lot of podcasts out there. Like, I get it, there's a lot of opportunities to do shows. It seems like everybody these days has a podcast, but podcasts are great because it helps you to get, you know, you never know who's going to be listening, right? And I do podcast shows and I'm always surprised that somebody is like, Oh my gosh, I heard you on such and such podcast.

Penny (00:11:14) - It's great for exposure. It's a great place to build your media room, right? Because every time that you do a show, not only you're going to share it, but you're going to add it to your media room, places that you've been. It's also a great way to sort of hone your message for different audiences. So your audience is a business market, but I might be on a podcast next week and I'm speaking to a group of sci fi writers, right? So my message is going to be different. It really helps you to learn how to pivot your message as well. I love I love doing Pi, I love doing podcasts and booking our authors on podcasts as well.

Josh (00:11:56) - Yeah. What are what's realistic from, let's say, an author that's going to get some stage time, as it were, with, you know, center of influence, influencer, YouTuber, podcaster, that sort of thing. You know, because you don't want to have unrealistic expectations. But at the same time, we also know and you'd mentioned this, right, is that, you know, look, the visibility is going to be part of the prize.

Josh (00:12:25) - There's way more than just this one shot in the arm here. It goes out to this new audience. There's more value than just that visibility.

Penny (00:12:37) - There is more valuable value than just that visibility. So are you talking about.

Josh (00:12:42) - Like being able to repurpose that reuse that you're talking about, you know, using, you know?

Penny (00:12:46) - Yeah. I mean, I think that for every piece of content that you're creating and or for every time that you get up on that stage, it's an opportunity again, to not only speak to your audience, but also to create content that you, you know, that sort of, you know, when I talk to authors and I say, All right, so which social media site are you going to be on? We have to talk about content that you're going to create. It's a very daunting conversation to have, especially for a business owner who already has a lot of other things going on. So ideally, as you're creating this content, whether it's on stage, whether it's on a podcast, you want to find multiple ways to repurpose that.

Penny (00:13:29) - Again, what you're really thinking about doing here is how many different pathways can I pave to get readers to my book? And at the end of the day, that's what you have to focus on. And that's why I say stay keenly focused on who your reader is. It's great to aspire to the Taylor Swift of influencers like I get it, but is that audience really going to buy your book? And that's really where you'll start to see that you're because a lot of times what authors do is they come to me and they're like, Oh, I spent all this time, I spent all this time, I spend all this time. And they haven't really seen the results come back to them in terms of speaking events or new business or book sales. And part of it is because they're unfocused on who they're audiences and they're not using the content that they create in a smart way.

Josh (00:14:26) - Yeah, Yeah. You know, to your point, boy, there was and I don't know the facts on this.

Josh (00:14:31) - I remember this being shared and it was rather stark about and I think it was like a book having to do with pregnancy or something like that where and I want to say it was like Alyssa Milano or someone that have like millions of followers versus a micro influencer who was all about some aspect of childbirth. But that's all she talked about, like her autism. And she only had 5000 opposed to like and again, don't ever let the facts get in the way of a truce or don't ever let the facts get in the way of a good story here. But the analogy there are kind of where the point of this story that I'm badgering badly here is that, you know, 5 million randos may not be as valuable as 5000 core people that are really tuned into that topic. So don't overlook micro-influencers.

Penny (00:15:20) - Don't overlook micro-influencers. And I'm glad you brought up that point because we have worked with on a number of celebrity books. But one in particular, remember, she said to me, she said, you know what, I don't really want to pitch this to my audience because a lot of times and she said this yourself, you follow celebrities just to follow them, just to see what cool handbag or what their where they're going on vacation or whatever.

Josh (00:15:43) - It's entertainment.

Penny (00:15:44) - Mostly, right? Many of those followers are not necessarily shoppers and certainly like to your example, not going to be interested in what you're selling.

Josh (00:15:54) - Well, I'm interested in what you're selling your website. A marketing expert. I'm sure more about, like, someone's been listening to our conversation. What are those next steps and what should they do at your website?

Penny (00:16:09) - So hit the contact form. Get in touch. We can set up a time to chat. We do. We offer free consultations with me. And what we'll do is we'll talk a little bit about your book, whether it's done, if it's not done, maybe it's been out for a while and where. And then I can share my vision in terms of putting together a proposal for taking the book to the next level in terms of where I think it should go. As an author myself, I the recommendations that I make are always very much like this conversation, very much focused on like you won't get. And I love that term Spray and pray, by the way.

Penny (00:16:48) - I use it on stage a lot when authors say to me, Oh, I'm just going to throw a whole bunch of stuff out there and hope that it sticks. In most cases, none of it sticks. So in these proposals, when we work with an author, we get very granular just in terms of the market and where I think that this should where I think that a particular book should go. And, you know, sometimes authors really just want big national media and that's fine. But again, what you really you didn't most people didn't just publish a book just to publish a book. Most of the time they want to. There is an end goal to that book and that's really what we're focused on.

Josh (00:17:28) - Yeah. And so tying that activity into well, look, if you just want to feel good, okay, you can dump a bunch of money there and maybe you'll feel good, but if you want to drive the results that you're after on the back end and that's something entirely different. Again, your website, a marketing expert dot com also you are a podcaster.

Josh (00:17:52) - Your podcast is book marketing tips and author success. So to our friend that's listening, our conversation right now. Do a search right now book marketing tips. It's probably going to come right up and again join Penny Sansevieri and Amy Cornell, your co-host and what does that podcast who do you recommend should be listening to that podcast?

Penny (00:18:16) - Anybody. So the podcast is designed for authors at all stages. So if you want to understand because we cover, we get very granular again in the podcast, we cover topics from, you know, what's a good launch strategy to all my books. Been out for six months. Is there still hope for me? I also talk we talk about pitching influencers, we talk about books to grammars in particular, which is kind of a newish term, pitching yourself to podcasts as an example and doing book awards. So we really dig in everything. We've been doing it for three years and I absolutely love it.

Josh (00:18:55) - Wow, that's great. Awesome. Penny Sansevieri, Founder, CEO of author Marketing experts.

Josh (00:19:03) - It's on the web at a marketing expert. Thank you so much, Penny, for joining us.

Penny (00:19:08) - Thank you for having me on the show. I really appreciate it.

Josh (00:19:17) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up My Influence slash guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our listener Facebook group. Just search for the thoughtful entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love even if you just stopped by to say hi, I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together, we are empowering one another as thoughtful entrepreneurs. Hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right. Seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes each day.

Josh (00:20:21) - Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the thoughtful entrepreneur movement.

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