The Book Marketing Network

For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers

I'd like to start a new forum where people can talk about what's working for you right now in marketing your book.

I think this will help other authors to prioritize their activities if they can find out what's working for other people. This would be especially valuable to new authors.

I've share the hottest tool that I'm using right now. And that's Twitter. As you will note on the main page of this Book Marketing Network website, both my http://www.bookmarket.com website and this network have been rising in Alexa ranks (and visits) because of my use of Twitter.

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I offer free horoscopes to anyone who orders the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries from me. I use some of the material to post on The Christy Chronicles on Face Book. While the books are mysteries with bits of astrology in them, the Chronicles are what goes on inside of the astrologer's head and heart as she peeks into people's lives.
On Speaking to Sell Books. Got more tips?

Combining speaking with writing has worked for many, many authors. In fact, John, wouldn't you say that it tends to be one of the most effective ways to sell books? Last month, I did a church youth retreat. They paid an honorarium, plus bought 33 of my books at a discount. I also interacted (free) at a theological discussion group (they'd all bought and read one of my books in preparation). I spoke at a writers conference and was surprised that, although my book wasn't on the topic of my seminar, several bought books.

In January I'm speaking to a teen leadership group of about 20 students through a local chamber a commerce and the next month will speak to about 20 businessmen there. The chamber will do press releases for the events, put my bio in their brochures and websites for the entire year, send out reminders to their list of members, etc.

At this point, these are small opportunities, but probably just what I need to develop my presentations - learn what they laugh at, what they like to discuss, etc. And the more I speak on the same topics, the less preparation I have to do. Much easier to tweak a presentation than put one together from scratch.

I developed my ability to speak in my early years, but never gave much thought to "the business of speaking." I'm finding things like: 1) If they weren't given a book for the event, put one in front of them to leaf through as I speak. Many will see it's value and want to keep it, thus buying it after the event. (Perhaps, Psychologically, it's harder to part with something you have in hand than to purchase something you see in the distance.) 2) Have them write comments on my seminar and turn them in. Not only does it sharpen my effectiveness, but I get blurbs to put on my speaker page on my site. 3) Have them also write down any other venues that might want me to speak. 4) Ask the promoter of each event, "If you were me, and you wanted do more speaking, who should I contact and how should I go about it?"

If we as authors have a topic that people want to hear about, and can give a decent presentation, we should be able to speak regularly. Right now, thousands of schools, chambers of commerce, churches and special interest groups are trying to fill their speaker schedule for 2010. (Many will put it off and fill spots a month in advance.) Surely, over time, we can make the contacts and learn the ropes and get the blurbs that will allow us to serve people and sell our books in these venues.

What are some tips others of you have on speaking to sell books?
Sara,

This is a great idea! I talked to a dentist the other day who said that an investment adviser keeps calling him, but that all the investment stuff baffles him. I gave him a copy of my book with a "prescription" of which chapters to read. I think that medical professionals, being perceived as having wealth to invest, are often targeted by "investment professionals" who are little more than salesmen.

So there's the need to offer help to these professionals who need to know how to manage their personal finances. Then, the Psychiatrists/Psychologists need to know how to advise their clients' money concerns. A Psychologist friend of mine keeps copies of my book in his office to hand out to clients, since it's simplified, easy (even fun) to read. I've even thought of just trying to offer it, free of charge, to put in Doctor waiting rooms. Perhaps if I offered this, and Psychiatrists saw its value, they would buy copies to give to patients.

Other ideas?

J. Steve Miller
Author of Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give it
"The Money Book for People Who Hate Money Books"
http://wisdomcreekpress.com/press_kits.html
Steve, I would think a good category for you would be the ever-expanding world of "coaches." Have you tried anything with coaches? They often get involved with their clients' financial situation and can be adept at long-term planning. Might be a match.
Joel,

I actually have a family friend who's a life coach. I put it into her hands months ago and need to follow up with her. If I could get a blurb from one life coach (a little platform), I could use that to try to hit the various organizations that life coaches belong to.

Thanks for the tip!

As an aside, November has been a good month for Amazon sales so far. ENJOY YOUR MONEY! is averaging a bit over one sale per day, which is better than normal for this book. I wonder if it's just people buying for Christmas, or if word of mouth is picking up, or something else?

I'm also thinking that, for a self-published book, marketing is more of a slow build over a long time, whereas a traditionally published book by a major publisher tends to make the big splash early and tapers off over time. In 2010, I'm gonna concentrate on marketing this book, rather than publishing a new one. When I look at life coaches, home schoolers, public schools, etc., there seem to be almost unlimited avenues for getting the word out.
Steve, totally agree with your analysis of the difference between self-publishers' marketing timeline vs the traditional publishers. The difference, of course, is that traditional publishing is a business made possible by a backlist--the frontlist may consist of nothing but "loss leaders" until they prove their long-time worth.

You might also think about mortgage brokers (a vanishing breed, but still there). They often engage people about their overall financial strategies because the mortgage is most people's biggest financial move.
Coaching for a couple of hours about the book...great idea! Never though of that. One of those extras that marketing experts would say you should bundle with your book.

On interactivity in presentations, I've found that to be very effective. I taught/led a teen leadership group through a chamber of commerce a year ago. Rather than flapping my jaws for an hour, I handed out a full outline of all I wanted to tell them. Then I said, "don't worry about taking notes. It's all there. I want you to think and interact with me."

So I'd tell a true story of how clothes-washer Oseola McCarty saved a fortune and ask them what they learn about personal finance from the story. Then I'd hit another point and tell the story of how Warren Buffett saved today's equivalent (factoring inflation) of about $47,000 by the time he graduated from high school. Then I'd say, "What do you get out of this?"

Hands were shooting up everywhere and they all just kept interacting. I'm learning from them; they're learning from each other. I don't think I got past my second point (out of 6), but the kids and the organizers loved it and have asked me back in 2010 to present to the teens again and businessmen in a separate seminar.

The wide-open interaction means that I'm learning and they're learning from each other. I get to find out what concepts fascinate them, what concepts are totally counter-intuitive to them, etc. If they ask me stuff I don't know, I just say, "I don't know. Great question! E-mail me and I'll do some research."
Great story, Steve. It seems like you're a natural.

I've been getting consulting work from my blog and from attending trade group meetings. What I like about the consulting work is that it is the perfect entree for a larger project. If someone wants to pay to talk about their plans and get advice on direction, they have already identified me in their mind as a "trusted expert" and I have, in effect, just cleared the biggest hurdle to being awarded a contract.
Sara, it would be interesting to hear what this price change does for your sales, thanks.
Thanks for keeping us up with this experiment, Sarah!
Hey friends: We having a Twitter book interview today at 12 Noon Pacific with out own Helena Harper. Just go here http://twitter.com/qlcoach Or contact Helena here http://twitter.com/helenaharper And Tweet me if you want to try it yourself...Gary.
The very best way to get readers of your book is to go directly to the editors of the magazines that target your audience. For instance, one of our clients wrote a book called "Retirement Without Borders". It is about how to retire abroad..in Costa Rica, Mexico, France, etc. So I contacted all of the retirement magazines. I sent them a photo of the author, his bio, the book cover, and a press release on what the book is about. Fourteen magazines responded and they did stories. The client even got a cover story in the Wall Street Journal in the Retirement Section. This is targeting your audience. You want to be in the publications that your audience reads.

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