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 website and this network have been rising in Alexa ranks (and visits) because of my use of Twitter.

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Alberta you wrote your post over s yr ago but it I'd what I needed to hear today!! Taking some tome to assess my 1st yr of mktg. & out of nowhere the sense to pack it in came up. But your post encouraged me re: 2 yrs of marketing. I know there is a need & place for my book - just have to keep pushing it till it clicks
Hi Edward,

Another author told me "years" ago, "The writing was easy; it's the marketing that's hard." How right she was. But, I'm starting to see the light.

What is your book about? To give you an idea, I'm concentrating on my 2nd and 3rd book the most. They are memoirs about losing a husband and daughter to alcoholism. In fact, at this very moment, my niece, on my husbands' side, is in a Boston Hospital fighting for her life from the same family disease. She is in my three books. She watched her uncle, (my husband), die from it, my daughter and now, four years later, she is in the same state. It shows how powerful this demon is to kill.

Because of my topic, I really have an open field to promote: halfway homes, alcoholic rehabs, etc. Today, I contacted eight locations connected to the Teen Challenge of New England. I have received 114 business names from the Taunton Commerce in the Industrial Park with names, addresses, tel. #'s, and the names of the owners. The girl who schedules the events at the Holiday Inn at the park, told me to call them back to see if they will sponsor me so I don't have to pay for an event introducing myself and what I can offer the employees of these owners. I found the names of all the Al-Anon meetings in the USA. These are the locations I'm going to contact, too.

I joined four other authors "Authors Without Borders," and we run three hour workshops individually, and discussion panels along with my speaking engagements. We just got scheduled with two schools to run our programs for their Night Courses for the Fall ....with Pay! We group together for 2 day Crafts shows to cut the price down 4 ways. Joining a group is smart. Run seminars together, help with the cost of events.

We are so proud...we self-published our first book together. Loose Ends came out last week by Infinity Publishing. They are all short stories by each of us. It's a small book that is afforable to introduce ourselves as writers. At first, I thought the authors were crazy wanting to do this, but honestly, I was shocked how we sold 10 books with our first craft show we attened at the Plymouth Waterfront down the Cape.

I was told by another author running a workshop that it takes about 5 years of continuous promoting to get known. I'm starting to get calls for speaking engagements. A library called me to talk a half hour and book sign. When we get calls, something is working.

Last week, I contacted an International book distributor and Anderson Merchandise who decides on which books to bring into Wal-Mart. Since I dropped PublishAmerica and went with Infinity Publishing, door are opening because my publisher is doing every single things to work with them; PublishAmerica wouldn't. They even send my two memoirs free to any book buyer or distributors to review and it saves me unbelievable money if I had to.

I don't mean to go on and on. I'm sure others who hear from me, take a deep sigh, but there really are ways to move ahead. Let me tell you, I've pushed, pushed and pushed to get here....and, I'm still not known.

By next year, I hope to do things out-of-state instead of just in my surrounding areas. Let us know what your book is about and maybe we can all give you ideas.

My book: Husbands, Wives, God is a Christian Marriage book that profiles principles gleaned from marriages in the Bible. There are millions of marriage books, but I have only found one other book to use this approach and that was written in 1978.

I am an Assistant Pastor, teacher at a seminary, Pastoral Counselor, etc... so I work about 80 hours a week and I average 1 wedding a month and 1 funeral a week - on top of being a husband and father to a 2 year old. On top of my schedule I have a little credibility issue - Most consider me young (39) to be know what I am talking about, I often tell of how the first couple I ever counseled was 2 weeks after my 3 wedding anniversary and they got married when I was in the 6th grade (over 30 years ago).

Of course my age and few years of marriage is the same thing that allows the book to resonate with those that have read it. What the readers or audiences often say is that they like that they are just getting the facts - more than a PhD or 30 years of experience but the timeless but relatable truths of couples from 1000's of years ago.

So I have my work cut out for me but I am learning and growing in how to market and reach those this book is for. I am building a following through guest webinar presentations and speaking. In a year I have sold 99% of my books via speaking engagements so I just have to keep going at it. I have 7 engagements from Sept - October

Thanks so much for your correspondence and I will be praying for you and your family!!

God Bless.
Hi Edward,

It sounds like you are on the right path to me. I agree on a high percentage of books selling at speaking engagments. I am busy myself Sept. through October. Wintertime, I do slow down because I'm not sure of the weather with our beautiful NE snowstorms.

Keep in touch. I love to hear when someone is doing well. I welcome prayers for Richie, Lori, Gary Lopes with our loss. Now Paula Lopes is in Brigham and Women's in Boston fighting for her life with alcohol abuse. She is my niece who was like my daughter.

Hi Ed,
Email me at alberta@ahealingheart. Tell my your book and I'll see if I can help.
Oh, thanks for this help. It does get tiring and sometime intimidating. I can't co-process very well so most of my time is still spent writing. But each day I'm trying to do some marketing, too. We can't let the Big Boys always have their say. ;>)
What’s working for me is setting up events where I have an audience. Also having an act when speaking to groups helps a great deal---for example, I write fiction, and instead of just reading the work, I turn it into a dramatization and get the audience to participate. The Call and Response method works great for me. This also helps me to sell myself as an entertainer.
Two weeks ago I did a book release party with a book club in DC. I ordered 100 copies of my book from my publisher and let the book club pre-sell Have Mercy. Since Have Mercy is an erotic thriller, part of the program included a lingerie fashion show. About 35 people showed up and when it was my turn, I put on a great show for my fans. The book club kept the remainder of the books and hand sold all of them for me.

During my book signing in Kalamazoo, MI I asked a local book club there to join me at walden books. I asked that they were their book club t-shirts and walk around the mall handing out my promo cards. They did this for me and for the first time, I got a crossover audience. The ladies, whom I’d known for three years told every woman in the mall what a great writer I was and they came over. Some purchased books while others were just curious.

I also write Y.A. fiction. What’s working for me there is dealing directly with high school librarians. They’re always looking for great books to purchase for their students. I also do creative writing workshops and publishing workshops. I charge a nominal fee for doing this plus I get the schools to order the books at a discount from my publisher.

In addition I have a special website for my Y.A audience and by staying in direct contact with them has helped because they tell their friends about the book and then get them to join my website. I have contests and prize giveaways for them.

However, even with all that I do, I still can’t get my sales numbers to sore the way I’d like them to. It’s a very very tough market out there and getting a name brand to stick without a large marketing budget is no easy task. However, this is my passion and no matter what, I’m going to keep moving forward.
Wow, Earl! Great work. You're right about working so hard. I was told it takes a good 5 years to get known "if you work at it constantly."

Getting the audience into your talk is wonderful. It's hard for me talking about alcoholism. My speaking engagements on the topic is good for rehabs, half-way homes, high schools and college. Now I'm trying to think of how to do the talks to grammar school kids, keep it to their level, and keep their attention.
I'll be thrilled when I discover this program.

Thanks for you information.
Yep, Earl's great when it comes to promotion! He's a solid name in the African-American genre by the way. He is an Essence Magazine Best Selling author so he knows what he speaks! LOL! We also had the same publisher, LOL.
When I worked for a book publisher, I learned that many good books are ten year projects. So just keep it up!
I have a friend who self-published his first novel and has sold, in the past 8 months, over 200 books in a local (not chain) restaurant. A check-out person said, "Here's how I see it working: people are waiting in line to check out. One starts thumbing through the book. The person behind him says, 'I read it. It's great!' The person buys it."

Outcome: Maybe we should take a harder look at local, non-bookstore possibilities for selling our books. After all, there's no competition with other books in that restaurant. If someone's just finished a book and is looking for the next read, voila!

I recommended that he try to place it in similar restaurants (locally owned, where lots of locals eat) in nearby towns. He can tell the owners, "It sold over 200 copies in this other restaurant, making them this much money." Businesses are looking for extra income these days. If he found 20 restaurants that could sell 300 per year, he'd sell 6,000 per year.
Neat. 200 copies of a novel in 8 months is more than most authors sell of a self-published novel.

Steve's recommendation to his friend is on target. If something is working for you, expand in that direction. Offer the same deal to more restaurants. Start local, then go regional.


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