Marketing it. Too many media outlets enjoy reporting on the negative and not on what people are doing to make a great change in today's society. When I wrote Sending You Sammy with the intent of making children and all of its readers healthy I thought my local newspaper would be knocking on my door for an interview. Turns out they don't think it's the right time to report on it!
Give me a break - every headline has something to do with our illiterate or unhealthy and obese children - when is a better time to report on what people are doing to help rid the nation of this?
@ Bill. Because Of The Competition For Example IPHONE, Kindle, The Fact That Now Anybody Can Self Publish A Book Buy Lots Of Copies Themselves Then Sell It On The Street. For Most Authors The Biggest Problem Is Actually Getting People To Buy A Book From A New Author. Any Way To All The Aspiring Authors I Found Something Which May Help.
50 Ways To Promote And Market A Book.
Here are 50 ideas I came up with:
Before You Start
Make Sure Your Book Will Be Relevant When It’s Finished
Sounds obvious but it’s not. One of my clients has just finished a book about investing in property. Not great timing!
Be Clear Why You are Writing a Book
There are lots of reasons for writing a book ranging from making as much money as you can to realising a childhood dream. Being clear about why you are doing it will influence how you market it. For example if it is to build personal credibility, you may not be as bothered about how much money it makes and be happy to give more away for free. If the book is your only income, free might not sound so great!
Is Your Audience Online?
Online marketing will be a fruitless exercise if your key target audience are not active internet users.
Six to Eight Months Before Launch
Create a Website Dedicated To The Book
A book should have a dedicated website preferably with the title being used as the domain name. If you can’t get the title try your/the author’s name. Three good book sites are:
Buyology by Martin Lindstrom
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
Multiple books by David Meerman Scott
Create a Blog Not Dedicated To The Book
Do you need a blog and a website? Yes, for several reasons. First your blog can be used to support multiple books, Second the blog will have a life after the book is off the shelves. Third you can use a blog to establish your credibility long before your book is launched. There are dozens of author blogs. Here are a few:
Seth Godin (probably the most populat author’s blog in the world!)
Collect Email Addresses Online
Start collecting email addresses six to eight months before launch. Your email list will be the best and fastest way to get word out about your new book. To get addresses offer a free chapter, a unique bonus chapter, discounts, extracts, input…whatever it takes
Collect Emails Offline
Whenever you go to an event, seminar or workshop collect business cards and email addresses. Remember to ask if you can add them to your email newsletter list
Create a Preview Book or Article
Chris Andersen wrote an article for Wired Magazine about his longtail theory six months before he released his book of the same name. By the time the book came out there was an educated audience desperate to know more
If your book involves doing interviews, record them and publish the best ones as free podcasts on your site, iTunes and other podcast sites
Ask For Feedback
Whilst writing your book continually ask your website visitors for feedback on the content. Promise to acknowledge all those who help in the book. All these people will feel they have been a part of the creative process so will be eager to spread the word when it launches
Create a List of The Most Important Bloggers and Websites
Create a list of all the most important bloggers and websites in your niche. Try to think of a way of getting them involved with creating the book. For example ask for quotes, do interviews, use them as case studies, etc.
Create a List of All the Most Important Journalists
List all the journalists in the world who might ne interested in your book. Think how you can them excited about its publication; get them to contribute, refer to their articles, interview them, etc
Create a List of Academics And Colleges
Are there any notable academics and colleges that teach about your niche? Make a list and send them free copies when the book is available
Distribute As You Write
As you complete chapters of your book, send extracts to people you quote or include for feedback. This will keep the project alive in their mind and hopefully looking forward to the completed book. James Caan provides some interesting and valuable business insights on his website
Get Testimonials and Endorsement
Endorsements and testimonials from personalities within your niche is worth its weight in gold. Build relationships early so these people trust you when you ask for their support
Twitter Interesting Facts And Articles
As you do your research you will be finding interesting facts and articles. Twitter them to your followers so they can get an idea of what you are thinking. Proactively try to build your Twitter followers
Setup a Twitter Search
Search for terms relevant to your book on Twitter. When comments come up join the conversation
Build A Community
I have mentioned a few ways of building a community (website, blog, Twitter), but there are dozens more. You should think about where your audience hang out and then use the best services to build your community. Think about MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, LinkedIn, etc. Start networking well before launch.
Don’t Waste Time On People Who Won’t Buy
I was recently asked to write an article for a real estate magazine about how real estate agents can use the internet for marketing. I was flattered by the editors kind words but halfway through the article I thought to myself real estate agents are not the target for anything I do. Why am I wasting my valuable time talking to them?
Associations and Societies
Approach any associations and societies whose audience is relevant to your book. How can you work together. Run a workshops, do a book signing, agree a co-promotion deal, speak at one of their events, write for their website or magazine?
Setup Google Alerts
Setup Google Alerts for your name, your book title, competitor’s names, competitive or complimentary book titles, etc. By following these alerts you can jump into the online conversation in a timely way
Create a ‘By Invitation Only’ Community
Seth Godin launched his latest book Tribes, by creating a private community for the people who pre-ordered it. Great idea (although most of don’t have the profile of Seth Godin)
Review All Publicity Material
If you are publishing through a publisher make sure you review all the marketing and promotion material before it goes out. You need the key messages to be consistent online and offline, and through all channels
The cover design and internal page layouts matter …..a lot. Publishers have professional teams to do this, but make sure you have your say. Self publishers find a book designer on eLance (www.elance.com). A good design is well worth the investment
Join the Book Marketing Network
The Book Marketing Network is a online community for authors and small publishers to share their knowledge and support each other. Lots of great ideas
Consider Publishing on WeBook.com
I haven’t used this site, but it has got quite good reviews. You can have your book reviewed, sold as download and if it becomes popular published. Go to www.webook.com
One Month Before Launch
Four Weeks to Make an Impression
If you are publishing through a big publisher your book will have about four weeks to produce significant sales. If it doesn’t, it will receive little marketing support going forward. Therefore your promotion efforts leading up to the launch could make the difference between success and failure
Create a Competition
Create a competition on your website with ten or more copies of the book as prizes. Send an email to all the people who entered but did not win offering them a discount
Offer the Book As a Prize
You should have a list of blogs and websites where you would like your book promoted. Offer the website owner one or more free copies as a competition prize.
Send Out Free Copies
Before the book is available send out free copies to all the journalists, bloggers and influencers. Warn them it’s coming by email and then stick a signed copy in the post.
Create a Slide Presentation
Create a slide presentation and publish it on SlideShare. Take a look at the slides created for Dan Pink’s new career advice book
Use Meetup.com To Find Relevant Groups
There is nothing like face-to-face book signings to create buzz and trust, but how do you find groups of interested people. Meetup.com is becoming a great source of finding niche groups
Prepare For Launch Day
You should pick one specific day for your launch and ensure a lot of activity is planned for this single day (email your list, publish some YouTube videos, send out press releases, announce competition winners, launch a competition, do a webinar, etc). Hopefully a lot of activity will create momentum.
Create and Post Videos
Create and post videos on all the main video sites. Make sure the videos are under ten minutes so they get published on YouTube. I use TubeMogus.com to hit a lot of sites all at once. The videos can be a book tour, interviews, book extracts, etc
Say Something Controversial
If your book takes a controversial stand point start an online debate before you launch. Blog, write guest articles for other sites, go on forums and Twitter.
Amazon Sales On The Same Day
This is hard to achieve, but if you can get a large number of buyers all to purchase from Amazon on the same day this will increase the books ranking and get it higher up on the search results page. If you can do this blitz on a quiet trading day such as Thanksgiving or Christmas Day the impact will be all the greater
Book Cover Images
Get some images of your book cover and post them on Flickr, PhotoBucket and other photo gallery websites. Make sure you choose the tags carefully to reflect the subject
Give away the first chapter of your book for free as a downloadable pdf. At the beginning and end of the chapter add a summary of the rest of the book to encourage the reader to buy. Encourage people to share it.
Publish the Content Page
Publish the content page on your website with a brief overview about each chapter. Make sure the page is optimised for the search engines. It may also be worth having a printable version
“What Questions Do You Have …Maybe I Have Answered Them?”
Create a post on your website which lists many of the questions that you have answered in your book. For example if your book is about professional blogging:
How much does a blogger earn?
What are the most important revenue streams for a blogger?
What blog subjects make the most money?
Online Virtual Book Tour
It is very expensive to do a nationwide or international book tour, but it’s cheap to do one online. Do a series of free webinars that people can dial in and listen to you talking about the book. Record them and publish them on your website or on specialist websites like Ask Database
Harvey Mackay’s “WE GOT FIRED”
Joe Vitale’s “THE ATTRACTOR FACTOR”
Mark Victor Hanson & Robert Allen’s “CRACKING THE MILLIONAIRE CODE”
T. Harv Eker’s “SECRETS OF THE MILLIONAIRE MIND”
Mireille Guilano’s “FRENCH WOMEN DON’T GET FAT”
Online Questions And Answers
Once the early buyers have had a chance to read the book offer to run a series of free conference calls where people can ask you questions. To avoid a free for all ask for questions to be submitted via email before the call
Encourage Amazon Reviews
When you send out free copies ask the recipients to publish their positive reviews in Amazon. On your website ask people who liked your book to do the same. And again with anyone who sends you a positive testimonial
Arrange Interviews With Top Bloggers
By now you should have a list of all the top bloggers for your niche. Offer the opportunity for them to do an interview with you. Its good content for their sites and great publicity for you
Keep Copies With You All The Time
An author friend of mine sat next to a senior IBM executive on a short flight from London to Paris. They got chatting and he ended up giving him a copy of his newly published book. A week later he received an order for 100 copies! Always have a few books with you; you never know who you’re going to meet
Deliver On Your Promises
Make sure you deliver on your promises. If you offered free copies send them. If you offered interviews, do them. If you said you would mention a contributor, mention them. You don’t want unhappy people in the blogosphere just after launch!
Copy Amazon Reviews
Create a section on your website called, “What People Are Saying On Amazon”. Copy the best reviews on to your site.
If you get speaking opportunities at conferences, seminars, universities, etc always ask the organiser if you can set up a stand to sell your books at the event. Better still ask the event organiser if they will buy a copy to give to each attendee
Get Some Cheeky Photos
Tim Ferriss (Four Hour Work Week) tells the story of how he took some of his books into a Borders, placed then prominently on a shelf and took some photos which he published on his website. A cheeky trick for self publishers!
This list is just scratching the service. You won't be able to do everythingh so pick a few ideas and get creative to make yout book stand out from the crowd.
I quickly discovered most of what people believed (including me) about publishing is just not true. There are so many myths, it’s astonishing. The three most prevalent are:
Myth #1: The best place to sell books is in bookstores. This is completely false! While bookstores certainly can and should have a role, they are not the best place at all. The fact is, only one out of seven people each year go to a bookstore to buy a book!
Indeed, for many books bookstores are often the worst place to sell them. Plus, with the hassles and delay in payment (average 181 days to get your money) it's often not worth it.
I’ll show you how to market by direct mail, space ads, Internet, specialty markets and many other offbeat ways and sell books like crazy. For example, I earn an average of $6,974.15 profit each month from the Internet on just one of my books I wrote 6 years ago (now an e-book).
Myth #2: You have to be a great writer to have a successful book. False too. Publishing is not writing. Publishing is the business that makes money from the written word. Publishing approached correctly can be a very, very profitable business.
There is at least one great book in every human being. However, many fine best-selling books (including three of my own) are ghostwritten by others. I’ll show you how to find the best ones (at surprisingly low cost) if you don’t want or don’t have the time to write it yourself.
Myth #3: A good publisher will market your book for you. This is also completely false. Conventional publishers only distribute books. They do little or nothing to market them effectively. You, the author, must market the book. That’s precisely why you should at least explore self-publishing. Since you have to market it yourself anyway, you may decide to keep 100% of the revenue rather than the paltry 5-15% royalty a publisher will pay you. If you can find one at all.
It’s getting tougher and tougher to find a publisher as a new author. More and more authors are turning to self-publishing in order to land a top publishing deal. It’s often necessary to prove sales of 5,000 to 10,000 copies in order to get a publisher’s attention.
That’s the reason many books which landed on best-seller lists were first self-published, including: , Conversations with God, What Color is Your Parachute and The Erroneous Zones.
I have spent my whole life in Marketing and Advertising and was for many years Group Advertisement Manager for Scholastic UK. My biggest problem was always destined to be one of finance. After paying for my book publishing package I was left with just 40 or so copies to send out. Also my first book could have been much improved with an additional complete edit, which I was unable to finance. As a result I ran with what I had which was a great kids story but with some spelling and gramatical errors.Although the book can be browsed throughout the world(its cover and for sale options), there have been no takers to date which is upsetting. And although I am in the midst of writing a second book in the series and an additional historial fiction work, my determination has been dampened of late and I feel unable to continue until my initial work gets some reward! There has been one brief but positive review from Midwest Book Review on line and I am certain with more exposure things will improve. Thank goodness for sites like this! Thank you for your interest Bill etc. Mark Wetherby.
It does take a lot of work, persistence and determination to get sales happening, especially with children's books I find. It's challenging to decide on who to market to - parents who do the buying, kids who do the asking or teachers who do the recommending. Unless you're already known it's hard to even get books on the shelves for kids to grab them and demand to take them home which is how most books get home for children.
Keep going though, Mark. I would suggest revising your book to get the spelling and grammatical errors fixed and use the 40 you have as limited edition or review copies. It's disheartening to have so many bad books out there (not to say yours is "bad"). The books that teach the wrong lessons by the famous authors need to take second shelf to the ones that tell a great story to get some new authors on the scene.
If I might make a couple suggestions. I too have a serious problem with grammar and spelling due to cultural upbringing, (deep Ozarks) and a few other problems such as poor vision, but having confessed to my sinful condition, I must offer a bit of advice. My books have errors, but they are few. All books have errors and some are many, but you can find some pretty good help for free or at least at a not to expensive cost by checking with recommended students from your local college. I use two such people, I should say I used two such people, they have both graduated and are still working on my books as editors. They are not free any longer, but now that the books are making money, they do get paid and pretty well if I say so myself.
Now, having given that bit of information, I might like to add that one of the most important things we as authors can do is write good books for young people. Challenging books, with good examples and proper lessons on the values of life, and since we are teaching and training with our books, these books should be offered with proper spelling and good grammar. Few of us are perfect, but what we do might make the difference in some one's life. If you love what you are doing, keep it up and you will get better as you go along. I have been writing for over thirty years and published for that time and I can assure you that I have learned a lot along the way.
Absolutely. You can never, or very rarely, pick up a book and not find something you would have written differently or "better". It erks me when those who can afford to hire many many editors and they still publish errors but to err is human, right. And in novels especially, we all know our way around words and can get over the errors but when we're putting books out for children who are still learning it's most important to put out quality.
Take the hit in your finances - if it's a story you need to tell, one that needs to be heard get it out there and let the world know about it. Everything will work itself out.
I get a lot of free help with editing. With my last book on personal finance, I would go through each chapter many times, then give it to my wife to make corrections (she's good with the big picture) then to my mom (the comma queen), then to people who are good with finances, people who are interested in the topic and owe me one (my auto insurance agent), etc. I found that each has a different angle - some of which contradict - but it's great to get people's input.
Writers groups can also be great - we all edit each others stuff. Great for those of us who try to get by as cheaply as possible.
So, by the time I paid an editor to go through it, most of the details had been caught.
I too like colleges to find good, cheap help. At our local university, faculty as expected to do something in the community and they report what they do to their superiors. So I got a great cover design from a graphic arts professor for about $250. She enjoyed doing it and I got a great deal. The same can go with editing.
J. Steve Miller
President, Legacy Educational Resources
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
Createspace is very good. a little slow at times, but I have five books with them now, one out two weeks ago and prior to when Booksurge became Createspace I put out five more. No problem, great people, simple program, lots of help and Allison Brown my contact person is fantastic. She may still be on her honeymoon, but as soon as she gets back give her a call. 1 877 814 3488 ex8134 or you can send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I will copy this note to let her know you need a good, hardworking, honest and always pleasant young lady to work with.