The Most Important Word in Book Marketing

A small town near where I live does a big spread in the county newspaper every December with ads from all the stores under the headline, “Shop Locally.” A nice sentiment, but that’s all it is. Why? There is no “because.” The merchants give no one a reason to shop locally. If they said the prices were lower, the merchandise unique, the stores specially decorated, or even that the clerks were friendly, people would be more willing to spend their Christmas dollars in those places, but as it is, all the merchants are saying is “shop here” and nothing more.

“Because” is the most important word in marketing, and that goes for books, too. You tell your friend, “You have to read this book because . . .” Without a because, the plea to read is just that, an empty plea.

Nonfiction is easy. “You have to read this book because it tells you how you can get rid of that big lump on your neck without cutting off your head.” (Okay, a silly example, but you get the point.) Fiction is harder. Saying, “buy my book because it’s a romance like every other romance you’ve ever read only different,” might work. But what if you don’t have a romance?

Two of my novels are being released next month by Second Wind Publishing, and I’ve been trying to figure out the becauses.

Buy More Deaths Than One because . . .

Buy A Spark of Heavenly Fire because . . .

And that’s as far as I got. My books don’t easily fit into a genre, which is the type of book I like, but when it comes to selling them, it’s a drawback. So I have to look to the story to find the because.

More Deaths Than One: Bob Stark returns home after 18 years in Southeast Asia to discover that the mother he buried before he left is dead again. He attends her funeral and sees himself married to his college girlfriend. Is his other self a hoaxer or a doppelganger, or is something more sinister going on? Even worse, two men who appear to be government agents are hunting him for no reason that he can fathom. With the help of a Kerry Casillas, a baffling young woman Bob meets in a coffee shop, he uncovers the unimaginable truth.

A Spark of Heavenly Fire: In quarantined Colorado, where hundreds of thousands of people are dying from an unstoppable disease called the red death, insomniac Kate Cummings struggles to find the courage to live and to love. Her new love, investigative reporter Greg Pullman, is determined to discover the truth behind the red death at all costs, until the cost – Kate’s safety – becomes more than he can pay.

The because is in there somewhere. I just have to find it.

Writer Cliff Burns Talks About Book Promotion

When I asked Cliff Burns, author of So Dark the Night, if he’d like to guest host my blog, he responded that he’d rather have a discussion. I was thrilled. I enjoy talking about writing, but even more than that, I love learning how other writers approach the craft. This is the book promotion part of the discussion.

BERTRAM: is possible to become an author people will read even without the “help” of corporate publishing?  

BURNS: I self-published my first book back in 1990 — it sold out its print run in less than 5 months and earned praise from various reviewers, as well as Governor-General Award-winning writer Timothy Findley. I started my blog, “Beautiful Desolation” 18 months ago and since then I have ceased submitting work to other venues — my work (including 2 novels) now goes directly to my blog and I’ve never been happier. Corporate publishing is dying, the profit margins aren’t big enough and soon the Big Boys will be dumping their publishing arms. The new technologies allow writers to have access to readers around the world — I only wish this stuff had been around ten years ago, it would have saved me a lot of frustration and fury. Kindle? E-books? POD? Why not? Anything that allows the writer to get a bigger slice of the pie is all right with me… 

BERTRAM: How did you promote your self-published book in 1990? What would you do differently today?

BURNS: That was my book Sex & Other Acts of the Imagination and a lot has changed since then. For one thing there are far fewer independent bookstore and those were the folks who sold the lion’s share of Sex. I took copies with me everywhere I went–Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto–approached every indie bookstore I could and sold them (usually on consignment). The vast majority of those book stores are gone now, sad to say. Sex cost $3000 to publish, my second collection, The Reality Machine, cost $6000 in 1997. Nowadays print-on-demand might save me some money–that’s something I’m looking into, likely using Lulu.com. Can’t quote you any price for that (as yet) but I’ll be using my blog and the vast reach of the internet to spread the word..

BERTRAM: Is there one website more than another that brings you readers? Any suggestions for authors just starting to promote?

BURNS: Hmmm . . . well, I try to reach out to sites that discuss writing and publishing and I have a RedRoom authors page. I comment on a lot of blogs, replying to posts that amuse or annoy me for one reason or another. My blog, Beautiful Desolation, is my primary promotional venue, to tell the truth. I’m also on LibraryThing, a place where bibliophiles can hang out and chat. They don’t encourage “blog-pimping” (a term I loathe, by the way), which is ridiculous because often I’ve written a lengthy post on “Beautiful Desolation” regarding a point under discussion. So I refer people to the post anyway and slap down anyone who dares accuse me of self-promotion.

BERTRAM:  It seems to me that this is one of the best times to try to peddle a book because of all the online resources, such as blogging and discussion forums. It also seems as if this is one of the worst times because of the hundreds of thousands of “writers” looking for readers. (Some of those so-called writers are barely literate.) I’m hoping that someone like me who is willing to do the work to promote can reap the rewards.

BURNS:  Yes, everyone can claim to be a writer these days and the new technologies allow people to publish their crap, regardless of the quality of their work. How do we separate the wheat from the chaff? I chose to publish on-line, I chose the “indie” life because I detest the notion of anyone having control or input re: my writing. Some folks who don’t like me would say I’m doing it my way because I’m not good enough for traditional publishing. I say the quality of the work wins out in the end and I’m willing to let readers decide if my work is worth reading. But the surfeit of bad writing on-line drags down the professional status and quality of craftsmanship of those of us who struggle mightily to compose good work. I implore potential readers to use their critical thinking skills and don’t lump us all together.

Writing Discussion with Cliff Burns — Part I

Writing Discussion with Cliff Burns — Part II

Writing Discussion with Cliff Burns — Part III

Writing Cover Copy and Book Bios

Reprinted from Dog Ear Publishing.

Well, it’s not exactly book “design” so to speak – but it is all part of your cover and the initial impression your reader will have about your book. It’s also the world’s smallest space for getting a potential reader to turn into a sold purchaser. You need to grab your target customer’s attention and MAKE THEM BUY… all in two paragraphs or less… and you thought writing your book was tough – creating less than 300 words of copy from a 100,000-word manuscript is difficult to say the least- there is so much you want to say!

On virtually every traditionally published book, the exciting and graceful words working their magic on the back covers of books weren’t written by the author, but by a copywriter. Like any creative endeavor, Copywriting is a skill and craft all unto itself. This isn’t to say, however, that you can’t be extremely successful writing your own back cover copy – it just presents it’s own unique challenges.

The words on the cover of your book are intended to offer a brief description of the book that will hook your reader into your story and motivate them to open the pages and buy your books. It is also a good area to highlight any reviews a book may have received, as well as promote you – the author.

First – Read the cover copy on other books in your genre.

Go to the bookstore or a library, pick up books in your genre, and read the cover copy. Take a friend so that you can ask them why they liked certain books. Compare the writing side by side on several books, watching how they build the case for each book – what information they reveal, and that which they keep hidden. You’ll see some books that really grab your attention (and ENGAGE you!) – write down the titles, what you think makes their cover copy successful, and how well the writing on the cover is representative of the impression about the book you get from looking at the cover. Now – think of ways to apply it to your own book. Pay attention to how few words really get to show up on the cover.

Second – Have a friend write a description of your book.

Tell your friend about your book – then have them read it. Get them to write a quick description of your book – highlighting elements within your book that they found most enjoyable. This may give you a new set of ideas about what is or is not important in your self published book.

Third – “KISS” – or Keep It Simple Silly – it’s about the quality, not quantity.

The best promotional and cover copy doesn’t cover every character, scene, plot twist, or feature of your book. Remember this – the goal of your promotional copy is to ENGAGE your reader, CREATE a desire to buy your book, and DELIVER a brief summary of your book. It’s about being descriptive without being all-inclusive and cumbersome, engaging but not exaggerated. Your cover text should complement your book – but never, ever over or understate what your book will do for the reader.

Fourth – Borrow from your own work.

Sometimes it can be very effective (not to mention efficient) to just use passages from within your book. If you’re having trouble cutting your epic novel down into a few brief paragraphs, then skim your manuscript looking for paragraphs to excerpt. Remember that this is most effectively used if you have strong content that can be taken out of context and still make sense. Place the passage in quotes and underneath the quote identify the passage as having come from your book.

Fifth – Got Reviews?

Someday you’ll have lot’s of great reviews – if you happen to have any of them at this point in your career, then by all means, put at least one of those reviews on your cover! Pull the most complimentary sentence or two from the review(s) and put them in quotes on the back cover (or front cover if you have room).

Sixth – Brag a little!

Readers are curious folks – and they want to hear about you as an author. For fiction or other more fanciful works, tell the reader a little about your background (especially parts that may be relevant to your story) and if you have published any other works. On the covers of nonfiction books – you need to establish yourself as an expert in your topic – list your success, affiliations, or even degrees if it’s important.

It will take some time to get your copy written – especially if this is your first time. A couple more suggestions – look at your work as impartially as possible, try to identify features that set your book apart, try to visualize how the copy will look on the jacket and back cover of your book, and last – keep it short.

Your promotional copy is meant to give the reader an emotional connection to you and your book – as well as motivate them to BUY it -don’t neglect this often overlooked (and so very important) communication tool for your book.

(reprinted from http://www.dogearpublishing.net)

How To Advertise Yourself as an Author

A. F. Stewart is a writer of fantasy stories and poetry. Stewart has been writing for several years, periodically interrupted by those pesky events called life. Stewart has three published books: one volume of poetry, a short story collection and a non-fiction booklet about action movies. All are currently available at Lulu.com 

Here are Stewart’s free or cheap marketing wisdoms for marketing a book online:

1. Get a Website: An essential selling tool. You can sell your books directly from the site via links, or you can set up a store of your own. (It can be done, there are helpful sites that show you how).
There are plenty of free, or inexpensive hosting sites that you can use for your site. I went with Bravenet.com; you get some nice free website add-ons, such as hit counter, guestbook, email forms, etc. If you would like a look at my site here it is: Afallon Website

2. Get an Online Press Kit: You need to sell yourself and your book. This is an excellent way to do it. Create a bio, book list, post your reviews, press releases and any other promotional stuff.

3. Join the online social networking: Get your presence as an author out on the World Wide Web. Join Squidoo, MySpace, Facebook, Gather.com, AuthorsDen, or any other writing form that suits your needs.

4. Promotional freebies: It is not to difficult to create your own brochures or flyers, (using a program such as Powerpoint), that you can make available for a free download. And a definite must is a downloadable Media Kit for your book.

5. Book Trailer: You can get a professionally done book trailer, (if you look there are inexpensive options) or do your own. Windows Movie Maker can be use to make an interesting promo with some imagination.

6. Write Articles: Excellent way to spread your name as a writer. There are plenty of places to post them for free.

7. Get a Blog: Write your opinions, your experiences, post excerpts from your books, write online stories, whatever.

Trying to market your books, and make a name for yourself as an author can be tough, especially if you self-publish. And it can be expensive, if you listen to all the big marketing companies. They are loads of sites that try to sell you on their new and improved, breakthrough system, guaranteed to get you sales or bring traffic to your website. Maybe they can, but they usually cost hundreds of dollars.
So, I went looking for free advertising. And, yes you can find it, but you get what you pay for. I tried some of the free classifieds, the ads where you put code in your website, places where you can add banners, the advertising forums; basically a waste of time. Skip the freebie advertising.
Now for the free stuff that does seem to work.

Advertising your Website:

1. Put the URL in as many places as you can: on your blog, social networking sites, press releases, emails, media kits, website guestbooks, generally anything that goes public. And don’t forget to put it in your books.

2. Get in the search engines. Submit to Google, Yahoo, DMOZ, etc. Submit manually or use free search engine submission. Just keep in mind the free search engine submission sites also have pay versions and will try to sell you on those. Free bulk submission is easier, but I have found free manual submissions work better.

3. Get indexed by Google and Yahoo. You have to be indexed to use their helpful website monitoring tools.

4. Get Links. One useful way is link exchange. Link Market is an excellent free link exchange site, and you can pick and choose who goes on your site. And do not put just any link on your website, make sure they relate to your site in some way.

5. Submit your URL to free directories. You will have to this manually, but get it out there. Do a Search, and find those directories. There are several niche directories to which you can add your website.

6. Advertise your website with a free press release. Tell the world that you exist, and what you are all about. If you would like to see an example, my press release can be viewed here: Press Release

7. Hold a contest. I’ve created several contests and posted all on Grandma Jam’s Sweepstakes Guide to advertise. I got interest, and website traffic.
My Contest Page

8. Join webrings. Find rings that pertain to your website and join. It gets you on Google.

9. Join one of those online bookmark sites, and add your own website. I’ve joined del.icio.us and Stumble.

And if you have a special site, or preview page, for your book, make certain to list it in the directories and search engines as well. Also add to your online bookmarks.

Setting Up Author Events and Book Signings

This article was reprinted with permission from Dog Ear Publishing.

We all have at one time or another had the fantasy of our books being absolutely indispensable to readers – and that our genius is immediately recognizable even without the benefit of creating awareness or self-promotion. Well, for some very famous authors this may be true – but then again, publishers still spend millions of dollars promoting even the greatest writers’ books. Having your book recognized for the high quality endeavor that it is, and selling some in the process, really is ALL about an awareness of both you as an author and your book. One of the hard truths of the self-publishing industry is that authors must work diligently to create a market for their books – and all without the multi-million dollar budgets of the big publishers.

Author Events are the primary vehicle for the self-published author to get out and meet the public, and they can be your ticket to both sales and increased publicity – all thanks to your local retail outlet. This article will be your quickstart guide to developing and setting up winning Author Events and Book Signings.

Follow the steps outlined below, and you’ll find yourself scheduling more effective (and enjoyable) events, selling more books, and reaching more readers than ever before.

1 – Research the target locations

Keep in mind that sometimes (more often than not as a matter of fact) the best place to sell books ISN’T in a bookstore. Craft book? What about hobby or fabric stores? Cookbook? What about a local gourmet shop? Business or finance book? Any local seminars coming up that you could “piggyback” with? History or historical fiction? How about your local historical society functions?

Each bookstore has a specific focus, clientele and “ambiance” that contribute to its success. These traits are determined by the store’s location, the inventory focus, the personality of the manager and her or his team, and the appearance and atmosphere of the store itself – and these factors drive what products sell within this store. Make sure ALL of these factors support YOUR topic and your book. For example – a store focusing on children wouldn’t be the place to pitch your latest investment strategy guide…

Start local before you go global. You’ll have the most success where you have the greatest chance of being recognized.

Each and every venue you discover will have has specific presentation opportunities and needs. Make sure you understand where author events are typically held within the store, and what area is available for your presentation. Find out who is in charge of coordinating author events and get to know them – get on their mailing list of events so you can see what the store is typically presenting to their customers. Ask them what they want in an author. Match their needs and wants to what you have to offer, and don’t waste each other’s time by forcing your book to fit their world.

2 – Be absolutely professional in requesting an event

It’s almost funny how many authors begin to think that just because they put pen to paper they deserve to be treated like royalty. Respect the store managers – you need them far more than they need you, keep your ego in check, ask them if you can present your idea for an author event and ASK FOR THEIR FEEDBACK. They will be far more inclined to want you in their store if they feel involved and invested in your success – it doesn’t mean make them do your work, but use their experience and knowledge to make your event a success (they probably know their customers better than you do…).

Create and use the best possible marketing materials – build a professional media kit that includes a press release, reviews, articles on topic that support book (both your own and other sources), a print out of your cover, a poster, postcards, author bio, author photo, marketing info and calendar showing other events. Send this rather large packet of goodies to the appropriate person at the store – you should have this person’s name from your research phase. NEVER send a media kit to a generic address – I guarantee you are better off having NOT sent anything.

3 – Help drive attendance (and thereby book sales)

Author Events really have only one goal as far as the store is concerned – get more people into the store and spending money. It isn’t a public service. Let the manager and events coordinator know what you can do to help drive customers to the store – as I said, an author event is designed to sell books and boost bookstore attendance, if all you are doing is capitalizing on customers already in the store – what value is your signing to the store?

There are lots of ways you can help the store bring more faces to your event:
– provide a mailing list to the store to which they can mail their newsletter with an announcement of your event
– offer to mail / email info about your signing to THEIR list, or provide materials they can send to their list (they may not want you having total access to their customer list — which may violate some privacy/spam requirements)
– help drive media coverage of your event – local papers, radio, etc – by sending them a press release announcing your event. Ask the manager about what forms of advertising they prefer you use and which work best for their store
– call the local paper the week before your event and ask if they’ll send a local editor or cameraman over for your event

The goal is to coordinate and cooperate – combining your efforts with those of the store will far more than double your results

4 – Create an interesting presentation or performance – tailored for each store you visit

It’s not just about sitting at a table and hoping that your signature will create interest and sell books. In today’s multimedia, multimodal, multimessage world, sitting and chatting to prospective readers won’t get you much interest.

Don’t just ask for a signing – think about what else can you do to draw traffic into the store. Is there a tie in with your book that you can use to create interest? Any current events that make your book timely? Be highly creative – think outside the box – got a cookbook? bring prepared food and teach the group how to make one of your recipes; got a fiction story? dress up like a character and do a reading or re-create one of the scenes; conduct a “seminar”; offer advice… whatever it takes to draw NEW customers into the store. It’s not enough to just capitalize on the traffic that is already there – that doesn’t make the storeowner any more invested in your success, and most of those people aren’t there to buy your book anyway.

5 – Remember the details of selling books

Don’t neglect the details of inventory and actually selling books – and remember that for you, the goal is as much about author awareness as it is selling books. Good awareness can contribute to an additional 50 to 75% of your event book sales. Remember these things:
– You need to have books in the store for your event, so help the store get a good deal on stocking 10 to 30 units and make sure they are in-stock before your event. Offer extra units at a good discount — if they buy direct from you and pass along some savings to the customer. Consider consignment – though only as a last resort.
– Make sure you understand the store’s stocking policy for author events. Will they bring in extra inventory for the promotional period surrounding your event?  Do they keep extra after the event? (don’t be surprised if they only keep a few… be prepared to have some returns). How long will they keep you in inventory?
– Ask the store manager then if they’d like you to autograph the remaining copies. 

6 – Tie in callback or side opportunities

Can you schedule another appearance while you are there? It’s a long shot, but often worth a try. (However, don’t advertise your “next appearance” at your current event, or people will put off buying your book.) Does the store have multiple locations at which you can conduct additional events?

Make sure you get the names of your attendees – ask them to fill out cards to receive your newsletter (you have one, right?)

7 – After Event follow up

– send a “thank you” note to the store
– ask for their feedback
– ask to schedule another event (though this is a long shot) – or be part of an event that the store may be sponsoring or in which it may be involved (a community event or even another author event)
– keep in contact with the key person at the store – by visiting in person once a month or so (the best) or call / email
– send a complimentary note to the store’s district manager or corporate home office about the event

Never ever underestimate the power of an author appearance – most stores need for events that can help drive additional customers to their store. Try to hit weekends, but remember that weeknights are good for many topics. Concentrate on what helps bring customers in to the store and you will be more successful that presenting an event that only draws on the traffic already present. Decide carefully where you prospect for events – make sure that what you offer (and the topic of your book) suit the needs of the store. It’s always easier to start local and then move outwards in radiating circles – this gives store personnel the chance to have actually heard about you from other sources.

Follow these simple steps and you will find yourself scheduling more events and conducting them more successfully – creating even greater demand for you in future events.

In a nutshell:

1. Research, research, and research – don’t waste your time on stores that aren’t a fit just because they’ll let you in the door.
2. Create an interesting “EVENT”. Presentations sell more than “visitations” – people will be more interested in you and your book if you entertain or inform (so will the store manager). Don’t just expect to sit around, chat, and sell books.
3. Be absolutely professional – provide all the detail they could ever dream of having about you, your book, and why they should care.
4. Gather review and blurbs from all possible sources
5. Show them what you can do for their store. Present ideas on driving more traffic to their location.
6. Tie in side opportunities
7. Don’t forget the details of selling books
8. Make everyone glad you were there

An incomplete checklist of setting up your event:

1. Research & Identify target stores

2. Create marketing materials

3. Contact store managers in person or phone, then follow up with materials – remember to have your ISBN on hand – this is how they look items up with the greatest ease

4. Get all the store info on a single sheet – address, phone number, manager’s name and direct line, event coordinator (if there is one), all the emails you need – including a contact at their corporate home office or a district manager if you can

5. Prepare materials you will bring:
a. Two Posters – glued or bonded to a hard backing so that it stands up – if you aren’t handy and can make this as professional as possible, go to a craft shop or frame shop and have them do it
b. Post cards about your book to hand out
c. Bookmarks – put one in each book in the store (and leave them there even after you leave)
d. Author bio sheet with picture in plastic frame
e. Easel to stand one of your posters on

6. Ask store to stock some copies of your book at the register along with your bookmarks

7. Offer to do a Press Release or announcement about the signing for the store

8. Bring book easels to set 3 or 4 books on – or borrow some from the store

9. In-store — don’t sit behind your table, get into the crowd!

10. Be Happy! You are there to share something special with the audience – and they are there to support you and listen to your ideas. Remember – they came to your event voluntarily. They WANT to be there!

11. Put a bookmark or card in every single copy of your book in the store

12. Hand a book to everyone you can – ask them to browse through it, take it to table and read it, or even show them your favorite passage. Just getting them to TOUCH the book will increase your sales dramatically

13. Put articles of interest (on your topic of course) on your table – generate conversation with them

14. Take pictures of your event – have a friend or store associate photo you ‘in action’ at the table. One shot posed, one shot candid, one with the store manager and/or events coordinator – send this one to the store with your thank you note (maybe you could suggest they start posting author signing photos in the store??)

Nothing can guarantee a great book signing – but not being prepared CAN guarantee a lousy one. Follow these steps and tips, and your next event will not disappoint. Good luck!

If you like this information (and found it helpful) please feel free to post it on your site, put it in a blog, toss it in your newsletter, or in general spread it around. Please just give us credit here at www.dogearpublishing.net

May you have success in your creative efforts!

Ray

When is the Best Time to Start Promoting Your Book?

In an online discussion about writing, one participant asked when was the best time to start promoting. As I was responding, it suddenly dawned on me I had a blog post!

So, when is the best time to start publicizing your book? At least year before you even sign a contract. Better yet, two years or even three. All the research says if you wait until you’re published, it’s too late since it takes three years for a book to take hold. (The traditional book publishers cheat new authors when they give them a mere six weeks to make or break.) Book promotion isn’t like selling gardening hoses, where you simply have a product to sell. In book promotion, the product is you, not your book. And it’s about name recognition. So start a blog — talk about your writing, your hopes, your successes and failures. Post scenes for critique. Get readers involved in the process, so that when you do sign a contract, they feel as if they have a stake in your book and, as writes, we know that to hook a reader, they must have something at stake.

One reason why so many fail at blogging is that most bloggers do not get the feedback that one gets on places like Gather who award points for participation, because blog readers have no reason to comment. But the stats can show you if people are looking.

Another reason why blogs fail is that the bloggers don’t give them a chance. It takes a year, maybe two or even three to build up a base of readers and a library of articles. People read about the blogs that get millions of readers and expect the same, but those blogs are a miniscule minority.

Facebook is another place where you can start your pre-publicity publicity by gaining “friends.” It takes a long time to build up a name there, but it’s mostly about connecting with anyone you can, posting notes (articles), updating your status frequently, setting up an rss feed so your blog is automatically posted, participating occasionally in a group discussion.

Also, you can join one of the library cataloguing places like librarything or goodreads. Catalog your books, talk about reading, connect with others who share your likes and dislikes. 

There are many things a writer can do to publicize long before a book is even finished, and if done right, no one will know you are promoting. Which is the point of guerilla marketing. Sneak in under their guard.

So, one to three years before a contract (or an agent) is even a gleam in your eye is the best time to start promoting. What’s the second best time? Today.

Guerilla Book Marketing

This article was reprinted with permission from Dog Ear Publishing.

Guerilla marketing is the art of promoting your book in ways that revolve around ingenuity rather than money. An author’s work on their book does not stop when the writing is done. It is entirely likely that you will spend more time promoting your book than you actually did writing it. The key is to learn how to promote your book effectively without either wasting your time or going broke in the process. You need to find the promotional efforts that will deliver the most bang for the buck.

This is where you turn to Guerilla Marketing.

The term “guerrilla marketing” was created by Jay Conrad Levinson author of a series of books on the subject. The idea is to make as large of an impact as possible without spending tremendous amounts of money. Guerilla marketing goes deeper than just selling books, it’s about how to create you and your book as a brand – it how you conduct your daily life, interact with potential readers, and build relationships with interested (and interesting) parties. Marketing is really EVERYTHING you do, done on a REGULAR basis. From the title of your book, to the name of your website, to the signature line at the bottom of your emails – all are part of guerilla marketing.
 
Think about how you have thought about promoting your book – or even the services or products you’ve considered purchasing to help in the promotion of your book – on which side of this chart do they fall? Do the ideas or materials you’ve thought about work for you, or will you have to work for them to get sales? As Peter Drucker has said, “The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.” Few authors relish the thought of becoming sales people. So don’t – become guerilla marketers!

Here’s a short list of ideas that will help you build an inexpensive, yet very effective and profitable guerilla marketing campaign for your book.

Guerilla Tactic #1- Stop making the booksellers and wholesalers rich – get a web site and shopping cart. Continuously giving away 40, 50, or 55% on your books just destroys your profit. Your book MUST be available through all the “traditional” outlets, but it doesn’t mean they are the only outlets.

Guerilla Tactic #2: Create a newsletter or e-zine centered around the topic / genre of your book. This will bring “like-minded” readers to your site and build awareness of you and your book.

Guerilla Tactic #3: Send postcards to everyone you can think of who might be interested in your book. You’d be surprised to discover the effectiveness of direct mail.

Guerrilla Tactic #4: Get involved in the online communities that deal with your topic / genre. Participate in newsgroups and forum. Present unique ideas or fresh perspective – but be cautious of “spamming” the group about your book. Update your signature line in your email with your book title and web address.

Guerrilla Tactic #5: Offer to give speeches to companies, schools or organizations about your field of expertise. You can hand out business cards or brochures at most events.

Guerrilla Tactic #6: Present readings or discussion groups at your local library, school, community events, business gatherings and even nursing homes. The goal is to expose readers to what you have to offer.

Guerrilla Tactic #7: Find a way to get in the news – get Press Releases about you and your book to your local paper and radio stations. Create a perception of “newsworthiness” by presenting yourself as an expert on your topic or genre.

Guerrilla Tactic #8: Become a resource – if you’ve written fiction, review books in your genre, business expert? Serve as a resource to your local media. Reporters work under horrendous deadlines, and occasionally they may need something to go to press quickly and your story might just be at hand.

Guerrilla Tactic #9: Give something away – at your reading, give away a book or two. Post your favorite chapter on the web. If your book is non-fiction, offer a service. Target your giveaway to the intended audience.

Guerrilla Tactic #10: Above all, be creative – do the things that no one else is doing. Our author Jillian Curtis did a reading of her book – and her son offered to dress up like the main character!

Have fun -and make sure others are having fun too and you will sell books.

These are just a few ideas to get you started – each author and each book is unique. You need to tailor your marketing to what you can physically do. Don’t get stuck on a single idea – guerillas use a wide variety of marketing tools, all designed to work together. Launch multiple marketing efforts simultaneously.

Thanks for reading. As always — if you like this information (and found it helpful) please feel free to post it on your site, put it in a blog, toss it in your newsletter, or in general spread it around. Please just give us credit here at www.dogearpublishing.net

May you have success in your creative efforts!

Ray