INDEX OF ALL BOOK MARKETING FLOOZY ARTICLES

floozyI began researching book marketing almost from the time I wrote the first word of my first novel. I read about using bookmarks as business cards and giveaways, sending out press releases, setting up booksignings, but I learned very little about marketing books on the internet. Many of the sites I went to for information about promoting a book free on the internet were simply ads for books about promoting free on the internet. This blog is intended to be a notebook detailing what I discover as I research the topic, including lists of sites for promoting books, articles about blogging, and tips on how to use social networking sites to promote without getting branded as a marketing floozy. Feel free to offer advice. 

  1. Being a Successful Author — Magic or Work? by Sia McKye
  2. Blog Radio by Aaron Paul Lazar
  3. Blogging — Creating a Community for Your Book by Dog Ear Publishing
  4. Book Marketing 101 by Bobby Ozuna
  5. Book Marketing: Branding Yourself as an Author by John Marion Francis
  6. Book Marketing on the Internet: Sites for Writers by A.F. Stewart
  7. Book Marketing Tips From A.F. Stewart by A.F. Stewart
  8. Book Marketing: Writing Book Reviews by Pat Bertram
  9. Book Promotion: Blogging by Pat Bertram
  10. Book Promotion: Establishing an Online Persona by Pat Bertram
  11. The Book Promotion Puzzle by Pat Bertram
  12. Book Publicity for Authors — Getting the Most From Your Publicity Campaign by Dog Ear Publishing
  13. A Bookseller’s Perspective on How to Promote Your Book by Michelle Maycock
  14. Book Stores and Book Signings by Shirley Kennett
  15. Book Stores Are the Worst Place to Sell Your Books by Dog Ear Publishing
  16. Books Don’t Sell Themselves by Sia McKye
  17. A Cheapskate Guide to Creating a Publishing Company by Ken Coffman
  18. Contacting Famous People by D.B. Pacini
  19. Creating a Book Marketing Plan by Dog Ear Publishing
  20. Creating a Teaser Trailer for Your Book by Suzette Vaughn
  21. Different Ways of Marketing Your Book Online by Peter N. Jones
  22. The End of the Book Marketing Business as We Know It? by Claire Collins
  23. Getting Published: No Magic Wands or Treasure Maps by Sia McKye
  24. Guerilla Book Marketing  by Dog Ear Publishing
  25. Help Other Writers be More Visible by Anne Lyken-Garner
  26. How I Did My Book Signing by Christine Husom
  27. How Much Time Should an Author Spend Tweeting, Facebook-ing and MySpace-ing? by Cheryl Kaye Tardif
  28. How to Advertise Yourself as an Author by A.F. Stewart
  29. How to Deal With Well-Meaning Friends and Readers by Laurie Foston
  30. How to Do a Blog Tour by Marshall Karp
  31. How to Set Up a Blog Tour and Why You Should by Alan Baxter 
  32. Making the Most of MySpace by Jordan Dane
  33. The Magic of Social Networking by Pat Bertram
  34. Marketing the Old-Fashioned Way by Sherrie Hansen
  35. More Sites for Marketing Your Books Online by Pat Bertram
  36. The Most Important Word in Book Marketing by Pat Bertram
  37. Negative Reviews: Are They Really Negative? by Marshall Karp
  38. Never Be Afraid to Ask by Ian O’Neill
  39. Notes on Book Promotion by Pat Bertram
  40. One Introvert’s Guide to Reading at Book Signings by Mairead Walpole
  41. Promote Your Work? Why? by Edward Talbot
  42. Radio Interviews and How to Get Asked Back by Chuck Collins
  43. Selling Your Book to Readers — Part I by Dr. Seymour Garte
  44. Selling Your Book to Readers — Part II by Dr. Seymour Garte
  45. Setting Up Author Events and Book Signings by Dog Ear Publishing
  46. So You Want to Become a Published Author by Roger Dean Kiser
  47. Starting an E-Publishing Company by Joan De La Haye
  48. Submitting to Literary Magazines 101: Professionalism by Vince Gotera
  49. Think Outside the Book by Cheryl Kaye Tardif
  50. TK Kenyon Talks About Book Marketing for the Introvert by TK Kenyon
  51. Twitter: How to Use It To Promote You and Your Books by John Marion Francis
  52. What Blogging Platform Should You Use? by Pat Bertram
  53. What are You Doing to Promote Yourself? How Are you Creating Name Recognition? by Sia McKye
  54. When Is the Best Time to Start Promoting Your Book? by Pat Bertram
  55. Writer Cliff Burns Talks About Book Promotion by Cliff Burns and Pat Bertram
  56. Writing Columns and Branding — An Interview with Aaron Paul Lazar
  57. Writing Cover Copy and Book Bios by Dog Ear Publishing

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A Bookseller’s Perspective on How to Promote Your Book

Michelle Maycock worked in independent bookstores in Virginia and North Carolina as a buyer and manager, and as an independent publishers’ rep in the 1990s selling to bookstores in the Southeast. She now teaches in the Professional Writing program at Virginia Tech. Maycock offers valuable advice to authors:

As a former trade bookseller and book sales representative with twenty years experience, I would like to add the booksellers’ perspective on how to promote your book.

Help but do not push your local booksellers to sell your book. Let’s face it; nice paper books are a technology that some people are going to like for a long time. If you can capture that market too, even locally, it will get you ‘out there.’ If you prefer to read or publish digitally, keep in mind that there is still a market out there for nice cozy paper between boards . . . And digital authors can learn a few lessons from the business formerly known as the book trade. Goodwill (as Dr. Garte mentioned in many places in his blog article) and gently supplying concise, useful information about yourself and your book are your best (I was going to say “weapons,” but let’s tone down the adversarial and go with) strategies. Think of everyone online as potential customers, and bookstores and booksellers as your business partners, and they will be more likely to go to work for you.

Persistence pays off eventually. There is that famous proverb quoted by Oprah that ‘luck is when opportunity meets preparation.’ Frank McCourt remarked that he knew he was exceptionally lucky when Angela’s Ashes became a hit. It was a moment he had been preparing for all of his life, from trying out his stories on his students and writing all of his life. Successful authors are exceptionally hardworking and exceptionally personable.

ALWAYS be pleasant, and do not be pushy. Bookstore people have a lot of work to do, and unless or sometimes even if they own the store, they are not hugely compensated. They are bombarded with requests to put self-published books on consignment, many of which are of questionable quality. Keep in mind that they work retail, which requires infinite patience, a strong back, feet of iron, a keen intellect and a very good memory. All of which means, they will remember if you act out.

Don’t assume that because someone works in marketing or in a bookstore that they are not well read. I have a friend who is a retired Shakespeare professor emeritus who happens to work part-time a big chain bookstore. The bookosphere is peopled by lots of people with extensive literary knowledge. Don’t be afraid of them! They love books and words just as much as you do. It is ultimately a very rewarding business, whether or not you make money at it. Being a successful author is a full-time job, and promoting yourself, whether online or in person, is a second full-time job. Authoring is a public enterprise-if you are writing for the public, take the time to make your book the best it can be-get it edited by someone else with expertise, and then get a second opinion, even before you go to a publisher. Quality sells. There is too much competition out there in all channels-and other people are willing to help.

Even if you are a bestselling author, any bad or condescending behavior on your part will not sell your book. This also goes with book signings. Don’t pull a tantrum if no one shows up for your signing. That could be your own fault. But even the best-planned events sometimes don’t draw enough people. It may have just been bad timing. Live and learn. If you are lucky enough to get a signing event, invite everyone you know. Be ready to help the bookseller have a reasonable quantity of your book. Graciousness under pressure will endear you to the bookseller as well as the general public. When you appear in a public forum, keep your opinions low key and test the water carefully before offering up any criticisms. Remember, you want booksellers and other people in general to remember how nice, intelligent and interesting you are so that they will recommend you to other people. Any ill will or petty gossip in their direction can sabotage your whole effort.

One bestselling author said he would sign his name on the back of people’s hands if that would make them happy. Say or ask something personal about each person who brings a book to you to be signed. Stay a little longer if the line is long, and make an effort to talk to anyone who is interested in your book, even if they are pretending! Be friendly and comment pleasantly to as many people as you can who show interest in your work on sites like Facebook. A nationally known author once friended me because I said something nice about his or her book on the FB fan page, and now I have bought the earlier books and tell all of my friends and students that they ought to read this author.

As far as the booksellers are concerned, they cannot always give one author more attention than any other, and everyone wants their attention. Being a pest will not do you much good either. You want word of mouth buzz . . .  make it always positive and you will go far!

Being a nuisance is not a good way to promote yourself.

Information is key. Talk up your book to booksellers, but be brief (they have thousands of other books to worry about). Don’t pester them to buy more of your book if a few copies sell. Gentle reminders, maybe a nice email or note, but don’t demand. They have to make minimum orders. And if they have had two copies of your book for six weeks, they are unlikely to get more. And maybe they are not in charge of the budgeting.

It is your job to get out there on the web and in public and sell your ideas and the book that goes with them — then maybe then your book will start appearing in larger numbers on shelves and will get ordered online and reordered too! Keep in mind that you have to be very persistent. John Grisham’s first novel was published by a small publisher, but he kept working to promote himself and sending his next book out to bigger publishers. Having a second book ready before you launch is not a bad idea. But all of this takes a lot of determination, energy and patience, but it can pay off.

Book Marketing: Writing Book Reviews

One way to get attention for your book is to review other authors’ books. The secret is not to treat them like competition, but to be honest and enthusiastic. Show your love of books and writing, and at the end, be sure to put a brief bio of yourself along with the names of your books. This last is not shameless promotion; it shows your authority, why you are the person best qualified to write the review. Once you’ve written the review, post it wherever and whenever you can — on your blog, on Amazon, on Gather, on book sites such as LibraryThing and GoodReads — and submitting them to ezines and review sites and publications.

Here is a checklist of topics to cover in the review (You do not need to cover all of them. They are meant simply as a guide.):

1. Give the basic book information. 

  • What is the title, the author’s name, where it can be purchased, ISBN number.

2. Write a few sentences about the plot. 

  • What is the story about?
  • Who are the main characters?
  • What do they want?
  • Who will stop these character from attaining their desires, and why?
  • Are the characters believable?

3. Evaluate the book. 

  • What is the writer’s style: formal, informal, witty, charming?
  • Was the writing clear, original, concise, forceful, fluid?
  • Who are the intended readers?

4. If you wish, discuss the author’s use of story elements. 

  • How is the story introduced? What is the hook?
  • How are conflict, climax, and conclusion handled?
  • Is there a tone or an atmosphere, and how is it evoked?
  • What is the setting, and does it affect the story and characters?
  • Are the characters flat or three dimensional?
  • Does character development occur?
  • How effective is the dialogue?
  • Is there a subplot and if so, how is it related to the main plot?
  • What are the major themes? How are they revealed?

5. Tell how the book affected you. 

  • Did you like the book?
  • Did it keep your interest?
  • Could you relate to the characters?
  • Who was your favorite character?
  • What was your favorite part of the book?
  • What was your least favorite part?
  • Would you recommend this book?