Book Marketing Strategies & Tactics
I would like to believe that Words To Live By is close to publication. I have read so many proofs I'm dizzy, but I think I am just about there, at last. That brings me to Step #6: Promotion, which is the big one. I mapped out my marketing plan, but then decided to revisit How to Write a Nonfiction Book and review what I had written about promotion. (I know if I did everything I've suggested in my books, I'd probably be a fabulous success; but, unfortunately, I often fail to take my own advice.)
What follows are my three strategies for promoting Words To Live By and all of the relevant tactics from How to Write a Nonfiction Book. I don't think it's possible to do all of these things, but even doing some of them will be a great beginning.
Strategy #1: Increase my visibility and credibility on line
1. Sell Words To Live By on Web site and amazon.com.
2. Write articles on “epiphanies” and submit to on-line sites
3. Increase presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.
4. Redesign ShopSite store; hire ShopSite designer (or do it myself).
5. Maximize presence on Amazon
a. Post customer reviews on other people’s books.
b. End them with a blurb about my book.
c. Set up a reviewer’s profile.
d. Investigate Amazon Web 2.0 Interactivity.
e. Make friends on Amazon.
f. Sell products on Amazon’s WebStore.
g. Establish myself as a true author presence.
a. Visit blog directories and check out the top-ranked blogs.
b. Check out blogs on writing.
c. Comment; let the blogger know I have done so.
d. Answer questions I have been asked in the past.
e. Give brief reviews and recommend competitive titles on my subject or books I am reading now.
6. Internet marketing
a. Build list of contacts, and keep in touch with them.
b. Keep adding to website.
c. Make contact information obvious.
d. Include name, e-mail address, and phone number.
e. Make sure content is high quality and provides a benefit to readers.
f. Inform, educate, inspire, motivate.
g. Include lots of ways to do things associated with topic.
h. Don’t lecture or proselytize.
i. Be generous. Give stuff away, particularly information.
j. Demonstrate expertise.
k. Show, don’t tell, that I know my subject.
l. Identify my target market; if I have more than one, I need more than one Web site. Buy several domain names.
m. Hire a Web-marketing consultant.
n. Research and register with directories and search engines.
o. Create new links to my Web site by link building.
p. Use different delivery mechanisms for different audiences—blog, newsletter, e-zine, Podcasts.
q. Stay active in Twitter, Yahoo, Gather, Facebook, LinkedIn
r. Create name recognition by submitting articles on my subject to multiple article sites.
s. Be clear but subtle about having something to sell.
t. Make it easy for people to buy and pay for my book.
u. Set up a store through shopsite.com or some other shopping cart service; sign up for PayPal or get a merchant’s account.
v. Set up a media page. Include a press release that announces my book in a copyable format (Word or a text file), links to previous interviews in print and on-line.
Strategy #2: Increase my visibility and credibility off line
1. Send ARCs are uncorrected galley proofs, stamped “reader’s copy” to reviewers at trade review magazines within the book industry.
2. See Literary Market Place in the reference room for magazine and newspaper book reviewers, book review syndicates, columnists, radio and television stations, book clubs.
3. Advertise in inexpensive newsletters and Writers’ Digest and The Writer.
a. Compile a list of local bookstores and visit them, book in hand.
b. Offer to do a workshop, a presentation, or a signing.
c. Help with promotion of the event,
d. Cooperate with the community relations person in any way you can
5. Book clubs: Go to each Web site, and download guidelines for submission.
6. Elevator speech: be able to tell someone what my book is about between floors in an elevator; my book is about (main point) and in order to help the reader (main benefit).
Strategy #3: Drive traffic to my original Web site, WriteANonfictionBook.com
a. Make a list of print and Wed publications that address writing.
b. Research writers’ guidelines.
c. Query the editors about writing free articles.
d. Learn what the editor is looking for to address the publication’s reader.
e. Use keywords so it will be found. Link to the appropriate page on my Web site.
2. Direct marketing
a. Consider hiring a knowledgeable professional to help me.
b. Develop a plan what I want to achieve, my target audience, the list, what I will offer, and designer; establish criteria for my target audience
c. Build or buy a list of people who meet those criteria.
d. If possible, call those listed to determine if list is up-to-date.
e. Keep culling list. When a piece of mail comes back, remove the address from the list.
f. Track and measure results.
g. If necessary, mail to the same list several times.
h. Ask myself: (1) what is the average order I will receive? (2) What will it cost you to mail each piece? (3) Can you generate enough money to pay for my mailing? (4) Will you make a profit? If the answers to questions (3) and (4) are no, rethink this as a method of reaching customers.
a. Join appropriate associations for self-publishers, marketers, professional speakers, and those that cater to people interested in my topic.
b. Get involved in the organization, talk about my book.
c. Network on-line.
16. Nontraditional sales
a. Think beyond the bookstore. Other places are called “nontraditional sales.”
b. Consider spin-off products.
c. Sell not just book, but message as well.
d. Send free books as review copies, three-dimensional business cards, gifts, or marketing materials to associations, organizations, meetings of any kind, and libraries.
e. Submit book for inclusion in catalogs.
f. Attend book fairs and special events (note prior caution).
g. Sell books in the back of the room when I give presentations or workshops.
17. Public relations
a. Prepare a professional-looking press kit. Paste the cover of book on the front of the pocket folder. Inside, put a press release, an information sheet about my book, an author’s bio and photo, talking points to be used in interviews, and contact and ordering information.
b. Give away premiums that display book’s cover.
c. Create my own audience.
18. Speaking engagements
a. Position myself as an expert,
b. Line up speaking engagements at no charge
19. Specialty retailers
a. Ask myself, how do I sell this kind of book? Where?
b. Research & visit stores and sites that sell special-interest books and related products.
c. Bring my own point-of-purchase displays.
20. Last thoughts
a. Go where the audience is. Network.
b. Be a walking/talking commercial for my book.
c. Remember, life is a marketing call.