When my first book was available in book stores, I called my friend, Mark Victor Hanson (Co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books) and asked him for some advice. Since 2008, some 500 million Chicken Soup For the Soul books have been sold. Who better to ask for advice?
It’s best to start marketing early and roll out promotions in deliberate, timed waves to maximize interest ahead of the book’s publication date. This is often overlooked and was by me. A useful way for an author to approach this is to have a calendar counting down to the book’s launch – beginning at least a year before the book is in the book stores and ready to read.
Mark said, “Make a sign that says, ‘Do something EVERYDAY to promote your books!‘” Very wise advice. He also suggested that radio talk shows are a great place to promote yourself and your books. He said that it is too easy to get distracted when you have a little success; you begin to thrill at what’s happening and often forget to keep the buzz going.
I put several of these signs up in my office and began doing something everyday to promote my book. Next, I began to search for ways to promote it. I made a long list and began.
I visited nearly all of the book stores in my area and began doing book signings. That was in 1995. Since then I’ve done numerous book signings, more than 650 radio talk shows, was interviewed by Barbara Walters on “The View” in 1999 and went on to write 4 more books. Mark was right.
While social media is another good way to promote your books, many authors are putting too much faith in the viral power of social networking thinking they’ll tap the viral power of the internet. I often will post a beautiful photo of a landscape and put a quote from my book on it. See the image to the right. Note the link to my Relationship Blog. Too much blatant self-promotion on social media will turn others off. Be creative and crafty.
Some authors will give away a chapter of their book to their mailing list. You DO have a mailing list, right?
Learn to speak about what you have written about. Civic groups, Chambers of Commerce, book clubs, authors groups and many other groups are always looking for speakers. Keep your talk short, about 15 to 20 minutes. I have a Networking book called, “Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Way to Maximize Your Personal Connections.” I also have a Website site, http://www.TenCommitmentsofNetworking.com to promote networking and the book and a Networking Blog with over 450 FREE Networking articles. Some are from the book and others are new. There are enough new articles written to make another book. One author I know, began writing her book on a blog and once she had enough articles written, she put them all together and printed a book.
I have a talk with the same title, and talk briefly about each of the 10 commitments. Remember, this talk contains the “Ten Commitments” and can be as brief or expanded into a full 3 hour seminar if necessary ~ where you can also sell your books at the back of the room. I usually discount my book a couple of dollars for back of the room sales.
Ask buyers of your books to write reviews on Amazon.com once your book is available on Amazon. Join Amazon’s Associate Program and promote other good books in your genre on your Website and Blog. When someone buys your book, you get a small commission from Amazon.
Print bookmarks and postcards to keep your book title in front of readers. At book signings, give out lots of bookmarks. Ask permission, and you might be able to leave a stack of bookmarks at the check out once your book is available in the book store.
My friend, Dan Poynter, is a great resource for authors. Also check out John Kremer. His book is, “1001 Ways to Market Your Books!” Both of these guys helped me tremendously when I first started writing.
Authors also need to understand the difference between promotion and publicity versus marketing. Promotion and publicity is free, but you don’t know exactly how it will go; eg. Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Pintrest, LinkedIn, etc. Marketing is targeted and trackable, and you can link it directly to results. AND it costs real money.
Download a FREE 25-page eBOOK – “How to Book Radio Shows and Be a Great Guest!” Click here for details.
BONUS Articles: Getting Into Bookstores? – 7 Tips to Help You!
40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an EVENT!!
Self-Promote or Disappear! ~ A Discourse on the Propriety of Puttin’ on the Blitz!
DIY: How to Build Buzz for Self-Published Books
8 Tips for Being a Great TV Talk Show Guest
Write Reviews for Books on Amazon.com
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com
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