Book promotion is an essential part of making your book successful. No matter how your book is published, you, the author, must promote it in order for people to hear about it and buy it.
Today, when you submit a book to most publishers for publication, they will want not only to read your book and find it marketable, but also, to know what your marketing plan is. Do you intend to go on a book tour? Do you plan to schedule radio or television interviews? Will you contact book stores to do book signings and readings? If you are a children’s writer, will you be available for school visits? Have you thought of arranging readings at libraries? Are you planning a virtual book tour? Do you intend to explore other forums for sales besides bookstores? Will you have a Web site for your book? If you are published by a traditional publisher, will you promote your publisher as well as your book?
Utilize many forms of book promotion. It is important to keep at it and not to give up. Do something every day that contributes to your book sales, getting information out about your book or expanding your professional network.
To learn more about how to promote your book and accomplish a great deal in a short time, I recommend Dvorah Lansky's programs, Build a Business with Your Book. A bestselling author, Dvorah (known as the "Book Marketing Wizard") is a supportive teacher who offers introductory and advanced courses at reasonable rates. I have taken her courses myself, and they not only provide you with tools and resources that you can use for a long time, but they also quickly put you ahead in the game. Moreover, you will have fun and meet other supportive authors.
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Here are some suggestions that require time but little or no cost for promoting your book:
- Carry attractive business cards with your name, your book title(s), the Web site where your book(s) can be purchased and other relevant information. Hand these out freely at all book events you participate in and wherever you go.
- Create an e-mail signature with the title of your book and the Web site address where it can be purchased. Place this signature at the end of every e-mail you send.
- Plan your book launch around a related holiday, or link it to a charity.
- Give a Free Seminar on the topic of your book at bookstores where your book is available. This innovative idea enables people to learn something for free and want to buy your book to learn more. It's more engaging than a book-signing and, therefore, could draw more attention. Make sure the venue is lively and attractive.
- Create Free Events like the one described above and sell your books at them. Keep track of sales. When you have been successful in sales (because people want and buy your book), use the data to inspire larger enterprises such as Barnes& Noble to carry your book in their stores.
- Schedule bookstore signings, and give a promotional key chain or bookmark with your logo and Web site address with each book you sell. Make sure your table is attractive and visible. It should not be hidden at the back of the store. Be friendly to customers.
- Arrange library readings and school visits for children's books. Always bring a flyer and/or gift, such as a bookmark, for children to take home, with your Web site and other information for purchase.
- Bundle your books and offer them at a discount on your Web site. With each purchase, offer a free key chain or bookmark with a picture of the book cover and your Web site address.
- Offer a promotional code on your Web site for a discount on a gift purchase of 3 copies of the same title. Place this promotional gift code on complimentary bookmarks you send with books ordered directly through your Web site.
- Participate in online forums, online networks and e-mail groups. Create a presence on Linkedin, Flickr and other networking sites, even if you don't have time to be very active. If you are a children's writer, create a page on Jacket Flap.
- Send review copies to local newspapers and periodicals.
- E-mail news releases to interested parties and post them online. Download a list of sites where you can post press releases online.
- Write quality articles with valuable content on the subject of your book and send them to magazines or Web sites whose readers would be interested. Always include your bio and a link to where your book can be purchased.
- Send announcements to your colleagues, associates and friends.
- Join other authors to showcase and sell your book at book expos, both locally and nationally.
- Place your book in non-bookstore shops, such as pet stores for books about animals, gardening stores for books about plants and flowers or kitchen stores for cookbooks. Try to place your books in gift shops and stores where you frequently shop.
These are a few ideas that you can make use of to promote and market your book. I am sure you can think of many other ways! Marketing and promotion require energy, time and dedication. If someone isn't out there promoting, no one will know about your book. If people don’t know about it, they won’t even be able to consider buying it. And the best promoter is usually the author.
Click on the links at the top of this page and our Links Page for information that will help you promote your book and make it successful.
If you have any questions, contact us.