Self publishers need to have a good solid marketing plan to sell books and should be written well in advance of writing your book and in place a year prior to publishing your a course in miracles. Make sure you know you have a market for your book before you write it. If you’ve written a ‘how to’ book you’ll find people are always seeking ‘how to’ information making your book easy to sell; in fact the most sought after items on the Internet are information products. Your book selling, book marketing, and book promotion planning should begin before the manuscript is completed.
Using press releases can be a very effective marketing tool if used properly. Make sure your press release spells out the ‘who, what, where, when, and why.’ Direct mail a press release to all the trade journals in your field over and over again, not just once; you can use the same release.
Your book press release should not be written as you would a sales letter or flier, it should be written for the editor and tell about your book in a factual way, no opinion or glowing remarks. Send out the same press release to the editor of your local daily newspaper every week until you are called for an interview or are written up. Invest in press release submitting software and set aside time every week to send out a press release online to the press directories.
Send out at least ten press releases to the print and broadcast media in your area every month. When picked up by wire services, a press release can easily end up generating hundreds of mentions for your book through syndication.
Contact non-bookstore booksellers and offer to leave books on consignment. Make five telephone calls a day that relate to marketing your book. When you get a nice write up or feature about you and/or your book, have it laminated and set it up on an easel at trade shows.
Book signings don’t sell many books for publishers and are often a waste of time; better to spend it elsewhere. Make sure to promote and market your book each and every day, both online and offline. Make sure not to overlook the Internet; get yourself interviewed or profiled for sites both about writing, publishing and about the topics covered in your book. Place free ads periodically for your book’s website on Craigslist in different categories to drive even more traffic to your website.
Local radio shows and television appearances are good but are often forgotten within hours of the broadcast; make sure to make or get a copy of any television broadcast for future promotions. I’ve seen publishers lose a lot of money paying for expensive display ads, so beware if you do this; I don’t advise it in the beginning — get your feet wet first so you know what you’re doing.
Women buy more books then men; see how you can fit your book into the women’s market. Find a non-exclusive distributor with a good reputation to carry your book for the book store trade, as well as for other retailers. Remember to make sure your book is listed in Books-in-Print; don’t assume it’s already listed.
Submit articles to online article directories that focus on your book’s topic to drive customers to your website. Arrange to speak at local, regional and national events that relate to your book topic; bring books along and have an associate sell them at the back of the room.
Build a web site that provides another avenue for ordering, a virtual online press kit and link exchanges with sites that relate to your topic. If your book solves a problem, focus on this in your marketing.
I hope this article has provided you with helpful tips to accelerate your book marketing and book promotion efforts. The success of any book marketing effort depends on a good book and just plain hard work; it’s been done many times before and you can do it too. You can market and promote your book on a shoestring budget; be careful about your marketing dollars.