Saturday, August 25, 2007

Book Marketing Tips

I threw this together for a group I'm in. They thought it was good, so I decided to share it with you.

This was ten minutes work, off the top of my head. ;)

Start marketing before your book comes out. Most books are on the shelves for three months at the most. If you wait until your book is out to start marketing, you lose.

Get a website and a blog, and network your butt off. Get your name out there so people know it. Offer the first chapter free if they sign up for your newsletter. What newsletter? Start one! Collect all the email address you can. These people have read the first chapter, they're interested. Make sure you send them an update at least once a month. Remind them who you are, and let them know when the book will be out. Tell them something interesting about your life, so they get to know you. (And will remember you.)

Right before your book comes out, you push. The main page of your website is a sales page, simple and quick to load. No fancy flash programs, or people on slow connections won't be able to load it and will click away. Another lost sale.

The sales page has a big, bright picture of your cover. The pic is a live link to wherever they can pre-order your book. Beside the pic are blurbs from your best reviews.

Below, a link to a free excerpt. Probably the first chapter. Draw them in. At the top and bottom of the excerpt page are direct links to the pre-order site.

On your blog, you post the pre-release reviews. Every post has a link to buy.

Start visiting other author blogs in your genre, the more popular the better. Contact the blog owners, and work out a swap. They post to your blog about their book, you get to post on their blog about yours. Gives you both a fresh audience. Get your schedule together so you will be posting on a different blog every day for three weeks. Start writing up 6-800 word posts about your book, your experiences writing it, etc. Slant each one to fit the audience for that blog. Make them interesting. PUT THE LINK TO YOUR HOME PAGE IN EVERY SINGLE POST, AT LEAST TWICE!

Research online chat groups, radio shows, etc that feature books and authors. Schedule as many live chats as you can. (Keep a calendar, so you know where and when you are to be. You don't want to mess this up.)

The book is out! Update your website with buy links. Immediately email your newsletter list. Give them the review blurbs, a list of links to the blogs you will be visiting, and the schedule. Best to do this in 3 weekly newsletters. That way, the second and third weeks, you can tell them stories about what happened the week before. Make it interesting. You're a writer, aren't you?

Start your blog tour. Send each submission out promptly, and get that author's return post up on your blog right away. Remember, this is your reputation. Show them that you are reliable and will do what you promised. Be sure to forward any comments to the appropriate blogger. Check back on each post to get comments left for you. If the commenter has a blog, visit it and leave a comment thanking them for commenting on your blog. YOUR COMMENT HAS YOUR LINK IN IT.

Meanwhile, post to every group, forum, bulletin board, etc that you are a member of. Let them all know that your book is finally out. LEAVE LINKS.

Guest in as many chats/radio shows as possible. Be entertaining! Give your link often, if the moderator doesn't. Have your links (website, blog, myspace page, etc) in a side file so you can cut and paste quickly.

After three weeks, take a deep breath. Look at what worked and what just didn't fly. Figure out where you got the most interest, and find more places like that. Take three days to just relax and read something. Do your laundry, eat a meal that wasn't microwaved, and check to see if your family still lives with you.

Vacation is over! Get back to marketing. ;)

That's only some of your online marketing. Around all this, you should have been getting a write-up in your local paper, doing local book signings, guesting on the local radio stations (TV too, if you have it). You do have bookmarks that you're handing out everywhere, right?

Ahem. I now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

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