50 Tips for Promoting Your Book: Tips 1-25
When you first publish, nobody has heard of the author or the book, so your initial promotion is the key to success. But if you focus only on social media, you will miss many opportunities to reach prospective buyers. An assorted, persuasive and targeted promotional mix should maximize your sales, revenue and profits
Promotion can use up your money faster than any other marketing tool. Use it wisely and your investment will pay maximum dividends. These tips will show you how to do that:
- Use promotion wisely. The objective of promotion is for your book to be on the mind of the buyers when they are ready to buy.
- Some promotion is for exposure and some is for selling. Know which is which. Do not expect a promotional tool to do what it is not intended to accomplish.
- Know your buyers and your message. Sending the right message to the wrong target market will have little impact on sales. Similarly, communicating the wrong message to the right audience will increase sales minimally. Communicate the right message to the right audience and you should sell more books.
- Stop selling your books. Sell what the content in your book does for the readers—what are the benefits to them?
- People do not care about your book. Retailers display products to increase store profits. Media hosts want a good show for their audiences. Librarians want to help their patrons. Appeal to the right motive and you will sell more books.
- Follow the AIDA formula. Your promotion must first get the recipient’s Attention. Then stimulate additional Interest. Increase Desire by adding more benefits and end with a request for some Action
- Promotion is an investment, not an expense. Your expenditure should return more money than you spend.
- Get actively involved in promoting your book. The author’s passion is essential to the success of a book, giving it energy. That is what makes the difference in a book that develops legs and has a life of its own. As the saying goes, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”
- Use a variety of promotional tools. Publicity is the least expensive and perhaps most productive of the promotional strategies used to generate exposure for their books. But also consider advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, direct marketing, sales literature and trade shows to promote your book.
- People do not buy quickly. Potential buyers need to hear about you and your title as many as 10 times before actually making a purchase.
- Promote daily. Do something every day to promote your book, even if it’s for 15 minutes. If you do not like to (or do not) market, then do not expect to sell books. It is easy to get out of the promotion habit if you do not do it.
- Promote with a difference. Have something new to say, or say something old in a new way.
- Have an elevator pitch. Be able to describe the benefits of your book in two minutes of less. Condense it to 30 seconds to leave as a voice-mail message.
- Focus your efforts. Do not ”spray and pray,” meaning that you try to do a little bit of different types of promotion. Learn what works best for you and then do more of it. Do fewer things better.
- Time your promotion to a relevant marketing period. You can get more media exposure if you match your promotion to a special date or feature month that matches your content. See www.holidayinsights.com for examples of special marketing periods.
- Attend major trade shows before exhibiting. Find out if the show is right for you before investing in displaying there. Attend BEA (BookExpo America) to learn about the publishing industry.
- Maximize your revenue from personal presentations. Sell books at the back of the room at list price, non-returnable.
- Use advertising if appropriate. When used properly advertising can be an economical, targeted means of promotion. Consider bartering or purchasing remnant space.
- Use promotion tools that reflect your comfort zone. There are many ways to promote books, some suitable to introverts and others to extroverts.
- Get endorsements and testimonials. Choose celebrities or people well known to your target readers. Know how to go about getting them. Go about it the right way. Give them examples of what you want and offer something in return.
- Understand deadlines. If you commit to the media to meet a deadline, do it. There are no excuses. But do not feel compelled to meet an internally imposed deadline if it is in your interests to wait until you have a better product, press release or if the timing is more in your favor later.
- Take a two-tiered approach to building your platform. It is good to have a large number of friends or followers, but it is better to have a smaller group of influential people who can communicate your message to their constituents on your behalf.
- Conduct a library tour. Contact libraries in your area and arrange with them for you to speak there about your book.
- Test your promotion. Before conducting a large campaign, test your concept, copy and offer and then use the information that will give you the best response.
- Use your telephone. This is a valuable asset, with the best trade off of quality and quantity of contact. Use your telephone for research, arranging appointments, staying in touch, networking and doing follow up, but not for selling. Do that in person.
Stay tuned next week for tips 26-50…
Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, seminar leader, television host and president of Premium Book Company, which sells books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission-only basis and conducts on-site training for publishers' sales forces.
Brian is the author of "How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns)," a do-it-yourself guide to selling books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities, with no returns. He has written many articles about book publishing and marketing, is the author of the eight e-booklets with "Proven Tips for Publishing Success," and creator of the series of "Book Marketing Wizards." He is also the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter, "Book Marketing Matters."
Brian is the host of the television series "The Book Authority" and has aired over 650 shows. In addition, he is the author, narrator and producer of the media-training video program "You're On The Air."