Archive for November, 2009

Thoughts on Marketing a Book

Monday, November 30th, 2009

I have a lot of thoughts on marketing books.  I have two books and I have two published authors in my series and soon will have at least two more.

Yesterday at Thanksgiving I was talking to someone who has a brilliant idea that I want to put in front of all of my JibberJobber users.  And I thought of some new marketing ideas specific to that book.

Here are some miscellaneous, not comprehensive, thoughts on book marketing, in response to an email I got asking what to do to market books.  The email indicated the publisher and book distributors were pretty much doing what their role was, but once that’s done, what do you do?  (FYI, the book in the email is a novel, which is quite different than my own books)

  1. Forget about the publisher and distributors. Don’t hold your breath and wait for them to succeed for you, or watch what they do, or wait for them before you do anything.  My publisher was quite accommodating to me but I think this was because my first book proved some of the potential (in other words, sold well).
  2. Market it yourself via social tools. Andy Sernovitz sent me an email this morning saying something like “social marketing is not word of mouth marketing … social sites are merely tools.”  I totally agree.  But you sure better bring your tools to the job… get the social sites going and do what you need to do there.  I have a bunch of videos on this stuff.
  3. Get a domain and fix your email address and signature. The person who emailed me had no email signature to point me to their blog, or twitter handle, or Facebook Group (yep, I singled those three out for a reason!).  The email address is a hotmail addy… I have no idea how to find out more.  I’m guessing she sends out dozens, maybe over 100, emails a day… what a missed opportunity!
  4. Go to face to face networking events. Have your book with you at all times.  I admit I don’t do this, but I don’t need to or care to.  If you are wondering how to get the word out, you should be a walking billboard for your book.
  5. Find channels. One of my favorite sales concepts… what group has your readership in it?  In other words, if I came and said “I’m speaking at the Association of _______ and I want to tell them about your book,” what association is that?  If you can identify groups (associations, chapters, societies, etc.) who are made up of your perfect reader, you need to get in there – speak, sponsor (can usually be done for around $100), write for the newsletter, get in their social network or online group or Yahoo group (fix your email signature!), etc.  Figure out how to become a passionate value-add member.
  6. Give books away to the right people. I bought 200 books and my publisher told me to give them out.   I couldn’t.  I had to sell them because I was already broke when I bought them and had to go into debt to pay for them.  I wanted to recoup that.  But I had a current topic that would become hot.  I’m guessing that a novel needs to have a lot of people talking about it – can you get 100 books and send them to 100 sneezers (aka, evangelists, tippers, or people who will TALK about it?).  If you can, do it.  If you can’t, get 10 and send them out.  Maybe even to bloggers.  BTW, my Blog Marketing 201 – 501 video is pretty helpful with ideas.

What are your ideas? BTW, none of these ideas touch on how I’d market this new book that I talked to someone about last night.

Startups and Entrepreneurs

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

I came across Dharmesh Shah’s post that lays out 12 typical traits of entrepreneurs, based on a survey from the Kauffman foundation.  The results are not very intuitive, and the first one was not accurate for ME.  Go check out the 12 points – here’s how I scored against them:

1. NO. I was much younger – I think I was 32 when I started JibberJobber and my journey as an entrepreneur.

2. YES. I have a BA in CIS and an MBA.

3. YES. I’d fit in with the 99% that wasn’t extremely rich or poor.

4. YES. I can’t think of other siblings that had started a serious business.

5. YES. I’ll join the majority of entrepreneurs who were married (still am married :p).

6. YES. I’ll join the majority who have kids (I had 3.5 kids at the time – we now have 5 kids).

7. NO. I haven’t been a serial entrepreneur… I don’t count the times I’ve done tiny entreprenuerial stuff.  This is my first real, serious venture.

8. YES. Building wealth (and securing my financial future) was at the top of my list when starting.

9. NO. I have to say that not finding traditional employment was “an important factor” in starting my business. I’d say it was more of “reading the tea leaves” and looking long-term – traditional employment means constant job changes, and not as much control over your career as you think.  I was interested in something else.

10. YES/NO. My mom didn’t finish college (but could have a PhD if she wanted), but my dad has a JD.  I’d say his education is higher than mine.

11. YES. I don’t consider my family to be very entrepreneurial since my dad and father-in-law were both longtime government employees.  However, my maternal grandpa ran his own camera store for years and retired because of it.

12. YES. I think my total time at my previous company was 6 years, with other employment before that.

How did you do?

How to Create an Online Press Release, and what next?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Janet Thaeler wrote a book in my series titled I Need a Killer Press Release — Now What??? When people have seen it their response has been “I’ve needed something like that!”

Yes, it is that cool.

Guess what – even cooler, she is wrapping up a press release DVD that shows you how to do a lot of stuff – from navigating various websites where you submit press releases (what a pain) to finding keywords to make your press release strong (this is a BIG deal), Janet’s DVD is like a personal training session.

It’s going to be awesome.  Right now it’s in the editing stage – all of the chapters have been recorded – I hope to have it shipping in December (my team is producing the DVD).

You can get a significant discount by pre-ordering the DVD (for a limited time) by clicking the image below:

The list price of the DVD is $249… if you pre-order this week you get it for $186.  Pricey, but if you wanted consulting from Janet (or someone of her caliber) you’d pay more and have to take furious notes … this DVD is something you can watch again and again and again :)

World’s Strictest Parents, BBC, in Utah

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

One of my wife’s good friends (who has a fantastic parenting story and system) had her family featured on the British World’s Strictest Parents show.  I  watched the 6 parts on YouTube and was touched  a number of times… it’s amazing how much kids (I can say that since I’m so old) live without real direction from parents (or, how much kids get away from good morals).

I’ll leave it at that – here are the six parts:

You can learn more about Nicholeen Peck at her Teaching Self Government blog – also, there are lots of “afterthoughts” there.

Stand Strong the Movie

Monday, November 16th, 2009

I’ve heard my wife talking about this movie for a while since she knows the people behind it.  It was really cool to see that some of it was filmed at another friends house (not the rich house, the … er, more modest house).

Okay, a note about this more modest house – we covet it.  The yard is phenominal – not sure how much they show but we went there three or four times last summer and we dream about a yard like theirs.

Here’s the trailer:

The link to the movie is Stand Strong Movie . com.  Apparently it will be “screened at film festivals nationwide beginning in December.”

2 Common Picture (Avatar) Problems

Friday, November 13th, 2009

There are two picture (avatar or image) problems that I constantly see online:

1. Picture is too dark.

This is usually an avatar on a social networking profile like LinkedIn or Twitter.  Mine was too dark, to the point of being accused of being GOTH (lol).  I loved my picture, actually, but I got too many complaints about it and finally changed it to something lighter.

I didn’t think too much about it but lately I have seen a number of pictures on LinkedIn or Twitter – these are SMALL pictures – they are so small that if you have a lot of dark shadows and background it won’t look good.

One reason I see too much shadow is because the image is cropped from a networking event – not an on-purpose picture.

2. Picture is too BIG.

This is a problem I see on many small business owners websites – it is either their professional picture they had taken, or a corporate picture, or something like that.

It’s easy to figure out if it is too big – the way I find out is when I go to an About Us page and the page takes forever to load.  Actually, the page loads while the picture slooooowly creeps up.  Any slowly creeping photo is TOO big.

If you right click the image you can see the properties, which will tell you the size.  Anything under 100K is good.  Anything over that can be optimized (in just a few seconds).  Anything over 500k or 1MB is HORRIFIC.

Change your picture size to something small (this is the file size, not the dimension of the image) and you’ll have that About Us page loading lickity-split!

(I know, kind of a weird post but it’s been on my mind :p)