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)
- 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).
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.