Category Archives: book promotion

Thoughts on Marketing a Book

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.

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

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 🙂

Now What Update

If you followed my Multiple Streams of Income posts on JibberJobber you would know that I am an executive editor for my publisher for the Now What??? series.  I have lofty goals for this series… and today is a special day.  Why?  Check out part of an email I just got:

Hi Janet,

Congrats! Your book is officially at the printer. I’ll keep you
up to speed on how that goes and when we can ship you your

Your eBook is now live on the Happy About shopping cart. Feel
free to start sending folks there. It’s also attached.

Have a great weekend.


How terrific is that?

The first book was I’m on LinkedIn — Now What??? (currently in it’s second edition), the second was I’m on Facebook — Now What???, and this is officially the third book in my series!

Congratulations to Janet, newest author – Sept 4, 2009 is a special day for you!  The next special day is when a box of YOUR books arrives at your door – what a thrill!

Janet wrote a terrific blog post titled The Journey of Writing a Book.

I have a webinar that you should get if you think you have a book in you called Write Your Book.

Amazon Wins and Losses

Almost a month ago I listed my DVD on Amazon… getting into a $39.95/month payment plan.  Shortly thereafter I had to take the listing down because I hadn’t gotten my DVDs yet, and by policy I had to ship within 2 days of any order. Once I got the DVDs I immediately went back to Amazon and relisted the DVD… but there was one little, er, MAJOR problem: If you look at LinkedIn book, my DVD would not show up.


Because I had to list my DVD in the DVD section, where it was buried amongst movies… and totally not related to books at all.  Even though they are the same (a) subject and (b) author, you wouldnt’ find my DVD on my book page.  And what I really wanted you to see was my DVD on ANY LinkedIn book page.

Alas, wasn’t going to happen.

I spent hours poking through the help pages, the advertising pages, listening to the advertising webinar, emailing support, and even trying to talk with them on the phone.  It was very frustrating trying to get an answer.  Amazon has a cool sellers forum, where I found some awesome information, so I listed my problem there.  I learned about more options, but didn’t get the answer I wanted.

Finally, I decided to try calling again, and finally got on with someone who had a suggestion that wasn’t going to work (he said to put the DVD as a book, and in there you can say what the binding is (I think that’s the section), and he said to say it was a CD ROM or Diskette).  The problem with this first suggestion is that I didn’t want Amazon to come back and say I was doing something deceitful… I certainly didn’t want my amazon account to get taken down!

The second solution sounded a lot better, and he reiterated three times that this was totally acceptable and would not get me in any hot water… he said to “package” my book with the DVD, and then I could put it in the books section.  That is what I did.  So here is what I came up with (the wording was almost 100% from the Amazon rep, as we were brainstorming it):

and here’s the image (which is the front cover of the CD sleeve… luckily it already had the book cover on it!):

You can click here to see the posting.

Pricing Your Book

The second edition of I’m on LinkedIn — Now What??? ships on Black Friday!  Yeah!  Watch the LinkedIn blog for more information.

I remember the pricing discussion I had with Happy About about my LinkedIn book.  It was more involved than I thought it would be, and we finally agreed on $19.95 for the paperback and $11.95 for the Linkedin ebook, with NO discounts (except for a short while as a promotional thing).

I’ve thought a lot about book pricing since then, as I’ve gotten various feedback from people.  Here’s a line from a comment on Amazon (this is from someone who gave the first edition a one star):

“The book practically does not offer more than I found myself within 2 hours.”

So what does that mean?  Is it overpriced?  Let’s assume that it’s not contentless, or that the issue isn’t that there isn’t any meat… let’s assume this LinkedIn book helps you avoid searching on your own for 2 hours.

What do you make in two hours?  If you have a job you probably make at least $15/hour.  If you are a consultant you probably charge at least $70/hour.

Would a $20 purchase… or an $11.95 purchase, be worth two hours of your time?  Or would it be better to sift through stuff online to find what you are looking for?

That’s a decision the reader has to make, but as I’ve thought about how this book should be priced, and if it’s overpriced, I keep coming back to this: there is value in the book, and I invested my time in providing the value, giving opinions, collecting information, and working on presenting it in a format you could use as a manual/guide to get more out of LinkedIn.

I think pricing it lower would be a disservice to me.  Pricing it higher would be a disservice to you.

I would love to hear what other authors/publishers think about book pricing….

My mind is in marketing mode

I’ve realized two things since I’ve started my business:

  1. My business evolves and matures, and is differnet than what I thought it would be (and will probably be different in two years than what I can conceptualize right now).
  2. I have a lot of cool stuff that I can put a value on.  Aside from JibberJobber, I have books, webinars and consulting.  All of these are revenue stream opportunities.

Over the last few months I’ve been thinking a lot about revenue streams… or should I say opportunities?  There are many things that make up the composition of “ideal” in my business:

  • Automated.  Has to be something that won’t require me to do any fulfillment.  JibberJobber upgrades are one example.  Book sales through my publisher is another example.
  • Repeat value.  I have to provide *stuff* that is valuable, or else I won’t feel good about hawking my warez.  Is this stuff that helps people, or businesses (more of an emphasis on people)?  Really??  If it’s just vapor-value, I don’t want to do it.  Don’t want to worry about returns, complaints, and certainly not diminishing my brand.
  • Complementary.  I hear you can make good money selling stuff on ebay.  Or getting into an MLM.  Or flying a plane, or doing brain surgery. Okay, that’s extreme, but you get my point.  I want to stay within a certain boundary of what I provide, produce, offer and sell.  Would any of the people who buy one product be interested in another product, or other products, I have?  
  • Seizing the window (of opportunity).  I hate to miss a window of opportunity, so the info has to be timely.  LinkedIn is timely, so the book does well.  What else is timely, and what might I be doing that isn’t timely?
  • Not fad-based.  Would have been nice to have gotten in on some fads, but really, I am not interested in producing a fad unless I can sell for a grundle of money.  I want something with long-term, sustainable value.

Understand, I have my “product line.”  I’m not looking for other mousetraps, or products, or services… I’m just thinking about how to better market my stuff.

Want to join me on the journey?  Your welcome to – I’ll blog about it here!

Help a Reporter Out (HARO) Helps Me Out With Twitter Book

I’m working on I’m on Twitter — Now What??? Yes, I’m a nut.  A crazy nut.  I swore I wouldn’t do a second book.  Swore more I wouldn’t do a third book.  Now I’m going to to stop swearing, since I have a fourth book I am going to do, and am anxious to write another top secret book (not a “Now What” book).

I signed up for Help a Reporter Out (HARO) a few weeks ago and have enjoyed watching Peter Shankman grow this concept into a very powerful resource for journalists.  I subscribed thinking maybe there were opportunities for me to be an expert… never did I think I’d ask for sources for an article.  Here’s the top of the HARO website:

Then I saw solicitation for input on various books, and thought maybe I should try it out.  So I did.  I put this:

11) Summary: Input for Twitter book

Name: Jason Alba


Title: I’m on Twitter — Now What???

Media Outlet/Publication: book

Anonymous? No

Specific Geographic Region? No


Deadline: 12:00 PM MOUNTAIN – July 31


“I am working on I’m on Twitter — Now What??? (following I’m on LinkedIn — Now What??? and I’m on Facebook — Now What???) and am looking for input.

Has Twitter helped you improve your network, your brand, increase revenues (make sales), etc?

What do you LOVE about Twitter, and what do you HATE about it? What confuses you about it?

Specific examples or stories are what I’m looking for. Please send answers (or questions), and your Twitter handle, to”

I can’t believe the amazing responses I’ve gotten.  Twitter n00bies, Twitter early adopters, businesses, professionals.  Some Twitter haters (or, I-don’t-getters), mostly people saying “I resisted for a long time but then I tried it out and have been amazed at what it is.”

I’m getting excellent input.  How much input?

I have received 36 e-mails from people answering my questions. And the question came out about 8 hours ago.  I’m sure I’ll get more through the next week.

Love Twitter, hate Twitter, results from Twitter (ROI)… it’s all there.  This HARO resource is phenomenal… thank you Peter Shankman, this isn’t the last time I’m using HARO!

Amazon shows status of LinkedIn book

I took a break from checking my stats on Amazon, since my book should be past it’s prime, as far as what I’m told.  But I’m pleasantly surprised to see that it’s still doing well:

In the highlight, this shows it’s the four thousanth most popular book that Amazon sells (during this period, which I think is limited to an hour or a few hours).

The red arrow shows it’s the eighth most popular book in the Job Hunting book category.  Here’s some interesting observations with that:

  1. The number one book in this category is Career Warfare: 10 Rules for Building a Sucessful Personal Brand on the Business Battlefield … funny that it only has 1 customer review, but it is a McGraw-Hill book, and a second edition.  It’s also #144 of ALL books sold in this period – big kudos to author D’Alessandro.
  2. Unbelievable that the always-#1 book in this category, What color is your parachute, is knocked to #2!  That won’t last long, but it’s good to see a new #1 for now 🙂
  3. I own the next three books, in #9,  Escape from Corporate America: A Practical Guide to Creating the Career of Your Dreams  #10 How’d You Score That Gig?: A Guide to the Coolest Jobs-and How to Get Them  and #11 Knock ’em Dead, 2008: The Ultimate Job Search Guide (Knock ’em Dead).  It’s great to see my friends’ books there.
  4. Surprisingly, I’m on Facebook — Now What??? is sitting at #16. That might be the highest I’ve seen it there… while I have seen my LinkedIn book down around #40 or somewhere around there.

Amazon stats are quite fickle, so I don’t pretend there’s any science here, but it’s fun to pontificate every once in a while 🙂

I’m in the US News & World Report

boosting your sales with social networkingOne of my goals this year was to have a full article dedicated to me in The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.  This is because I was told by someone that that is where JibberJobber would get credibility – not through any articles I wrote on my own.

I’m happy to share an article that just went live today, which has turned into one of my favorite articles… the title is Boosting Your Sales With Social Networking.  How cool is that?