Book Marketing 101 — Enhance Your Publisher’s Efforts

Congratulations! You have found a publisher well suited to your book. The contract has been signed. You are a published author! What’s next? What will your publisher do? What should you do to enhance the publi­sher’s efforts?

Authors covet tra­di­tio­nal (trade) publi­shers because those publi­shers are experts in taking a book from manus­cript to retail stores with per­fec­tion. No matter how many articles you might have read about the enti­ce­ment of self-publishing or “vanity” publi­shers, trade publi­shers know what must be done, how to accom­plish the tasks and they can do it in a timely manner. They have the artists, printers, dis­tri­bu­tion channels and retail connec­tions that you require. That’s why you should be willing to share some of the profit with trade publishers.

Without a publisher, you would need to be an expert at cover art, graphic design, editing, printing, acquiring dis­tri­bu­tion channels, web site design, marketing to retail book­sel­lers and all facets of sales. Very few excellent writers are also experts in all of those areas. And, even if you were an expert in all of those fields, would you have the time to accom­plish all of those tasks, as well as restock retail stores? In today’s highly com­pe­ti­tive and rapidly changing retail book market, even trade publi­shers cannot do eve­ry­thing. So, unless your last name is King or Clancy, you will need to chip in with some time and effort to make your book a smashing retail success.

What can you expect from your publisher?

A trade publisher will edit your book, create cover art, print the books, contract with dis­tri­bu­tors and then place your book on the Internet sites of Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Target and other major global retailers. Your publisher will market your book globally and arrange for dis­tri­bu­tion in all relevant countries. The publisher will then process the books to sales outlets and restock them on a regular basis. Your publisher may also promote your book at book fairs, through catalogs, through an e‑mail or fax blast, generate media publicity, arrange book tours, create a web site, solicit reviews and arrange book signings. And, despite all of this effort on the part of your publisher, you’ll receive royalties, which a pretty nice feeling.

However, in today’s ever-changing book sales market, a great deal of addi­tio­nal work remains to be done by the author. Much of this is elec­tro­nic marketing. Because of the changing nature of the publi­shing world and the revo­lu­tion in elec­tro­nic book pur­cha­sing, someone needs to market your book throu­ghout the Internet world. Because this work is extremely labor-intensive and detail-oriented, few publi­shers have the time, workers and enthu­siasm to make it happen. This is where the author must step in, with the moti­va­tion to work hard on behalf of his or her book. The bad news is that there is a lot of work for the author to do. The good news is that almost no expertise or money is required to accom­plish these vital tasks.

Viral marketing:

The Internet has turned the publi­shing world upside down. Even mammoth publi­shing houses are today petrified with this abrupt change. People can purchase on the Internet, bypassing brick and mortar stores. They download books to their Kindle. They can even download books on the Internet for free. People today make pur­cha­sing decisions based upon what they can see and read on the Internet. For example, Amazon not only allows you to describe your book, display its cover and details; it also has a feature called “Search Inside” that allows pros­pec­tive buyers to sample many pages of your book before buying. Bookstores and publi­shers are frigh­te­ned and losing profit margin. But here is where you can step in and help your publisher.

What should you do to help your publisher? You can contact your local news­pa­pers, magazines and on-line Blogs in order to solicit articles about you and reviews for your book. You can contact local books­tores and arrange for book signings. You can sell books on your own through local orga­ni­za­tions. You can try to obtain reviews and inter­views about your book eve­ryw­here in town. One of the fastest ways to solicit business for your book is through the media. Since you require positive reviews to sell your book, news­pa­pers, magazines and book clubs are a great place to start. When you encounter serious interest, send them a review copy. If your publisher runs out of review copies, send them the e‑book as a review copy, or ask them to purchase the Kindle version.

But, the world is a lot bigger than your neigh­bo­rhood. If you want a great many people to read your book, you will need to create a global elec­tro­nic marketing campaign. Fortunately, almost all of this can be accom­pli­shed with your computer. Better yet, it won’t cost you a dime.

First, create a viral marketing campaign. Viral marketing means many things, including web pages, Blogs, social net­wor­king, video marketing and all other elec­tro­nic means of selling your book. It sounds difficult. In reality, it is simple and free. Use effective search terms in Google or Yahoo to find places and people related to your book. For example, a book about the history could be promoted to schools, public and private colleges, uni­ver­si­ties, his­to­ri­cal societies and orga­ni­za­tions dedicated to his­to­ri­cal pre­ser­va­tion. Thousands of people, places and orga­ni­za­tions that might use such a book can be located with Internet searches.

Once you uncover these people, places and orga­ni­za­tions, all that remains is to contact them with a sales pitch for your book. E‑mail marketing is cheap and fast. However, your sales pitch must grab the reader’s interest quickly. You must construct an e‑mail cover page that is infor­ma­tive, has embedded links to your web sites and the publisher and will sell the value of your book instantly. More about e‑mail marketing later in this article.

Web site marketing:

Most publi­shers will create a web page for your book. But never rely on the public finding that one page, or even your publi­sher’s web site. Anyone can create a free web page for his or her book. Just visit Yahoo, Google, Hotmail, WordPress, Blogspot, Goodreads, or Geocities and begin building your site. There are many other Internet sites where you can build a web site or Blog for free. The ins­truc­tions are simple and fast. The more web pages that you create for your book, on your own, the more chances buyers will discover it. I have dozens of such sites.

You can create a free web page that includes many detailed facts about your book, including review excerpts, his­to­ri­cal data and links to your Blogs and web sites, as well as your publisher. To keep readers on the site, add dozens of inter­es­ting and useful links about the topic of your book. Then, you can create another free web site that includes a syllabus for your book, packed with features and reasons why people should purchase it. Connect these web pages to each other via links. This is FREE. All it takes is some of your time.

The secret to success with Internet web sites is to make them inter­es­ting and to use effective key words. Key words (a.k.a. “tags”) are the way that search engines find web pages. Select your key words very carefully. The more accurate and appealing your key words, the better the chance that search engines will uncover your book.

Some people recommend that you give away down­loa­dable copies of your book on the Internet, as a marketing tool. Publishers may disagree. However, if you allow someone to download your e‑book, or e‑mail it to them, there is a chance that they will enjoy it and tell their friends about it. Since most people do not wish to read a book on their computer par­ti­cu­lar­ly a long book, print sales will increase as a result. Someone recently asked me if I was disap­poin­ted that so many people were reading my book from the local library, rather than paying for it at a bookstore. I don’t mind at all. People who enjoy your book will tell friends and family about it. In the end, giving away books judi­cious­ly is an effective sales tool.

There is no limit to the number of web pages that you can create. The more times you create a new web page, and the more times you update an existing page, the more times people will discover your book. Continue to perform main­te­nance on your key words and update your sites with new links. Before you are done, go to this web page Here you will be able to submit your web sites to Google’s search tool. This step is critical, so that your web sites will appear on all future Google searches.


Blogging about your book, or writing on other Blogs about it can be a powerful tool to increase sales. Anyone can create a Blog for free and use it to promote a book. I Blog on two of my own sites. Blog about anything of interest to you, or any par­ti­cu­lar expertise you have acquired. It doesn’t have to be related to your book. Note that you can easily promote your book on Blog pages, through links and sidebar widgets. Just be sure to sign off each post as, “Author of …” below your name.

Perhaps more impor­tant­ly, you can comment on other people’s Blogs, vastly increa­sing your book’s visi­bi­li­ty. Use a Google search feature to troll the Internet searching for key words related to your book’s topic. When you find Internet newspaper or magazine articles about your book’s topic, visit the site and write something there about your book. Always sign off on Blogs with the title of your book and a link to your book’s web site under your name.

Similarly, you can comment on articles in magazines and news­pa­pers via their Internet versions. In most cases, you will need to register. It’s free and the time you put into regis­te­ring is a small price to pay for the ability to promote your book in all future ite­ra­tions of that newspaper or magazine. Most Internet news media allow reader comments after an article. When you find an article related to your book, write your comment and then sign your name and, “Author of …” after your name. Be sure to include the title of your book and a link to its web site under your name.

Write articles:

Anyone can write articles and have them published on the Internet. Where is your expertise? In what way can you provide people with valuable infor­ma­tion? Writing articles is not simple or swift. You may need to conduct some research. Take your time and write carefully. Your topic need not be connected with your book. I have had articles published on topics as wide ranging as publi­shing, psy­cho­lo­gy, religion, life, death, war, happiness, prejudice and phi­lo­so­phy. Each article is a chance to sign off with your book’s name and a link to its web site.

Establish a Goodreads account. Goodreads is a web site for readers and authors. It is a terrific place to see and be seen. There is no more natural place to sell your book’s value to potential readers. Although Goodreads is not a retail site, it offers an oppor­tu­ni­ty to network with other authors who have similar interests and problems.

Social net­wor­king:

Join as many social net­wor­king sites as possible. MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Ziggs, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Multiply, Urbis, Squidoo… They are all valuable ways to make your book known. You may be able to generate your own Wikipedia page. At each of these social net­wor­king sites, you can create a profile, including a des­crip­tion of your book and stores where it is sold. But your work there is not finished. Join groups within the sites that are related to your book, your writing, or anything related to the topic. Promote your book through Facebook, MySpace and Twitter by joining groups related to it. LinkedIn is an excellent place to network with pro­fes­sio­nals of all types. At LinkedIn, you can create a profile to describe your book that will be seen by countless readers. You can also join groups of interest related to your book. You can reach literally thousands of people within these groups.


Amazon is not only a place to sell your book. It is a place to post a Blog. Amazon has a new sponsored link called “Filedby” that includes an author biography page where you can post a Blog and relevant articles. Also within Amazon, each content section has forums in which people start topics or respond to the topics of others. You can post messages and responded to messages in Amazon forums as wide ranging as history, fiction, war, romance, art, science, religion, lite­ra­ture, etc. Again, each time you write, sign off with your name and the title of your book. You will instantly reach thousands of potential buyers.

Another Amazon feature allows anyone with an Amazon account to create a review for any book sold there. Think about every book that you have read. You can locate the book on Amazon and create your own customer review. Just scroll down the Amazon page for any book until you see a button that says, “Create Your Own Customer Review.” Follow the ins­truc­tions to rate and then review the book. When you are done, be sure to write, “Author of …” after your name. Every time someone reads your review of that book, the name of your book will appear. Since the reader is already on Amazon, they can purchase your book by typing its name at the top of the page. You can review as many books as you wish, each time marketing your own book under your signature.

Email marketing:

You can per­so­nal­ly contact tens of thousands of critical people and orga­ni­za­tions with e‑mail. Never count on your publisher doing this. They can only dream of having the time and labor to accom­plish such a task. All that you need are e‑mail addresses, an effective sales letter and some time.

Use the Internet to search for lists of people who would have a natural interest in your book. You can uncover literally thousands of e‑mail addresses related to your book’s topic. Organizations often include mem­ber­ship e‑mail addresses. All that is left for you to do is to create an effective e‑mail cover letter and send it to each member elec­tro­ni­cal­ly. This is not spamming because the addresses are publicly posted.

While few of us are brave enough to open an attach­ment from a stranger, we are all willing to open a hyperlink. Embedding Internet hyper­links into your e‑mail cover page is simple and fast. In most e‑mail programs, you can right-click on any word in an outgoing message and then select the “Hyperlink” option. Follow the ins­truc­tions to embed the hyperlink. That word will appear in all future e‑mail versions of your letter in blue or red. When your reader clicks on the blue or red word (while com­pres­sing the “Control” key), your web site will emerge in their browser. With this method, the reader can access all of your book’s important web sites, including your publi­sher’s web site, book reviews, the book’s Amazon page, another web site that contains a syllabus, author inter­views and much more.

Hyperlinks are also vastly superior to typing in lengthy Internet addresses. For example, the Amazon Internet address for many books can be quite lengthy and would occupy at least two lines in an e‑mail pitch page. Instead, simply hyperlink the word “here” at the end of a sentence. Clicking the word “here,” which will appear in blue or red, will transport the e‑mail reader to the book’s Amazon page.

Your e‑mail cover page message must be brief and concise — less than one page; while com­pel­ling the reader to learn more about your book. No one will bother to read a lengthy dis­ser­ta­tion about your book while the rest of his or her daily incoming mail is piling up, waiting to be read. Just grab their interest quickly, hyperlink the best web sites and provide contact infor­ma­tion. The e‑mail is only designed to command their interest. The embedded web sites will sell your book. At least one of your embedded web sites should allow the reader to instantly purchase the book. Another hyper­lin­ked web site should contain the book’s syllabus, access to your best reviews, the author’s biography and links to other relevant sites, articles, Blogs and books.

Once you have created an impres­sive e‑mail cover letter, save it in generic form for future use. Then, each time you wish to contact someone new about your book, retrieve the file and customize it to that par­ti­cu­lar recei­pient. In most cases, you will require only a few minor changes to your original letter. This will allow you to contact literally hundreds of people rapidly.

Only a few days are required to create and modify e‑mail cover letters, web sites and Blogs appro­pria­te­ly. It will cost nothing. In fact, some large Internet companies, like Google, will pay you per click if you allow them to advertise on your site. Instead of paying for web site deve­lop­ment, create your own site and make money by selling adver­ti­sing on it. Learn more about the “affiliate programs” at Google and Amazon.


The world of book marketing and sales is under­going consi­de­rable, rapid change. People who formerly explored books and purchased them at their local bookstore now increa­sin­gly accom­plish this task from home or work on the Internet. Since publi­shers are still required to edit, print, dis­tri­bute and market in tra­di­tio­nal ways, and since they have fewer staff due to lower margins, it falls upon the author to accom­plish many new tasks related to elec­tro­nic marketing and sales.

You can construct web sites and Blogs that can be used to attract the public to your book and accom­plish the sale with a few mouse clicks. You can solicit reviews, articles and sales by creating several attrac­tive and concise web pages, by using appro­priate key words in those web sites to attract search engines and by imple­men­ting an effective e‑mail marketing campaign. You can accom­plish all of this right from your own computer — and it is virtually cost free.

Marketing a book can be time consuming and frus­tra­ting. But do not count on your publisher to accom­plish eve­ry­thing, par­ti­cu­lar­ly if you are a new author. Be willing to implement your own marketing campaign with web sites, Blogs, by writing articles and with an effective e‑mail blitz. The harder your effort, the larger your royalty checks will become.

Agence Arkenciel


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Source by Charles Weinblatt

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