5 MORE Ways to Market Your Book

Article Index July 22,2013 Comments

If you haven't already, read the first part here.

6. Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is a form of communication that reaches a targeted audience directly through one or more channels. Examples include email, direct mail, catalogs, and promotional letters. Postcards and bookmarks can also be effective since the message is seen immediately without opening an envelope or email. In all cases, direct marketing materials can be sent to a targeted list of potential buyers, and responses can be measured.


In both email and postal-direct marketing, target audiences are a key factor. You can purchase a targeted list for postal mail and an opt-in (meaning the recipient has agreed to have the email sent) list for email marketing. Or build your own list by asking people on your site to sign-up to receive a newsletter or special promotions from you. It's important to make sure your direct marketing pieces stand out and grab the recipient's attention. In email, the subject line is critical. Similarly, you can write a teaser on an envelope to entice the recipient to open the envelope. In postal mail, send a cover letter, sales piece, and some means for the recipient to respond such as a business reply card (BRC). Make some offer that will get the recipient to act quickly, such as directing them to your website to see a sample chapter or offering a free gift or autographed copy with a response by a certain date. The options are unlimited, so you can test lots of different ideas to see which ones receive the best response.


7. Personal Marketing

When you have a highly targeted audience, you can reach them through personal communication. The major benefit of personal marketing is that you get immediate feedback as to how well your message is getting through. It will also give you an opportunity to answer questions and close sales. When you're selling your books, you're also selling yourself as an author, so personal marketing is a great way to build your authentic author brand with face-to-face communications. Examples of personal marketing initiatives are bookstore events, launch parties, direct selling, book tours, speaking events, and personal presentations at libraries.


Many of the same techniques for live publicity events apply to speaking events. Practice projecting your words and using your body language. While you'd use professional selling techniques when direct selling, be sure not to come off too "commercial" during other speaking events, book tours, or bookstore appearances. At these, you should discuss how your content can help and/or entertain the people in the audience.


8. Blogging

A blog (short for web log) is an online form of regular commentary maintained by an individual on a particular topic or cause. Most blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments. A typical blog is usually a text post, but they often contain images, embedded video, podcast installments, and links to other blogs or websites. There are several different forms of blogging, including microblogging, which consists of very short posts (ex. Twitter's 140-character posts), podcasts (audio blogs), and vlogs (video blogs). Read Why You Need an Author Blog.


You can use your blog to build your platform, exposure, and credibility as an expert on your topic. Keep it authentic, post to it regularly and respond to visitor comments quickly and professionally. If you cannot commit to writing a regular blog, consider creating occasional content for other blogs which pertain to the topic of your book. Reach out to similar bloggers for guest blog opportunities, and invite them to be a guest on your blog, as well. To get started blogging, consider using a template provided by services like Wordpress or Blogger, and feature your blog on your website.


9. Awards

There are many award competitions for most kinds of books. Awards can focus on your book's design, content, marketing, production quality, and even editing. There are awards for a variety of genres, including business, inspirational, fiction, and children's books. Winning (or being nominated for) an award has many benefits, such as increased exposure, greater credibility, and potential for testimonials and sales. An element of personal satisfaction comes with getting awards, too.


When you win an award, make the most out of it! Feature the awards in your literature, email signature, business cards, postcards, website, and letterhead. Describe your awards in your press kits and include them in press releases or any display materials for in-person events. Even if you don't win, you can always highlight that you were nominated or achieved another level of acknowledgment from the organization distributing the award.


10. Trade Shows/Fairs/Events

A trade show or fair is an event where sellers display their products to a group of corresponding buyers over a period of several days. They can be local, regional, national, or international events. One of the biggest in the U.S. publishing industry is Book Expo America (BEA), usually held mid-year in New York City, but you might consider attending a show targeted at your book's specific subject (for example, if your book is about automotive repair, consider attending a car show). Your town also probably has local events that would be appropriate for certain types of books. For a book on careers, you could attend a job fair, or a book on crafts or cooking might be appropriate to display at a local country fair or farmer's market. Trade shows and fairs give you the chance to network with people in the industry or potential readers, generate sales leads, close sales, research trends, build relationships, examine direct sales opportunities, generate publicity, and/or launch a new title.


When you find the best shows or fairs in which to participate, attend them first as a visitor before you commit the time and money to exhibit. For trade shows, if you decide to purchase floor space and display, get the exhibitor's manual and follow its guidelines carefully. Create an exhibit that will make attendees stop and look, with professionally produced graphics in a single, consistent theme. Try a raffle or a game to draw participation and attention to your display. After the event, follow up with the contacts you made and send all the samples and literature that you promised to send. Whether you're attending or exhibiting, you'll need some help getting the word out and managing your presence, so consider enlisting the assistance of a friend or family member.


Article written by Brian Jud. Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, seminar leader, television host and president of Book Marketing Works, LLC. Brian is the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns), Beyond the Bookstore (a Publishers Weekly book) and eight titles on book-marketing topics. Brian is the host of the television series The Book Authority and was an adjunct lecturer of marketing courses for graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Hartford and the University of Connecticut. Brian has a BS degree in marketing from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA in marketing from Xavier University.