Book Marketing Menu

For many years, I worked in the book publishing business doing marketing and publicity. The following Book Marketing Menu gives authors and would-be authors the master list from which they can draw inspiration and their to-do list. It’s big and hairy. There’s a lot to do. BUT, start with what’s easy and comes naturally for you.

Your book is your legacy. Are you ready? Ready to live your legacy? To own the greatness of your vision, message, or project? To express your gifts? To connect with your tribe, so that the people who need to hear your message can hear you?

The following Book Marketing Menu outlines for you an array of ways to add power, presence, and platform to your vision, book or project.

The following menu of marketing possibilities outlines the key elements for you to consider for promoting your book or other “info product.”  It’s an atlas of ideas and ideal if:
*You have a book coming out from a traditional publisher and want to understand the elements of the process.
*You want to create a marketing platform for your book that’s still in the works.
*You are determined to get the word out, even if it means doing it yourself.
*You want to use “Information Marketing” as the basis for building your community for your venture or idea, a non-publishing business.

Traditional publishers take certain actions to market your books. This is in addition to their strength of distribution into sales channels. The marketing activities listed here serve to support and enhance “sell-through,” that is, moving your books from store shelves into the hands of your ideal readers. Historically traditional publishers’ activities included the following.
(However, if you choose to become your own publisher or self-publish, then be aware that these responsibilities in the first category are now yours!)

Part One:  Congratulations! You Have a Publisher!
What might your publisher do to market your book to support its sell-through?
*Write trade catalog copy
*Create sales kits tip sheets—for sales reps/distributors
*Distribute to wholesalers, book chains, independent bookstores, libraries, & online outlets
*Include your book info on their web site
*Gather testimonials
*Create and mail (or email) direct response catalogs/mailers to targeted professionals
*Include your book in ads in book and library trade media
*Include your book in ads in professional journals/media
*Do direct response to niche consumers (most often done electronically)
*Send advance page proofs to review sources
*Write flap/jacket/cover copy
*Create and send new book press release/e-release to targeted media
*Develop a feature press release/e-release
*Support author tour, radio interviews, and other book/author publicity
*Get your book info correct, complete, and online  via book databases (BIP, Ingram, Amazon, etc
*Initiate special sales to associations/companies/specialty stores
*Go after subsidiary rights/international sales/translations
*Submit titles to relevant competitions, e.g., IBPA, ForeWord, IPPY, Nautilus, National Book Awards

Even with the best of intentions, publishers are working on many books and have limited time and resources. No one knows and loves your book and subject matter more than you do. Sometimes you’ll have to step into the breach and make things happen. The more you can solicit buy-in from your publisher, keep the team informed of your plans –and results– and get their support (to ensure distribution in a local area, for example), the happier everyone will be. Like it or not, you need each other.

Part Two: Must-Dos Whether You Have a Publisher or Not…
As Author, what is your role? What might you need to do to market your book?
*Any of the above that your publisher is not planning for your book (or is not doing in-depth)
*Go deeper into your contacts database, do more follow up than your publisher will provide
*Author speaking tour: seminars/talks/workshops at bookstores (chains, indies, relevant specialty/gift stores or other outlets–spas, hardware stores, etc.  — as relevant to your audience)
*Author seminars/talks/workshops at libraries
*Author talks /telephone conferences with book clubs/reading groups/niche interest groups
*Your own BRAND — author and/or book
*Your own book web site promoting your book, your expertise, your calendar of events, your media hits, other products available, a press room with news release, author and book images, free chapters downloadable
*Your own social media campaigns (FaceBook, Twitter, Linked-In, Biznik; Digg, Squidoo)
*Media/publicity results lists on your web site (where you’ve appeared)
*Author activities/speaking engagements/ where you’ll be listed on your web site
*Weblog (blog)—ongoing communications to your people (your Tribe); comment on related blogs
*Author tour – going to where your people are (your niche market)—either live or virtually
*Hire your own outside publicist for targeted activities (radio tour, specific cities, virtual tour)
*Reconnect with the individuals/organizations you were in touch with as you created the book—special sales opportunities? Getting access to their audiences? Joint ventures? List sharing?
*Create a sign-up box on your website to capture email addresses; then stay in touch via your electronic newsletter
*Online article distribution—“tastes” of the book or vision, with a resource box that drives people to your web site or the publishers (ideally where they can either sign up for your email list OR buy the book immediately)
*Free teleclasses – similar to author talks, but all done from home—Partner with like-minded marketers with a list to broaden your reach
*Author speaking engagements/seminars/consulting to associations, companies, business groups
*Ramp up social media presence to attract people to your web site to learn more
*Add value. Add value.  Add value.
*Create items of varying price points—(May be tricky if you have a traditional publisher, and didn’t retain rights for spin-offs)
*Create apps–iPad, iPhone, etc.

There are numerous steps under any of these categories. You’ll want to prioritize what you do best, what partners and support you need, and what you will actually do based on your own strengths, capabilities and needs. Then, take action. Just do it.

Good luck with your marketing and promotion!

Are you ready to live your legacy?
To add power, presence and platform to your message, to own your greatness (and your project’s greatness), to express your gifts, vision, and message clearly, so that you will make a resonant connection with your perfect tribe of readers, you may be looking for some support. If so, be in touch. We’ll have a conversation to see if there is a mutual resonance and a good fit.