Book Marketing Tip of the Week
February 27, 2007: Longfellow Day
Born on this date in 1807, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow became the first
American poet to earn a living writing verse.
In this issue . . .
-- Get Linked with TeachingBooks.Net
-- Working with Booksellers to Sell More Books
-- Body Brilliance Book Trailer
-- Locust Quilt and Craft Show
-- The 10 Best Book Marketing Steps
-- Sell More Books Using the Power of Message Boards
-- Commercial Emails - Are mine too much?
Get Linked with TeachingBooks.Net
TeachingBooks.net loves to share information about K-12 children's books and authors
with teachers across the continent. To get featured, email Carin
Bringelson, their information manager, at
the following information:
1. The URL of your website
2. URLs to any interviews you've done
3. URLs to any book guides about your K-12 children's books (including ideas on how to
use your books in a classroom).
For more information about all their services, check out their website:
Working with Booksellers to Sell More Books
Janet Switzer's article in the February 5th issue of Publishers Weekly,
Booksellers: Tips for Building New Business could be a great resource for
authors. While this article is addressed to booksellers, much of the
information can easily be applied to writers. Check it out.
Switzer, author of Instant Income, developed a book signing promotion
kit for bookstores, at
Anyone can sign up for her
Instant Income Book Promotion Kit. It is a
smart campaign any retailer can use that simultaneously promotes
Janet's new book. Notice how each item in the package considers her
audience of book retailers and is targeted to them with useful tools.
This tip courtesy of Terry Whalin. You can get over $100 of free
ebooks including Ezine Magic when you subscribe to his free Right
Writing News. Check it out at
Note how Terry provided me with a neat tip and, in return, received a
mention of his newsletter (with bonus offers for subscribing). If you
want to build your ezine list, you should also be providing great tips to
other ezine publishers who are targeting your core market.
Body Brilliance Book Trailer
If you'd like to see how good a book trailer can be, check out this one:
Locust Quilt and Craft Show
Locust Quilt and Craft holds an annual quilt and craft show in November.
This year’s event is November 10 2007 in Columbia Maryland. This is their
6th year. They are seeking authors interested in promoting a book. If
you are interested in this opportunity, contact Debra Wiggins at 410-964-4811 or via email at info@LocustQuiltandCraft.com. For more info on
the group, see their website at http://www.LocustQuiltandCraft.com
The 10 Best Book Marketing Steps - Teleseminar
John Kremer will be doing a teleseminar on Thursday, March 1st, at
10:00 a.m. Pacific Time and 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. My topic will be
The 10 Best Book Marketing Steps. Peter W. Johnson Jr. of AdvisorPress
will be interviewing John. To participate, call 646-519-5860 and enter
Sell More Books Using the Power of Message Boards
An article from Jeff Rivera, author of Forever My Lady
Having a website with all the bells and whistles is wonderful but what
good is it if you can't get traffic to your site? A lot of people ask me
how in the world I got over 12,000 people to read my urban Latino love
story novel, Forever My Lady. In a word: forums or message boards.
They are online communities that have a common interest and post
messages and conversations about all kinds of topics. That was the
number one way I was able to and still continue to drive traffic to my
Forever My Lady website.
First you should target your market, figure out exactly who they are,
what they do for fun, etc. because once you figure that out you can do
a Google search under message boards and forums and sign up for all
relevant forums - or at least 5 of the most popular.
The key to success is that the forums you choose must allow you to
have a signature with a live link to your site and preferably an avatar or
image so that you can upload your book cover. (Note: You better have
a kick-ass book cover that triggers curiosity). Your signature should
say something captivating or it can be something simple like
Forever My Lady: A Novel by Jeff Rivera
If the forum doesn't allow signatures with live
links make sure it allows
you to do HTML so you can at least physically paste your cover and
link on every single message you leave on the forum.
Here's the second thing you do: Participate in
every topic you can.
Don't be afraid to piss someone off, or be controversial. Even if you piss
them off, they'll still click on your link and they'll still buy your book and
or talk about it which will only lead to more curiosity.
But warning: Never, I repeat, never talk about your book even a little
bit unless someone asks about it. And they will. Authors often think they
have to push their books but you don't have to people will be curious
about the signature and they will click on it. You might think you're
wasting your time with posting messages about everything but your
book but trust me, it works. In fact, avoid conversation about your book
unless someone asks. You don't need to talk about it, they'll ask and
they will click.
It's great because you can meet a lot of interesting people on there who
are very supportive and you get to talk to them about subjects that
have nothing to do with writing. It's good for writers to get outside their
world sometime and realize there's more to life than their books. It works
and it does drive a lot of traffic.
- Jeff Rivera is the author of the urban Latino novel, Forever My Lady.
This self-published novel was recently bought by Warner Books.
Commercial Emails - Are mine too much?
A reader of these email tips has provided some constructive criticism:
I have noticed a steady change in you marketing tips and information in the
last several months. What I have noticed mainly has been fewer and fewer useful
nuggets of marketing, promotion and publishing information, and more and more
self-serving sales information. The Blast Off series and links to various
affiliate you appear to be part of are the most blatant.
I know I don’t pay anything for the stuff I receive from you, and I know you
have an audience with diverse topical interests and experience levels. As a
former television producer, I fully appreciate the concept of getting commercial
announcements as part and parcel of free stuff. I know the ups and downs of
having a home-based consultancy and the need to make a buck to put beans on the
The message I received Friday was the worst. I’m no wizard but I can clearly
see that you’re trying to push another affiliate program. I know a lot of
technology opportunities have caused much change in the ways of doing business,
but from my perspective I think you have crossed a tipping point. I don’t
appreciate getting an email with “Marketing Tip” in the subject line and the
body message can be summarized by “try this product; if you like it and buy it,
I’ll get a cut.” That seems to be the spirit of more and more of your tips.
Yes, I get a cut if you sign up for the Instant Audio Generator program, but
I recommend the program because I like it. It's easy to use, fast to set up, and
a bargain for a beginner wanting to add audio or video to his or her website.
Now, why isn't that a good tip? I sent it out as a solo mailing because of the
time deadline on getting the good deal they were offering. I thought that was a
major service to my readers.
I understand the criticism about commercialism, but I use many of those tips
to encourage others to look into the same programs because I think they will
help people sell more books. I'm not sure yet how I will resolve this issue, but
it might come through a special newsletter in addition to the free one you get
I have always promoted my seminars via the newsletter and will continue to do
so, including ones like the CIPA seminar where I have no monetary interest. In
my experience, I have to mention the seminars three or four times to be sure
that everyone has read the message and had the opportunity to take part -
especially with the unreliability of email delivery these days.
In doing a free newsletter, there is always a tightrope to walk between
advertising or promotional messages and good content. If you go too commercial,
you lose readers. If you go with too much content and no advertising, you are
wasting your time (at least, that's the way my wife sees it when I take time to
write a free newsletter rather than spend additional time with her).
I do intend to add more content in the coming months, but even here there's a
balance that has to be taken into consideration. Make the newsletter too long,
and people don't read it. Make it too short, and people might not see any value
in it. This is especially true given the diverse nature of my audience of
authors and publishers with the incredible variety of subjects they cover.
Now, there's no question that the last email update I sent out was very
commercial. One tip, with an affiliate program that pays me a commission if you
sign up under my notice. But still a very good content tip if you've been
looking to add audio or video to your website. Again, this tip was sent
separately because of the time-sensitive nature of the specially priced offer.
So what about last week's tip?
The Kremer 100 PR Newsletter Bites the Dust -- I wrote this entry primarily
to see if I could get the message through to the people who had paid for the
newsletter. Thus far, out of 240 PAID subscribers with CURRENT email addresses,
60 have still not responded. Did they get the message? Sent out twice to the
paid newsletter subscribers, once to my entire list (hoping I could get through
to them that way), and again via a personal email to each. But the main message
here is simple: Email is broken. Seriously broken when 1/4 of the PAID
subscribers don't seem to be getting their emails. This message, I believe, is
important to authors who are relying on email as a key marketing tool. Good
Book Covers -- An important discussion, especially since authors and
publishers seem to be settling for less than the best covers. This trend really
scares me because marketing books with so-so covers is a much tougher
proposition. Good content.
CIPA College -- Not a money-maker for me, but a courtesy to let readers know
where they can next hear me speak (as well as hear other useful talks). Useful
content for people wanting to learn more.
LetItOut.com -- An example of a good website URL that authors and publishers
can use to inspire them to create new websites or pages that will draw more
readers to their books. Most authors have only one website under their name or
book title, but rarely go beyond that. In the world of web marketing, that makes
no sense at all. Good content.
Mosquito Marketing for Authors -- Again, not a money-maker for me. Just to
let people know about a free report that they might find useful. Also an example
of how you can promote your books by offering free reports. Good content.
Free Books for All -- Yes, my website, but not a money-maker for me. Rather,
it's a way to help other authors get the word out about their books. I make no
money on this website (except maybe somebody will click on a Google ad, and I'll
make 4 cents or 50 cents). The purpose, again, is to help authors think of
creative ways to market their books. Good content.
Book Buzz Online Book Club -- A potential outlet for authors to get
interviews. Good content. Note that the URL was off (because the website doesn't
work with the www included):
http://bookbuzz.torontopubliclibrary.ca. Good content.
Instant Audio or Video -- Yes, a potential money-maker for me, but also good
content as discussed above. I sent the additional update later in the week when
I discovered they were doing a special 3 for 1 discount. Otherwise, I would have
left it as it was.
So, where in all this was I blatant? Where was there lack of good content?
Where was there less advice than in the past? I apologize for the length of this
replay but it is important to me to have all of you understand my thought
process in putting this newsletter together. I really do try to provide you with
good content. It always surprises me how few of you actually take advantage of
all the content I provide.