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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, no not Arithmetic: MARKETING.

There are as many ideas about how to market your book as there are books. For those of you who don't know, 900 books a day come onto the market. That is about 386,000 books a year. Of those, most sell about 500 copies each.

We are all sure we wrote the great American novel. Our characters are unique, our story is one of a kind, and we have edited it into a fine tuned piece of literature. The rub is: so did most of the other people in those 386,000  cases.

So what do we do to make our novel, book, short story, thriller, romance, non-fiction, soon to be classic stand out in the crowd?

I am becoming an expert in this field. At least an hour or two a day, I cruise Google, YouTube, marketing sights, and blogs, trying to come up with new ideas.
Here are some of the best so far.

1.Write a press release. Make it no more than 300 words and write it in 3rd person. This lets you avoid the "I" word all the time. 

2. Send a picture of you with your book any time you do a correspondence. If they have the story AND the picture, you have a better chance of getting your article in the paper, magazine or whatever venue you are addressing.

3.Take signed copies of your book (s) to the local library and donate them. Try to make this a photo op and ask them to put it on their bulletin board so everyone coming into the building can see it.

4.Offer to read your book at the library if it is a children's book. If it is an adult book, offer to give a book review. If you don't think you are an expert, think again. You are a published author. That carries weight and everyone wants to know what inspired you, how you developed your characters and chose your location.  Remember, everyone thinks they have one good novel inside them. You could be the inspiration to get them started.

5.Take books and business cards everywhere you go. Don't be afraid to tell people you are a writer.

6. Call schools, offer to read your book  (children's) to classes. Don't charge, but tell them to let the parents know you will be there and how much the book is, and WHO to make the check out to if they are paying by check. Believe me, if the check is made out to the school you will NEVER get it and will have to resign yourself to the fact that you just donated your proceeds.

7.Talk to schools about speaking to older children about writing books. They love it, they ask great questions and again, they won't have money with them so take cards, and/or bookmarks, and hold you book up a lot so the cover  makes an impression on them.

8.Have a Face book presence and post tidbits about your book.

9. Look at trailers on YouTube and make one yourself. They don't have to be as elaborate as some you see.

10. Take copies of your books to popular local shops. Offer them 10-15% of the cover price for selling them on consignment.

11. Visit your local bookstores and do book signings. They love having you.

Okay. That's enough for today.
Good luck, happy selling and don't forget to support each other. No one knows more than we do how good it feels to see a friend or acquaintance has re-tweeted or re-posted our stuff.


  1. Good marketing tips! You can't stress enough the importance of supporting each other. Good blog.

  2. Good tips. Hopefully I can put them to use someday.

  3. Those are some great ideas! Number 10 reminds me, last time I was at the vet (Nixa Animal Hospital), I noticed they had several animal-related children's books out in the lobby, and I thought of you. That might be an interesting option for you to explore. Vet's offices might buy one book, or they might agree to sell consignment copies.

  4. What can I say, except some great ideas, Susan. Social media is becoming the newspaper add of the 21st century.

  5. Well, Chuck, don't you sometimes wonder what will come after social media?

  6. Susan, some excellent ideas. I'm in the process now of trying to figure out what to do to push mine. :) Good luck.

  7. Good ideas,Susan. But you forgot one. Write the next book! Every title you publish increases the chances that readers will find you.

  8. You are right Mia, the more books you have the better chance you have.

  9. Great tips, Susan. Thanks for doing some of the key cruising for the rest of us ;-)

  10. There is so much out there to learn.