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Posts Tagged ‘book marketing’

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Should I buy a media e-mail list?

I think buying email lists are a waste of time for the most part. I use three tactics to contact the media:

1) When each edition was launched I used a publicist who specializes in my genre to do a campaign (cost about $3K) - that really gets the ball rolling. Having the publicist’s name attached to a book creates immediate credibility - they won’t represent a book they think is not salable - their reputation is on the line with their carefully nurtured media contacts. I was able to get 30+ articles, reviews, etc. with this method each time. Each of those stories and reviews created hundreds of sales.

2) I keep the name and email address of every media person I ever talk to on an excel spreadsheet - these are people who I know write about my genre and I use that to send media releases.

3) I develop that list using Google Alerts - I keep alerts for my "book name" (in quotes), my "author name" and several relating to the genre - for me "road trips", "road trip budgets", "RV trips", etc. Then whenever something is written about any of those key words, I get a notice from Google. I follow the link and see what the article, discussion, website, blog is about. I often post a helpful comment with a link to my website (thus creating valuable "back links"), or contact the journalist/blogger/website owner if I can find their email, then add whatever information I can glean to my media list. it is also often another opportunity to get someone to write about you and your book.

The email lists that you buy are not usually very "clean" and they are seldom targeted to your needs, and most importantly, those people don’t have a clue who you are or why they should even open your email or note.

In today’s market it is all about having the right contacts and targeting the right media.

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The Power of Publicity

Just to point out the power of publicity, let me share a little story. In 2006, I had an opportunity to be interviewed for Money Magazine (circ. 2M) on a topic totally unrelated to the book. The story ran many pages with lots of pictures. They even sent a photo crew - it was great fun. See the online version here:
http://money.cnn.com/2006/09/07/pf/retirement
/retire0610_prosperlifetime.moneymag/index.htm

Buried several pages into the article was this one little statement:

That money helped to finance a retirement dream: She and her husband Phil spent a year in an RV visiting all 48 contiguous states and even wrote a book about their adventure.

That was the sum of the mention of our book - no name, no website URL, nothing. So how was I to capitalize on this "non-mention"?

I had my webmaster add "Money Magazine" "Retire Rich" (that was the cover banner), and "Can you Live Long and Prosper" (the article name) to my key words for the website (our names were already key words). We also put the cover on the home page so that if people found us - they would know they had reached the correct website.

Our sales doubled that month! I figure we sold somewhere between 100-200 books extra due to that non-mention in a major magazine. So what are the "take-aways"?

* All publicity is good publicity - never pass up an opportunity.
* Be creative in how to take advantage of your publicity
* Always be on the look out for a way to get mentioned - and don’t be shy about asking for a book mention.

In November, GEICO gave us a nice mention in an article about traveling with your grandchildren - also unrelated to the book. That pumped sales for November nicely.

They even mentioned the book name this time!
http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/6b02c1a9#/6b02c1a9/11

Hope that gives you some inspiration for your own publicity.

 

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10 Tips for Successful Book Store Events

 

Here are the 10 things that any author should REQUIRE of a book store when booking an event - if you don’t get these things, it will be a waste of time.

1) Stock books a month prior to the event and display prominently with a sign announcing the event
2) Have signs at the cash register about the event with fliers for patrons to take with them (better if they stuff them into every purchase bag)
3) Have the event and information about it on their website 1-3 months in advance
4) Talk it up in their newsletter at least one month in advance
5) Post it to appropriate "calendars" in local newspapers and other media
6) Send media announcements (PR) about event (author should send to their media list also) - written by either the author or the store
7) Author should attempt to get booked on local radio or TV within a day or so of the event
8) Author needs to post event on their website with a link to book store website 1-3 months in advance
9) Author and book store should utilize any local blogs or websites that will promote the event.
10) Author needs to post to Twitter, Linked In groups, FB and other appropriate social media several times in the week prior to the event.

Here is an article about one of my most successful events - in tiny, little Spokane, WA

Here’s to more great events that make independent publishers look great!

"If it is to be, it is up to me."

 

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Making the Most of Your Amazon Listing

Amazon is a great resource and selling tool for all authors, but there is much more to it than just listing your book and hoping for the best. Here are ideas for making the most of your Amazon listing and improving your sales:

1) Start an Amazon connect blog

2) Do a Listmania and title the list well so that others will find it.

3) Write a good product description, list review blurbs, have a "from the publisher" and "from the author" with different information

4) "Tag" the books

5) Assign a "search term"  You can have up to 10 search terms per book

6) Apply for an Amazon review

7) Post reviews on books similar to yours with your "signature" including "author of XYZ" - others will look at your book too.

8) Use the images feature just below the book cover to add related pictures of yours to related books - see an example here: http://snipurl.com/l761j - my images are below Jamie’s book  (don’t ask me why the smiley face, but I can’t get rid of it - gremlins!)

9) Write a "Wouldn’t you like to" story that includes your book.

10) Post on their discussion groups relevant to your book

11) MOST importantly - make sure the search paths (you can have three) are correct for your book - on the book above, scroll down to Product details and look at "Popular in these categories" - those are the search paths people use to find your book.

Have fun, Amazon is a great tool.

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"And I thought after 40 years of writing, I could write a sales letter... WRONG! Carol White's letter went beyond my imagination and into the sales stratosphere. Thanks, Carol! " -- AD Walker