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When should you give away a book - and why?

There are really three types of giveaways in my mind - and each has a different purpose:  

* Thank you give-aways to people who helped you with your book - there are usually less than a dozen of these, often people who you mention in your acknowledgements - but it is a great way to appreciate those who have helped in some way. They become good cheerleaders for you and we all know that personal referral does sell books.

* Review copy give-aways to people who you are asking to do reviews, provide interviews, or write articles about you, your expertise or your book. When these are well-placed and followed up on, they are "gold" to your book sales.

* Contests and other promotional give-aways - these are often in conjunction with an appearance, a radio interview, for raffles to your key audiences, for charity events where your likely readers could be in attendance and so forth. These have mixed results depending upon the other promotion around them and how targeted the audience is for your genre.

I tell my clients to plan about 5% of your total anticipated first years sales to various types of give-aways.

 

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What Book Reviewers are Up Against

Here is a peek into the “sorting” room at ForeWord Magazine – one of the premiere reviewers (for the trade) of independently published books. It gives you some idea of the sheer quantity of books out there seeking reviews and why your book has to be of perfect quality to be considered, much less to get a review.

http://www.forewordreviews.com/foreword-insideout/volume-1/

Trade reviews are important to help your book get into book stores and libraries. If you aren’t using trade distribution or worried about libraries as part of your business plan, then you wouldn’t submit your book to an organization like ForeWord.

If your marketing plan is focused entirely on direct contact with your potential customers, then you would want to try to get reviews and articles in newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs that are directed towards your target market.

Regardless of your target publications, you need to remember that the chaos you see in the short video goes on at every publication every day.

What will you do to stand out from the crowd?

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To Deface or not to Deface Review Copies

This is a guest post by Peter Furtado, historian and publisher www.historyfm.co.uk

Peter provides real world experience from a post originally on LinkedIn.

*****************

As a former magazine editor I used to get a mountain of books across my desk every day, some of them on totally irrelevant subjects. Maybe one percent in total got reviewed in my magazine. What to do the with rest? The options are:
1. Send them back
2. Keep them
3. Give them away (or take them home)
4. Sell them on.
5. Burn them.

Option 1 puts me to time and expense that I couldn’t afford - these are, ultimately, unsolicited trade samples. It can a big enough job for a small publisher to unpack and check all the review copies that arrive, without packing them back up again and posting them back.

Option 2 is impractical: my office has limited space.

Options 3 and 4 both potentially detract from potential genuine sales for the publisher and author in equal measure. From their POV, these are not good options, but from mine they are practical and manageable. So that’s what we did. They meant that, once every couple of months, I could see the other side of my office. And by putting them in circulation, there is always a good chance that these volumes will contribute to a word-of-mouth whispering campaign about how good that book is, which would not be the case with options 1 and 2.

Option 5: not for me.

PS Defacing a book won’t stop people selling it on, or buying it. For breakfast this morning, I have just had bread from my local deli. The bag is clearly marked ‘Not for Resale’. I’ve asked about this, but the retailer can’t explain why, and I can’t buy that bread anywhere else, and it’s the tastiest bread I can buy in Oxford where I live. Frankly, I don’t care about that Not for Resale sticker.

 

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