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Posts Tagged ‘getting book reviews’

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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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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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"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