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Archive for the ‘Marketing Services’ Category

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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:

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!

Hope that gives you some inspiration for your own publicity.


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New Google Tool for Key Words

Here is a really interesting video for those of us who are trying to market on the internet – it describes a new free tool that Google is providing to help you analyze appropriate key words, but it also goes on to describe how to use some of Google’s other great features that will help you find appropriate blogs, discussion groups, videos in your niche, etc.

This may be a way to decrease your risk when using Google Ad Words as a marketing tool.


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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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Kindle Books Show Rapid Growth


In today’s New York Times, Jeff Bezos,, announced the Global Kindle, but what was most interesting was his statement at the end of the article:


"Mr. Bezos declined to offer specific information about Kindle sales. But he said Kindle titles were now 48 percent of total book sales in instances where Amazon sold both a digital and physical copy of a book. That was up from 35 percent last May, an increase Mr. Bezos called “astonishing.”

“This has grown much faster than any of us ever anticipated,” Mr. Bezos said."


Astonishing indeed.  Trees everywhere are breathing easier!  All one has to do is look at a selection of listings to see that many, many books (I think the number is around 600,000) are now available in Kindle format.

While my own sales numbers (48% are Kindle where both print and electronic are offered) don’t jive with his numbers, we are definitely seeing an increase in activity from the sale of Kindle books.

Here is the link to the full article:


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When to Use a Launch Event

Launch events are a good marketing tactic if you have a following with whom you want to share the buzz about your latest endeavor. Any type of book works - this is your "friends and family" event. Here are a few tips:

* Decide how many people you will invite and will attend - decide on a venue to accommodate them - think about any AV that you’ll need and make sure the room works for those things - plan for appropriate snacks, in other words, just basic "event planning" Make it fun and celebratory.

* Create some "hype" or "buzz" about the event for your attendees through email, social networking and/or regular mail

* Make sure you are set-up to efficiently sign and sell books - this is your "best" audience, so proportion of sales should be high. If you have a shopping cart where you can take credit cards, you can probably take them at an event and enter the information when you return home - check it out ahead of time with your vendor.

* This is a great time to practice your presentation that you will do for future book signing events - make sure it is polished and you are ready.

* Make your attendees ambassadors for your book.  Have postcards they can send to their friends, ask them to forward an email to their list, ask them to post reviews on Amazon, BN, etc. - send them the link to your book on those sites to make it easy for them.

Enjoy the evening and the beginning of your hard work ahead!

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What Makes a Good Back Cover?

Put yourself in a potential buyers shoes.  You walk into a book store (or online) looking to buy…something. The title catches your fancy, you pick up the book and flip to the back cover (that is the first thing we all do, right?).  At that point you have exactly 3 seconds (or less) to catch your potential buyers attention (think about your own book store behavior).


People buy things for only three reasons: 1) to relieve "pain" - they want to "fix" something - money, relationships, broken window, where to go on a trip, etc., 2) entertainment - think steamy romances, or 3) education - to broaden your knowledge about a subject.


Many books have elements of all three reasons, but you’ve got to grab that buyer by the throat right out of the chute or you will never get them to go any further - tell them how you are going to fix their "pain" or educate them, or fill their entertainment needs.


Go to the bookstore (or Amazon) and look at best seller non-fiction books - look at the back covers - bullet points, boxes, white space, pictures, special effects - all kinds of things to grab the buyers attention as they SCAN that back cover for less than 3 seconds looking for something to catch their fancy.


This is also the same philosophy for developing website content - particularly your home page.

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Top 5 Marketing Tips for Small Publishers

Marketing is such an intimidating topic for most authors and small publishers, but it is really just about letting the world know that you have produced this incredible source of information or entertainment.  So how do you do that?

Here are my Top 5 Marketing Tips for Authors and Publishers

  1. Set Google Alerts for "your name", "your book name" and all "related topics of interest" Go to and query for Google Alerts. Always enclose your search topics in quotes. Google sends you everything about your topics each day. use the information to thank people, expand your media list, and know what is going on with your book and industry.
  2. Have a Marketing Plan written down - "if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there!"  Know what things you are doing - and not doing.
  3. Do something marketing every day - get in the habit of working on your business, whether it is doing a blog post, looking up potential contacts, writing an email to a reporter, - do something to move your project forward
  4. Keep up with the Industry - things are changing fast in publishing - subscribe to a few newsletters, attend a conference, read a magazine - keep learning and stay abreast of what’s new.
  5. Follow up, Follow up, Follow up - everyone is so busy these days that you have to stay on top of things in order to make them happen.  If you send a review copy - follow up, if a reporter is using a quote from you - follow up, if you leave a message with a book store - follow up. 
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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