Promoting and Marketing Your Own Book – A How-To Guide

There are several acim marketing strategies to pursue but each plan can become a book marketing pain if the author doesn’t outline goals or perform some research prior to promoting their books.

Here’s some things to consider:

Marketing Ideas

* Radio Interviews
* Book signings
* Book stores

Now let’s take a look at how each book marketing idea is useful and how each book promotion venture can also become a book marketing challenge or book marketing pain, if not pursued wisely.

Radio Interviews:

* PROS – Radio is one of the best methods for book promotion because radio stations are always seeking stories to fill their air time. Radio people also like to be contacted by phone instead of e-mails or by snail mail. A good radio personality can also help authors generate more sales if they like a book because DJs tend to have loyal listeners. And loyal listeners tend to be stuck in traffic listening to guest speakers – like authors seeking a captive audience.

* CONS – What if you don’t know how to contact radio people? For instance, who do you talk to? Radio stations don’t just book anyone on air, you still have to have something an audience would tune in to hear. Do you know how to pitch an idea? If you had to fill a 10 minute window on air, are you ready for spontaneous conversation?

* Steps to take toward better book marketing plans with radio interviews
a. Do some research. Find out which news editor at the radio station you should contact.
b. Have a pitch ready before you call. Then provide a short summary of the topic you think people will want to hear about. Your book will not always be of interest to editors, but a topic or subplot from your book may be an angle producers can work with.
c. Be ready to pitch a website or place where people can buy your book. Know your angle, topic and points of discussion prior to going on air.

Book Signings

* PROS – It’s fun. It gets you exposure. You make sales.
* CONS – You make zero sales because no one knows who you are or they didn’t know about the book signing or anything about the book.
* Solutions for better book sales

a. Advertise – If you have a budget buy an ad where it will get the most exposure. Sometimes there are penny pinchers – these are free classified ad newspapers you can buy advertisement for cheap. Or buy a radio ad on talk show stations where listeners are more apt to buy books. Circulate flyers, e-mails and posters. People need to know about the event and your book before they consider buying it.
b. Engage – When you are at a book signing, don’t just sit behind a table or booth. Engage people. Tell them about the book. Ask customers how they are? Ask them if they have heard of you? If they say no, tell them about yourself and your work.
c. Plan – You have to map a course for your book marketing ventures. Will you need money for travel, lodging, promotions? Don’t just wing it unless you have time and money to waste.

Book Stores

*PROS – You can brag about it. Being in a book store gives you creditability. It is easier to get book signings where they carry your book. It makes it more available to people.
*CONS – You usually have to place the books on consignment, which means you only get 60 percent of the revenue. If your books don’t sell, you will have to take them back. Your book can get lost in a book store because you are one among thousands.

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