Vision: A Resource for Writers
Lazette Gifford, Editor
Vision@sff.net

How to Start Marketing Your Book

by Marilyn Peake
http://www.marilynpeake.com
2004, Marilyn Peake


 

Published authors can be recognized these days by the two hats they wear: the crazy, feathered, creative hat of the writer and the serious felt hat of the businessperson.  This is a metaphor, of course.  But it carries more than a grain of truth.

After a book is published, whether by a traditional press, print-on-demand press, or self-publishing house, it enters the overcrowded book market.  For a book to succeed in today's marketplace, there are three basic requirements: the book must be well written, there must be an audience for the book, and the writer must find that audience.

An important first step for a newly published author is to accumulate good reviews by professional book reviewers.  If the author is able to obtain reviews from the most prestigious print sources, for example the "New York Times" or "Publishers Weekly," that's great.  For internet publicity, request reviews from a variety of well-respected websites such as:

http://www.midwestbookreview.com

http://www.RebeccasReads.com

http://www.MyShelf.com

http://www.apolloslyre.com,

and the web site for "Curled Up With a Good Book," http://www.curledup.com.  This is only a sample.  There are many great book review sites on the internet.

While you're waiting to hear back from reviewers, instead of biting your nails and pulling out your hair, use your free time to get all of your advertising ducks in a row.  If at all possible, obtain a website.  Create promotional items that advertise your book and your website: bookmarks, flyers, pencils.  Line them up.  Get them ready to go.  Make sure that your book, including its picture and all of the background material about your book, is posted everywhere that you can possibly sell your book on the internet: http://www.Amazon.com, http://www.bn.com (Barnes & Noble.com), http://www.Walmart.com, any and all reputable websites where the book can be sold.  Then post links from your website to your book page on those sites.

When you receive your book reviews, if they're good, ask permission from the reviewer to post them on your website.  Some reviewers will allow you to post the entire review; others will ask you to post only part of it and then provide a link to their website.  Whether you post all or part of the review, however, create a link to the reviewer's website.  Out of courtesy, let the reviewer know that you've done so.  Usually the reviewer is delighted that you've created the link.  In this way, you begin to build relationships on the internet.  You begin to network and to establish your presence on the web.  This is extremely important for a new author.

Another way to establish your identity is to obtain interviews from reputable internet sites, including interviews on internet radio.  If you can arrange interviews at the same time that your book reviews are published, so much the better.  If you were planning to buy advertisements, this is the time to advertise.  You want to flood the market with news about your book, in order to create as much "buzz" and excitement as possible.  You want the entire world to hear about your book.

If you have a generous advertising budget, there are ways an author actually can reach for the stars and attempt to reach most of the planet.  "Radio-TV Interview Report" ( http://www.rtir.com ) combined with the "National Publicity Summit," both run by Bradley Communications Corp., has helped many authors to become famous and their books to become overnight bestsellers.  CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL, EMBRACED BY THE LIGHT, and RICH DAD POOR DAD are all books made famous by "Radio-TV Interview Report."

However, advertising through "Radio-TV Interview Report" alone usually leads only to radio interviews.  Radio stations frequently do not have a large enough audience for the author to sell many books.  On the other hand, radio interviews help an author to develop credibility and a kind of resume.

For an author who wants to be on television and can afford a generous advertising budget, the "National Publicity Summit" is the place to meet representatives from a large number of television shows and print media.  Examples of television shows at past Summits include: "Live With Regis & Kelly," "60 Minutes II," "ABC's The View," and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."  Examples of print media that have attended are: "Publishers Weekly," Oprah's "O" Magazine, the "New York Times," and "Newsweek."

In conclusion, it's very important for a newly published author to create a promotional budget.  Whether that budget is large or small, once the book is published, it's time for the author to don a business hat and thinking cap.  It's time for the author to brainstorm and to just get out there and introduce their new book to the world!

Look out world, here you come!  Best of luck, new authors!