Thursday, May 08, 2008

Book Marketing Strategies

Book Marketing Strategies
Theresa Chaze

Whether self, subsidy or traditional, the author's work just begins when the book is finished and is sent off the printer. Promotions and marketing starts shortly before the book is released and continues until it is no longer available. Frankly, the writing is the fun, easy part of the process. Unless the author is a world leader, a world renown expert or has does something really naughty, she or he will have to work hard to draw attention to her or his book, which means the work truly begins when it goes to the printer. Even when the author hires a PR person, it doesn't absolve her or him from promoting their book at every opportunity.

Every month thousands of new books become available to the reading public with each one of them fighting for shelf space and the reader’s dollar. If the author doesn’t create a brand name for her or himself, the book will have little chance of becoming successful. Creating a brand name involves defining who your target market is and how to reach them. In many ways, marketing is like a dartboard. The inner circle is your target group and each outer ring is an expansion into the general reading population. J. K. Rowling started writing for children. Although she started out branded as a children’s writer, she rapidly spiraled out into the general reading public. Her writing was not only suitable for children, but it was also entertaining for adults. However, books that are more specific rarely go beyond their target audience. Sam is not the only one who doesn’t like green eggs and ham; Dr. Seuss wrote creative and unique books for children, but very few adults pick them up other than to read it to a child.

Placing ads in the media are costly and if not done correctly will produce the opposite effect. A bad ad is worse than no ad at all. A good graphic designer can create an effective ad, but most are very costly. A good publishing and graphics program will help the author create her or his own ad; however, the old phase from the 1970's is the best advice--KISS--keep it simple stupid. The more that is crammed into the ad, the more it will look amateurish and be counter productive. Smaller ads especially should be sleek with the graphics held to a minimum if used at all. Text should contain enough information to tease the reader into looking for the book and tell how it can be found--nothing more.

Marketing doesn't have to be grand or expensive if the author is creative and clever. The internet provides a multitude of opportunities for an author to promote her or his book. Most email services provide for a signature at the bottom of out going emails; if used properly this is a great opportunity to announce a new book or to direct potential readers to blogs or sites. Internet groups, websites, messages boards, chat rooms, and blogs are also excellent ways to not only market the book but also promote the author. The key is to create a balance between creating interest without telling to much of the story or becoming a spammer.

From Blank Page to Book Shelves--How to Successfully Write and Market Your Book has several articles on marketing and promotion, including how to correctly use SEO keywords. It is available as an Amazon Kindle book and on the Theresa Chaze’s website at Those that buy the ebook from the Chaze will also receive a copy of her 345 page PDF listing of over 2000 independent bookstores for free.

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