Sunday, February 12, 2012

Book Marketing Tips: Give Your Book Sales a Shot in the Arm

Guest post by Lynnette Phillips

There are no secrets to increasing your book sales. There are, however, many ways to achieve this goal. Here are some starting points.

First of all, for best sales results you’ll want to combine both online and offline techniques.

Secondly, protect your piggy bank. Take advantage of free publicity.

Book Marketing Tips 1. Never stop promoting. Marketing and promoting your book doesn’t have to take time from your writing. It may not be the most enjoyable part of becoming a successful author, but with a little diligence it can become habit forming and that is what you’re shooting for!

Two of the most profitable words available to book marketers are consistency and frequency. You can accomplish consistency and frequency by using RSS feeds for blog posts and pre-scheduling programs (such as HootSuite or Social Oomph) for Twitter and Facebook posts.

2. Create an activity calendar. Get organized and keep track of your marketing and promotional efforts. You might want to set up a calendar or a spreadsheet, maybe even both, whatever works best for you.

You’ll want to be aware of what is working best for you and what doesn’t. Follow the results. If it doesn’t work, why keep doing it? Also, you don’t want to miss an interview or speaking opportunity. And you might want to schedule a block of time each week to write Twitter posts to pre-schedule.

3. Print promotional items. Turn a business card into a promotional item. On the front include an image of your book cover, your name, title (author, of course) and the purchase URL [Do you have an Amazon vanity URL?].

Use the back side for prepublication offers or discounts. Example, Purchase your copy today at Thriller Con and get 20% off.

Bookmarks can be used as calling cards for your book.

Drop a postcard in the mail with a quick message to a TV station booking agent or news journalist.

4. Audio, video and pictures help readers relate to you. Create them whenever you attend a literary event or speaking engagement. Use them when you read excerpts, do an interview, or share expert tips. They encourage visitors to stay on your website longer and are great as background items for appearances.

5. Connect with the community. Volunteer at the library, speak to the local garden club, or participate in a local writers group. How many people have you talked to who dream of writing their own book? Offer your talents at the senior center or to a writing class at the community college. Read an excerpt of your book at the coffee shop.

6. Plan an event. Schedule a Google+ hangout or a Twitter contest. Or organize a literary event and involve other area authors.

7. Use press releases and public service announcements (PSA). A press release is your chance to become the news. Keep in mind this is not an ad, though. It helps me to think of it more as a short article.

Announce the publication of your new book using a press release but don‘t stop there. Use a press release anytime you want to gain media exposure: to promote an event and project, to offer information, or to attract an audience when planning an appearance or community event.

A PSA is a shorter version of a press release. In fact, you can use the first paragraph of your press release as a PSA. Deliver your PSA to community news departments at local radio or TV stations to be included in community calendar announcements.

8. “Free” is a very powerful tool. Online you can promote giveaways of your latest release. Use Facebook and Goodreads to promote the event. Offline donate copies of your book to the library, a school, or a local event.

9. Create a media kit. Offline assemble a synopsis of your book with a picture of the cover, the ISBN and purchase information. Include a testimonial or review quote. Also enclose a sample Q&A and your bio, including your picture and an author’s statement describing why you love writing, what you’ve written, your inspiration, etc.

Add any promotional materials you’ve had printed and assemble it into a two pocket folder. Distribute these to radio and TV stations. Contact the newspaper arts & entertainment reporters.

Online make sure your website includes a page for your media kit. Make it easy to share information about you and your book.

10. Develop a social media strategy. Dealing with Twitter and Facebook everyday steals your morning away before you know it. Make a plan to spend a minimum amount of time on social networks and stick to it. It’ll become a habit soon enough.

On days there just isn’t time for social networking, do a quick check and get on with your day.

Log in to Twitter and check your Mentions for any chatter. Perhaps search a couple of #hashtags to keep up on the chatter for subjects of interest.

Scan Google Alerts for any important or interesting articles.

Do a filtered search on LinkedIn and flag any industry or genre (of your choice) related posts or articles to attend to later.

Log in to Facebook and scan your wall and comments.

Final advice: Spend a few minutes every day promoting your book.

Lynnette Phillips

About the Author

Visit Lynnette’s Book World Marketing blog at or see her Amazon collection of books.
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