Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Top 10 Things You Can Do to Sell More Books, Part II

Here are the other five things you can do to sell more books. For the first five things you can do to sell more books, see http://blog.bookmarket.com/2012/05/top-10-things-you-can-do-in-2012-to.html.


6. Speak.

Speaking builds a word-of-mouth army better than anything else. Speak locally - at garden clubs, libraries, bookstores, Rotary clubs, poetry nights, schools, hospitals, story swaps, book club meetings, etc. Then expand out to a wider area, to nearby cities, to nearby states. Eventually, expand out to an even wider audience.

When someone hears you speak, they become a bigger fan than if they had just read your book. If they like you when they hear you speak, they will tell ten times more people than by just reading your book.

Speaking is especially effective for spirituality, mind/body/health, self-help, romance and relationships, business, how-to, and religious titles (as well as memoirs and children's books). 95% of the New York Times bestsellers in these categories gained a lot of their sales momentum from the authors speaking over and over again.

National TV

7. Book Yourself on National TV.

TV is still the largest mass market media. It reaches more people than any other media - and with more impact. It's worth spending the time contacting the ten or twenty news and talk shows that reach your audience.

For most national TV shows, you can get the contact information in one of three ways:
1. from their websites,

2. by checking the ending credits of the show, or

3. via your network of friends and fellow authors.

To book an appearance on a major national TV show, you have to tie your book, topic, or cause into a current news or celebrity event.

Have a book on relationships? Tie it into the latest celebrity wedding, breakup, or new relationship.

Have a book on business? Tie it into the Facebook IPO, the G8 summit, or the J P Morgan Chase fiasco.

Your appearance on one major TV show will not only expose you to millions of viewers, but it also opens the door to dozens and sometimes hundreds of other media: newspapers, magazines, radio, more TV shows, etc.

Reading Groups

8. Hook Up with Reading Groups.

This tip is especially valuable for novels and memoirs – since those are the kinds of books that most local reading groups read and discuss.

Start by asking your local bookseller for local reading groups that read books like yours. Most reading groups are centered around fiction (novels and short stories), but some also focus on poetry, self-help, relationships, social issues, woman's issues, travel, etc.

When you find a few local reading groups, offer to answer questions if they choose your book. Tell them you will come to their meeting and answer questions live. For more distant reading groups, offer to answer questions via a phone call.

Once you've established relationships with some local reading groups, you might want to offer the same live Q&A sessions to bookstores across the country. You can email over 700 indie bookstores using the Top 700 Independent Bookstores data files (available via http://www.bookmarket.com/top700.htm).

Ask the booksellers to suggest local reading groups which might be interested in your particular book. At the same time, ask them for the name, email address, and phone number of the leader of the group. Then contact those leaders with your offer.

Besides live Q&A sessions, you could offer these reading groups a reading guide to your book, a list of questions to consider, background info on you or the book (character bios), and other material that would encourage them to read your book. You can send these out as short ebooks or offer webpages with this info.

When you have a few successful events with book groups, ask the leader or members for testimonials telling how much they enjoyed the interaction with you. Use those testimonials to help you book more reading group events.

Working with Bookstores

9. Work with Bookstores to Sell Your Book.

Booksellers can make an incredible difference in helping you to sell your book. One bookseller sold over 1,500 copies of a mid-list novel that she fell in love with. She hand sold them to everyone who came into the store and asked for a reading recommendation.

When setting up bookstore appearances, don't just sign up for a book signing. Do a reading from your novel, or do a short 20-minute lecture on the subject of your book.

With novels, start reading somewhere in the middle (with perhaps a brief intro to that section of the novel) and end at a cliffhanging point in the story.

When bookstores book appearances with authors, they generally do the following promotions:
  • newsletter listing (print and/or email)
  • website listing
  • blog about the upcoming appearance
  • tweet to their followers
  • put something up on Facebook
  • put up a poster
  • list the event in the local newspaper calendar sections and other media that do event listings

As the author, you should help the bookstores to get more readers into their stores by doing some of the following:
  • Contact the local newspapers and try to get an interview. Ask the local bookstore for their media list.
  • Contact local radio and TV shows and try to book an interview.
  • Tweet about your appearance.
  • List your appearances on your Facebook fan page and other social media pages.
  • Blog about it.
  • List all appearances on your event calendar on your website.
  • Contact local reading groups about your upcoming talk.
  • Offer booksellers posters, bookmarks, or other supporting promotional material for your book that they can post in their store or give away.

As with other people you work with, ask booksellers to provide you with testimonials. Booksellers respect the recommendations of fellow booksellers.

Build an Author Platform

10. Build an Author Platform.

Begin today to dominate the Internet for your name, book title, and book subject. Build your platform so that no one can miss you when they seek out you, your book, or your topic via the Internet.

The Internet is the most significant marketing and promoting tool ever invented for getting the word out about a new book, product, service, or cause. You can reach people around the world at very low cost via the Internet. Start by dominating the social networks.

For example, if you Google my name, you'll find I dominate the first page (note that the listings may vary for you depending on when you do the search):

1. My website: http://www.bookmarket.com

2. Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/johnkremer

3. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnkremer

4. Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-kremer (my blog on The Huffington Post)

5. AskJohnKremer.com: http://www.askjohnkremer.com (another of my blogs)

6. Blogger: http://www.blogger.com/profile/16486115512048790419 (my profile on Blogger, where I host another of my blogs)

7. Gather: http://johnkremer.gather.com

8. Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/John-Kremer/e/B001H6L2T4 (my Author Connect profile on Amazon)

9. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/johnkremer (my personal profile on Facebook)

10. MyIncredibleWebsite: http://www.myincrediblewebsite.com (a personal hobby website where I test out various traffic-getting strategies as well as share personal interests).

The second page of Google includes my GoodReads.com profile, The Book Marketing Network social network I founded, a YouTube video of me, my MySpace profile, and my Google Plus profile.

The third page of Google includes my Quora profile, several other websites of mine, my Forbes.com profile, one of my Twitter lists, and a number of guest appearances on other websites.

While the name John Kremer isn't as competitive as Judy Smith or Gregory Jones or many other names, I am competing against a vice president of marketing at Yahoo, a German psychologist who has written several books, a championship bass fisherman, several high school and college athletes, and at least 50 other John Kremers around the world. And 25 of the top 30 Google listings still point to me.

There's nothing that prevents you from doing the same - building a similar Internet platform and dominating it for your name, book title, or book subject.

Go to it. Start today!


Well, those, were 10. Can you give me numbers 11 and 12? Just comment below. Much appreciated.


John Kremer

John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, webmaster at http://www.bookmarket.com and http://www.askjohnkremer.com and other websites, developer of the Traffic Interchanges Internet Marketing Program, and founder of The Book Marketing Network (http://www.thebookmarketingnetwork.com), a free social network for book authors, publishers, publicists, ebook authors, self-publishers, and others interested in writing and promoting books and ebooks.
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