power your advice

Looking for Rivers of Revenue for Your Book?

So, you’ve written a book, huh? I sure hope you have thought about channels of distribution.

Oh, so your publisher is taking care of it? Great!

What do you mean “They really aren’t?” The truth is, oftentimes publishers don’t market authors’ books very much. Unless you’re Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, John Grisham or James Patterson, that is.

If you are the publisher of your book, it’s even harder. It’s up to YOU to market it.

Sure, you could give me the line from the movie Field of Dreams , “If you build it (if I write it), they will come.” It may’ve worked for Ray Kinsella, but how well do you think that strategy will work for you?

Another adage is “If (I) build a better mousetrap (write a unique book), the world will beat a path to my door.”

That’s highly unlikely. Unless they’ve already heard of it. Or you. In which case, you have a better chance of them buying it. If they know about the book, or brand, already, at least it has a fighting chance.

When I am interviewing someone to write a book for them, I ask them a series of questions. One of them is “How many books would you LIKE to sell?” A typical response might be anywhere from “10,000 copies” to “best seller.” Then, I follow it up with “How many copies do you REALISTICALLY THINK YOU CAN sell?”

That usually brings them back down to earth.

This post is about PROMOTION.

Promotion is one of the four Ps of marketing (the others being price, product and place).

What ideas do you have to promote your book?

How about skywriting? Now you’re talking!

Or, fly a plane over a crowd of people, pulling a banner with some kind of call to action – preferably other than “Buy my book.”

Related: The Ghostwriters of the Music Industry

Another option is to align it with a similar product or theme. For example, if the book title is How to Remove Wallpaper , perhaps you can give a talk at a big box (or your local) hardware store. If you have a short video of your wallpaper removal process (hopefully it is unique), you might put a teaser or a clip of it up on social media, to whet the appetite of people with that need.

Somehow partner with realtors. Sellers may be concerned that buyers don’t want to buy a house where they’ll have to remove wallpaper. Likewise, buyers may feel the same way about the chore of removing it. These two groups are in your “target audience.”

Here are some other suggestions:

  • Secure radio interviews (you can do them in your pajamas – over the phone – if you’d like)
  • Speak in front of an audience and sell your book in the back of the room. Many people recoup their travel and speaking expenses with the sale of books. Assuming your talk is engaging, audience members might be in a position to bring you in to their organization to have you present on the topic. This could lead to consulting engagements, training and/or coaching assignments.
  • Appear on local TV Shows
  • Arrange a book signing with your local bookstore, school or library
  • Have someone famous reference your book in some way
  • Add the book title to your email signature (even if it’s not finished. You could say “Author of the soon-to-be released book, …,” adding the book’s title. It creates buzz around its release).
  • Email your list of contacts telling them about it
  • Raffle off a copy of the book at an event
  • Employ remarketing techniques
  • Have local merchants display a copy of the book in their stores
  • Go tell it on a mountain
  • Have other people tell their network
  • Have people with a large social media presence reference the book on their Facebook page (preferably with a link to it)
  • Have bloggers allude to it
  • Join Help a Reporter Out ( HARO )
  • Offer it in PDF format to anyone who promises to review it
  • Offer autographed covers of it (give them out free – in exchange for people putting it on their social media site)
  • Put the title on your business cards
  • Have a T-shirt with the name of it on it
  • Have a student do a book report about it
  • Shout it from the rooftops!
  • Write articles and mention the book in your byline
  • Have the local newspaper mention it – or the fact that you’ll be speaking somewhere nearby
  • Write a song about it
  • Do a book launch