Book Marketing

Book Marketing Recap – Part 2 Marketing Methods

A few weeks ago, I was the moderator for a great #smchat conversation on book marketing and publishing. There were so many insights that not only was I able to compile one post-chat blog post, I created TWO! The first half of the chat was on book publishing and the post below contains some of the book marketing insights I learned from the lively #smchat discussion:

Q4 You’ve written a book-now what? Do you need special book marketing skills? What role does social media play?

@JimKukral: Book marketing starts at book conception. BEFORE it’s written.
@WhereitBlooms: But SM does help in determining your audience. Is there a need for the book? Who will have interest?
@ambercleveland: A4. Tons of book marketing resources available, do your homework. Social media plays a huge role, gives audience access to authors

Q4b: How soon should you begin promoting your book before it is finished & is it possible to promote “too early”? @akstout18 asks, “Is there a risk in letting ppl know about your book idea before it’s finished?”

@thehealthmaven: Use SoMe to find out where your target market is & what they are taking about, build & leverage tribes before book comes out
@AndreaPatten: Non-fiction gets submitted as a proposal. fiction needs 2b complete
@novelpublicity: For fiction, you definitely want a completed and polish manuscript before submitting. Nonfic has different rules
@CreativeSage: For non-fiction, submit an outline + 3 chapters and your marketing position (after your research) to agent/publisher (cont.) For novels/memoirs, the writing is more key, often need to finish book & get editor before submitting manu.
@JimKukral: Nobody is going to steal your idea. Block and tackle. Ideas are worthless, implementation is everything
@novelpublicity: New authors often worry about ideas being stolen. Once you see how hard it is to sell an idea, you’ll get over that 😛

Q5 Videos, TV spots, print and online display ads – what’s the most inventive way you’ve seen a book marketed?

@ambercleveland: A5. Use a QR code on your business card that takes them to your site where they can purchase your book
@CreativeSage: Inventive video “trailers” & author interviews; integrated approach w/ social media, PR, targeted mktg, crowdsourcing
@novelpublicity:Do you see the little button on my Twitter avatar? That’s called a PicBadge, and it’s another creative marketing tactic (cont.) PicBadges are all about solidifying your brand – keep a primary author page, integrate book in picbadge (cont.) I actually blogged about that today with a step-by-step guide on how to create a PicBadge for your book > http://t.co/DIP2u4CN
@tcgagency: Q5 Sending advanced copies to a small group of people and asking them to leave an Amazon review, good or bad.
@sharonmostyn: A5 I love book trailers! Author @ToniMcGeeCausey talks about them here http://t.co/WuNE0TIn

(cont.) Also interesting when authors interviewed-ex. @barbaravey interview of Tori Carrington http://t.co/N5cWerOl (cont.) Also love videos by fans/friends about #books, like this by @shelleyryan http://t.co/n91EgOL0 for @thecontentrules
@novelpublicity: Create a truly engaging book trailer, then purchase PPC advertising on YouTube. I’m doing that with > http://t.co/VyS53lLU
@ProminencePR: The hangout feature on google + is really great. You can invite key people that you want to network with.
@LarsDHHedbor: What’s the best way to reach out to book clubs? GoodReads presence? Amazon Author pages? Other?
GoodReads.com got a mention by several of our participants, one going so far as to say it is “is the single most important site for writers, even more so than Twitter and Facebook.”

If you are really interested in the book marketing topic, @ambercleveland recommends #BookMarketChat with @ClaudiaC Thursdays at 4PM ET. And we’ll end with this reminder from @JimKukral: Nothing can happen until you write something. Get to work.

Book Marketing Recap – Part 1 Publishing

A few weeks ago, I was the moderator for a great #smchat conversation on book marketing and publishing. There were so many insights that not only was I able to compile one post-chat blog post, I created TWO! The first half of the chat was on book publishing – different ways to have your book published: traditional or crowd-funded, indie publisher, self-publish, e-books and their formats, etc.

Here are some of the book publishing answers I learned from the #smchat participants:

Q1 What is the difference between “traditional” and “crowd-funded” book publishing? Advantages to each?

@JimKukral: Crowd-funding, or crowdsourcing is how I’m pre-funding my next new book series. Raised over $20k so far.

Q2 Everyone’s an author these days, is it getting easier to get a book deal or is self-published the way to go?

@DigitalKaitlyn: A2 I think it’s almost harder to get a book deal because there are so many writers now, self-publishing is a great way to start
@tcgagency: A2 At the same time, I read about one author who left his publishing house to pursue a bigger audience/profits with self-publishing.
@ambercleveland: A2. If you self publish, important to use multiple available platforms – Smashwords, Kobo, PubIt, Amazon, eBooks…etc
@JimKukral: Best advice. No agent or publisher needed. Write a book, get it out there. Learn how to market it. Over and over.

Sounds like the consensus to Q2 is self-publishing – so Q2b why would anyone go through a big name publisher?

@ambercleveland: A2.b. Advantages to big publisher is better access to libraries and bookstores
@adinfini: I think the big guys do have a better understanding of the marketing side of selling the books than most authors

Q2c: If self-publishing, are there any aspects that really would be better if you enlisted the services of a professional?

@ambercleveland: A2. c. Get professional assistance with editing and designing the cover (unless you have great graphic skills)
@CreativeSage: You may need to hire yr own publicist because trad. publishers won’t do enough—AND you promote yr book too

Q2d from @WhereitBlooms: If you self-publish do you hire an editor for proofing and input?

@tcgagency: Editors give you a fresh set of eyes on structure, flow, where needs beefing up, etc. That always makes for better writing.

Q3 Do formats matter? Is it better (or more-effective) to publish an e-book before you try a printed version?

@adinfini: Q3 in some ways ebook is harder to market
@CreativeSage: It would make sense to try e-book format 1st, but a good editor & book designer are most important, look professional

There were several sub-questions on the ebook publishing topic – the first from @akstout18 – Is CreateSpace the best platform for self publishing?

@sharonmostyn: Instead of CreateSpace, @JimKukral suggests BookBrewer & @ambercleveland likes LightningSource

@thehealthmaven asked, “Curious: How many books do u order/month? I love books – my ipad, book shelves are filled, but rarely walk into a book store anymore”

@lesleyridge: …my rule of thumb: reading for fun – iPad; book I will want to markup/underline for future reference, in-store buy
@sharonmostyn: ebooks are convenient but prefer “physical” book-like bookstores who can help recommend books I’ll like.

 

Want to know what else we talked about? Please visit the second part of the Book Marketing Recap – Social Media and Other Marketing Methods. One of the most provocative Tweets was from @jettzworld, “Everyone may be an author but ever few are writers. #justsaying,” to which Alex from @tcgagency replied, “I’d say it’s the other way around. We all write emails, Tweets, etc. But how many complete a creative work like authors?” So maybe there’s hope for me yet!