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Online Promotion Beats Traditional 30-1 for the
Author or Publisher
While traditional marketing can work for the book author or publisher, the return is dim for the huge effort it takes. You must pitch relentlessly and constantly to even get a milligram of attention. While you may have a success or two, most of your efforts will bring poor book sales. Ask yourself right now, what is working for me? What is not?
The Press Release
Sure, press releases can bring you attention, but it takes a lot of time to gather specific media or radio/TV producers' names. Even thought I wrote The San Diego Media Resource Directory that took 50 hours of research, I had to also keep the media list up-to-date, ask editors and radio producers by phone how they wanted their releases. Some prefer fax, others e-mail or snail mail.
You waste your efforts too, if your release doesn't go to the right person. Many authors make the mistake of sending the release to the book editor. He gets hundreds each month, and will pay no attention if you are self-published. Like agents and traditional publishers, only 1-2% are chosen.
Another problem is the sheer numbers of releases you send out. Don't relax after you send one or two releases. Think in terms of at least five a month. Ninety-five percent of releases are ignored and tossed into the round file. Why? For many reasons, but check to see if you include a compelling heading, a human interest story, or present-time news analogy. Did you make it under one page, double spaced? Did you construct, organize, and freely give the solutions that your book or service offers for your readers' problems?
Your news release should not be about your book, but give actual solutions the media readers and radio audiences can use. My first published press release responded to an article on the editorial page about the the Three R's. My headline was Schools need to teach the Fourth R-Rapid Reading. After discussing the background problems, I included the benefits of rapid reading, and gave nine how-to solutions. The publisher not only loved the article, but came personally to my home to take my picture. I used the piece for marketing to corporations with minimal results.
Giving Talks, Presenting At Expos
Creating a talk takes a lot of time. Then you must practice it at least two times before you deliver it. Then, you must discover resources to find organizations to present to. Many of them don't pay their speakers. You may say that's OK because I will sell books. Yes, you'll sell a dozen or maybe more, but think of the huge effort it took to get there. Consider travel time, clothing upkeep, and schlepping all those heavy books around.
Like myself, you may present a talk or seminar to a corporation with big hopes of selling your products. When they pay you, though, they may set boundaries on book sales. One positive is that because you have a book, you can negotiate and leverage with meeting planners and top executives for higher paid presentations.
The biggest disadvantage? You must wait for decision makers to accept and schedule you, and you have invested much in paperwork and meetings too. Even though I had books, I left this venue because the time from presentations to fruition was usually more than six months. I knew there was a better way! But was it expos?
Speaking at Expos or maintaining a booth takes many hours of work. Consider preparing and submitting press releases, creating brochures, hand outs, decorating the booth, presenting a drawing, and bringing in products to sell.
Speaking can bring you a few book sales, but people passing by your booth are usually just looking. Even when I gave free mini seminars every 2 hours, and passed out free tickets ahead of time, not many bought books. Giving out hundreds of flyers on other free seminars didn't work either.
Yes, I did get on a talk-radio show and eleven people showed up at my Supermemory seminar. No, they didn't buy books or book a coaching session. Yes, I collected names and e-mail addresses from a free drawing. I was able to use them for my free eNewsletter, The Book Coach Says... but clients did not bang down my door to use my talents.
I figure my prep and floor time was 44 hours for just one expo. With sales under $350, I'd say that was slave labor.
Think of Your Promotion Time and Budget
Most small publishers don't have a large marketing budget, nor have enough time to promote their books. Marketing experts say do five things a day, six days a week, which sounds pretty doable. But do they bring results?
Aren't sales what we should count? Before the sales roll in however, you need to create a foundation--a plan--of what you want to promote, what money you want to make from it monthly, and how you will get the word out to your target audience. This takes time, but is worth it.
If other marketing and promotion campaigns have brought few book sales, have left your wallet thinner, wasted your valuable time, or left you with a garage full of unsold masterpieces, you may now be ready to set up your book's virtual marketing machine--the Internet.
Online Marketing Can Produce 30 Times Your Profit in Just Five Months
Rather than a shot gun approach, I suggest you use this one favorite and highly successful online marketing technique. This one approach has increased my own Web site sales more than 30 times in five months.
Whether you have a Web site or not, you can apply your writing ability to produce short articles to submit to hundreds of online e-zines, whose readership of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, will read your article.
Since you will include your signature box at the end of each article with your book title, your e-mail address and benefit statement, people can get in touch with you and possibly become buyers.
The articles, your eReports, and books all help promote your service too.
When you have written a well-constructed article, giving real information and how-to's, you will attract these potential buyers to the site where your books are sold. (For more information see Quadruple Online Sales in Four Months with Free Articles and Ten Non-techie Ways to Market Your Book Online at http://www.bookcoaching.com)
First, create five to ten articles from 600-1200 words, possibly excerpted from your novel, or how-to's on your subject. Join the Online Revolution by subscribing to several opt-in e-zines. As soon as you subscribe, you'll receive one or more articles in a day.
Take time to read other people's articles to see what format and content they use. This online research is worth gold, because you will now be able to model your articles after others and get what you write published, so thousands can learn from you too.
While we need promotion, how much time do we actually put into it? I'd say I put around 5-7 hours a week into submitting articles. I write the articles and submit one or so a week. I started submitting to only a few, but had immediate results. The first week several publishers used my traditional article Sell More Books with a Powerful Back Cover. I put a link to a product How to Get Testimonials from the Rich and Famous in my signature box, bringing increased sales.
My time is minimal for huge results. If you are a newbie, but want to know more about this technique, please visit my Web site to see what I'm offering. You can take a teleclass. If you miss it, you can get the audio cassettes, or you can read my eBook Quadruple Online Sales in Four Months with Free Articles to find out how to write the articles, subscribe and submit them.
Online Promoting is Easy, Convenient, and Profitable
Better than press releases, book reviews or book signings, you can create and promote articles conveniently right from your office or home. Give this method a chance. You'll only be sorry you didn't do it sooner!
Judy Cullins: author, publisher, book coach