Marketing is everything!

Marketing is about getting your book into the hands of as many readers as possible and first-time authors now have a major tool at their disposal in the Internet and social media! Cyberspace technology gives you tremendous power to self-distribute your work worldwide, from Facebook, blogging, twitter, ebook publishing and who knows what else is emerging... and all at little cost.

Even better than setting up your own website, consider setting up a YouTube channel and creating some videos as a key global strategy for marketing your book. People are making tons of money with YouTube. It obviously has great potential as a marketing opportunity tool.

As a writer, however, you might prefer blogging over producing YouTube videos. Blogging is a great way to test your book and to add to your research because it puts you in regular conversation with your readers. Twitter and Facebook offer similar opportunities.

Keep in mind that as a writer, all of your writing is important and can create an impression with readers. No matter what the format, keep your editor in the loop when it comes to any written promotion you might undertake.

How can we help?

First of all, aside from being available to help with any written promotional pieces you create, from blogs to twitters to subsequent books, Final Copy Editorial Services will also promote your books on this website free of additional charge.

If you win awards, we will post them here.

If you get your book onto Amazon.com we will create a direct link so that potential readers can access your book immediately.

We also encourage reviews, comments and discussion about the work of our authors, which adds to your exposure and sales.

The Hidden Author is another leading resource for self-published authors and self-published books. Authors list their books on the website and agree to annually review a number of books by other self-published authors:  http://www.thehiddenauthor.com

Other marketing tools

Your book marketing and publicity strategy should also include getting book reviews, author signings, advertising, fliers, brochures, and even business cards. Of course, you can always try to find a publicist or author’s agent to do these things for you but first-time authors and self-publishers often cannot afford an agent, and good agents are not likely to be interested in an unproven writer.

Business cards

Some authors reproduce the cover of their book on one side of their business cards. Others choose to list book titles they are currently promoting. Be creative and original. No one says business cards have to be just black ink on white stock. And business cards can be ordered online nowadays at very reasonable prices.

Design your card to be a mini-ad for your book and its features and give them away lavishly, certainly at all gatherings. Put a few on bulletin boards in public places and distribute them where your potential readers might gather. You can even leave a card with your tip when you leave a restaurant.

When you are being introduced to a new acquaintance, your business card should always be in your hand. At conventions, conferences and trade shows, exchange business cards with every person you talk to.

Fliers and brochures

A flier or brochure should be designed as soon as you know all the pertinent details about your book: title, cover, content, author's bio, size, number of pages, illustrations, type of binding, ISBN and LC numbers, ordering information, and price. Keep it simple, yet be sure that it has a hook that will grab the attention of your intended audience.

Hooks that demand attention are those that address the six basic needs: to feel better, look better, entertain, earn more moneysave money, save time, and conquer specific fears. Your introductory statement should immediately communicate your book’s ability to meet at least one of these basic needs, or to offer solutions to readers’ frustrations and problems. If you can position your book to address any of these needs, you can get consumers to buy it.

Remember, whether you are writing or speaking, you only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention. Use your most powerful words to motivate and persuade book buyers.

The terms “flier” and “brochure” nowadays are often used interchangeably but, basically, a flier is a single sheet with a simple message, while a brochure has folded panels and contains more detailed information. Fliers can be one-sided 8.5 by 11-inch, two-sided, or even take the style of a two-fold (three panel) brochure.

A flier should fold and fit easily into a No. 10 envelope. This becomes your single most important piece of literature in your marketing campaign, at least in terms of printed materials. However, your Internet presence is your best marketing tool of all.

In either case, your material must answer all the questions that might pop into a prospective buyer’s mind. It both describes the book fully and talks about you, the qualified author, as an expert in your field. Use your endorsements, testimonials, and positive reviews liberally. This is the opportunity for you to toot your own horn.

A memorable and productive brochure or flier will continue telling all kinds of book buyers your story after you’ve made initial contact with them. Make sure it demonstrates the most salable qualities of your message and of you as author.

For maximum impact, consider printing your flier on eye-catching paper and design it to communicate the point you want to make, and distribute it in places frequented by your target audience... but don’t get too garish! You want the appearance of quality – a piece that is both attractive and well-produced.

Your brochure and your business card should go into everything you snail mail, and electronic versions should be built into your email and other Internet communications. Keep them in your car. Hand them out everywhere you go. They become “pass-a-longs” to others when your readers are asked, “Where can I get a copy of that book?”

Another common industry practice is to use your book jacket or book cover to create your promotional brochure. The outside is already colourful and eye-catching and the inside allows you room to print other pertinent details and order information. If you order overruns of the cover when you place your book order, the additional cost is nominal. A press release can be printed on the back of the book jacket or separately.

Big name endorsements

Getting well-known, credentialed people to review and endorse your book before it goes to press can be golden.

At the very least, two endorsements are needed. Make a list of celebrities and key players in your book’s field of interest who might give your book enthusiastic praise. Testimonials, recommendations, and/or endorsements all play a part in your credibility and in giving your book the high-profile “send-off” it needs.

When soliciting endorsements before the book has been set to type, you might send out bound copies of the edited manuscript or just email a draft. Be sure to send a cover letter with an explanation.

Your major endorsements need to arrive before the cover copy goes to press. Other endorsements and testimonials may be used later in promotional materials. But it’s not enough to get the endorsements; it’s even more important to determine how to use them for maximum effectiveness. Endorsements may be used on book jackets and on advertising brochures.

Testimonials and favourable comments taken from any correspondence you receive may be used creatively in future media packets and advertising brochures but it's always a good idea to obtain permission before you use anything as an endorsement. 

A marketing to-do list

(From 'Building Your Small Press Presence' by Elaine W. Colvin and Gus Henne)

• Create a marketing plan.

• Update your author’s bio.

• Write a book synopsis/description.

• Write a fact/information sheet.

• Compile media lists for book galleys and press releases.

• Compile a list of those who will receive review books.

• Compile a direct-mail list of friends, relatives, associates etc.

• Solicit endorsements.

• Write a cover letter to send with galleys.

• Design promo materials that can be used in a flier and/or brochure as well as with your Internet marketing.

• Have a professional PR photo taken.

• Write a press release.

• Decide about hiring a publicist.

• Secure a distributor or put a fulfillment plan in place.

• Write and submit magazine articles.

• Send pre-publication announcements.

• Design/print extra PR materials: postcards, bookmarks, T-shirts, pens, etc.

• Mail review copies.

• Schedule media interviews.

• Secure speaking engagements.

• Plan book-launch party.

• Create book-signing opportunities.

• Compile endorsement page and review quoting page.

• Work on news and feature write-ups for the media.

• Contact local newspaper columnists and community newspapers.

• Collect samples of other authors’ PR pieces.

• Take another self-published author to coffee.

More on book marketing

Cover design

Author signings 
Book reviews 
Distribution is vital to marketing success. 
Now what?