Tag Archive for Book Marketing

Lessons From a Book Launch, Part 1

My eighth book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet (co-authored with Jay Conrad Levinson), was released just over a month ago, and I’ve been completely consumed with launch activities for several months leading up to the release.

Working with a major publisher for the first time in 18 years, I’m keenly aware of the publisher’s high expectations, and doing what I can to make waves. Here’s a bit of what I’ve done:

The partnership strategy

One of the most powerful marketing strategies I advocate in the book is to form alliances with others who are already reaching your key market. And taking my own advice, I put together several alliances in the project. First of all, I brought my co-author in: Jay Conrad Levinson, “the father of Guerrilla marketing,” is a marketing superstar with not only an extremely well-known brand but also a large and well-oiled marketing machine. From reading some of his other books, I had a feeling this concept of Green marketing would resonate with him. He was delighted to be part of this project. And that made it a much bigger book from the publisher’s point of view, and thus gave us considerably more leverage in negotiating a contract. Wiley has been great to work with, and I think part of the reason is that they see this as an important book. Oh yes, and when I asked them to do the book on recycled paper, they said, sure.

Next, I sought a charity partner for the launch. I brought in Green America, which is perfectly aligned with the philosophy of the book. It’s an organization that supports Green, local businesses.

And finally, I went out to my considerable network of bloggers, e-zine publishers, and such, and offered them the opportunity to benefit from promoting the launch: first, by submitting a bonus and getting exposure to everyone who registers as a buyer—resulting in a package of over $2600 worth of extra goodies that anyone who buys the book (no matter where they buy it) can get with a couple of clicks. And second, by launching a membership program in conjunction with the launch, and offering commissions on any sales of that program. So they had two incentives to participate, and these make it sweeter for  buyers of the book as well as for the marketing partners.

What are the results of these three partnerships? On my own, I have access to about 10-12,000 people (depending on how much overlap there is between my newsletter subscribers and my book buyers). Bringing Jay in added 84,000 people. Adding Green America added 94,000. And adding the bloggers/publishers reached another 800,000. So I went from the 10,000 people I could reach on my own to 988,000. In other words, I could reach almost a million people through partnerships. And those partners and their networks are spreading the word even further; as of February 23, exactly one month after the publication date,  hits on Google for “Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green” (exact match) were an extraordinary 1,140,000. I don’t think I’ve ever been involved with anything that got a million hits on Google before.

What did these partner campaigns cost me? Almost nothing. The only things I had to pay out were to cover a few hours of my assistant’s time to set up the infrastructure (less than $200), and the results-based payment to the charity partner. All the rest was just time and creativity.

Partnering was only one strategy in this launch. Tune in next month for more takeaways from this campaign.

REMINDER: Unless you step forward, next month will be the last issue of this newsletter. If you want it to keep going, make your voluntary contribution via paypal: shel@frugalfun.com, specify Book Marketing Tips. You’ll get refunded if we don’t reach a critical mass of funding. Why not do it now, while you’re thinking about it?

Website Models for Writers, Part 1: Shel Horowitz's Book Marketing Tip, Dec. '09

For authors and publishers, certain ways to structure a website make particular sense. Lets explore six different models (three this month, and three next month): Resource sites, author sites, publisher or series sites, buy-my-book sites, blog sites, and salesletter sites.

Common Elements

For the first four of these six, certain common elements could be:

•            A navigation mechanism

•            Pages that create interest in your book(s) and/or you as the author

•            Pages that market the author to the media and to meeting planners, schools, bookstores and libraries

•            Pages that market your book to resellers

•            Materials that others can freely use on their own websites, e-newsletters, and print publications (thus spreading you to new audiences)

•            A blog that you can update on your own, at any time (some whole sites are nothing but a blog; see the fifth model)

•            Schedule of appearances (if you can keep it current—personally, I find it easier to do this in my newsletters)

•            Archive of past newsletters

•            Some way of keeping in touch with visitors

•            Feedback mechanisms: contact information and forms, order forms, comment pages, etc. (Warning: Never put your e-mail address as a text link on your website; the spam robots will collect it and you’ll be sorry! I recommend web-based contact forms)

•            Links to other relevant websites

•            A site-wide search tool (Google has a particularly nice one, and it’s free)

Let’s look more closely at the pages that generate interest in you and your book; they should offer…

  • Solid information that will save or earn the reader money, solve a problem, learn a new skill, address a pressing desire (e.g., lose weight, find a mate, de-stress), shed light on historical or current events, etc.
  • Excellent entertainment
  • A brush with celebrity

Resource Sites

When people search on the Web, they’re typically looking for specific information about a topic. If they find your site while they’re searching, you hope the high-quality information you provide will convince them to buy—or at least sign up for your newsletter so you can sell to them later.

To set up this type of site, create a few dozen pages on your topic. These are fun sites to do and easy to gain traffic but they can get out of hand pretty quickly, because there’s so much good stuff out there.

You can see examples at <http://www.frugalfun.com > (my site on having fun cheaply, with arts and travel magazines and frugality resources—which gets at least 50,000 visits every month these days) and <http://www.frugalmarketing.com> (my general business site). Both of these sites actively promote my books but also attract a lot of traffic that will never buy, because they just want the specific information they came for

Author Sites

A site to promote your ” brand” as an author. It should let readers get a sense that they know you personally, as well as, of course, introduce them to your various books. It may or may not have a direct-selling component.

This kind of site is also an ideal place to set up a fan club.

My wife’s site at <http://www.ddinafriedman.com> is one of these

Publisher or Series Sites

Similar to the author site, but promoting the book series or entire publisher line. Typically, these present a catalog page, with tiny book covers and brief descriptions; when you click on the cover or description, you get much deeper information about the book.

Condensed from a much more in-depth section in Shel Horowitz’s seventh book, Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers.

Can an Org Use Your Book? Part 3: How Orgs Benefit by Partnering With You

Before we get to this month’s tip: Two Important Announcements From Shel

1. In these tough times, I want to do my part. I’ve just released some things to save you money: A brand new e-book called Painless Green: 111 Tips to Help the Environment, Lower Your Carbon Footprint, Cut Your Budget, and Improve Your Quality of Life—With No Negative Impact on Your Lifestylehttp://www.painlessgreenbook.com — and a website where you can get that e-book and all my books at a discount: http://www.RecessionBusterBooks.com

2. If you haven’t gotten your book done yet, or you know someone looking to become a published author, my new coaching program can help: Shel Horowitz’s Exclusive Ethical Expert Book Publishing Program. I’ll be announcing this in my speech Saturday at Willie Crawford’s Birthday Bash in front of several hundred people, but I wanted to let you have first crack. Especially since I’m offering it at a reduced price this first time out, and because the number of available seats is sharply limited: I’ve told the conference planners to stop taking offers when we reach 30 seats at the Gold level, and only FIVE at the Platinum level, which includes private coaching from me.

And now, on to this month’s tip:

How Organizations Benefit by Partnering With You

It’s absolutely vital to understand how an organization will benefit from your book <i>before</> you make the initial contact–because you must answer that question in your proposal letter. This brief adaptation from Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers provides some possible answers:

The key question to ask yourself is this:
How does this organization genuinely benefit from using my book?
There are many possible answers; finding the correct answer may be the key that will turn your prospect into a buyer. Usually, the correct answer will involve drilling down with “so what” questions, until you find ways to either increase sales of the organization‘s products and services and/or increase the organization’s status in the minds of its customers, prospects, employees, vendors—and in some cases (especially to counterbalance negative publicity) the general public. Among many possibilities, the organization might want to:

  • Show people how to use the organization’s product or services in creative or expanded ways.
  • Establish its own expertise and/or disseminate its ideas to a wider audience.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the community (as when a local bank sponsors a history of the town).
  • Overcome bad press.
  • Show off the organization in time for an important anniversary or milestone.
  • Woo lucrative clients, investors/donors, or business-venture partners with interesting and useful gifts.
  • Use the book for internal training.
  • Convey a point of view about a hot-button issue of the day (for instance, a organization might give out copies of a book to legislators, regulators, or policy makers).
  • Demonstrate that it is a caring and concerned organization willing to help.

One I don’t mention in the book is more important these days than ever before: create (or supplement) a revenue stream through product sales.

Rather not wait until the end of June to get started? Grab copies of my award-winning books, Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First, and Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers. Use this link to get the paperback editions at the discounted price of $41.95, combined (plus shipping), or this link for the e-book editions at just $34.95 (no shipping charge). Between those two books, you’ll get lots of ideas on how to form win-win partnerships that move quantities of your book. ). Of course, you can also buy just one book, at the usual price.

The Difference Between Book Buying and Book Reading Audiences: Book Marketing Tip, Dec. 08

Today’s Book Marketing Tip is a guest article form Susan Kendrick, of Book Cover Quick Start, discussing (among other things) the important distinction between readers and buyers, and how that affects your book. And by the way, if you order a copy of my seventh book, Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers, directly from me, one of the two free e-books you get is “How to Write and Publish a Marketable Book”-which includes a full chapter on covers.

Take it away, Susan!


Does Your Book Cover Have a Hidden Target Market?

One Book–Multiple Target Markets?
Discover the Hidden Buyers for Your Book
(That Can More Than Double Your Sales!)

By Susan Kendrick

By now you must have heard or read at least once that you should narrow
your niche, know your target audience and market exclusively to them on
your book cover. I’m going to tell you to forget all that for a few
minutes, because I want to help you see the hidden sales opportunities you
could be missing.

For the next few minutes, I want you to think about your book in terms of
readers and buyers, two often separate target markets you need to make an
impact on with your book cover.

But aren’t readers and buyers the same person?

Not always. Keep reading. Read the rest of this entry »