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Hot Tips for Book Marketing

Posted on 28 Nov 2012 | Author Stefanie | Comments No comments | Tags

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Hot Tips for Book MarketingBook marketing and Book Promotion should of great importance to you as an author and know that this is definitely the case where your publisher is concerned. Without a solid book Marketing plan many book authors can experience the ebb and flow of book sales when they first start out. Some never break out of this daunting cycle. They don’t experience the flow of good sales that comes with a consistent marketing plan.

In fact, to increase your daily sales you must have a book marketing / promotion plan put into place that shows the publisher you are marketing to your audience on a daily basis.

Here are 10 easy book marketing tips that will be useful for marketing and promoting your books.

1. Create a new book marketing plan or revise your old one to include all aspects of offline and online Marketing. Your book marketing plan will describe your book, what will you do after the book is completed and published. It also describes whom you want to sell your book to or your target audience.

2. Using press releases for marketing or promoting your book or book’s website has become increasingly popular as publishers discover the powerful benefits of using press releases.

3. It’s important to create a website specifically for your book that focuses on your book title; you’ll be able to refer editors and customers and all interested parties to your book information with the click of a mouse.

4. I’ve seen a lot of people paying for expensive display ads, so beware if you do this; I don’t advise it in the beginning — get your feet wet first so you know what you’re doing.  One of your best bets is creating Joint Ventures.

5. Be your own publicist and send a press release along with a review copy of your book to publications in your book’s genre and to book review magazines. Get as many testimonials about your book, as possible, from experts in the field relating to your title, not customers; use these on your fliers and back of books.

6. You can create a fan page on Facebook and twitter page specifically for your book; They are great online book marketing tools.

7. Library Press Release – Are you a member of your local library?  Once your book has been published, meet with the branch manager and ask them to issue a press release in the library system’s newsletter.  (You can write this ahead of time for them.

8. Local Newspaper – Contact your local news publications. Including the citywide and local papers.  Explain as a local to your town or city, you have written a book and would like them to do a story on you.

9. Local Radio and T.V. Stations – Contact your local radio station.  Preferably one that will have listeners in your target market and also your local T.V. Stations, like breakfast shows.  Explain as a local to your town or city, you have written a book and would like them to do a feature on you. Community oriented opportunities are usually easier to secure than national ones in the beginning.

10. Perhaps the most important tip is to recognize that your book marketing and book promotion will be mainly done by you and not your publisher.  They will help you with certain aspects of this procedure but you will be best advised to create your own plan with additional back-end products.  We work on this with all my students and clients as I know firsthand what publishers are looking for, but most importantly what plan is needed to make your book marketing and book promotion successful.

The success of any book launch campaign depends on a good book and marketing plan; it’s been done many times before and you can do it too.

Use your book promotion and book marketing dollars wisely; go after the local and no-cost strategies first. Make sure to test, test, and test some more before you lay out large sums of money.

All the Best,
Stefanie

Article Written by Stefanie Hartman www.stefaniehartman.com

2012 © Stefanie Hartman Enterprises Inc. You may republish this article, if you keep the article intact as is and credit the authors name and website: “Stefanie Hartman” and website: www.stefaniehartman.com. Thank you.

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It’s who you know for your book promotion

Posted on 08 Sep 2011 | Author Stefanie | Comments 3 comments | Tags

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Here is the second great installment I found on book tours, from a company that is closing their doors soon, so I thought I would pass it on to you guys!

There was a study by Microsoft on their IM service and it proved that we really are closer to people than we realize. In this article Kevin talks about asking people for help. I agree with him especially if you make people feel included in the excitement and they begin to have a vested interest in your book doing well, After all this is an exciting time. Ask all your friends, family, neighbors for a favor. Don’t forget you do the exercise at the end. Enjoy.

All the best,
Stefanie

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Book Promotion: It’s Who You Know

In our last segment, we talked about how you, the author, must develop an airtight answer to the first question anyone you meet on the book promotion trail will ask you:

“Tell me about your book.”

In this segment, we’re going to discuss whom will be doing the asking. If book promotion is an act of matchmaking your book to the right readers, today’s segment is about how to find those “right readers.” The answer, you’ll see, is a lot closer to home than you think.

Everyone knows somebody. And by “somebody” I don’t mean Oprah or John Stewart or the Bestseller Fairy. I mean the circles of humanity we all have in our lives. Those circles are the first 75-100 readers of your book. They have the potential to be much greater if you ask them to be then work with them to make it happen

As an author who spends much of their time at the keyboard or in their imagination, it may not seem like your world is teeming with allies. But it is. Try this.

Make a list of:

  • Your friends and family members, the ones who will say “I’ll buy that” when you tell them you’ve got a book.
  • Your colleagues at work. Same criteria.
  • Anyone you are friendly with via your kids. Again, same criteria.
  • Friendly faces through hobbies and community work—at the ski club, dance class, church, neighborhood association.
  • Old friends from childhood, high school, or college.
  • Anyone you talk with regularly via social media (Facebook, Twitter or the like).

Unless you’re a hermit or just not very nice (I’m afraid I can’t help you there), you’ve probably got a good list of several dozen names. These names are where you begin.

Let’s take another look at that list and ask these questions.

  • Who on this list works for or knows someone well at the local media (newspaper, TV, radio)?
  • Who leads a social group (book group, synagogue committee, monthly dinner with friends) or professional association that would like to have an author as the meeting’s entertainment?
  • Who on this list has a blog, an active and well-read Twitter feed, runs an email mailing list, or has more than 300 friends on Facebook?
  • Who is a natural-born host who would love to throw you a book party?
  • Who knows someone in another part of the country whom would do any of these things for you as well?

Separate out that smaller list. Three months before your book becomes available, get in touch. Thank them for their support, their friendship. Tell them you’ve spend a goodly part of the last year or two writing this book and it means the world to you. It would mean the world all over again if you could enlist their help in matchmaking your book with the right readers via one of the means described above—if they could talk about/recommend your book in a way that’s comfortable to them.

You’re not asking List A to spam or make nuisances of themselves on behalf of your book. You’re asking to speak with sincerity and an open heart about the creative project of someone they like—you. Handled with honesty and grace, no one will hold it against them.

Those who don’t make the cut should get a separate email after the book comes out asking them to buy it. Because it would mean the world to you. And remember what we learned in the last segment about talking about your book. Succinct, precise, but leave a little to the imagination

Book promotion is a block party. If you’re lucky, the party is thrown by someone else (the New York Times, your well-paid publicist, Oprah) and you just show up. You don’t even have to bring potato salad. But that’s simply not the case for most writers, and everyone knows that. Which is why most publishers, publicists, booksellers and members of the media will be most impressed by the effort you put in yourself, by your willingness to bring what you have to the party, or to throw it yourself.

I know perhaps you are shy and it’s no fun to ask for favors. This is the time to get over it. If you can’t ask the people closest to you to invest in your book, how do you expect complete strangers to invest their time and money in reading it?

Why do this? Because effort breeds effort and work begets work. You want readers. You have to begin with the most obvious candidates. Starting there means a) at least you have someone interested in your book, and b) the more excited you can get those readers (who know you and are predisposed to support your efforts) about being part of the block party that is the promotion of your book, the more likely they’ll be to invite others.

An author friend of ours once spoke to 175 book clubs over a year’s worth of promotion for his second novel. Why, I asked, when he had a wife, two young children and a day job as a professor, not to mention writing a third book, to return to?

“I wanted to be the one responsible for my book’s success or failure. I figured as long as I kept the water running, the bathtub would eventually fill up. If it didn’t, it wasn’t anyone’s fault but mine.”

Exercise:  Make a list of everyone in your life who wishes you and your writing career well. Separate that list into two groups:

  • Group A, those that know someone, head up a group or would be willing to help in a larger way; and
  • Group B, those you just want to buy the book.

BookTour.com launched a ten-part series on Book Promotion called “Everything you Wanted to Know about Book Promotion but were Afraid to Ask” written by CEO Kevin Smokler. Kevin has been advising authors and publishers on marketing and promotion for nearly a decade and has written and lectured on the topic throughout North America.

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Tell me about your Book

Posted on 06 Sep 2011 | Author Stefanie | Comments 11 comments | Tags

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I found this great blog series on book tours, from a company that is closing their doors soon, so I thought I would pass it on to you guys!  Enjoy.

All the best,
Stefanie

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Part I: Tell Me About Your Book.
 
So you’ve written a book. Hooray! That’s a huge accomplishment. Be proud, tell all your friends, do a silly dance and take yourself to dinner. You deserve it all.

But easy on the champagne there, partner. The work isn’t over yet. Writing a book is one thing. Getting people to read it is entirely different, as big an undertaking as writing it in the first place. So congratulations on finishing something huge. Now take a deep breath and get ready for Something Huge – The Sequel: Promoting Your Book.

A book can’t get read if readers don’t know about it. It’s your job as the author to make that introduction. At its bones, that’s what book promotion is. Matchmaking between your book and the right readers for it. It doesn’t take a lot of money or Oprah’s home phone number. But it will take preparation, time, smarts, and creativity, the exact skills you brought to writing your book. Which tells me you can do it.

There was a time (in the age of stone tablets and loincloths) where you, the author, didn’t have to promote. It was your publisher’s responsibility to get your book its readers and you, having finished one book, took a deep breath, and then started another. But that was a long time ago and let’s not dwell on it. It won’t come back in fashion any faster than the horse-drawn plow.

So how do you introduce your book to the right reader? We’re all familiar with the obvious ways to find out about new books. The front table at your local bookstore, a primo interview on NPR, The Daily Show. But every other author in the known universe knows about them too and how many readers they reach. As such, those opportunities are winning lottery tickets, once in a life timers. They aren’t smart planning, any more than “I’ll strike oil in the backyard!” is smart planning for your kids tuition money.

How do you introduce your book to the right reader? That’s what this series is about. We’re going to travel together chronologically though the process, meaning that the essay you’re reading now is the very first you’ll do, next week’s will be the second thing and so on. Each part is designed to make you as smart and nimble with your career as you are with your prose.

Let’s go.

“Tell me about your book.”

The entire story of book promotion begins with that phrase. Without a good answer to it, you the author are trying to grow flowers without soil. Nothing else in book promotion happens without that answer. A good answer to “tell me about your book” is “Once Upon A Time…”

A lot of people are going to ask you “tell them about your book.” Here’s a short list…

  • Booksellers who need to know what shelf it goes on at their store.
  • Members of the media who what to know what they are covering.
  • Readers need to know why your book should be read before the 15 others currently piled on their night table.

They all need an answer and they need it fast. These are busy people and there are several dozen authors in line behind you who want their attention.

“Tell me about your book”

You’re the author. You know the story of your book better than anyone. Nonetheless I’m amazed how many authors break out in sweat when asked that. The answer then comes out something like this….

My book is a mystery novel, set in Seattle, 409 pages long with a main character named Sally Ann. She has a boyfriend who plays baseball and a dog. I thought about not giving her a dog because how would she solve crimes if she always had to go home to walk Woof Woof? I didn’t want to name the dog Woof Woof. The dog’s name was originally Thurston Terwillager and wait, did I mention Sally Ann, my main character’s favorite food is anchovies? Anchovies are very important to the story and…

Still listening? I’m not. We’re six sentences into “tell me about your book” and I still don’t know what’s about. I’ve already moved on to the author in line behind you.

If book promotion is matchmaking between your book and everyone who you want to know about it, “tell me about your book,” is the first date. And nobody wants to be on a first date with a motormouth who can’t keep their thoughts straight. If you WROTE the book and can’t say, with confidence, what it’s about, is there any point to continuing the conversation? All I’m thinking is “If this author writes as badly as they explain…”

I know you’ve worked on this book for two years and want to talk about everything in it. But it isn’t time for “everything.” You’re on a first date. You goal is to get a second date.

When someone says “Tell me about your book” here’s what they are actually asking you…

  • Tell me what category your book fits in–mystery, memoir, poetry, romance etc… This gives me a frame of reference.
  • Tell about what happens.
  • Tell me just enough about your book so that I’m left curious. Tell me too much and why do need to read it?
  • Tell me about your book in 20 seconds or less. After that, I’ll stop paying attention.

Your answer therefore has to accomplish a lot in not much time. Sounds hard, I know. But let’s try it with our friend Sally Ann.

My book is a mystery novel, set in Seattle, about a detective named Sally Ann framed for murder, when her dog Woof Woof finds the body of her boyfriend, A Seattle Mariner Shortstop on her front lawn.

I want to read more, don’t you? What happened to her boyfriend? How does Sally Ann solve his murder? Who framed her? Is Woof Woof crucial to the mystery?

Where can I buy this book right now and find out?

Every great book summary has these 3 parts:

  1. A category (“mystery novel”)
  2. Parameters aka what happens and what is the reader getting themselves into (“Seattle”, “a detective” “a dead boyfriend”)
  3. Something left to the imagination (a dead body, a framed main character)

More is noise. And on the first date, you need to speak loud and clear. Noise makes me plug my ears and run away.

Assume this: Everyone who wants to hear about your book is yes, busy but also dying to get hooked into a great story. Or else why would they be interested in books in the first place?

Don’t stand in their way. A confusing, messy summary leads to a confused frustrated conversation about your book that no one–not media, bookseller, reader–will want to have. They’ve just lost interest and haven’t even picked up the book yet.

A great summary does the opposite. It sharpens, clarifies and focuses your efforts. A great book summary helps whomever you’re talking to gauge their interest quickly and decide if they want to hear more, have a second date.

No book is for everyone (The editor of Men’s Health is not going to write about “Twilight” no matter how many millions of copies it sold. His readers are not “Twilight” readers) and the sooner you know who yours are, the less time you will waste in promoting your book to readers whose interests lie elsewhere. It doesn’t matter what happens in chapter 9 of your military biography. Your book is not for a radio show aimed at teenage girls.

A good summary clarifies that immediately. For you and your reader.

“Tell me about your book.” A good answer is difficult but vital. Without “once upon a time” why would anyone continue reading? If you can’t begin the conversation about your book, who else will?

In the next installment, we’ll be talking about who exactly you’ll be promoting your book to.

Exercise:  Using the “Rule of Three Parts” (category, parameter, imagination), come up with a great answer to the question “Tell me about Your Book”

BookTour.com launched a ten-part series on Book Promotion called “Everything you Wanted to Know about Book Promotion but were Afraid to Ask” written by CEO Kevin Smokler. Kevin has been advising authors and publishers on marketing and promotion for nearly a decade and has written and lectured on the topic throughout North America.

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