Monday, May 24, 2010

The Seven Laws of Book Marketing

"You must go to writing conferences," Theo Nestor our former writing group facilitator told us. "It's the contacts you make that are so important," she added. So that's what I did. And at the Washington State Whidbey Island Writers' Conference in 2008, I met Lake Boggan a book publicist for Timber Press.

I was pitching another book idea when Lake spotted Local Vegetarian Cooking in my hands and asked about this book. After I showed her the book, she asked if she could pass on a copy to a publishing company (Timber Press in Portland).

Before I left the brief interview, Lake handed me a paper with marketing tips and I hung onto it, thinking it would be useful someday. Well someday is here, and I thought I'd share my version of Lake's "Seven Sacraments of Book Marketing" since her tips have been an inspiration for me.

1. Ask to see your materials. This includes any materials that are created in-house about your and your book. Ask to see these before the book is published and make copies for your files.

2. Provide your publicist with a list of contacts in your field of expertise. Indicate which of these contacts does media related work. List contacts who write reviews, articles, blogs, newsletters or speaks on the radio, Internet or television. Contact people in advance and mention the publisher will send review copies. When a copy has been sent follow up with an email or call. Media are more inclined to listen to an author rather than a publicist or publisher.

3.Ask for your publicist's review copy of media listings for your book. Don't expect to receive it because media contacts belong to the publisher. Your constant requests will serve as motivation to focus more time on your book--the squeaky wheel syndrome.

4. Ask for a copy of your marketing plan. If no official marketing plan is used prepare to discuss a plan of action the publisher or publicist will use and what is the time-line for marketing you and your book?

5. Carry a copy of your published book with you at all times. It is your Bible, the word of you. Know that promoting your book is a way of life and you are not a one-night-stand. Keep pumping your platform with fresh blood even when your book is no longer new. Don't let people forget you.

6. Come to favorable terms with the Internet. Get a Website, learn to blog and link research related Websites and articles. Respond to email in a timely manner. Consider FaceBook, My Space and Twitter; build a community and keep your work alive.

7. Become a media junkie; tuning into a daily dose of CNN, NPR and all related media should be part of your new life as a author. The goal is to know when you can respond as an expert.

Okay, I haven't done everything on this list, but book marketing is a work in progress and new opportunities seem to appear every week.

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