eBusiness Blog

The Blueprint for Marketing Your Book in the New Year

The Blueprint for Marketing Your Book in the New Year

Ahhhh, the new year awaits and with it all the excitement of new goals, new opportunities, and new ways to market your book. It’s a time of reflection on the previous year, but also anticipation for all you can accomplish in the year to come.

Let’s go over some ways to get more out of all you do now and in the new year:

Learn from your mistakes and successes

What worked, what didn’t? Of course, do more of what worked, but don’t totally disregard the things that didn’t.

Could you tweak those things a bit and have better success? Did you not hit your target market right?

Take a look at some of the marketing you did in the past year. Evaluate it to determine what you can do to revamp and reuse it in a way that will produce better results.

The reason it’s always good to review what you’ve previously done is that oftentimes you have material already written or work already done, and with just a few minor tweaks you are good to go. So take time to review and then take the appropriate steps to maximize your results.

Getting Media

We know that every month there is a holiday, special day or month set aside for a specific cause or topic, and for authors that rocks. But do you often feel left out; like everyone else but you is hitting the PR jackpot?

What is it they are doing that you aren’t? Well let’s break it down.

First, they’re planning ahead. Too many authors pitch too late and miss out on golden opportunities.

Next, they are truly sharing their value. Just because your book is on that topic, why does it matter to the audience of that particular media? You absolutely need to make that connection and show why you are the one they need to interview. In your pitch outline the reasons you differ from the rest.

You need to show your experience. That’s critical. If a producer has to pick between your book and having you on and someone who has more TV experience, often they will go with the one with more experience.

So in your pitch, outline your media experience and use phrases such as “appeared on national TV and radio programs,” etc. Also, when pitching locally, make sure you include you are that local connection they need.

Speaking

Many use their books as a way to get more speaking engagements and well, yeah it works!

Look for groups or events to speak to in the upcoming year. Know too, that these require advance notice as well, so you can be successfully booking for the summer months and more at the beginning of the year.

Looking for ideas on where to speak? In addition to all the typical places, also consider asking your associates where they recommend and get their input. That personal knowledge can be priceless.

It’s also okay to ask if they have thoughts on how to make it even more successful. For example, they might tell you the audience is comprised mostly of busy executives who have staff to help them, but are still overwhelmed with daily challenges. Or perhaps they mention the audience is mostly self-published authors who are on a limited budget.

This knowledge can be extremely beneficial when preparing your presentation and highlighting what they need most.

Selling Your Books

Make it a point to bring your audience back to your website whenever possible in your marketing efforts and looking towards the New Year develop a plan to do that. Blog often so they want to come back. Offer promotions.

Definitely sell your book on your website in addition to Amazon, and announce this on all your marketing efforts. What often happens is that Amazon sells out during a great PR push, so those who want to purchase your book may not be able to.

They might come back to buy it later, but don’t take the chance. Plus, you normally make more off of books sold on your site because you avoid the Amazon fees and discounts.

Tip: To entice readers to purchase from your site, offer autographed copies.

Know that Timing Is Critical and Plan Accordingly

Timing is so much more than planning ahead with marketing ideas. When you don’t time things correctly, bad bad things can happen. Like, you can overbook and miss engagements. You can be crazy busy for one or two weeks and then have nothing for months.

You might plan for doing radio and land some TV engagements and not plan for it correctly. Do you have the time and resources to appear on TV? Will you travel?

Keep in mind when doing personal engagements that unless they are in the same city, traveling must be considered. And don’t forget the all-important time change between states. Many an overbooking has occurred because of this one detail.

Timing is also important to consider when seeking book reviews. Many of the bigger book review sites only take galleys, where they want the book two to three months in advance.

You can miss out on great reviews by not preparing for this. Also, with book reviews make it a commitment to seek reviews on a monthly basis. Many do an initial push to get reviews and then that’s it.

What happens then is month’s later there are no new reviews for your audience to read. So make it a point to commit to seeking book reviews throughout the year.

Timing also comes into play when you are scheduling your speaking events and this too can be planned in advance. You can develop a schedule where speak on Fridays, taking the weekend off. Many authors also run businesses as well, and you want to take that into account.

What works best with client work? Also, consider the time of the event. Things to consider – can you arrive on the day of the event? What happens if your plane is delayed? Will you be exhausted waking up at 3:00 am to get to the airport?

Many a time, a great speech has been ruined because the speaker didn’t properly plan his travel time and was just exhausted by the time they hit the stage. A great presentation can be ruined because of this. Most only make this mistake once. But again, plan ahead.

So run into the new year with all the excitement and anticipation of the great things in store. But remember to plan ahead and cover the details.

About the Author, Diana Ennen

Diana Ennen

Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She's the co-author of Virtual Assistant - The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA.

Sign up for her PR Tips at her site and email her at diana@virtualwordpublishing.com to receive her "pitching the media audio" from her PR Success Classes.


9 Self Publishing Do’s and Don’ts You Need to Know

9 Self Publishing Do’s and Dont’s You Need to Know
Congratulations! Your book is finally done. Years of blood, sweat and tears have finally come to this. Now comes the big question, what next? After careful research, you’ve decided that self-publishing is the route you wish to take, but unfortunately you aren’t sure exactly what all that involves. Not to worry, we are here to help. Here are some self-publishing do’s and don’t’s.

Self-publishing Do’s

  1. Do know that self-publishing is a business.
    It’s so much more than putting your company name on the cover of the book. Go into it knowing this.
    That means you have to know things such as how to get an ISBN number, the requirements to get on Amazon, how much marketing will be involved, etc. And speaking of ISBN numbers, yes you do need to get one for each of your books.If you have an ebook and a paperback, they require their own ISBN.
  2. Do have a clear goal for your book.
    Do you want to only sell books or do you want to use your book to help your speaking career or business consulting?Very important. Once you know what you hope to accomplish, you will be better equipped to do so. This is especially true with self-publishing because honestly, you control everything and get to steer the ship how you want it.

    That’s one of the best parts of having that control. You get to decide what you want to do and can make sure you work in that direction.

  3. Do figure out the formatting for your book and stick to it.
    This avoids the typesetting nightmare that happens when you change from a 6 x 9 to an 8 x 11 format or something similar.Go to the bookstore and explore your section of books (i.e., business books, romance, etc.) to determine what format would be best for your book. And, of course, review where you are going to get it printed to see if they have any recommendations.
  4. Do develop a great website to sell your book and don’t just rely on selling on Amazon.
    You want people to be able to connect with you long afterwards. This leads to more speaking and media opportunities down the road, as well as more sales for your other products or services.And don’t forget to have a way for your readers to connect, leave reviews, find you on social media, and more.
  5. Do remember the importance of marketing. With published books, you might have the first few months of their expertise, but often times that amounts to a press release sent to a targeted database and a few reviews.Create a marketing plan and work on ways to accomplish it. Know that the work starts well before the book is completed and continues on from there.

    Just a few of the marketing you should be considering are:

    • Writing a press release and sending to targeted databases;
    • getting book reviews;
    • planning a book launch both online and live;
    • doing a blog tour and blogging yourself;
    • creating a social media plan and following through with it;
    • setting up your newsletter (with a great free offer) and an auto-responder series to stay connected;
    • Facebook or Google ads;
    • securing radio or TV interviews;
    • etc.

    Now, rinse and repeat monthly and watch your sales skyrocket!

Self Publishing Don’ts

  1. Don’t look unprofessional.
    Remember your book is also your brand. From the book cover to your social media and website, you want it to represent the best you.So often readers will run from a terrific book just because it looks so unprofessionally done or they see the website and it reeks amateur.

    Don’t let that happen to you. If you need help in an area, get it. That includes editing as well.

  2. And speaking of editing, yes you want to have your book professionally edited even though Aunt Sally is really good at English and she has read it for you.I can’t emphasize this enough. When a reader sees constant errors or even a few typos, they immediately lose a little respect. And watch for common mistakes, such as putting the punctuation outside of quotes instead of inside.

    If you can’t afford to have it professionally edited, consider an edit review. Many editors will do a quick review and give you some thoughts on consistent mistakes they see.

  3. Don’t spend your money unwisely.
    Yes, it would be awesome to have 5,000 copies of your book and you’re sure you will sell that many in a few months. However, that is rarely the case.Even if you get a lower rate, chances are your garage is going to have a couple thousand of books for the next year or so. Just be smart. Not saying not to have a supply on hand, but consider your options.Also, know many places now print on demand for each order. Just find out what is right for you. Plan too for all your expenses. Yes, you want to have a marketing budget, but know what that looks like for you and budget accordingly. Don’t count on book sales for this budget.
  4. Don’t announce you self-published when it’s not necessary.
    Now that self-publishing is so recognized and accepted today, there is no need to lead with that fact in your marketing.No need to hide the fact that your book is self-published at all, but you don’t need to waste valuable space emphasizing it.

    For example the title of a press release, mentioning that it is self-published adds no value. Same with the subject link of a pitch that is going out.

Self-publishing a book is challenging, exciting, thrilling, and then downright overwhelming at times.

Be prepared for the gamut of emotions involved. And don’t fret, that is normal.

Just remember, not everyone can say they are an author and have written a book. Be proud of that on a daily basis and take it all a step at a time enjoying the journey.

Hopefully these tips will help!

About the Author, Diana Ennen

Diana Ennen

Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She's the co-author of Virtual Assistant - The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA.

Sign up for her PR Tips at her site and email her at diana@virtualwordpublishing.com to receive her "pitching the media audio" from her PR Success Classes.


7 Book Marketing Mistakes Authors Need to Avoid

Book Marketing Mistakes Authors Need to Avoid

Book marketing is all about being prepared and ready to roll once your book is done. But unfortunately, marketing a book often comes when an author is so overwhelmed from the process of writing the book and finishing it, that the marketing aspect of it gets kicked to the curb.

Not to worry, these tips should help. It’s all about planning ahead and doing more of the right things consistently.

Let’s go over the basics of book marketing mistakes authors need to avoid:

  1. Pursuing Costly Reviews – Book reviews are fabulous and something you absolutely want to pursue. However, one big mistake many authors make is blindly sending out tons of copies.
     
    Remember that your books cost money and postage in sending them out. Not to mention the time to do so. So be targeted in who you send copies to. Also, it’s okay to follow-up with those who have promised reviews. Now don’t stalk them, but A-OK to ask.
  2. Website Magic Missed – It very much helps to have a good website for your book. One mistake many make is having their book be more of an afterthought on their site. There is a slight mention about your book and perhaps a link to purchase, but that’s it.
     
    It’s critical to give your book the space it needs to sell. If you don’t have a full website for it, make sure you devote enough critical mass on the site to make a difference.
  3. Newsletter: Incredible Free Offer Mishaps – One of the biggest mistakes most authors make is not even having a newsletter. So #1, do a newsletter.
     
    The #2 mistake: not having something of value to give away for those who sign up. Years ago most authors would give a few chapters of their book as a giveaway. That was cool back then, but today just doesn’t have the same impact. Instead give something of value such as an ebook, checklist, detailed reports or white papers, etc.
     
    #3 mistake: not sending it out enough. Just do it!
  4. Blogging Blunders – Biggest mistake in blogging is not doing it enough or writing the next great novel in each blog posting. No one has time to read those. Every blog post doesn’t need to be a short story. Instead have just a couple thoughts so you can write consistently.
     
    Have a plan for your postings too and consider a series of blog postings on a related topic. Your postings can solve problems and answer questions you see on your social media mentioned regularly, entertain, and most importantly always provide value.
     
    Remember too you can have some fun with it depending on the topic of your book. Consider hosting a contest or something. Bottom line: always connect.
  5. Who Goes There: Not Knowing Readers – Let’s face it, there are millions and millions of books on the market today and even though you think your book would apply to EVERYONE, it won’t. Get serious and break it down.
     
    Try this. I think my audience would include the following: Women between the ages of 18 and 40, who love to travel, and value a good relationship. Or they are successful businesswomen who know how to get what they want. You market best when you have your target audience in mind.
  6. Not Connecting With Readers – It’s essential to engage your fans and it’s never been easier to do. Make them feel you truly care about them and show how they matter a lot to the success of your book. Give back by actively connecting with them, but also, it never hurts to have a few incentives such as freebies and other personalized things.
     
    One great tip that many successful authors use is giving their readers first dibs on their upcoming book by providing a look into it. Not only does this help with the promotions of the upcoming book, but you build loyal fans by continually making them feel special.
  7. Social Media Boo Boos – One of the biggest mistakes authors make is they get started, build momentum, and then lose steam and basically disappear. One of the most important things you can do is plan ahead. Instead of disappearing, if you are having a hard time keeping up, cut back. Now of course we recommend going full steam ahead. But it’s better to have some new postings than to disappear, come back for a few days and go gangbusters, and disappear again.
     
    Consistency rules! Plus, don’t forget it’s so much more than just posting, you also need to be engaging. And it pays to pay up and promote postings and sponsor a couple of ads.
     
    On the flip side are those who wear out their audience with way too many postings on their book. (We know you’ve seen these before!)

    For example, “I’m writing a book.” Ten posts later, “I can’t believe I’m writing a book. My dream is coming true.” This is actually a good thing mentioned once or twice, but every day for months, it gets old fast. “My book is almost done.” And then every day an update or two. “My book has 10 more pages, yeah!” “My book is here.” Cool.

    And then comes the “Can you help me promote my book” and five thousand messages on that. YIKES! Now we aren’t saying don’t announce your book, you want to, just don’t bore your audience to death with too many updates that really offer no new value.

Now that you know the mistakes to avoid, it can be easy to do so. And once again, the most important part of marketing is being engaged with the audience you know and love who want what you have to offer as an author.

About the Author, Diana Ennen

Diana Ennen

Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She's the co-author of Virtual Assistant - The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA.

Sign up for her PR Tips at her site and email her at diana@virtualwordpublishing.com to receive her "pitching the media audio" from her PR Success Classes.


Entrepreneurs: Here’s Ten Secrets to a Successful Book Launch

10 Secrets to a Successful Book Launch

Ahhh, the excitement of finalizing your book and that all important book launch.  It’s a thrilling time because all your hard work comes together and you get to reveal to the world your expertise on a given topic.

Now is the time to both celebrate and get to work.

Let’s show you ways to have more success with selling your book and that all important book launch.  Doable tips to help you make the most out of all you do.  Let’s go!

First, start thinking about your launch while writing and finalizing your book.

As the author, who knows their target audience better or knows the important key points of the book that would matter most?  When you start jotting down those notes, the result is a more personalized and targeted marketing plan.

Next, start to get everything in place to gear up for your launch.

This includes:  Your marketing plan, your media kit, press releases, pitches to journalists, articles on your topic, web copy and sales landing pages, newsletters, autoresponders series, social media, and so forth.

Remember the first few months after a book is published take more energy to market, but the more prepared you are, the better.

But keep in mind one vital marketing tip as well.  Where many authors fail is they build and get ready for launch day and the upcoming weeks they go gangbusters, then that’s it.  It’s like they disappear from the face of the earth. Whatever you do in your marketing make it consistent and think long-term strategies.

Let’s break down what all you need for a successful launch:

  1. Marketing Plan – We all know the basics to a good marketing plan, so let’s dig right in on specifics to a book launch. In addition to writing down how you plan to market, don’t forget those goals.  Do you want to sell more books or get speaking engagements?
     
    By knowing what you hope to accomplish you focus more in those directions. Also include a realistic budget knowing the first few months might require more as you get everything set up.
  2. Website and/or Sales Page – Your website should clearly point out who you are as the author and well as clear and compelling information about your book, speaking, etc. Think benefits and why you are the expert.
     
    Remember many will be coming here for the first time to learn more about you. The more information you provide, the better experience it can be. Let your personality shine through, but also keep it professional and branded.
     
    Additionally, don’t forget to include other books you have authored, links to all your social media channels, media mentions and testimonials, and above all else, make it easy to purchase your book or contact you to speak.
  3. Book Reviews – Getting book reviews is again one of those things you need to consider well before the launch. Your reviews will go in your media kit, on Amazon, your website, and more. Of course, you can send to friends and family, but don’t stop there.
     
    When someone sees your Amazon reviews and everyone has the same last name as yours, they don’t feel it’s a “real review.”  Also, create a database of professional book reviewers (we use Cision) and send to those who cover your type of book.
  4. Radio shows, TV & Speaking Engagements – Line up numerous events for the week prior and after your launch by sending out pitches well in advance. Outline in the pitch why your book would be a great fit for their audience and also again, why you are the expert to share it.
     
    Don’t forget to include your local media as well.  Just don’t overdue it.  You want to sound fresh and excited and if you have too many scheduled with all the other PR taking place, it can have a negative effect.  You end up exhausted, over-extended, and not get to enjoy your great accomplishments.
  5. Newsletters / Autoresponders – These can be crafted well in advance as well and scheduled to ease the stress of book launch week. Include exciting details about your book launch, but also provide tips from the book or material of value.
     
    Yes it is great to announce you have a book coming out, but even better when you provide examples of what’s in the book. Also, don’t forget that all important “freebie” or IFO for when they sign up to be on your list.  Make it targeted and of real value to your audience.
  6. Joint ventures with others in your industry – Often times they can provide additional targeted giveaways that add to the excitement of your launch. They share with their networks and your book gets more exposure and they get to be part of a newsworthy event.
     
    The key to success here is to make it easy for those who contribute to participate and also keep it consistent.
  7. Media Kit – Media kits vary, but consider adding in the following. Sales Page, Introductory Letter or Pitch, Bio, Press Release, Testimonials, Excerpts, Q&A.   To get the most from your media kit, use all the components in your marketing.
     
    Tailor the pitch or introductory letter so it can be used for multiple purposes such as securing book review, speaking engagements, etc.  Of course, these will need to be fine-tuned, but a lot of the basics remains the same.  Also, the press release should be sent out as well.  Let’s get to that next.
  8. Press releases – These capture the attention of your audience, whether it’s a local reporter, potential reader, etc., and should be sent out regularly and especially with your launch.
     
    In your release include book information, author information, a quote from you, call to action on how to get the book, and complete contact information.  The key to success here is the angle that makes it even more newsworthy.
  9. Book Blog Tour – Jot down places you frequent that would be a good fit for your book as well as blogs you feel would be on topic. Send a pitch and introduce your book.
     
    Offer several options.  They can do a book review, contest, post your articles, etc.  When you give several options it helps as the can choose what fits in best with their blog.
  10. Social media – Announce on all your social media networks about your book launch and also any media you receive.  Develop a social media plan to keep the excitement going week after week.

These are the basics to a successful book launch.  Just remember have some fun.  Don’t get so caught up in the “must do’s” that you forget your accomplishment of writing a book.  Seek help if needed.

Are you thinking of writing a book?

About the Author, Diana Ennen

Diana Ennen

Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She's the co-author of Virtual Assistant - The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA.

Sign up for her PR Tips at her site and email her at diana@virtualwordpublishing.com to receive her "pitching the media audio" from her PR Success Classes.