22-Feb-2011

Marketing your book!

After your book has been written, edited and laid out and ready to be printed, you need to start thinking about ways to market it so that people know about yoru book and set out to buy it. Book marketing, perhaps, is most ignored by authors when they could themselves be the most passionate salesperson their book could have. While we do provide a wide range of marketing plans, here's a list we put together for our authors to do themselves. Perhaps something you could borrow from?

Online promotion:

1. Have bloggers review your book. Choose relevant bloggers. For example, if your book is on science fiction, send it to bloggers who are sci-fi aficionados

2. Add a "signature" to your email. Signatures should be brief and "punchy". Add a link to information about your book if possible

3. Get friends to add your link to their email signatures

4. Create a free website (blog) for your book. These are free and easy to set up. For blogs visit http://www.blogspot.com/ or http://www.wordpress.com/. For websites, visit www.weebly.com. Alternately you can contact us and we will set up one for you. When you set up one, make sure it is easy for people to find ways to contact you.

5. Post extracts of your book on your website or blog. Although this may see counter-intuitive, posting such free content allows your book to come up during search results. It also makes readers want to read more

6. A download of a few chapters of the book along with a discount coupon for purchase of the entire book. Or an online game where the winners get a discount on purchase of your book

7. Comment on other peoples' blogs, especially those on topics that match that of your book. Comment intelligently and don't brag. Sign off with your name and with a link to details of your book.

8. Guest blog on other sites that will allow you to.

9. Invest in social media such as Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and Orkut. The investment is of time, not money. This is a whole new beast called "social media marketing" and if you are here, you have probably heard of it already

10. Send out free press releases. Google "free press releases" and you will find many such services. Your press release should be brief and should contain the words users might search for.

Offline promotion:

1. Invest in getting your book edited and in getting a good cover designed for your book. Nothing turns readers away as much as an error-riddled book does. Similarly, an attractive cover can help market your book.

2. Dig into your mailing list - email every contact and tell them about your book. Ask them to promote your book in turn.

3. Similarly phone your friends and tell them about your book.

4. Contact your local newspaper. Ask them to do a review of your book. There is a certain prestige that comes with being a reviewed author. Give free copies away for reviews

5. Contact your local FM station and ask them to do an interview. Promote your book there

6. Make post cards for Diwali, Id or Christmas. Promote your book on it and send it to friends and acquaintances

7. If your book is on a niche subject, offer your services as a speaker when a seminar or conference is held on that or on an allied subject.

8. Promote your book at social meetings and gatherings.

9. Depending on the audience for your book, keep your book for sale in "unusual places" like coffee shops or supermarkets. People who frequent these places often have time to spare and money to spend. An attractively placed book might just trigger an impulse purchase

10. Arrange for readings and book signings if your environment allows it. Have them in prominent bookstores in your neighbourhood. In places like Bombay and Bangalore, weekly bingo is a common occurrence. Have your book launched before or after one such or similar meet. Cafes are another place where you can promote your book

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