Free Book Marketing Ideas

Posted in Book Marketing on December 15th, 2010 by admin


Written By: Christine Hohlbaum

You have a great story idea you’re sure everyone will want to read. You manage to put it down on paper, pass it around various places, and get it published. Congratulations! Now the fun begins.

To be a great writer is an innate gift. To be a great writer whose work people actually read, you have to have yet another talent: marketing. Someone once said selling a book involves 5% really great writing and 95% even better marketing. Look at any bestseller list, and you will see what I say is true: unless your last name is Grisham, you’ll need to do a lot of footwork first.

The good news is you can do a lot of marketing on a shoestring budget. With the advent of the Internet, reaching your target audience has never been easier. Think you can’t spread the word about your great new release cheaply and fast? Think again!

The most important thing is to know your target audience. It wouldn’t make sense to pitch your book to an auto mechanic’s magazine editor if you’ve written a book about quilting. Once you have determined your readership, it’s time to get creative.

Book signings at local bookstores can add to your profile as a local author. Contact the store manager with a press release and a copy of your book in hand. If you are marketing a children’s book, make certain that there is a children’s section in the bookstore in which you are doing the book signing. Again, knowing the target audience of the bookstore can assist you in getting a “yes” from the store owner versus a “rather not”. Once the book signing date is secured, tell the world about it!

Internet radio is a relatively new medium. Do an internet search to determine which programs suit you. Ask around or notice other people’s message posts. When they announce an upcoming radio interview that addresses your target audience, check out the station’s Web site. I have secured many interviews by watching others succeed first.

Networking is an important factor in making yourself and your work known. There are many social networking sites which are generous and helpful, that allow you to network with all kinds of people for free.

There are also several free press release services which get your news on the web fast and free. Most offer the option to pay for additional exposure: The more you pay, obviously, the more you will be exposed to the right eyes. I actually opted for the free service on one major site, and got my very first fan e-mail that way. A side benefit is that your release will then appear on the major search engines which is more free exposure.

Providing webmasters and ezine publishers with free, well-written articles can be an extremely powerful marketing tool. Within four months, I have been published in over one-hundred twenty publications both on- and off-line due to this method of marketing. In addition, it is a great way to reach your target audience because your Web link and bio are included with every article.

An added benefit to the ezine approach is the network that you are able to create. I have two regular columns at women’s Web sites because they used one of my free articles, and I offered to provide them with more. In addition, after using my articles, several Web sites have placed my book in their bookstores or on their recommended reading lists simply because I asked!

Author interviews are a great way to get exposure. Unfortunately, much like book reviews, they can be hard to get. I created a simple Q&A about my book which I would attach to follow-up e-mails to reviewers and the like. On several occasions, webmasters were grateful that I saved them the time of “having to interview me”. They would simply post my Q&A on their sites. Viola! An instant author interview was born.

Contacting your local paper for a feature article about your accomplishments will often lead to great publicity. After landing a page-length article in my hometown paper, I managed to receive e-mails from old high school friends that I hadn’t seen in ten years. People tend to buy your book if they know a bit about you, the author.

The short of it is this: set a goal, write it down, and put it where you can see it. You can achieve your dreams if you have it in front of you at all times. If there is a will, there truly is a way.

Christine Louise Hohlbaum is the author of several books, including a turn-key marketing program, The Author’s Companion: A Self-Guided Course on Book Promotion. She has been published in over 120 publications and offers affordable PR consulting for authors. www.authors

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The Most Underrated — and Most Powerful — Tool in Online Book Marketing

Posted in Book Marketing on December 15th, 2010 by admin

Not too long ago, an author’s dream of getting a manuscript published and distributed rested largely on the hands of the publishing houses. Authors with rejected works had the option to self-publish their manuscripts, although the high cost of this process discouraged many rejected authors from taking this route.

A lot has changed since then. The rise of internet and digital technology has drastically reduced the cost of self-publishing, and has given birth to hundreds of competing self-publishing companies. Now, virtually anyone can turn a raw manuscript into a published book.

But while the process of publishing has gotten easier, the process of selling books has not. In fact, it has gotten harder. The remarkable growth of the self-publishing industry, while initially thought to be a boon to authors, has given birth to a twin problem: an overabundance of published books.

Consider this: Close to 200,000 books were published last year in the United States alone, 80 percent of which are self-published and you can bet a large chunk of these books are for sale. What’s more, the number is expected to rise this year. With this kind of competition, how does an upstart author market a self-published work efficiently?

There are many ways to market a book, but whatever kind of marketing platform an author chooses to adopt, the most vital marketing tool an author can do to boost a book marketing campaign is by owning a well-designed website.

For any author, having a well-designed website is the single most important move in selling a book. A website will serve as a highly credible marketing base for any author, and exponentially increases the visibility, market reach, and promotional power of any book marketing campaign.

A website, when linked to a particular book advertisement or marketing campaign, will greatly reinforce the information and marketing punch disseminated by publicity campaigns, e-mail advertisements, or any other type of online book marketing campaign.

Furthermore, a well-designed website facilitates the connection between the author and the clientele in a professional and convenient method — a very pivotal aspect in today’s book-selling industry.

A website serves an ideal host for an “author blog”, which is one of the most effective — and perhaps most underrated — book marketing tools in the current book marketing landscape. While many authors are not aware of this yet, a well-designed and frequently updated blog webpage effectively translates into avid reader patronage.

The reason is this: books that capture a reader’s interest do not go unremembered, and neither does the author who wrote it. Enamored readers want to get involved. A memorable reading experience makes readers want to know the author, as well as the book’s the themes and back story. They want to know what’s the current and upcoming projects of the author who has so effectively captured their imagination and touched their emotions. As mentioned earlier, they want to be involved. A website will take care of this area with optimum effect.

In addition, “author websites” are regularly visited by the movers and shakers of a wide range of industries. Whether it’s a film producer in search for a new film project, or a businessman in pursuit of revolutionary business ideas (self-help books), a wide range of visitors will be accommodated effectively by a website, which serves as an online organizer. Here, you can list your contact information and other contents, making yourself available to every person in the world at any time.

Finally, a website is hands-down the most cost-efficient book marketing tool. With the recent growth of companies that offer book marketing services, an author can easily own a well-designed website for a couple of hundred dollars.

The bottom line: Before you start waging any kind of book marketing campaign, start your program with the most important tool in the business of book promotion and marketing — and get yourself a website.

Learn more about the dynamics of marketing self published books, Internet Marketing Promotion, Book Marketing Services, and many other useful tips about online book marketing.

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