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November 2010

Eight Outstanding Ways to Promote Your Book in Your Own Backyard.

By guest author Dana Lynn Smith.

Online book marketing is a wonderful way to reach a worldwide audience, but sometimes authors overlook opportunities in their own backyard. In your local area and region, you have the opportunity to stand out as a bigger fish in a smaller pond. Here are eight outstanding ways you can promote locally.

1. Always carry books and literature with you. Keep a case of books and some flyers in the trunk of your car, and business cards in your wallet. You never know when you will run across a potential customer or marketing contact.

2. Look for opportunities. Headed out for a weekend trip? Do a little research ahead of time to identify bookstores, retailers and libraries in the area that you can call on.

3. Promote yourself as a local author. Many bookstores and libraries have a special section where they showcase the books of local authors. Also, put "local author" stickers on books you sell in your area.

 4. Look for other retailers that are a good fit. Think about what type of retailers relate to the topic of your book. Our July post, titled Self-Published Authors Don't Need Bookstores, offers some great advice regarding non-bookstore venues.

5. Speak at libraries. This can be especially effective for children's books and for nonfiction titles that have a broad appeal (i.e. travel, business, fitness, finances, etc.).

6. Find other speaking opportunities. Speaking is a great way to sell books. There are lots of organizations looking for interesting speakers for their meetings. Groups include business and civic organizations, church groups, schools, universities, trade associations, and more.

7. Seek publicity through local media. Send press releases to media in the town where you grew up and where you now live. And don't forget your college alumni newsletter and associations and clubs you belong to.

8. Exhibit at book fairs and festivals. These usually work best if your book is related to the theme of the event, or if your book has appeal to a broad audience.

[Dana Lynn Smith is a book marketing coach and author of the SavvyBook Marketer Guides.]

What Copy Should You Place On a Hardcover Dust Jacket?

By guest author Karrie Ross.

If you are planning to publish a hard cover book with a dust jacket, the inside flaps of your dust jacket presents you with an opportunity to provide additional information to a prospective buyer beyond what your put on your back cover. This additional information could be a significant factor in whether or not the viewer buys your book. That said, just what type of copy should you place on your dust jacket?

If you look at books around your house and in bookstores, you'll find a mixture of possibilities. So where should you begin? The checklists below may offer some starting points for your book cover design, and allow for mixing and matching of content. Plus, you don't have to put all of these elements on your dust jacket. I've seen a book with just one testimonial on the back cover, just a quote on the front flap and no author photo.

Front inside dust jacket flap

  • Option A: price, category, short description, story, mission of book, author.
  • Option B: testimonials, poems, quotes.
  • Option C: category, headline, description, testimonials, publisher information, website.

Back inside dust jacket flap

  • Option A: author photo, name, title.
  • Option B: short biography of author, company, mission.
  • Option C: website, contact information.
  • Option D: publishing company, contact information, cover artist.

Back dust jacket cover

  • Option A: category, barcode, publisher, list of testimonials.
  • Option B: category, barcode, publisher, short paragraph statement as to what and why they need to buy this book.
  • Option C: category, headline, first paragraph description with bullet points, testimonials, publisher information, website, barcode.

A good rule of thumb to follow when determining the copy you want to place on your dust jacket is to put together the information that you feel works best for you and your needs. Then, have your book cover designer look it over and offer any suggestions he or she might have.

[Karrie Ross is a nationally recognized book design, marketing and branding coach for authors and can be contacted at Karrie Ross, Be It Now!]

Introducing Karrie Ross

Book1Blog is delighted to announce that Ms. Karrie Ross is joining our guest authors list and will be sharing her knowledge and expertise in upcoming posts over the next weeks and months.

Karrie is a professional graphic designer with over 27 years experience, and is nationally recognized for her eye-grabbing book design of covers and interiors. In addition, she offers consulting, branding and promotional guidance to authors and others in the self-publishing industry. She has served as a juror for book design sections of award shows, is a continuing contributor to several industry-standard newsletters and blogs, and is frequently interviewed as an authority by various publishing publications.

As an award-winning author herself, Karrie has a great understanding  of what new and even seasoned authors need to know about creating successful book branding and a web presence. We think her posts will make a wonderful addition, and it is with great pleasure that we welcome her to our blog. Look for her first post later this week.

4 Ways To Reinforce Your Book's Marketing Campaign Through Social Media

By guest author Jake Olvido.

Social networking sites have drastically changed the face of advertisers and marketers in the past decade. And social media has directly affected consumer behavior as more and more people are exerting efforts to stay connected - whenever, whereever.

Here are 4 ways on how a book marketing campaign can benefit through participating on social networking sites.

1. Build strong and extensive connections. Participating on social network sites involves publishing a personal profile that is accessible to the public and sharing information. Using links, photos, videos and interesting details can trigger interest and attention. It's a great way to let your readers feel that you are a real person.

2. Raise brand awareness. The primary goal of a book marketing campaign is to let your targeted audience know about your book. Publishing status updates or news feeds about you and your book can increase its awareness.

3.  It's a venue to offer free information. By offering free information, you become an asset to your connections. Here are some great ways to do it:

  • Write brief book reviews.
  • Write informative aricles and post them on online directories.
  • Initiate book discussions that are relevant to your book.
  • Leave thoughtful comments on other people's blog posts.
  • Feature sample sections of your book on your blog.
  • Share links to related breaking news.

4. Generate free reviews. By giving the public a preview of your book, it allows prospective readers to comment and evaluate your book, thereby creating a channel for feedback.

Every self-published author knows that the success of his or her book involves a thoughtfully planned and carefully executed marketing strategy. Apart from author websites, email advertisements, online listings and publicity; for a book marketing campaign to virally work, it needs extended multiple channels. And this can be best achieved through the use of social media.

[Jake Olvido is a book marketing specialist and can be reached at Bookwhirl.com.}

Hire A Copy Editor - A Rule You Must Not Overlook

Once you have finished your manuscript, what should be your next concern? The answer: punctuation, grammar and style.

Lisa Picarille illustrates this point in her post, The Importance of Copy Editing. She notes that "when you are the creator or author of content, there is a tendency for your mind and eye to read what you meant and not what is actually on the page or screen." How true. How true.

The importance of hiring a wordsmith, a grammarian, a picky English pro to edit your writing cannot be overstated. Where do you find such people? You can look for them in the Yellow Pages. You should ask for them in places where people work with words - places like writing clubs and local colleges. And, don't forget to ask other authors. Interview several and get referrals from satisfied customers.

Here's a true story. An editor returned a manuscript to an author with pages that were filled with red marks. Attached was an apologetic note saying, "I am sorry for the mess, but I thought you would want to know about the errors." The author called the editor and thanked her. "I would much rather that you find the mistakes now than have my readers find them later."

According to Brenner Information Group, editors average sixty-one hours per book.

Remember, there is nothing wrong with unpolished writing, but there is no excuse for not having it cleaned up by an editor. Editing is a rewarding activity. Edit, edit, edit!

[This post was created from excerpts taken from Successful Nonfiction written by Dan Poynter.]

Your Book Cover Is Your Advertising Billboard - Six Ways to Make It Stand Out!

The cover of a successful book must serve many functions. It must advertise the author, showcase reviews, set a mood and offer a glimpse of the what the book is about - just to name a few.

If you expect to market the majority of your books through retail venues, online, direct marketing, and other similar venues, your cover must be your billboard, and it had better be good. Book browsers will only give a book a few seconds of consideration. Your challenge will be to wrench their attention away from thousands of other volumes. To meet this challenge, here are a few things you need to consider.

  • In a bookstore, most books are shelved spine out, so this narrow strip is your first sales tool. Make it stand out with arresting color and compelling lettering. It should display the title, author and publisher. Be sure it runs the right way, and the type is as big as possible.
  • Next, book browsers look at the book's front cover. If it interests them, they'll turn to the back.
  • A local bookstore can offer a tremendous resource for book cover design analysis. Here you can look at the designs of bestsellers as well as books similar to yours.
  • Make your cover capture the essence of your book. This can be accomplished through the use of type, dynamic copy, a photo, or an illustration. The goal of a book cover is to convince consumers the book will solve their problems, or - in the case of fiction - provide an entertaining read.
  • Your title should be number one when you take a quick glance at your cover. It should pop off the background and be large enough to read from a distance on a bookshelf or a display table.
  • If you do not have genuine professional graphic arts experience, get in touch with a professional - someone who has done book covers before. And be sure they have experience with book manufacturers and know how to prepare the final electronic files for the book printing.

For more tips about creating great book covers, you might want to check out these earlier posts.

              Nine Things to Consider When Drafting Your Book's Back Cover

             The Importance of Your Book's Spine And Some Smart Self-Publishing Guidelines to Follow

             Six Ways To Get Your Self-Published Book Cover Noticed

When it comes to creating your book's cover, do your homework well. Be aware, many self-published books can look amateurish because of poor cover design and, in most cases, will fail to capture a reader's interest or buying decision.

[This post was created from excerpts from The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, 5th Edition, co-authored by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier.]