Developing a solid list of book buying prospects should be an integral part of your book marketing strategy. Here are four basic ways to create your prospect list.
1. Build an in-house list. The best list is one you personally develop over time, keeping track of clients, people you meet at networking functions, associates you work with and other personal contacts. You may also want to do some research online or at a library and compile lists of contacts from trade journals, business directories and other resources.
2. Speaking engagements and tradeshows. If you are asked to speak before an organization or group, be sure to request and obtain a copy of the attendees. The audience, after all, has made an effort to come out to see you, so you should assume that they are interested in learning more about you, your book and other services you may offer.
3. Join an association. Another way to develop a prospect list is by joining trade associations. Some groups make their membership directories available only to members; others offer them for sale; while still others have their membership lists available for free online. Each can become a valuable resource to you.
4. Purchase a list. If you choose to go this route, make sure you use a list broker who is knowledgeable, helpful and who listens to your needs. You'll find that lists are available for almost every market niche and in every price range.
Whereever your list comes from, it won't help you unless you put it to work. Then follow up with appropriate phone calls, personal emails or e-newsletters.