Marketing a New Product
3 Free Marketing Tips
To Sell Your Book

by Dave Smith

When you're marketing a new product, whether it's a book, an electronic gadget or a new type of cookie, there are 3 must-do marketing tactics that are key to your product's success. The principles are the same for any type of new product, but today we'll talk specifically about your new book.

Free Marketing Tip # 1
Create An Awesome Cover

Don't underestimate the power of product packaging when marketing a new product. Simply put, covers sell books. If you want people to buy and read your book, you need a great cover. Just like with most products, the package helps convey the value of what's inside. Your book needs a cover that gets attention and creates interest.

Think about it... what do you do when you evaluate a book before buying it? If you're in the store, you look at the front of the book first, then flip it over and look at the back cover to learn what it's about. You also see what other people have said about it (more on that in a minute).

Find someone who has a great deal of experience in cover design. Don't use a generalist, be picky! I've seen a few people who only make book covers. One man charges a flat fee of about $600 for everything, and his covers look great. You may not want to spend the money, but it's really not an option if you want your book to sell.

Free Marketing Tip #2
Build a Web site

An online presence is essential for marketing a new product, actually, just about any product nowadays. If you're smart enough to plan ahead, you'll work on your Web site a little at a time while you are writing your book. Don't wait until you're all finished and then start building your Web site, or it will seem like a daunting task.

Why do you need a Web site? First, you can use it to sell your e-book. There are other ways you can sell without a Web site, but you'll make more with each sale if you sell directly from your Web site. Even if you have a physical book, I recommend you sell the electronic version directly from your Web site. Your margin is almost 100% on the electronic version.

More importantly, your Web site lets you communicate with visitors about your book. You can provide sample chapters, answer questions from visitors, and provide contact information for interviews with the press.

The single most important thing your Web site does is enable you to collect email addresses from people who like you. Assuming you're not a one-book wonder, you'll want to let people know about your plans for future books. Each new book starts the process of marketing a new product all over again. Your periodic updates in an email newsletter will create anticipation for your upcoming book.

Do you want a successful Web site? WritersHelper.com, this Web site, is in the top 1% of all sites on the Internet. This site and mine use the same platform for our online business and we wouldn't use anything else.

Free Marketing Tip #3
Create Social Proof

This is another "must do" step in marketing a new product. Social proof is a psychological term, where people have proof of a fact based on the behavior of others.

Here's a simple example. You're walking down the sidewalk and you see 10 people on the corner, all of them looking up into the sky. What do you do? You look up into the sky, too! You learned from these people that you are supposed to look into the sky to see something, and that's what you do.

For your book, you get social proof by getting reviews from influential reviewers. If you write a book about marketing, you want well-known and respected marketers like Seth Godin and Bob Bly to review your book (before the final version goes to print). Ask famous and/or influential people to read your book and provide a short comment that acts as a testimonial or endorsement.

Once you have those testimonials, use them! Put them on your website, on the back cover of your book and in your press materials. Name drop during radio and television interviews. It will create sales, so don't be shy about it.

Whew! Did you know that marketing a new product like a book would be such hard work? These steps, while essential, are just the tip of the iceberg. There's much more to do, so make sure you follow a marketing plan while you are still writing your book. Proper planning and execution will ensure your success.

©2011 Dave Smith Used by permission

Dave Smith is a marketing strategy consultant and CEO of Functional Marketing. His company helps entrepreneurs and small business owners unlock the potential trapped in their products, networks, and other assets. Dave is fond of using joint ventures and other low-risk, high reward methods to solve business problems. Visit his Web site for more information about marketing your book, or any other product or service you offer.

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