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Ideas for book marketing: Editor's Notes #395
July 12, 2023

Marketing’s job is never done. It’s about perpetual motion. We must continue to innovate every day.
—Beth Comstock

In this issue:

1. Ideas for book marketing
2. Tickled my funny bone
3. Interesting Web site(s)
4. Writing prompt

1.Ideas for book marketing
Whether you have a book contract with a traditional publisher or you self-publish, some marketing will fall to you as an author. From a simple reading at a local launch to a comprehensive marketing plan targeted to a variety of potential purchasers, your participation increases your sales and your income.

Many writers leave book marketing to a publisher or professional marketer and do not think about it until the books are printed. There is a better way.

The sooner you think about marketing, the longer you have to develop a strong plan with potential for success.

Self-publishers usually understand that they need to do something to get their book to market. Writers who want others to publish their book are more likely to be awarded a contract if they can outline some ideas for marketing the book when they first approach the publisher. In either case, higher sales numbers follow a plan built over time.

The more clearly you envision your reader, the more successful your marketing plan is likely to be. Making a marketing plan is something like choosing a gift. The better you know the person you are buying a gift for, the more likely you are to find the gift that hits the spot. You will not spend time in the men’s shoe store when you know your mother would love cut flowers. The better you know your reader, the more likely you are to spend time (and money) meeting the reader where the reader is instead of using an unfocused approach.

A cookie cutter marketing plan is a pale cousin to a plan based on an understanding of the ultimate reader and the resources of the publisher and the author. A cookie cutter marketer will cost less and will likely garner inferior results.

Some words of warning if you plan to hire a marketer. Anyone can self-identify as a book marketer. Ask for references and then check them. Be clear about what you want. (And yes, that means you at least have that ideal reader in mind.) If there is anything you don’t understand, ask. If your tummy rumbles a warning, pay attention and try to sort things out before you spend your money.

When you know who is likely to appreciate your book, you can be meaningfully involved in the marketing without turning yourself into an unrecognizable mess.

PS. I got the best sales from one book that had three ideal readers. I marketed to each of them in the face of professionals who warned that I would only confuse things. Far from being confusing, my clarity about who the three ideal readers were guaranteed that I knew what to do to reach each audience, and I was successful with them all. Neither they nor I got confused.

2.Tickled my funny bone
How do you make a small fortune in publishing?
First you start with a large fortune.

3. Interesting Web site(s)
Two sites today.

First, if you think that you may be an introvert, you may believe that you can never successfully market your book. Not so, says Introvert Marcia Yudkin, a marketer with forty years of experience. Recently she shifted her focus to target Introverts with something to sell. I have taken courses from Yudkin. She always offers value for money. There are also articles and links on her site to other information that is free.

Next, get ready to be overwhelmed by this very long page. I suggest that you skim through the content for ideas you may not have considered before. No one has to do everything suggested on the page. I offer this link because you may see one thing you hadn’t considered before that you can do to market your book.

4. Writing prompt
Get to know your reader. Imagine one ideal reader of the book you are writing. Alternatively imagine the qualities and circumstances of the ideal reader of a book you are currently reading. In either case, write a sketch of the reader or make a list of salient facts about the reader. Include age, gender, family status, nationality, occupation, hobbies, education, political views, club memberships, best friend, troublesome relationships, style, sense of humour, and anything else you can think of. Using the information from Interesting Web site above, make a list of at least three ways you would market the book.

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