Promotion: It’s up to you

If you want people to buy your book, you have to let them know of its existence, and where to order it. To do this, you need to know who they are, and where to reach them. And much to the surprise of many new authors, this is not only the case for self-publishers; it’s true for authors whose works are published by major publishers, too.

Most major publishers put promotion dollars behind winners, not newbies. So if promotion was a reason for you to seek a publisher rather than publishing yourself, strike it off the list.

For most non-fiction authors, the very best way to sell your books is through speaking engagements. For corporate gigs, you can often offer your book at a discounted price to the client, so that they can buy a copy for each attendee. I’ve sold thousands of books this way, and so have many other speakers.

In other speaking environments, you can sell them in the back of the room after your talk, if the venue allows it. (Although I would suggest having a higher-priced product at the back of the room, such as a CD series, a DVD series, or a course, and throw in the book as a free bonus. But if you do this, do not offer the book for sale as well; most people will just buy the book.)

One of the best investments an author can make is to buy “1001 Ways to Market Your Books,” by John Kremer. Then read it, and start implementing just a few of the hundreds of excellent ideas in its 700+ pages.

Here are a few starting places:
  • Find out what your most important keywords are. Search on “keyword research” to learn this important skill. Then begin to identify your book’s audience with precision, and the words that they would enter into search engines that ought to lead them to your book.
  • Find blogs read by your reading audience, and find a way to participate in them. Offer to write guest articles. Comment on the entries. Include your book’s website (you have one, right?) in your signature.
  • Create a Facebook page around your book and its topic.
  • Blog about your topic and your book on your own blog, at least 3 times a week.
  • Find out how to get on radio talk shows. They need people to interview, and will allow you to promote your book. Make a special offer–a low price or bonus if they mention the radio show. (Search for Alex Carroll; he offers help along this line.)

Produce book video trailer for next to nothing

I’ve been working with my new friend Bill Quain on a variety of projects. (Check out our FastPencil Pointers podcast, or download it from iTunes.) Now we are preparing a teleseminar on producing a compelling video trailer for your book–at almost no cost.

The secret is Animoto.com, a website that uses artificial intelligence to create a fabulous video from still, video clips, and audio that you create or choose. Here’s what Bill wrote to his subscribers:

This message goes out to all of my newsletter subscribers. I have some very exciting news.

You can create fantastic, high-quality video Book Trailers for FREE! I did a couple, and they took me about 40 minutes each.

Now realize this – I am legally blind, 57 years old, and not that bright. Imagine what you can do! Just click here to sign up for your free account .

As a free account holder, you may create as many 30-second videos as you like. But, get this – for just $30/year you can upgrade to an account that lets you create as many full-length videos as you like!

Animoto provides all the music, and an incredible editor that allows you to upload images, create text, and even upload video clips. Then, their fantastic software mixes the music and creates a tempo, with many interesting transition techniques to make your video a really cool experience.

This is not just for book trailers! Many of my clients are coaches who would love to have a great, professional quality video on their websites. One friend of mine, who does a lot of workshops, takes pictures of the people in the workshop, inserts some text with points from the workshop, uploads some Animoto audio tracks with music, then shows the video at the workshop. He then emails it to each participant (Animoto actually does it for you) so they have a great reminder of the workshop, along with some major points.

Now, here is a special announcement for all the MEMBERS of The Anatomy of a Best-Selling Book membership site. I am going to give you a FREE tutorial on using Animoto. It will be coming up in the next two weeks, so sign up for your free acount, and upgrade to All Access status ($30/year) if you like. I will teach you exactly how to produce a video.

For those of you who are not MEMBERS of my site, the workshop will cost $39.77. Even if you have to pay, it is a very valuable tool. It will FLATTEN THE LEARNING CURVE!

(If you want to see a sample of one of my videos, just send me an email to request a link.)

Watch this space for the announcement of the workshop.

Advice for self-published novelists

Dayna Hester invites you accompany her on her self-publishing journey. Good advice, authentic voice.

Outside the Box Thinking Inside My Community

I used to be a court stenographer (…still can be if my book completely flops, by the way). The beauty of that career was I had to learn how to listen: I listened for a living.
I’m seven years out of the career now, but I can still sense my listening skills kicking in, especially when someone gives me advice that I don’t need. My little voice yells out to me, tell the advice-giver, “I don’t need to hear this crap,” but I stop the thought … and listen. I think to myself, after all, if the advice doesn’t apply to me, it may apply to you.
Advice from a Barnes & Noble manager:  click for more
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