Monday, February 13, 2012

Promoting your book: A 10-step marketing plan Part 3

Steps 8 through 10 are featured in today's posting. Reading through these, I already will fail since these require being outside the home job wise, et cetera and having access to places that would possibly carry your book.

8. Business Tie-Ins. The summary of this is that if you have an existing business and your book ties in with the business that you can use your business to sell your books. The other way to do a tie-in is requiring customers to purchase your book when they register for whatever service you offer (the example the book gives is white water rafting and if you offer classes on white water rafting, you could have the book tied in to the course or you could raise the cost of the course and give a copy of book for "free" (that is the hidden fee of the cost of the course)).

For me, this step isn't very doable because I work at home and the business I'm associated with, medical transcription, has nothing to do with my books. I would love for someone like NatGeo Kids to pick up my state books either as a sponsor fund wise (to cover expenses associated with publishing the books) or by ordering several hundred copies (okay thousands would be super great) to place in schools around the United States. I don't see either of these happening. So, yes, if you can tie your book into your business or if you are an instructor, then this would be something to help boost sales.

9. Sell to local bookstores, gift shops, and other local vendors. Easier said than done when you live in a small town.

I did have my books in the local bookstore for a time but after a while with no sales and with me running out of certain titles and having to take them out of the bookstore to sell at whatever event I was doing at the moment, the bookstore owner and I decided it wasn't worth it for me to put books in the store, keep taking them back and replacing them after the fact. So I no longer have my books sitting in a bookstore. Getting to other stores and places that would possibly carry my books is not doable either since I basically don't go to many towns or cities unless I'm doing an event. I also don't feel my state stories have much use in the bookstores since they really were written as a supplement to a social studies curriculum in upper elementary schools. So, this is a fail for me - something that doesn't work for or fit my books or something that I can't really do as part of the marketing plan.

10. Advertising. Recommended to start with on-line advertising, specialized print publications, and book trade catalogs.

This is the most costly of the marketing plan, but then again, no one said everything would be free or inexpensive in the book business. Again, that old adage "you've got to spend money to make money" comes to mind in that I totally agree that advertising has huge advantages. I've been contemplating a FB ad and may do a trial run when I have some funds, but for now most of my money has to go to cover upcoming events - the SCASL conference, the SC Book Festival, the Decatur Book Festival and several others along the way.

Do I think this is the only marketing plan available? Of course not. Do I believe these steps are tried and true methods and results are readily apparent? In a way, yes. Not every step will work for everyone and from my previous postings, you can see that I've been trying several of these steps and haven't seen mega results yet. But that is the name of the game, perseverance. I'll keep trying different methods and see what is working and what isn't. When I hit a decent monthly sales, I'll definitely be doing the happy dance and posting about it. I reposted J.A. Konrath's posting about him doing $100,000 in earnings in a 3-week period of time not too long ago. I would be very happy to see between $1000 and $2500 earnings a month every month. That would be a turn around for me.

So I ask my readers who are authors, what is working for you? What kind of marketing plan do you have and are you staying pretty close to what you laid out? Have you seen a spike in sales from one method or another or have sales been pretty even regardless of which method you use? Leave a comment and let us know what's working for you. - E :)

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