Marketing and Promotion

Marketing and Promotion

Once the truck delivers your book and you have dozens of boxes stacked in your garage or basement, now is the time to get them out to the reader.

This is NOT the time to begin planning your marketing and promotion. You should have been doing that months ago. You should have been carefully targeting your audience, figuring out how you were going to reach that audience, and developing a sales and distribution strategy.

You may think the book is good enough to sell itself. This never happens. Books never sell themselves. Only one does ­– the Bible. And that’s because it has two thousand years of marketing behind it.

Putting your books in your local bookstore, if you still have one, is obviously one choice. But that is only a beginning.  You’ll sell a few to family and a few to friends, and you’ll still have stacks of boxes in your garage. You’ll be surprised how many friends who have eagerly waited for your book will suddenly be short $20 or so when you offer the book to them.

Other ways to promote the book: work through service clubs and church organizations, if the book is appropriate.  If it’s a community history book, these alliances could have been formed long before the book was published.

Be creative. Look for target markets and go after them. If you’ve written a gardening book, then the Garden Club is an obvious interest group.

Don’t despair if the books don’t all sell in a few weeks. There will be an initial rush, then a Christmas rush, and a follow-up rush as people buy second copies for their families. Still, if the book is good, it will disappear over time. It’s a slow process, but it is like those drifts of snow in the depths of winter. You think they’ll never disappear but sometime in the spring you’ll realize they’re all gone.

By that time you will be well advanced in writing another book.