January 30th, 2012 // 8:34 pm @ Matt Bacak
You finally did it. You got that book written and published. But if you want to make sure your new baby is launched happily into the world, your work has just begun. Now, it’s your job to get it in the hands of the people you wrote it for! If you have a publisher to help, that’s great, but if you want to be the author of a best seller, here are a few tips.
If you have a publisher, communicate with the sales reps about what you plan to do to promote the book. Where will you be signing books? Will the college bookstore of your alma mater stock them? When will you offer your next workshop?
Whether you have a publisher or self-publish, it is important to make contact with booksellers yourself. First of all, sales reps can’t be expected to keep up with your every appearance. Second, booksellers love authors – especially authors that help them sell books! Wherever you travel, give the booksellers there a week’s notice and offer to sign any of your books they have on hand. They’ll make sure to have some, and they’ll get to know you. When customers ask for new book ideas, your name will be at the top of the list.
Another way to help bookstores is to let them know when you are making a media appearance in the area. If you appear on a local interview show, make calls to all the bookstores in the area to alert them. You can hire someone to make these calls, or have your friends help you. There are few things more frustrating than to miss sales because the books aren’t on the shelf. Booksellers will appreciate the heads up, and you’ll make the most of your media appearance.
Blogs and Boards
In addition to your own web page, where your book should figure prominently, take advantage of blogs and message boards on your topic. If you’ve written a book about homeschooling, recommend it on every homeschool message board your search engine turns up. If you’ve got an email list of people who’ve attended your workshops, send out an announcement with a short preview of the book. Offer a free newsletter that gives them a chance to buy the book every month or every week.
Prepare for Interview
It’s amazing that a person can spend two years of his life writing a book, and have no idea what to say when someone says, “What’s it about?” Yet that can happen to anyone in the excitement of an interview. When preparing for radio or television interviews, have in mind three powerful points you want to make about your book. Use every opportunity throughout the interview to reiterate those points.
Pay Attention to Sales
You don’t have to wait for your royalties checks to see your sales figures. At about eight weeks after your book is released, ask your editor. Follow up every six weeks or so. You can also call the major book distributors, such as Ingram, and connect with someone who will look up order figures for you. They can give you this information by area, so that you can see how well your publicity ideas are working.
If you apply these methods as patiently as you wrote your masterpiece, you’ll find that you eventually have a best selling book to your credit!
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