Book Promotion Workshop
Instructor: Patricia Fry
|Duration: ||Six Weeks|
|Date:||You choose when to start!|
|Instruction level:||For all authors who want to sell more copies of their books.|
|Prerequisite:||A published book or a book in progress. |
Promotion and marketing are foreign to most authors, yet so important to the success of any book. Sign up for this course and learn how to successfully promote and sell your particular book in the highly competitive world of bookselling. Become aware of useful resources. Learn new techniques. Most of all, be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and stretch, at least a little. Let Patricia Fry help you:
- Find your book's hook(s).
- Discover your true audience and locate them.
- Determine promotional tactics appropriate for you and your book.
- Find the resources you need to successfully implement your marketing plan.
- Successful launch (or re-launch) your book.
Whether you land a traditional royalty publisher, self-publish (establish your own publishing company) or go with a fee-based POD "self-publishing" service, you-the author-are responsible for promoting your book. Most authors find it difficult to shift from creative mode to business mode. Few authors are prepared for the hugely competitive world of bookselling and many of them quit under the pressure and allow their books to fail. Statistics illustrate this clearly.
For example, in 2006, there were 291,920 books produced. There were around 2.8 million books in print. That year, 76% of all books in print sold fewer than 100 copies. Nineteen percent sold more than 100, but fewer than 1000 copies.
If you want to sell more books-if you need help developing a marketing plan for your project-this course is for you.
With your help, I'll become familiar with you and your project. I'll issue a questionnaire with regard to your book, your current and former promotional activities and your future marketing plans. I'll also need to know about any promotional limitations: You are homebound, you can't or won't speak in public or you have no funds for traveling, for example.
I'll help you to find your book's hooks-those promotional opportunities you've either purposely or inadvertently built into your fiction or nonfiction book. We'll identify your target audience, talk about where they are (where you should focus your marketing efforts) and search your book for hidden bonus audiences. Most students will experience some "ah ha" moments during this session.
I'll also encourage you to set a reasonable marketing/sales goal based on your particular project. The truth is that some books have greater potential than others and some authors are blessed with stronger marketing skills. While a goal of 100 sales in a month might be reasonable for a first time novelist, a goal of 10,000/mo could be realistic for a fairly well-known plastic surgeon's fifth book on face lifts.
- Evaluate your marketing strengths and use this information to set your first goal.
- Identify your target and bonus audiences and determine the best ways to reach them.
We'll discuss basic book promotion activities that everyone can and should pursue. I'll help you to:
- Develop and use a massive mailing list.
- Create a website for the sole purpose of promoting your book.
- Add related amenities to your website. This might include a blog, merchant account, contests and/or a book trailer.
- Get numerous book reviews in appropriate publications and websites.
- Identify and approach appropriate wholesalers/distributors.
Together, we'll begin to establish a schedule designed to help you meet your goal.
- Create or update your mailing list.
- Start designing or redesigning your website.
- Begin establishing a list of review opportunities.
- Research wholesalers and distributors.
We'll talk about bookstores. What are the benefits and the downside to pursuing bookstores as an outlet for your book? Keep in mind that some books are more conducive to bookstore sales than others. I'll teach you:
- How to locate bookstores internationally.
- How to approach booksellers.
- Tips for breaking into bookstores. (It's not as easy as it looks, but it can be done.)
We'll also cover specialty stores and bookstores as good outlets for your book-how to locate and select appropriate specialty stores and bookstores and how to approach and work with these retailers.
We'll discuss selling books through Amazon.com this week, as well.
We'll re-evaluate your goal and continue working toward it.
- Research bookstores and specialty shops appropriate for your book.
- Approach 3 to a dozen or more local retailers with your book. If you've
covered local businesses, start contacting those from outside your
- If your book is completed, approach Amazon.com.
Personal presentations are a huge part of bookselling success and should be a requirement of authorship. Not all authors are able to get out and give presentations, however. Some simply find it difficult and refuse to step outside their comfort zone. And others can and would do it if they only knew where to begin. I will urge authors in the latter two categories to plan some presentations and I will, of course, guide you through the entire process of locating a venue, making contacts, planning a program and making the presentation. Presentations will include:
- Book signings and book festivals. (I'll offer steps for greater success and more sales.)
- Programs for groups related to your book subject or genre.
- Casual (or formal) presentations at civic club and organization meetings and other gatherings.
- Radio/TV and online interviews.
- Special venues (cruise ships, conventions/conferences and so forth)
- Contact at least 6 club leaders, media program managers, bookstores ,
managers, etc. and make arrangements to promote your book as a speaker,
interviewee or ?
- Research book festivals and consider signing up for one.
This week, I'll show you how to use the media to promote your book. For example:
- Write articles and submit book excerpts for general national/international publications and those related to your book topic/genre.
- Make news and report it.
This will be a fairly intensive study of promoting through the media-determining what is and isn't newsworthy, writing a press release, locating and approaching magazine editors, writing a magazine article and more.
I'll also offer some insight into the tremendous opportunities through the library market.
- Write a query letter or a press release and send it out to dozens of
magazine/newspaper editors or other media.
We'll discuss the nature and psychology of book promotion and marketing-the concept of exposure versus immediate sales, for example. How exposure can lead to sales. Why lack of sales at a book signing or book festival does not necessarily mean failure. How to get exposure that will lead to sales. What it takes to turn a lookilu into a buyer, and more.
We'll also discuss the benefits/downside of working with a publicist, where to find one, what they cost.
What about those extra services offered by your fee-based POD "self-publishing" service? Are they worth the extra money?
Should you attend writers/publishers' conferences, buy into commercial promotional programs or solicit a press release service?
It is also time to re-evaluate your goal. Is it still realistic? How close are you to meeting it? While actual sales results might be lacking at this point, you may still be on track with your goal. Or do you need to raise the bar on your goal?
I'll guide you in writing out your short-term and long-term marketing plan based on your strengths, abilities, skills, finances, energy level, time commitments and motivation.
Students will receive one free email consultation after the course ends.
Testimonials from former students:
"I received an email from Houghton Mifflin today. They are interested in my book. I am ecstatic. This is a HUGE step for me. And you have prepared me for it so well. They have received only my synopsis and sample chapters and now they want the rest. Thanks to your class, the rest is ready to go."
"This course was wonderful for me. It was exactly what I needed—a hands-on book proposal course. I made a major breakthrough on my proposal during the course and the proposal I developed has already received positive feedback from an editor. I would recommend this course to anyone, especially those who are in the process of writing a nonfiction book."
"The first agent I contacted looked at my proposal and accepted it. Your assistance on the proposal, no doubt, proved to be invaluable and I am completely grateful. I cannot thank you enough. Your support and feedback made a huge difference."
"Your class has been incredibly helpful for me, not only in terms of this project, but in terms of my writing in general. What I have learned with you can be applied to all of my work and I thank you for that. In fact, I am working with an agent to rewrite a cover letter for two of the manuscripts I have been working on based on information I learned in the market analysis section of your book proposal course."
- Sarah Tibbets, student
"Patricia Fry taught a terrific book proposal class. It clarified how to create and polish all the necessary components of a proposal. She was consistently dedicated and helpful, always attentive to my writing needs. I am far more confident that, with Patricia's good advice, the book will become a reality."