book marketing activities

Gifts for Your Reader Friends & Supporters


I know it’s a while until next Christmas, but there are many occasions during the year, such as organizing a book launch, book signings, writer’s conferences, book fairs etc. where you can show your appreciation to readers, bloggers, and all kind of supporters for your literary endeavour.  Business cards and bookmarks are familiar items to hand-out, but they are not really gifts.

Other occasions, like free beta readings / book critique and other help, such as organizing book signing events for your novel do require a small present.  Why not something that reminds these readers of your book – and their friends and family too?

There are many present ideas for your readers, book lovers, friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, book clubs and visitors or fans:

  • Bookmarks
  • Postcards
  • Key Rings
  • Mouse Pads
  • Fridge Magnets
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Tote Bags
  • Business Card Cases
  • Once you have written a dozen books, you can even create a calendar – a gift with high-visibility!

Bookmarks are around for centuries and are used to mark the page were a reader ended.  They are thin markers, commonly made of card, thin metal, leatherette, or fabric.  Show the cover of your book(s) at the top or bottom.  You certainly want the reader to visit your website or blog, so don’t forget to add the URL and a link to your Amazon author page.

Personalized custom mouse pads: How fantastic would it be to have your book’s photo printed onto a mouse pad, a gift that reminds every day of your books. How about giving a photo mouse pad to your favourite reader so they can show off to their friends. Or to those who help you most promoting your books.

Creating a tote bag for your mum to go shopping, or for your siblings to go to school or to the beach to carry their belongings in style.

Photo gifts, showing the cover of one of your books, are by far one of the best gifts to give to readers, colleagues, friends and family. I am sure, these novel products will delight all the avid readers in your life.

More Tips:
Bookmarks, cards, magnets and other gift ideas with a smooth surface should have a QR code so people can scan and buy your book directly from the item.
Ask not only your business card printer, also search the Internet for price/quality comparisons, and get half a dozen quotes at least.

I am sure, these novel products will delight all the avid readers in your life.

Suppliers of “Bookish” Customized Gifts:



Is Your Book-Marketing Up-to-Date?


Not only authors, but everyone who wants to build a platform and brand in order to sell something needs to update their marketing efforts.  Knowing the new trends as an author will help you to change and succeed in presenting yourself and market your writing to your audience.  
Bringing value and spiking interest in your books is the key to gain readers. Here are a couple of examples how you can deliver value, but they are just the basics:
Content is King!

Great content will compensate for the “Facebook problems”:  the decline of Facebook organic reach, where the number of news feeds from (publishing and other business) users and the way books and authors can be seen in users news feeds, has tremendously decreased – which forced account owners to change their marketing strategy on Facebook.
Write short, 300 word articles for your Facebook book & publishing pages (NOT your personal ones) instead of book “ads”.  And write more articles for magazines, newspapers and blogs!  Get your name out…


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is Depending on Content Marketing.
No more SEO tactics and tricks anymore – which will also improve the search experience of Google users.  One of the many contributors to a high ranking on Google is how many websites link back to your site.

What it means for author-publishers:
They can get SEO through blogging, e-books, and resource guides, in order to fully take on content marketing.  Way more important: write more on Google+, which can be up to 500 words.


Sharing / Follow Buttons are Imperative!
Get a higher chance of increasing the amount of visitors and also increase reader engagement. In an earlier blog  we wrote about the necessity of sharing plug-ins and explained that these sharing buttons can mean up to seven times more visitors.  Blog-Share-Icons-Top-Side Features such as social sharing buttons and social login can do just that.  Make sure you have all the social media follow buttons (where you can be found), and the sharing buttons for all Social Media on the market.


Tweets Need to Be Optimized for Twitter’s Search Engine.
Similar to GooglePlus, the inclusion of the right keywords in tweets will allow you be more visible in search queries.  Using the right hashtags, links, and images will set you up to be more optimized for Twitter searches.   Twitter is allowing people to search through every tweet, ever published.  Make sure you have at least 2-3 hashtags on each tweet you post.


Target Audience: Very Important.
Authors who do nothing but sell, sell, sell, will get ignored, dismissed and overlooked by followers and readers.  Yes, the internet offers marketers the opportunity to have a very large audience.  But you need to choose and pick your target audience: book lovers, readers, book reviewers etc. and really interact with them. It also means dedicating more time to answer reader questions and provide more value online.
Choose your following carefully and understand the meaning of Social Media – being SOCIAL and NOT constantly talking only about your book!

Data Driven Marketing Will Be Essential.
Trade Publishers and Online Retailers have the potential to capture massive amounts of data related to sales, personal customer information, purchase history, search activity and many more.  Data that has proven to be very valuable for them.  Authors on the other hand rarely know who their readers are when selling through online channels only.

What it means for author-publishers:
Diversify, diversify, diversify!  Don’t sell through online retailers only. Use your website or blog to sell your books and get your customers data.  There are dozens of ready-to-go online stores available, called “e-commerce” which can be installed in your existing website or blog – relatively easy and quick.  The benefit: Much higher revenues, faster payments and most important: you know who are your readers.
Get in touch with your readers: Install a sign-up-form on your website and contact potential readers directly through email newsletters.  Offer value and get your future (or present) readers to know.  Don’t give your readers data to online retailers for free!  Get the data yourself.  There are many more tips for getting to know your readers, for example in this blog article.


Blogs and Websites Must be Mobile Friendly.
Alone in 2015 visitors to online presences were growing to over 50% of all users worldwide.  Think also about the growth of wearable tech, which is another reason why your website should be mobile-friendly.  So, it’s a no-brainer that your blog or business’ website needs to be improved.  Read my former blog on this topic: 5 Tips How to Create Mobile-Friendly Blogs and Websites via providing of:

  • Quick Access,
  • Short Landing Pages
  • A “No-Zoom Page”
  • Providing Value for Readers
  • Simple Forms

What it means for author-publishers:
Make sure your blog or website is optimized for mobile.  And if that sounds to “nerdy” get an affordable freelancer on or Fiverr. com who can do it for you.

The need to stay on top of these growing trends will be a priority for all authors in order to make sure their efforts will help to establish their brand, using digital platforms. Valuable tips we provided here on this blog in the last three years will help you to become even stronger in the future.




Don’t Forget these 3 Basics Book Promotion Tools


Why do authors often not even use the free “tools” they have at hand to promote their books?  I don’t want to bash book marketing skills of authors here – the opposite, I want to help you to succeed.  And remind you to use the basic free tools you have at hand to promote your work.
As you know from my books and thousands of articles I wrote during the last couple of years, I am recommending either free “111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free” or very inexpensive “Book Marketing on a Shoestring” ways of book marketing.
What do I Mean With Free / Low-Cost Tools?
How much did you pay for a link to your Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, or  Barnes & Noble, or other online retailer book sales page? Uploading your book at these online retail websites is totally free and they do not charge you for providing a link, nor do they charge authors for storing books and offering the titles for sale.  Only when a customer purchases and downloads a book they subtract their commission.  Did you know that trade publishers have to pay for prominent shelf spaces at bookstore chains to display their NYT Bestsellers?

You as an author who sell through Amazon (or other online retailers) receive even a free author page which you can fill with images of all your book titles, and with up to seven other photos, with articles about yourself and your books, with book trailers, events, a link to your Twitter page …

How much did you pay for your book cover?  Ten dollar, one-hundred or five-hundred dollar?  An attractive cover is essential to sell your book, no matter if print or digital.  Once purchased, you have dozens – if not hundreds – of marketing possibilities, to use your book’s cover.

Let’s see how you can use these “Free Tools”:

1. Links to Sales and Author Page
You might remember that I wrote a blog post last year about this (arrogant) author.  She was a participant of one of my book marketing seminars, and a first-time book author.  I offered her generously to post and tweet about her title for free – before the book’s launch to ten-thousand of our followers and blog readers. I asked her to send me all the book’s information (blurb, title, links, etc.).  Months later I received a one-sentence email from her: “My book … is now available on Amazon, please look it up”.  I was appalled and almost furious.  You can imagine that I did not “look it up”, instead I deleted this email and all online ties / following on social media, etc. with this rookie writer.  What did she think? Other writers pay hundreds of dollars for book promotion – and she is not even giving a link to her sales page?


2. Links to Your Website / Blog and Your Sales Page.

Your First Step: Shorten Your Online Retail Links.  No one wants to see or use this link:
Shorten it to this link (everything after /ref is not necessary):
Or even shorter, using
International Book Sales Link
A smart software developer created a program that lets you send out one link, and no matter where your readers are, they come to their own country’s Amazon website.  It works great.  Try it out with our own Amazon sales link. Just sign in with the developers site:  Two more companies currently offer a similar service: SmartURL  and Georiot.

Link your Google+ Page to Your own Website.
Get more recommendations for your site in Google search and grow your audience on Google+.
Comment on Other Blogs.
Take the time to find bloggers who write about topics similar to those you write about. When they have something good to say or you can add something to what they have written, leave a comment on their blog.  Each time you do so, you leave behind a link to yourself, your website, or your blog.  If people who read your comment find what you have written interesting, they will click on the link to find out more about you.  They may then decide to become regular blog readers or subscribers, newsletter subscribers, or book buyers.
Signature Link in all Emails.
Every day you send out dozens of emails to friends, business colleagues, your doctor, lawyer or accountant, or to potential readers or editors … Email signatures (a.k.a. sig lines) are powerful, low-cost, high-return marketing tools (a virtual business card or ad) for writers.  But very few authors use this free way of getting the emails recipient’s attention to their books.

Gmail makes it real easy to create an email signature.  Email signatures can be added under “settings” in your email service. At Gmail it is the small tool icon on the upper right part of the your email page. Click on it to come to the “settings” page and scroll down to Signature: (appended at the end of all outgoing messages). When you click on the link underneath, that says “Learn More” you will find tips and samples for email signatures, and how you can create signatures for the Gmail app for Android, the Gmail app for iPhone and iPad, and mobile web browsers.
Your email signature should answer who you are, what you do, and how you can be contacted. In times when people are overloaded with information, use an email signature that is minimal and does not require much space. When using, you can place all your information, including an image, in one single link. You will be surprised what a great and attractive tool it will be. Best of all: You can link your blog to and always show your latest posts to visitors.

Link when Guest Blogging or Writing for a Magazine / Newspaper. 
To write for other blogs or websites, including LinkedIn, has lots of benefits, from building authority to generating backlinks to your book sales site.  Include a link or two to a post on your own blog / website or to your online sales page.  The anchor text of the links should have a search engine friendly keyword.  Never write: click here.  Always use specific keywords from your own articles.

Link to Your Amazon Author / Sales Page.
Most Important is: Create a Perfect Amazon Author Page. It takes a long time until your own website will have the amount of visitors, compared to your Amazon Author Pages (provided you send out the link to it wherever there is a possibility). See an example of a great author page at Fiza Pathan’s Amazon presence.
Be the “face” of your books and create an author page for each Amazon “country” – your author page is NOT transferred to, or, for example.

  • Add a professional author photo & biography
  • Add all your books
  • Add videos (e.g. trailers for your books)
  • Add up to seven additional photos, e.g. you writing your books or scenes from your book
  • Add images or graphics from your books content
  • Add a biography – make sure to update it frequently
  • List events, such as book readings or book launches
  • Add your Twitter address so people can see your latest Tweet and easily follow you
  • Set up the “Search Inside/Look Inside” feature
  • Add an RSS feed, linking to your blog – a great way to get your blog in front of new people and encourage them to follow you
  • View and edit the list of books you have written – the Amazon system doesn’t always get it right. If you have written more than one book, it will link your titles together, and allow your readers to find all of your work.
  • Edit your product description and “about the author” section, and add any professional reviews you have had to editorial reviews.

3. Cover Images
Your book cover is valuable in marketing terms. A stunning book cover is one of the best marketing tools for any writer! Use it generously – even before your book’s launch. We are a visual culture; naturally it influences our book-buying habits. It’s a fact that buyers for the chain stores for example will order more copies of a book they find visually appealing, so their opinion counts.
Social media is an increasingly important discovery tool for all forms of entertainment. This is where authors should show off their book’s cover:

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Vine
  • Flickr
  • YouTube
  • Google+
  • Goodreads
  • Twitter … you name it.

Start a cover poll, long before your book’s launch, and get input from your readers. Try several color versions, or a monochrome version.
The next step is a cover reveal, a couple of weeks before launch, and even before you start your pre-order period at Amazon or iBooks.
Embed links to your Instagram or Flickr site in photos you use on blogs, share it on social media sites such as Twitter, Google+, FB, or Tumblr. Doing this draws visitors from third-party sites to your photo pages. Pinterest for example created a feature that allows sharing from Flickr, automatically showing proper credit and a link back to the original photographer.
Tagging and grouping photos: You can use up to 75 tags to describe your photo of the book cover, way more than on Amazon or any other page for that matter. 75 tags are a lot of possibilities to let people know about your book! Don’t forget to add notes, including a link to explain your photo, mentioning your book.
Flickr is not the only site where you can show images of your book and its topics.  Find a list of the best photo sharing sites on Social Times or on Wikipedia where you can even find the number of registered members and their Alexa Web Ranking.
Create a slide show about your book on and use your cover photo several times in a variety of displays.
Join KindleBoards, Wattpad, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Bibliophile, Book Buzzr and dozens of other reader communities where you can show the cover of your book.
Create or join Google+ communities, network with readers and writers, post your blog articles or – in rare cases – blandly promote your book, showing the cover prominently at the timeline. ONLY on a few of the communities allow this, others don’t accept it. Read their terms before joining.

Last but not least:  Send your book’s cover image to all your readers, friends, followers, to your family and even to your local newspaper – always along with a link to your sales page or your author website.  It does not cost you a dime.  But chances are, that they buy your book for themselves or a friend, or recommend it, along with an image and a sales link that you provided. 


More Success for Your Book With Blog Tours


Blog tours are a fantastic way to get more exposure and to promote your books – if your target blogs’ audience has avid readers in your genre.  Each blog tour will be completely different in both, style and reach and it offers unique and interesting content.
While you can hire professionals to help set up your book blog tour, you can also do it alone.  But it will take time, planning, research, and a lot of patience, and it is only advisable only if you have connections to many book bloggers!

Many book promotion sites require at least a handful of reviews for your book, blog tours usually don’t, which means they are ideal for new authors.  Blog tour organizers require a fee, but it’s worth it as you will usually get your book in front of targeted readers for your genre.  More benefits for you, especially increased online book visibility, more Twitter and Google+ followers, Facebook “likes”, more followers on your own website or blog, more book reviews, and eventually in the future more book sales.

Carefully Choose the Blog Tour Organizer
You may already follow the most influential bloggers in your genre.  If not, research those focused on your genre with professionally presented websites/blogs, recent blog tours, blog posts, and an active social media presence.  Check how well these book bloggers promote participating authors.  Find out where fellow authors in your genre have participated in blog tours.  Ask your writer buddies and your writing communities for recommendations or readers for book bloggers they follow.  Study not only the blog tour web site, but also each of their social media presence and find out how popular the blog really is: use to learn about their ranking worldwide and national.   Carefully read submission guidelines and follow them.


What You Can Expect
Blog tour packages can include a variety of content types ranging from guest posts, author interviews to contests, spotlights, book excerpts, or a high-traffic email newsletter to readers.  The tour organizer will pair you with blogs they know would work best for your books.
It’s always a bonus when the book blogger and participating blogs review your book as well.  Offer free book review copies, and maybe a couple more as prizes during the blog tour.  Book bloggers often place reviews on both, Amazon and Goodreads, and certainly on their own website or blog.  Popular prizes during a blog tour are also gift cards from online retailers, such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Traditional book blogs, can also be excellent places to contact regarding their participation – if they post articles, relating to the content of your title. For example, if you wrote a thriller that takes place in New York City, find blogs that are related to travel and tourism, ethnic restaurants, gun shops, fashion boutiques, aviation… and so forth.  If you write non-fiction, you will even find more blogs to pitch to.

What You Should Offer
During your blog tour you exclusively “stop by” at one blog per day and you want to prepare and offer unique content to each blogger (kind of guest blog about your book and yourself as a writer).  Offer different content on each blog a week in advance of the publication date.  You may have fans following you to each blog tour location and you need to share something different at each stop.
Plan your tour at least eight to ten weeks! ahead of the actual tour dates, which should ideally be soon after the launch of your book so readers can easily buy it after hearing about it on the tour.  Avoid any time short before or during holidays.  Each book blog tour length is different, ranging from one to four weeks.

Offer each blogger exclusive content, that their readers will not find anywhere else.  Send them unique interview and blog ideas, based on their audience.  Research their tours in the past – and which authors/books have been the most popular.  Ideas for book blog content include author interviews, Questions & Answers, observations, backstories, personal observations, character interviews, related recipes, and book excerpts tailored to the book blogger’s demographics, maybe advice, expert opinion or how-to’s for non-fiction.

How to Contact Book Bloggers
After reading carefully their submission policy, write them a friendly email, commenting on their blog, or a favorite author in common.  Describe your book title, the genre, a brief summary, a short bio, your social media presences, and links to your sales pages and Goodreads page as well as your own website or blog.  Describe your ideas for blogs and how you will promote the blog tour, including any freebies.  Offer a free review copy of your book and don’t forget your contact information besides your idea how long you would like the tour to last.

Create Valuable Original Content
Each stop on your blog tour is a great opportunity to win new readers and reviewers.  Each of your articles can be later used on your own site, so, preparing the content for your blog tour is not an additional work.  Edit each of your posts for perfect content.  Include photos of your book cover and an author photo for use on their site.  Every part of your blog tour should be promoted through your newsletter, blog, website, social media – including the free event announcements on Google+ and Goodreads.
Write a separate event invitation for every day where you appear on a book blog site.  Don’t forget to do the same on LinkedIn, where each of your followers will receive an email notification.  Include also the blogger’s social media and blog links in your promotion.  After the event, respond friendly and quickly to encourage additional interaction.


Part of the Success is up to YOU
As better you plan your the timing and the right content mix and as more you promote the blog tour – as better the book promotion works.  Give readers and bloggers value!  Don’t forget to thank the blogger personally and publicly.  You will likely be contacting them again for your next book. Once you have a relationship started with bloggers, continue with commenting on their other posts, retweeting or sharing Google+ posts, etc.


Examples of High Rated Blog Tour Offers:

Suspense, Romance, YA, Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Mainly Romance and Fantasy

Romance, Fantasy, Suspense, Paranormal, Historical

Young Adult FREE Blog Tours

Find more Book Blog Tours in author Greg Stranberg’s article for The Book Designer.
He even wrote a very detailed, helpful book about this topic, where he describes in detail 50 ebook blog tours.

Including blog tours into your book marketing mix, is great for boosting your book’s visibility as well as for getting reviews, and to introduce your writing to new audiences.  For even more success, it is important to promote the blog tour before and after the date.
Blog tours are all about exposure, to become introduced to new readers, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see an immediate spike in sales.  It all takes time until you have a solid platform, and blog tours are a great tool to achieve this.




3 Tips to Create Excitement for Your New Book



Try to engage your potential readers early on. Create excitement through a book cover or any other kind of poll.  Use polling and surveys to add an element of fun to the conversation. People love to take surveys.  It will build community engagement, real relationships and interest, and will leave readers more receptive to your next book promotion. With simple online surveys you can take your social media networking success to an entirely new level.

  1. Invite your networks to provide honest and immediate feedback. For example, ask members to choose which of  – at least three –  book covers they like best and let them share their thoughts about the design.
  2. Or you can let them choose the name of your protagonist.  Again give them at least three options, but explain in which time or century the story unfolds and give them a hint what kind of novel you have written.
  3. You can also create a survey which online retailers should carry your book beside Amazon, and give at least five additional company names.

Include an incentive to encourage your peers to complete your survey. For example: draw a winner of the most popular book cover chosen, the most popular name or the and most chosen online retailer.  Offer a Kindle or a small digital camera as the first prize.

Free or Very Low Cost
SurveyMonkey has a free, basic poll version, SodaHead as well.  TWTPoll offers  a pay-as-you-go version for $7 per survey.  Get lot’s of practical tips how to incorporate your poll at a variety of Social Media sites on an article by SocialMediaExaminer.



If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers:

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,150 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? There is also the “SHARE” button for easy sharing at Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.


Hyper Smash


17 Bestseller Tips – from Trade Publishers



If you ever see Marketing and Advertising from traditional puplishers, it’s for their Bestseller authors only, such as: Advance Book Reviews, posted on their book’s cover, Book Tours and Signings of celebrity authors, media coverage including reviews, speaking engagements, and placing at major bookstores who report to Bestseller lists.  How can author-publishers use the methods of global trade publishers to promote their self-published books?  You don’t need to travel to the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, like Johannes Kepler did in 1620 – yes, self-publishing was en vogue already four hundred years ago!

7 Million Self-Published Titles:  Stiff Competition
Since 2010 roughly 7 million new self-published books appeared, almost all at online retailer’s websites.  And these titles will be offered for many years to come, as most of them are in digital format. The “gold rush” seems to be over and self-publishing has been dropping almost 50% per year, obviously “separating the wheat from the chaff”.  You’re not a New York Times bestselling author. You don’t have a publicist. And your Amazon sales numbers are awful. Should you quit writing books?  No, absolutely not!

For those of you who want to succeed at self-publishing, use also some traditional marketing methods, create a Business Plan and a Budget, including anywhere from 5-10% for your overall book marketing, including website, paying for IT help, designer, or Google ads.
Traditional publishing uses multiple ways to promote. Self-published authors attempt to market their books to the entire world via Amazon, social media, and their website it seems.  Publishers select books in order to stay in business, and also to determine what the publishing house’s identity is.  Here’s how you can copy traditional ways to market – adjusted to self-publishing.  One step at a time, but continually every day – split in small tasks.

1. Start Early
Market Research – the very first step to do!  An editor will need to make a case that the book fills a market need. And to do that, the publishing house will look carefully at what’s out there. Has the competition a recent publication in this sub-genre? Does it have similar scope? Is it widely available?

Authors, and especially self-publishing authors need to study their competition carefully too:  Read their books, study book covers, pricing, reviews, and the marketing of competing books. The most powerful and essential steps you can take toward promoting your book begins long before the actual writing of the book. At least two years before the book is published, start building a network of supporters and reviewers.

2. Print!
Traditional publishers concentrate on print books, which still make up for about 60% of the book market, depending if you look at book sales numbers or revenue per book.  Audio Books: The audio-book market is certainly growing, and Trade Publishers are not only investing in digital (even so it took them a very long time) books, but also in audio-books.

E-book authors might be happy with their sales on Amazon, Apple, Kobo or Barnes & Noble. You might have even turned it into an audio book. But the questions for a “real” book, paper back or hard-cover copy from conservative friends or elderly family members are nagging… And wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a Chapters or Baker & Taylor or one of these rare independent book shops and see your book in the shelf?  You will not earn a fortune, not even a living, but for a couple of months it is a nice pocket change. Only months… yes, because longer than this, barely any book will stay in the book store, unless it really is a bestseller and gets re-printed. If you go the indie route and choose for example the POD services and worldwide distribution through Lightning Source, (provided you have at least 3 books to be considered a small publisher) your book is printed on demand and will never get discarded (good: no-return-policy in POD worldwide distribution). See this article How to Distribute Your Book Worldwide.

3. Book Sales at many outlets
Imagine you could buy all books from Penguin only in one book chain… Publishers distribute their books to as many outlets as possible, to brick-and-mortar stores, independent book sellers, mass markets, online book sellers, even via Affiliate programs.

Authors: Sell your books, e-books and audio-books not only through Amazon, but as well on Barnes&Noble, Apple and Kobo websites, to have your “eggs in more than one basket”. And don’t forget the potentially huge potential market for hardcover books, selling them to libraries all over the country!  However, there are way more online retailers for e-books and books than just Apple , Sony, Diesel, Kobo or Barnes & Noble.  Sign up with a book distributor / fulfillment company for your print-version of the book. Distributors mostly require just three books to be listed as a publishing business, and if authors have not written three books yet, they can band together with other authors to reach this minimum.  Traditional publishers and the books of their authors can be found on Bowker’s global database of books.  How to get into “Books in Print”, a worldwide database and to register your book for FREE! with Bowker is the topic of another blog posts.

Books available for future publishers:  Aaron Shepard has written two books about the topic of book distribution: POD for Profit and Aiming at Amazon, both contain very detailed information for small publishers. Another great source is Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual, a classic publishing guide-book.

4. Sell books to Libraries
All traditional publishers sell their books to libraries.

According to statistics from the American Library Association and the Book Industry Study Group, libraries yearly purchase books for nearly $2 billion. But not only books, also audio-books and other forms of publications. Around 95% from major publishers.  Imagine, you sold your $15 book at a 50% discount to only 10% of these libraries, you will earn more than $75,000. But how can you tap into the lucrative library market?  It is explained in detail, including valuable links of wholesale companies who sell to libraries, on SavvyBookWriters here and here.

5. Book Shows & Fairs
Representation at the applicable trade shows includes bookseller trade shows like the Bookseller Expo America (BEA) or one of the regional bookseller shows, like the New England Booksellers Association, Book Shows for the Library Association (ALA) and certainly the world’s most important, the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany every October.

Which Book Fairs or other Literary Events will you attend in the coming months to present your work?  How to organize your participation and how to attract visitors is explained in detail in this blog post, pointing out the do’s and don’ts at book fairs.

6. Book Signings
An author tour can take various forms. Two weeks of travel, flights from city to city, an author appearance every day, twice a day if possible.  Publishers often make their choice on the basis of three factors:  if the book can sell in quantity in bookstores; if the book can be reviewed in newspapers, not simply journals;  and if the author is presentable.

How you can organize your own book signing is explained in detail, even with a time-table, here on this blog post at

7. Book Clubs
Traditional Book Publishers sometimes sponsor book clubs, or invite them to participate in a contest, such as the one offered by Random House of Canada “Book Clubs are Beautiful”.  Members suggests four or five books that they must have read and then the voting and lobbying begins until they’ve got their list. member suggests four or five books that they must have read and then the voting and lobbying begins until they’ve got their list.

Authors on the book clubs list have attended a meeting or contacted them by phone or email. Writers can find easily contact addresses of book clubs via Google. Offer them a free copy of your book, just as big publishers do. Don’t overlook virtual book clubs at Goodreads, Wattpad, Bibliophile etc.

8. Writing Contests
Many published authors compete in writing contests, and publishing houses sometimes organize contests.

How to Get More Readers from an Award:  Publicity around a book award will boost your book sales. Contests are a great way to hone your craft and show the world how much better you are than other writers. Winning a book award for your self-published fiction or nonfiction book is a great way to gain recognition and approval. You will not only see an increase in your book sales – if you market it well – you also can add the award sticker to your cover and mention the achievement on your back cover, in your books’ description, and in all your marketing and promotions – online or offline. 25 Writing Competitions You Should Enter

9. Content Writing for magazines & newspapers
World-famous bestseller writers from big publishing houses, such as Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Atwood, Tom Chiarella, Gloria Steinem and Stephen King did it: Writing occasionally short stories and magazine articles – before blogs became fashionable.

Your book has been launched months ago or even last year. NOW readers need to see something NEW from you. It doesn’t need to be a whole new book:
The three main assets you have already
– your writing skills
– the content you already penned
– the research you have done for your book(s) can be used to write at least 20 – 30 articles or blog posts – and if regularly posted on Google+ it is raising your Search Engine Ranking on Google tremendously.

More benefits of writing content:
– it is a subtle way to promote your book
– you receive valuable back links to your website or blog
– you will have lots of possibilities to post on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Facebook.
– include links to your articles in email newsletter (that you hopefully send out regularly to your readers)

Post these articles on your blog or contribute guest blogs to other sites that are focused on the same topics as your book.
Content is used to draw in your ideal readers / reviewers, it will link to your book sales page or your website and it helps a lot to build a platform. Last but not least it gives you a lot of material to post and to tweet. The result: you will increase your exposure, show your writing skills, grow a loyal following and attract reviewers – in one sentence: you will achieve success with your writing – and in many cases, even get paid for it.

10. Press Kits on your website
Bestseller authors at traditional publisher have the support of the publisher’s in-house (or out-sourced) publicity department. How much publicity support depends on many factors, but there are the basic elements that a publicity department will likely provide:  Book Press Materials.  Near publication date, the book’s publicist will email the electronic version of the press kits to a large number of applicable editors and producers to garner interest in the book. Book Media Follow-Up is the next step. The book publicist will follow up with any media outlet that responds to the mailings or e-mailings, will mail additional copies of the finished book, and will make additional calls or emails to other outlets to remind them the book is in their in-box.

To get the word out about the upcoming book launch, to receive positive articles in newspapers., magazine, book blogs, or to get interviews, writers should professionally deal with anyone who could tout their book – not only national press or TV.  Don’t make these common errors:  Not having a press page on your website for example.  Unfortunately most writers are not aware that journalists, bloggers or radio hosts need a bit more information than what they see on your Amazon page. And they won’t just copy and paste your “about the author” or the description of your book on the sales page. Check out Stephen Kings website, see how he organized his page for the media, where journalists can download high-resolution press photos.

11. Advance Book Reviews in magazines and newspapers
Did you ever wonder why brand new books had already reviews?  New author-publishers can learn a lot in book stores:  Check out how professionally published books look like: Many of these trade books have either on their back cover (paperback) or on their binding flap (hard cover) several snippets of the book reviews, as well as endorsements from bestselling writers or other professionals, that were already written before the book was printed.
Traditional publishers may budget anywhere from fifty to several hundred “free and review” copies. Advance Review Copies (ARC’s) are what they send out half a year before book launch date.

How these pre-editions Galleys) are produced and to whom they should be sent is explained in How to Get Reviews Before Your Books Launch.  Prepare your book review query well in advance and learn what to avoid when pitching to reviewers.  Valuable tips can be found at Prestigious Reviews and How to Get Them.

12. Radio Interviews
Bestseller authors often appear as guest at TV or radio stations. Publicists for major publishing houses have longstanding contacts to their editors and arrange interviews for bestseller authors.

Authors can go the same route, starting with internet radio stations, such as this one: The Book Report.  Don’t forget when you plan the marketing of your public events, to announce it for free on Google+ and on Goodreads, use their free Event pages.

13. Speaking Engagements
Keynote Speakers and Motivational Speakers get handsomely paid, often $10.000 to 15,000 for a two-hour speech!  Most celebrity authors, found as speakers, are writing Non-Fiction books.

Speaker agencies, or organizers of Writers Conferences are the best approach if you want to earn more with speaking engagements than with your book.  If you are really serious about publicly speaking, join first and then the Certified Speaking Professional Association where you can get certification in public speaking.

14. Foreign Rights
Basic subsidiary rights that publishers contract with their authors include translation into foreign languages, foreign rights, and reprint of selections by other publishers, just to name a few. An American publisher may also license a book to a British house for separate English-language publication in the UK and the Commonwealth

Foreign Rights  as well as translations into other languages can be a great way to leverage the value of your manuscript – but don’t expect big numbers right away. Additionally, it will add an international, professional image to you and your books. Revenue will be an advance and approximately 6 – 10% royalty of the retail price, minus percentage for the agent. Try to get the highest advance possible. It’s also a long-term project as it takes around 18 months until the book is translated and finally available online and in bookstores – and another half year for royalties to arrive.

15. Bookstore Placement
Placement in bookstores, both chain and local (especially bookstores that report numbers to the Bestsellers List)  William Germano explains in his book:
Trade publishers’ marketing departments issue all kinds of catalogs to promote books—ones you see and ones you won’t unless you’re a librarian or a bookseller. The trade catalog is a publisher’s principal tool for making sales to bookstores.  Publishers with two trade catalogs bring out one per publishing season. The fall season usually begins in September and continues through the winter. The spring season begins in February or March, and continues through the summer. Books to be announced in a catalog must be securely in place at the publishing house up to a year ahead.

For those of you who want to succeed at self-publishing, use also some traditional marketing methods, create a Business Plan and a Budget, including anywhere from 5-10% for your overall book marketing including your website, paying for IT help, designer, or ads.

16. Placement of books in big box stores
Wandering into a Walmart or Shoppers DrugMart outlet, you will most likely find close to the entrance / cashier desk the shelves of magazines and books, often from Bestseller authors. Big publishing houses sell tons of books to these big box stores – at steep discounts I must add.

If your books are selling like hot cakes, consider selling in bulk too.  Book wholesalers or websites such as and, provide contact information for hundreds of buyers. You could also visit the websites of your most coveted outlets. Target even maintains a “vendor hotline” to answer questions by phone. However, be aware that having at least a dozen books is the minimum before you approach buyers at big box stores. They will not order single titles. If you have a book that should go into a specific department, for instance Sporting Goods, Electronics, Childrens, etc. contact your local store manager and ask who the buyer is for that specific department.

17. Book Sales Page
Many big publishers and major online retailers sell from their own website print and digital books – and so can you!  How?

Get all the information you need to start selling your books from our former article:  How to Sell Your Books From Your Own Website.
Make at least 30% more on your books. Get your revenue immediately and get to know your readers, a very important point for your future marketing and to keep in contact with your customers.

This is just a small selection of the many book marketing activities that authors can copy from major publishers – beside Social Media networking.  “Just Because You Wrote a Book, Readers Won’t Line Up To Buy It!”  Yet, authors who take their publishing endaveor seriously and work as hard on their publishing business as they do on their writing, will always succeed. Read this article regarding the “Book Sales Plateau”.
Find many more detailed tips and links to all aspects of author-publishing and book marketing at SavvyBookWriters, especially how you can act like a professional publisher and take your books to the next level.  Remember that you don’t have to do all of this at once!




If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers:

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Tagged: 7 million new self-published books, book marketing activities, Book Reviews in magazines and newspapers, Book Sales Page, Book Shows & Fairs, book signings, bookstore placements, radio interviews, Writing Contests

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