What You Missed in January

by Mardie Schroeder

According to our January speaker Paula Margulies, author of The Tao of Book Publicity: Book Promotion Strategies that Work!, there is not one way to publicize your book—there are many options and strategies.

Her first point was: “Don’t rush finishing your book. Make it a good book. Spend your money on a professional editor. You cannot edit your own book, so be open to what the editor suggests.” And be sure to include the back cover of the book for the editor to check.

Use Beta readers and writing groups to provide feedback before you publish.

You need an author platform. Your platform is all about you—what you bring to the table and what your expertise is that you bring to the book. To promote your platform, you should interact on Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads with people who have the same interests as you. And be sure to make a personal page on Facebook.

Book Covers—Your book cover should reflect what the book is about. The colors should pop; your name should be visible. Use the back cover to sell the book, using a one paragraph plot summary as well as a testimonial blurb (preferably from a celebrity), a brief bio, and a thumbnail author photo. To find a prospective celebrity to praise your book, check the website: contactanycelebrity.com.

Timing—The best time to promote a book is the 6-8 months after its release. January is the best time to launch a book – never November/ December because of the holidays. Book signings are best in spring, summer, and early fall. Be sure to pitch the media three weeks prior to any event date.

Distribution—You must be in Barnes & Noble’s system if you want to do a book signing there. Submit a marketing plan. It’s best to have a soft cover for your book and price it around $16.95. Most booksellers have consignment terms for self-published authors at 60/40. And be sure you bring enough copies to your signing event.

Creating a Press Release—Keep it to one or two pages. For press release writing advice, check out: blog.hubspot.com/marketing/press-release-template-ht.

Drafting a Q&A—To help you get featured in newspapers, it’s a good idea to create a Q&A sheet for reporters. This sheet should include the front cover image of your book in the left-hand corner, along with the book title, author’s name, ISBN, price, and publisher information. Aim for 5-6 questions and answer in a conversational tone. Always send things in Word files.

Pricing and Book Sales—Standard ebook pricing is $.99 - $2.99; paperback is $7.99 - $15.99. Remember you can always lower the price.

If you wish to contact Paula, her website is: http://www.paulamargulies.com.

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