View Full Version : Marketing secrets from the vault- Booksigning Insanity

01-19-2005, 12:53 AM
I tend to guard my marketing secrets pretty well, but this site has been such a useful resource for me I thought I'd open up and share some of my tactics that I use in my writing that I gained from my day job. By day I'm a Realtor, and we do more than just the legal paperwork. On average, we can sell a house for 27% more than an owner can (NAR 2002). The reason is marketing. Applying some of these tricks to writing has helped me, and may help you. Though I've written this in steps, you really should be doing these things simultaneously. Here are some of my evil schemes:

So you have a book published...

You need to get the sales and attract the buyers. Signings are fine and dandy, but I do most of them methodically.

An effective book signing isn't a book signing, it's a campaign. It is a series of booksignings within an area, accompanied by lectures, press releases, radio interviews and local interest group involvement. Here's how to pull it off:

Phase 1 Getting your voice heard

First, let them know you're available. Advertise your book in "Radio-TV Interview Report" published by Bradley Communications Corp. 135 East Plumstead Ave. Lansdown PA 19050 (215) 259-1070. The circulation, last I checked, was about 4500, and it is a mag for radio, review, and TV people that is used to locate interesting guests for upcoming projects. Also call local public radio stations and pitch for an interview, find out who makes the decision, stop by the station, give them a free copy, be professional casual and confident, and try to get on the air. Leave a flyer with interesting info about you and your publication. Having a book signing approaching can help.

Phase 2 The Press

You have a short radio interview. Press release the sucker. Your general press release with indication you're about to be interviewed and have a signing. the interview adds weight to the release, and you should get that release in every paper of the broadcast area. Also mention where you will be doing signings both in the interview and the release, as well as where your book is available.

Phase 3 The Bookstores

Make sure copies of your book are available in all the bookstores in your press release broadcast area. Yellow pages is a good way of getting in touch with these stores but here's another. American Trade Book Directory published by R.R. Bowker lists nearly every bookstore in the US and Canada including the type of bookstore, the name of the manager and buyer, and the phone number. Let them know of your book, let them know of the publicity. Schedule a signing if possible, if your booked up on signings in that area and time frame let them know that you could mention them when you note in the interview as to where the book is available. They will order copies for free advertisement.

Phase 4 The Locals

Local interest. Within your broadcast press release area are local interest groups. What genre or subject are you writing about? If it is civil war related send a release to the local chapter of your civil war recreation buff's. If it has gay or sci fi themes, let local sci fi groups or gay rights groups know you're being interviewed and would love to meet and talk with some of their members at your signing. Writing about ghosts? Contact your local and state ghost hunters group. If there are periodicals or newsletters for their group (which there almost always are) get an add and an interview in that as well. Offer to do a talk for their group. these are usually small group only publications, the editors of which would be thrilled to hear from you, the results of which will be a lot of members at your signing.

Phase 5 The schools

Let schools know of your interviews and signings, and let them know you'd be happy to talk to their students and classes about writing and your book. This is great PR, but more than that...

Contact teachers at local universities and or High Schools who teach literature in your genre. Send them a free copy with all your publicity info. Offer to speak to their class. Not only might you grab sales from students interested in your genre, you might schmooze the teacher. If the teacher of a college course is impressed, that can mean 30 to 50 book orders next semester and every semester for a now required reading text in the class, which will additionally add your title to a few bookstore shelves.
I wish you luck and many sales and if you need to buy a house, drop me a line. I can find a good Realtor in your area if you're not in mine...;)

Wer Schreibt kann was erleben!

Justin Josephnek Klör

01-19-2005, 01:03 AM
Oh, I almost forgot...

While your hitting up the locals or if you need help finding the locals and other interest groups, make sure to hit the "Oxbridge Directory of Newsletters". It's filled with subscriber and trade-association newsletters. Target those relevant to your book and advertise in them or interview with them. They are specific demographics which can lead to sales. It's expensive, nearly 200 bucks, but has pre-publication discounts. The publisher is at 150 Fifth Ave, Suite 301 New York NY 10011 (212) 741-0231