Book Trailers: Best Practices for Using for Book Marketing

As I’m writing this post, the summer blockbuster movie season is just around the corner. So teaser movie trailers abound in theaters and online, whetting our appetites for more of the same when we go to see the real thing.

Did you ever think of doing a “trailer” for your book? Book trailers can be an effective and engaging book promotion strategy that major traditional publishers have embraced. With YouTube being one of the top visited websites in the world (according to, it shows that people are primed to consuming video.
What is a Book Trailer?

Like their cinematic counterparts, book trailers are videos that give prospective readers a sample of what is in the book. Book trailers can feature:

The author talking about his/her book.
A summary of the plot for fiction (without giving it all away, of course!).
Highlights of the best parts of the book (again, without giving it all away).
Hints or clues about the story which raise curiosity.
Graphics of the book cover so that readers can identify the book when shopping in stores or online.
Author biographies.

Essentially, it’s a book “commercial.” Take a look at the following examples…
This is a Book Trailer…
And this is a book trailer that gives a sneak peek of the story, told by the author…
Another example which raises curiosity and features the author…
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Budget-Friendly Book Trailer Video Tips

Some book trailers are as elaborate and high production as their cinematic cousins. Most self published authors do not have that kind of money, equipment, talent, staging, video editing skills, and other resources to jump into the movie making pool. Luckily it’s not required to create an effective book trailer.

A simple, friendly “talking head” type webcam or smartphone video of you as the self published author talking to your potential readers can have just as much impact. You’ll also be able to elaborate on how and why you wrote the book and/or what you hope your readers will get out of it.

The days of hermit cave writers who are highly disconnected from their readers are long gone. Today’s social media adept audiences want connection and authenticity. They want to feel there’s a real person behind the words on the page. I know I’m more likely to want to read a book written by someone I “know,” even if I’ve just been introduced to them with a short video.

Click here for more video marketing tips.

Book Trailer for My Book on Promotional Products
Book Trailer for My Book on Sales
Book Trailer for My Eco Friendly Marketing Book
Book Trailer Best Practices for Self Publishing

There are some best practices when it comes to making video book trailers an effective marketing tool for self publishing:

Don’t Make the Trailer Too Long. Might as well read the whole book! Remember, your trailer is a “commercial” for the book, not just a shortened version of full manuscript. I have seen some trailers as long as 7 to 10 minutes. Wow! Not only is that an investment on the part of the reader, the time and effort it takes to create a video of several minutes is a project in itself! For self publishers, it might be better to invest time and money in another book or other cost-effective marketing. Click here for 12 low cost book promotion ideas.
Don’t Oversell. This is one of my pet peeves for both movie and book trailers. When the trailer is way better than the real book or movie, I’m disappointed and feel duped.
Trailer Should Appeal to the Same Audience as the Book. Duh, right? Don’t create a trailer that talks down to your audience OR talks over their heads. As well, know what triggers will motivate your audience to want more and want to read your book.
Truth in Labeling. Haven’t we all been to movies that were promoted as including lots of action, only to find that the total action was limited to what was in the trailer. Tell ’em what’s in the “package.”
Preserve Some Mystery… and Sales. I hate those movie trailers where you think you’ve seen the whole movie in the trailer! Then why go? Though you want to tell prospective readers what they can expect in your book, you don’t want to tell them everything! Don’t give them a reason not to buy and read your book. A trailer is a “teaser.”
Use it On Your Blog and Website. Sure, you’ll probably park your trailer on YouTube. But don’t let it just sit there! Embed it on your blog or website. Share it on social media. Get it out there!
Use YouTube Description, Keywords and Links to Send Sales Prospects to You. Did you know you can include an active hyperlink in your YouTube video description? Add one that goes to your book sales page or website. Choose keywords for your book’s topic so people can find you in search. Remember, it’s a commercial!

Disclaimer: Both the publisher and author have used their best efforts in preparation of this information. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered or allowed and both parties disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for your particular purpose. The advice and strategies presented herein may not be suitable for you, your situation or business. Consult with a professional advisor where and when appropriate. Neither the publisher nor author shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential or punitive, arising from or relating to your reliance on this information.

Book Marketing Tips: 12 Free or Low Cost Promotional Ideas

Book marketing doesn’t always have to be expensive. In fact, there are many low cost—even free!—ways to promote a book. That’s good news for self published authors!

Here are 12 easy and cheap ways to help generate buzz and sales.
1. Add to Your Website

This is a “well, duh!” item. Yes, add your book to your website! Here are some ways to do that:

Create a separate page for your book(s) and include a link to it in the navigation bar.
Include a clickable graphic of your book cover in your website’s sidebar that links to the book sales page that’s on your website or retail site such as Amazon.
If signed up for the Amazon Associates program, create a banner ad link for your book and embed the HTML code in a sidebar or other locations throughout your site. See the Amazon Associates program website for details.
Include your book’s information and a graphic of the cover on your About page.

Cost: Free, unless you hire someone to update your website.

Should you create a separate website and domain for your book? See why (and why not) by clicking here.
Create a Page on Your Website for Your Books!
2. Create an Author Page on Amazon with Author Central

Amazon allows authors to set up a page on Amazon to give customers more information about the authors and their books. Authors need to sign up for the Author Central program. Amazon verifies the author’s identity and their connection to the books prior to posting the page.

In addition to displaying and linking to the author’s available books, Amazon also allows authors to include the following on this Author Page:

Author photos.
Author biography.
Links to social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook.
Link to author’s blog.

For authors who don’t have their own website, this can be exceptionally helpful. But it’s a must-do for all authors who have books for sale through Amazon.

Cost: Free.
3. Set Up a Facebook Page

In addition to setting up an Author Central page on Amazon, setting up a Facebook page for the author and books is another free way to help promote book sales online. Like Author Central pages, Facebook pages allow authors to upload photos, biographical information and links to the author’s websites, and more, but with the added bonus of being able to start conversations with fans on Facebook through posts and comments.

The question comes up as to whether to create a separate page just for a specific book. Yes, that can be done and may make sense in some cases. However, it’s often more effective to build a page for the author since fans are usually looking for the latest from their favorite authors. As well, maintaining an individual page for each book published can be time consuming.

Cost: Free, unless hiring a social media expert to set up and maintain the page.
4. Add Books to Publications List on LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn offers the capability to list books and other publications you’ve written on your Profile page, including a description and an active link to Amazon or other site where readers can purchase the book.

Especially if it’s a business-related book, this can help build credibility for business and career opportunities. And even if your “business” is creative or fiction writing, adding your books to your LinkedIn profile is a great way to showcase your body of work.

Cost: Free.
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5. Promote on Social Media

Another “well, duh!” category! These days, it might even be the first or only type of marketing a self published author does. However, while social media can be useful in getting the word out on a new book, what do you do when the book is no longer “new?”

Though it might not be possible for all types of books (particularly fiction), grab quote snippets and tips from your book and post as a “Quote of the Day,” including a link to site where readers can buy the book. Always, ALWAYS note that the quote was from YOUR book! Other than the book cover graphic, including a relevant stock or personal photo can help draw attention to the post. (Of course, use only properly licensed photos AND use them properly.)

Cost: Free, unless you hire a social media expert to manage your networks. Some stock photo images may have fees for licensing.
6. Public Speaking

Approach relevant associations and groups for opportunities to speak at one of their events about the subject of your book… not about the book itself. Your book is merely the lead-in and establishes your credibility to speak on the topic. You might even get paid to speak!

Click here for tips on working with event organizers.

Cost: Free… or you might even make some money.
7. Write and Distribute a Press Release

Yes, real people write press releases… not just big PR firms. Writing a book is newsworthy and worthy of a press release! But remember that editors want to be able to take your release and drop it into their publication or website with little or no editing. So…

ALWAYS write in the third person!
Be clear as to why reading your book is important to the target audience.
Spend the most time getting the headline right. It’s what will grab the attention of both editors and readers.

Also, don’t limit your distribution to just editors. Post in on your website, link to it on social media and send it directly to your fans and customers.

Tips on headlines that win with editors.
Press release distribution tips that help make sure it gets read.
Learn how to write headlines that grab, just like a popular health magazine does.

Cost: Free, unless you physically mail the press release.
Business cards can be a cheap way to spread the word about a book while at events.
Business cards can be a cheap way to spread the word about a book while at events. | Source
8. Get Business Cards for Your Book

One way to help your books get the attention they deserve is to get them some business cards to distribute at networking events. Today, a few hundred business cards can often be ordered through online print sources (e.g., Vistaprint) for less than $20, plus tax and shipping. Some sites even offer a small supply of business cards for free. Plus, these sites usually offer free online design tools so you can avoid design fees, too.

What information should you put on the card?

Book title.
One sentence description of what the book is about.
Author’s name.
Author photo. (Optional; may not be available on freebie business cards)
Book sales page URL (link). If the book is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc., the URL for the page on which it is sold can be an extraordinarily long string of gobbledygook. Use a URL shortening service such as to create a short URL that will fit comfortably on the card. also offers some customization of the short URL to create one that’s memorable. Click here to see if it makes sense to buy a domain name for your book.
Author’s website, Facebook page or Amazon Author Central page.
Book cover graphic. (Optional; may not be available on freebie business cards.)
Links to major social media feeds such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. (Optional)
Author’s email. (Optional)

Cost: Usually free to less than $20 (plus taxes and shipping) for a small supply.
Bookmarks to promote a book can be a cheap as a few cents each up to several dollars each (such as this leather-like design).
Bookmarks to promote a book can be a cheap as a few cents each up to several dollars each (such as this leather-like design). | Source

A bookmark is the perfect promotional giveaway to help promote a book! They come in a wide variety of sizes, materials and price points. But for authors on a budget, printing business cards in a vertical orientation can suffice. (See No. 8 above for more information on business cards.)

Cost: If using vertically printed business cards as bookmarks, cost to print through online sources can be less than $20 (plus taxes and shipping) for a small supply. Regular promotional bookmark prices vary from a few cents each to several dollars each, depending on product and quantity.
10. Get Reviews

Soliciting book reviews prior to publication can help get the online reviews started quickly after the book publishes. Share the pre-publication manuscript (or a portion of it) OR the actual published book with select potential reviewers with the understanding that they agree to write a review for you.

Also, be sure to remind reviewers that when they post their review anywhere, they need to disclose that they received an advance copy of the book to be in compliance with compensation disclosure guidelines.

Cost: Free if sharing electronic version of manuscript. Cost of printed book plus shipping if sending physical book to reviewers.
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11. Add a Book Link to Email Signature

Every email you send can be a promotion! In your email signature, include a “Get my latest book, [title], by clicking here.” type link. The link would go to the book sales and information page online.

Cost: Free.
12. Offer a Sample Chapter for Email Subscription Opt-Ins

Your readers and fans are your “customers” for your writing. So collect them as a valuable business asset! Encourage them to subscribe to your email list by offering a free sample chapter in exchange for opting in.

IMPORTANT! ALWAYS use a reputable email broadcast service (e.g., MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.) for email marketing. NEVER use your personal email account to send broadcasts about your book. That will likely result in having your email account suspended for spamming.

Cost: Free, except for the cost of the email marketing service. Some email marketing services offer free use of their service for a trial period or free forever up to a certain number of subscribers or messages. See each service’s terms for details.

Disclaimer: Any examples used are for illustrative purposes only and do not suggest affiliation or endorsement. The author/publisher has used best efforts in preparation of this article. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered or allowed and all parties disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for your particular purpose. The advice, strategies and recommendations presented herein may not be suitable for you, your situation or business. Consult with a professional adviser where and when appropriate. The author/publisher shall not be liable for any loss of profit or any other damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. So by reading and using this information, you accept this risk.

How to Promote and Sell Your Self-Published Book


The Internet has given writers the opportunity to publish their books without waiting to make a publisher’s acceptance list. This could be considered an advantage for today’s writers. However, they are also at a disadvantage. Now, the author must do their own marketing, taking on the task of selling themselves and their work to get as much exposure as possible for their book. Who knew that while we were sharpening our skills with English and creative writing classes that we should have signed up for some business and communications classes too? Here are some tips that I have learned while marketing my own books.
Create A Professional-Looking Product

Utilize self-publishing websites like CreateSpace ( to format your book. CreateSpace will develop both print and electronic versions of your books and format them into professional-looking products.

Also, give your books a decent cover. If you’re not an artist or don’t have the tools, I suggest: . Here, you will find freelance writers, artists, etc. who will create a cover for you for as little as $5.00. This site can also be utilized to find editors and reviewers as well.

My books have gone through multiple covers over the years. Most of them were drawn and designed by me, and I rushed through the process in my eagerness to get the books out to the public. Children’s books especially have to grab their readers with a fun, colorful cover, and I’m only now satisfied with the finished products. Given the chance, I would have held off on self-publishing until the covers were just right. They’re not just a place holder for the pages. They’re the difference between a reader opening a book or passing it over on the shelf for one that looks more interesting.
Set Up Free Promos and Giveaways

Sign up for Amazon’s KDP select program ( This will allow readers to download your book for free on their Kindles for up to five days of your choosing. The exposure will help get exposure for your book. It may be painful at first to not make a dime from all of those downloads, but readers who enjoy your book will be looking out for more titles by you, and they will help boost the sales of future books.

That being said, you’ll need to promote your free days before your free days launch. Choose a date at least six weeks in advance and begin to spread the word. Visit the following sites for email inquiry templates and websites that will promote your free days:

76+ Places to Submit Your Free KDP Select Promotion for Your Kindle eBook

Free and Perma Free Book Submission

Goodreads is also a great place to give away your books. Create an author profile on your site. Link your books to the profile. Then, start a giveaway. Goodreads giveaways are free to create and enter. However, you must give away hard copies of your books. Set it up for at least five winners, and let it run for at least one month (they recommend three). You must get approval from the Goodreads moderators in advance so make sure to set up your giveaway at least one week before the intended start date. Then, have your copies ready to mail out right away.

During the contest, participants will be given the option to add the book to their to-read list. This will give you great exposure and possibly even sales. The list of winners will be sent to you by Goodreads right after your promotion ends, and then it’s up to you to mail the books to them. Postage is the only expense that you will incur, and with any luck, an increase in sales will follow.

Inside every giveaway book, I write a note to the reader congratulating them on winning the contest. I encourage them to lend the book to other young readers and ask that they write a review on Amazon and Goodreads, explaining how that helps independent authors a tremendous amount. I then, sign the book and include links to my social media pages and website. As a result, I have had winners write reviews of my books, and hopefully, my target audience is reading my work.


Create A Website or Blog

There are plenty of places you can go to create a free website or blog. I am currently using Wix ( There, I post published pieces (including poetry, books and articles I have written, reviews, screenshots of websites where my work has been featured, artwork, blog posts and links to other authors’ work. Promote your blog or webpage on your social media accounts, and include it in your signature on all review and promotion requests. Keep it up-to-date, and add to it often. Refer it to people who are interested in what you do or other professionals that you meet while you network. Having a place to store all of your work and writing accomplishments is better than scanning through your computer for samples of your work to show others.

Send out Requests for Reviews

Send out as many review requests as you can before you publish your book. I sent out over 100 review inquires for each book I have written and received only a handful of responses. Most reviewers do their reviewing on the side and don’t charge fees so their review schedule fills up fast. Many will need several weeks, if not months, to review your book. Give them time and be prepared to hand out free copies to them (mostly electronic but some require hard copies).

Encourage your reviewers to post their reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and other book-friendly sites. Even bad reviews are helpful in getting your book exposure, and despite the eye sore that they may look like to you, they help to make your book’s rating look more legitimate. If all of your reviews have five star ratings, people may question the validity of the reviewers (are they all friends and relatives trying to help you out)? A bad review may even generate curiosity about your book. A reader may want to find out for themselves why a reviewer rated the book so low, especially when it’s surrounded by positive reviews. If nothing else, just remember that you can’t please everybody.

Participate In and Conduct Author Interviews

In your inquiries, mention that you would be willing to participate in an author interview if you notice that a reviewer or blogger offers them. Some sites have a form with standard questions that you can answer which they then post regularly on their site. Here are a few sites that offer this service:

Book Goodies:
Awesome Gang:
Between the Pages:
LitPick (children’s books):

Another technique that has worked for me has been interviewing other inde authors about their books. This type of networking has helped me to gain followers on my social media sites. Authors have to help each other out. So, I posted on the Goodreads and Library Thing forums that I was looking for self-published authors to interview. Then, I started to post the interviews, pictures, and links to my social media sites once a week. While requests have slowed down, I have interviewed over 50 authors and even been asked to be interviewed back. I ask the same 10 questions in every interview so the format never changes, just the answers. Authors are grateful for the exposure, and I’m grateful for the new views that I get on my Facebook page and Twitter feeds.

15 Secret Modules Of Slumdog Emillionaire!

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The 15 modules are packed with great information, showing you how to get unlimited FREE Traffic to your website.

Module 1 – The Plan
• What are Information Products
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Module 2 – The Groundwork
• Selecting a Niche
• Researching a Potential Product
• Keyword Research
• Checking Out the Competition
• Selecting a Product
• Blueprint
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Module 3 – The Merchandise
• Going it Alone
• Outsource the Work
• Modified Private Label Rights
• Record Interviews with Experts
• Bundle up Resale Rights Products
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• Increasing Your List of Buyers
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• Selecting a Domain Name
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• The Story
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• Thank You Page
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Module 9 – The Logistics
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• Blueprint
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Module 10 – The Showroom
• The Surest Way to Get a Yes
• Pre-Sell Emails and Advantages
• Follow up Emails
• Writing Promotional E-Mails
• Tools for Promotion
• Blueprint
• Mind Map
Module 11 – The Guardian
• The Guardian
• Blueprint
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Module 12 – The Traffic
• Building Free Traffic
• Forums
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• Finding Back Links
• The Social Networking Phenominon
• Blogging
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• Video
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• 3 Blueprints
• 2 Mind Maps
Module 13 – The Home Run
• Step 1: Get The Email Address
• Step 2: Turn Them Into “Subscribers”
• Step 3: Send Out The Newsletter
• Step 4: Promote A Front-End Product
• Step 5: Add To “New Customer” List
• Step 6: “Just Checking Up On things”
• Step 7: Build On The Relationship And Good Feelings
• Step 8: Grow The Business At Zero Cost!
• Step 9: Get Hot, New Product Ideas
• Step 10: Keep The Ball Rolling
• Blueprint
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Module 14 – The Network
• The Mechanics
• Relationship Building
• How To Create Trust And Respect
• The Faster You Learn The Faster You Earn
• Migrate Buyers
• Give Them A Break
• Blueprint
• Mind Map
Module 15 – The Aftermath
• Conclusion
• Blueprint
• Mind Map

Now, like I said earlier, these are the same techniques Mo has mastered and he crank out 7 figures every year. If you follow all the books and videos step by step, it’s impossible to go wrong.

Brochure Stand Display

Product presentation is one important factor in attracting customers in most business industries. There are various ways on how you can present your products. Display stands are effective and convenient solution for product presentation and promotion. There are different types of display stands to choose that suits your needs. Display stands emphasize your products and give your customers a good impression.

Display stands are not only useful to retail businesses. Brochure stand display. can be used in any business. It can be used hold leaflets, literature and brochures for your office. Like any type of display stand, brochure stand displays offer convenience, efficiency and organisation in your business. Brochures display stands can be used during exhibits, conferences or seminars or even just in your office. During exhibits, conferences and seminars brochure display stands can hold your leaflets, flyers or brochures. And if you are selling books or magazines brochure display stands can also be a good alternative in promoting them.

Brochure display stands are also perfect in your reception area. And they are usually be found in bank lobbies, auto dealerships, travel agencies and other business environments. Literature can be your key in generating leads that could turn into a sale, so keep that sales sheets and brochures at your convenience and on display in brochure display stands. Having your brochures and literature organised on display stands gives an impression of professionalism. Brochure display stands are also a solution for your space- saving problems. Space is often an issue on tradeshows and exhibition and brochure display stand is a wise solution for this problem, its space- saving, convenient and efficient.

Stand-Store offers all kinds of display stand to suit your business needs. The benefits of display stands are limitless and it is a wise solution for organising and promoting your business and offers versatility, efficiency and convenience at a very reasonable cost. Our products are ideal solution for your business’ organising and promotion needs

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The Art and Science of Book Promotion – To Delegate or Not to Delegate

Backward glance

I introduced to you the concept of handling your book promotion project like a small business in its start-up stage. We also got down to the basics of one of the important tools in the small business start-up process-capitalization. In this article, we will delve into the second tool-delegation-through which you will learn whether, when, what, why, and how to delegate particular tasks in book promotion.

To Delegate or Not to Delegate

In an article from, “delegation” is described as something that is easy to talk about but difficult to do:

“… it’s a critical decision, mainly because some tasks should be handled only by you but others, which take up your valuable time, can easily be handled by someone else.”

Organization psychologist and entrepreneur, Dr. David G. Javitch, states that one of the common reasons why entrepreneurs refuse to delegate tasks is the fear of losing control over the project. Although it is a common mentality among starting businessmen to think that they are “the ‘best’ or ‘only’ person who can do the job right,” the excuse is not sound, logical, or practical when huge chunks of time, effort, and money go to waste because the boss does not want to involve or trust other people. Delegation of tasks, however, plays a significant role in business operations and must therefore be learned.

To instill the idea of task delegation in your book promotion business, let’s start with a number of things that have to be done in order to get the delegation system running like a well-oiled machine. There are three categories that need to be considered: things you are already good at; things you have no idea and never will have an idea of how to do on your own; and the unknown in between the two, or what we’ll call the “I dunno” category. Unfortunately, that third category takes up the biggest portion of the picture.

You don’t need to be a book promotion expert to gather a list of the most common 15 or 20 book promotion activities or services; the aforementioned Taleist survey is a good start. You can go to the websites of a number of firms that offer promotional services to authors. It would also be smart if you look for firms that work for traditional publishers in the area of promotion and publicity, as they are likely competent, but unfortunately very expensive. You may find them out of reach, but the goal here is for you to do your own “guerrilla” research. There are also promotional services by freelancers who can help you build your list, although the vast majority areal so too expensive, and as you hire freelancers you start to have to do much more research to vet them. The point is for you to try to learn about every promotional effort on your list, no matter how silly it sounds, so that you aren’t a ‘mark’ for unscrupulous providers.

Once you have your list, split each of these tasks into the three groups mentioned earlier:

• Things I can do

• Things that there is no way I can do on my own

• I dunno

The goal is for you to be prepared for conversations with prospective professionals who can help you get started. Knowing what you’re getting into and having an idea of what you want or the results you want to get is very important. There is an analogy that describes this goal well: you can go to an auto mechanic with no knowledge of cars, and then watch your money drain away without getting your car troubles solved. Or you can go to an auto mechanic equipped with at least the basic knowledge of how an engine, transmission, charging system, exhaust, suspension, and brake system work, and be able to not only spot the crooks, but also recognize the best value for your money honestly. In the end, it is essential to have at least a baseline education as this is, after all, your business, not the business of someone you hire.

The Chicken-and-Egg Dilemma

In terms of promotion and funding, there is a chicken-and-egg quandary. You have a budget-at least you think you have a budget. You have sales goals and therefore promotion goals. You need to fund a budget to attain your sales goals, and you need to match your sales goals to what you can realistically budget.

The first rule of thumb: Don’t spend any money on something that will put you in a dire situation. A majority of small business start-ups that fail would have survived if they could undo the mistakes they made in their first year, and the majority of first-year mistakes involve overspending. The difference between those who succeed and those who fail usually has to do with how much self-education a person did before spending the first nickel. Impatience is your enemy. I have made this mistake myself and it is an extremely painful one; avoid it.

Chicken and egg: If you do your homework, you will go through a phase where you have a list of promotional activities you think you need to have, and when you do rough estimates of cost for those parts you don’t know how to do yourself, the cost is about five times the amount you can afford. That’s normal; don’t get discouraged. Your next phase is that you either rob a bank or you prioritize all the different promotional efforts from top to bottom. Look at your “I don’t know how to do this, but it’s possible I can learn.”

Don’t go out on a limb: You probably aren’t going to become an SEO-Search Engine Optimization-expert unless you are a heavy geek (then go for it). Pick some of the services on your list and read up (Google) all the how-to articles you can find. You’ll quickly start to understand whether a particular promotional service is on the “I can do it” or “no way I can do it” list.

Breaking it down: Have you ever played to an empty room? Gave a speech when nobody showed up to listen? Started your fledgling comedian career by trying to make a bunch of empty chairs (or the bartender) laugh? It’s not a lot of fun. There is a key to book promotion that is above all other factors-you need a large audience before you can have any hope of reaching a breakeven point on book sales. To gain momentum towards being profitable, reinvest profits only in more promotion. Then do it all again for a second title.

The math is simple (and believe me, the following arithmetic is horribly oversimplified). If every week, 1 person out of every 300 in your audience decides to buy your book, and you have an audience of 150 listening to you as an author each week, you are going to sell a book every 2 weeks, which adds up to 26 books per year. If you, however, have the same sell ratio with an audience of 6000, that means 20 sales per week or 1040 books per year. That might not sound like much, but if you did your production/distribution phase well, that means $3500 in royalties, and that should be in the neighborhood of breakeven.

The reason I am mentioning audience size in a delegation article is this: if you don’t have a system that builds an audience of people listening to you, it doesn’t matter if you do everything else right; you have nothing. This should be your key when you are looking for experts in the various sections of promotion you don’t know how to do.

Unless you (or your grandson) are a geek, you are not going to be able to do the SEO on your own. You might be able to learn how to create your own Facebook fan page or Twitter account (but it may be difficult for you to make sure you have links, art, structure linking all together with book sale sites, blogs you will be writing, or other content important for you to impress people). You can tweet for sure. You are a writer; you’d better be able to tweet. However, managing a Twitter account, with all its analytics and ability to end up with big audience numbers and audience that actually pays attention to you-that has to be right. It is highly recommended that you hire a pro, at least in the first year. You probably cannot create a professional video teaser. You might be able to study press releases and distribution systems, but you need to see a few professionally made ones first before trying your hand on it.

Choosing the right people

There are four main attributes to be considered in picking your team and deciding who does what:

• homework

• integrity

• knowing yourself

• being important

Homework: To refer back to my earlier analogy, you have to prepare yourself to “talk to the auto mechanic for 10 minutes and leave him with the impression that you might be able to do a few things on your own and do them right.” Anyone who has access to Google has no excuse; there are experts everywhere trying to impress you, trying to teach you things about A, so they can provoke your interest in buying B from them. You can have a list of promotional tools and strategies and have enough knowledge to be able to talk for five minutes-or hopefully much longer-about each and every one of them. If you can’t, don’t write a check until you can.

Integrity: You have to have it, and you have to be able to recognize it in others (see the mechanic analogy above). First, you need to NOT lie to the experts-the candidates for your team-ever. There is no reason to do so. If you plan on doing 4 of the 12 promotional items yourself in your first year and 6 in the second year, they need to know that. If you are trying to educate yourself, so you can decide what you should delegate and what you should keep to yourself, they should know that too (they might, in fact, tell you clearly which goes in which column). You have to make sure that you are a good partner, as this will attract good partners for you.

Self-publishing authors have had to endure a number of firms that are predatory liars, have a large market share and have created a level of cynicism in many authors that is toxic. However, that toxic cynicism is foolish and something to be avoided at all costs. Just because Adolf Hitler lied to Chamberlain doesn’t make Jimmy Carter – or Angela Merkel – snakes. There are author surveys that show that more experienced authors (measured by number of books published) also tend to be more satisfied with the services they received from providers. These authors tend to use providers that have the highest author-satisfaction ratings. Keep your eyes open for the crooks (there is a section on how to do that in a later article in this series), but keep your eyes open with a soft heart for the good guys by being one yourself. You can be cautious with your checkbook and still maintain high character in your relations with your candidate team members. It isn’t hard to do.

Your team members have to have integrity as well. If you don’t have a great feeling in your gut about a provider, run away. If you do have a great feeling, you aren’t done with your vetting, but those candidates make the first cut.

With your knowledge of what they do, if you ask open-ended questions initially (don’t show off too much of your knowledge initially), you will be able to eliminate likable (and unlikable) cons. The good guys should give you some sense that they are protective of your interests. They should be able to tell you the bad news about what you are doing. Beware of those that have no bad news. You should be able to verify their competence and integrity from completely independent sources. I’ll give you more on this when we get to the “avoiding predators” section of the next articles.

Knowing Yourself: If you visualize yourself personally doing, say, 5 of 12 promotional efforts you and your candidate team think are needed, visualize it as if you are going to be doing it every week-some 3 or 4 times per week-forever. If the things you have picked are things that sound fun and interesting, if you try them and like them, you are probably on the right track. It may not be wise to think, I cannot stand doing this one, but I’ll grit my teeth for a year, because you likely won’t be one of those uncommon birds who will actually do it. In this arena, it would be good to ask your husband, wife, son, best friend, or trusted colleagues for their opinion of you doing A, B, and C. Once you are convinced that you know what you like and what you hate, or at least what you will do and won’t (or can’t do), you’ll be able to focus on your candidates.

Be Important: You might have to have two trusted professional providers, or you might have five. Some firms try to be all things to all people and fail, while others are actually quite good at several things. The providers need to be competent in all areas you are asking them to be; there is nothing wrong with asking them which area they are best at and which they think they aren’t. There is something very important to consider, however, when picking the final team: the more business you give them, the more important you become to them. If you ever get the feeling you won’t be important enough, walk away. It’s better to have a provider that is great at three things and good at two (provided the two are survivable, so don’t make “audience building” something you compromise on) than having five firms with each only great at one thing. You need to be important to your team members, whether it is because of money, reputation, or simply because of their personality.

Establishing author-vendor relationship through trust and honesty

You want quality, professional, well-considered work for your book. You also want to transform your book promotion into a business that is affordable to run as quickly as possible. Lastly, you want to have an honest vendor that provides and helps you with things you can’t do on your own and things you are unsure of. The way to do this is to be upfront from the beginning. You have your list. You know what parts of the list you aspire to learn to do yourself. You know what parts you will never be able to do at all, or at least not without help.

A well-done book promotion is time-consuming and therefore expensive. In your research about firms, you will see both honest and dishonest vendors that offer services that are either ridiculously costly or suspiciously cheap. On the other hand, there are also a lot of authors who have what you might call “champagne taste on a beer budget.”

Some authors approach promotional firms and freelancers with the thought that they can pay a small amount and get big, custom professional efforts and results. This is exactly the wrong way to launch a small business, primarily because it never works. Quality providers will either say no at the beginning or they will defer from your project midstream if they discover that this is your intent. If you have a prospective provider that seems to be saying yes 100% of the time, it is because they are planning on either running automated services that are ineffective, or are planning on capturing you as a client before they start charging add-on fees at every turn or trapping you in a variety of ways so it is very difficult to leave them. Run away, quickly.

Even without a certain budget to afford long-term services, you can still be a long-term client. What you need to do, however, is to be trained by the vendor to be able to do some of the services yourself after a certain period of time, so you can afford to be a long-term client. Some quality professional firms are very happy to do this. Others have policies against coaching, as they see it as a way to teach themselves out of a client. What you need to do is find those quality firms that match your honesty and openness and are willing to partner with you on that. You can also talk to them once you are sure they are among those firms you seek to help you on “Things you have no idea how to do” and the “I dunno” category. You can also ask them to help you eliminate services from your list that are bad ideas, given your situation, or just bad ideas in general.

If you’re thorough in this phase, you will be educated enough to get a decent promising start. You will be talking to a firm that can help you learn how to do part of your business on your own, as well as help you in the other parts of your business they have expertise in. A symbiotic relationship, wherein both participants benefit from one another, will be created-you will have a main vendor you can trust, and the vendor will have a long-term client. If you do this first part well, you will have established a team that has a good chance to help you launch your book promotion and make it prosper through effective marketing campaigns with higher chance to get good sales, good following, good reputation, or better yet, all of those things mentioned.

Looking forward

With the subject of delegation tackled, you are now ready to learn about the third fundamental tool in starting your own book promotion business. On the next part of The Art and Science of Book Promotion series, we’ll be discussing “expectations of returns” and how its principles apply and contribute to marketing your own title.

I’m the owner of Publish Wholesale – a publishing services firm dedicated to help independent authors by not only offering prepress production and promotion services but also by providing them with significant information about self-publishing and publishing industry in general.

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Book Promotion: How To Promote Your Book Without Breaking The Bank

“I don’t need to promote my book – I have a book contract with a big publishing house.”

It often comes as a surprise to many authors that books do not promote themselves. And don’t expect your conventional publisher to do that for you either.

The cold had truth is you have to promote it yourself.

And while that may be a shock at first, you are by far and away the best person on this planet to promote your book.

Just follow the recommendations in this article to build the elements of your book promotion strategy.

What is Book Promotion?

It’s raising the profile of your book in your target audience’s eyes. Firstly you have to identify clearly what niche your book satisfies. And then you have to bring it to their attention.

Specifically the aim of book promotion is to take your book from being unheard of through to being a must-buy.

Here is a list of media and strategies that you should consider when creating a book promotion strategy.

Press Releases
Book Exhibitions
Media Interviews – Radio and TV
Influential Reviewers
Promotional Video
Webinars and Teleseminars
Internet Marketing
Membership Sites
Social Media
Product Launches
Conventional Advertising

Press Releases

Press releases are official statements issued to newspapers giving information about a particular topic.

To promote your book, write and issue a press release that gives details of your book. Assuming this is of interest to their readers, the release may get published verbatim, or lightly edited.

Press releases follow a standard format, and adhering to this makes it more likely yours will be adopted. You can obtain suitable templates by searching online for “press release template”.

As many journalists rely on online pr sites for their material, being present on these sites makes it very likely that your release will be picked up.

The material you supply does need to be newsworthy, of course. Sales pitches masquerading as press releases are likely to be ignored.

If you are writing about a hot topic, just an announcement of the book may be sufficient. Otherwise you may need to be creative and present controversial views or refer to current hot topics for your release to be picked up.

Book Exhibitions

The advantage of these exhibitions is that those attending are typically interested in publishing or promoting your book. Don’t expect those attending to be your target market. These are recommenders, and your job is to find those recommenders that are relevant to your market and your book.

Try to obtain a list of exhibitors beforehand, and identify those organisations to talk to. Take a stock of business cards with you.

Media Interviews – Radio and TV

For books with wide appeal this can be a great way of getting your message out. It’s a good idea to get some media coaching so that you know what to expect, and are able to get your points across succinctly in what can be a very short interview!

On radio and TV, don’t expect to get more than three minutes at most. Your answers must be focused and to the point with no waffling.

At the very least write down the top seven points you want to get across. Prepare a sheet of sample questions and answers. The interviewer may not use these, but if they do, you have confidence that you can answer them.

Sometimes you’ll be asked a question you think is not really relevant. The art is to politely answer the question they should have asked. Watch politicians, as they do this all the time.

Influential Reviewers

Getting influential people in your industry to review your book positively can be a great boost to your book’s profile. Approach these people in plenty of time, and send them a copy of your book, asking what you want.

Getting to be able to reach these people of influence can be a project in itself which requires tenacity and creativity. Always be respectful of their time and only approach them if you think they might be interested in reviewing your book.

Webinars and Teleseminars

One of the most neglected means of book promotion is that pioneered by Alex Mandossian – the teleseminar or webinar series.

Here you are interviewed in one, or a series of teleseminars. In them you reveal the content of the book in answer to your interviewer’s questions.

These can either be free or can be chargeable – especially for a teleseminar or webinar series. These packaged programmes can be sold for a significantly higher price than that of your book. So you may consider giving your book away as a bonus to people who pay for your teleseminar or webinar series.

Internet Marketing

Internet marketing includes email marketing, websites – especially blogs and podcasting.

You can provide text, pdf documents, audio extracts of your book, videos of content related to your book on your site and via emails.

You can create an autoresponder email sequence to deliver extracts from your book either as a stand-alone sequence or in conjunction with your website.

Needless to say, you should promote your book to your online list, and consider joint ventures with those people who are likely to already have your prospects on your list.

It’s very easy to publish book extracts on your blog and on article sites like If you then advertise these extracts with social media you’ll reach a larger audience.

What applies to teleseminars and webinars applies equally to podcasts. Podcasts are a complementary medium – you can podcast your teleseminar audios and your webinar videos.

And don’t forget other people’s podcasts, where you can offer extracts of your recordings to others in your field. You could even be interviewed by the podcast provider.

Membership Sites

You’ll have generated a large amount of material in writing your book. If you were to reformat it you probably have more than enough material to create a membership site.

This allows you to charge a monthly fee for access to your material.

Think of each chapter as a module of your membership site. For each chapter you could provide a pdf version of the chapter, a mind-map of it, an audio recording, possibly cut into chunks and short videos.

You could add exercises, surveys, questions for reflection – anything that will add value to the material you have already created.

Social Media

Social media can help create a buzz around your book launch and can also feed into other promotional channels.

The social media where you must have a presence for your book are Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and your blog. Depending on your market, LinkedIn may be relevant.

Consider setting up a Facebook Page (used to be called a Fanpage) dedicated to your book. Set up a YouTube Channel,if you don’t already have one.

Create a WordPress blog dedicated to promote your book where you can easily post blog entries, short videos and audios to help with your promotion.

Product Launches

Of course conventional publishers do launch and promote books. But although they do this for J K Rowling, don’t expect them to put any effort into launching your book unless you have agreed a specific book launch budget and what it will contain.

If you follow the guidelines laid out for internet marketing product launches pioneered by Jeff Walker, however, you can get a great deal of the effect while safeguarding your budget.

Conventional Advertising

Very much bottom of the pile is conventional or mass advertising. Conventional adverts are expensive and have a horribly low response rate.

The challenge is the relevance of your advert in a mass-market medium like a newspaper or a magazine.

While more targeted periodicals are a better bet, there is still the fact that conventional adverts are a scatter-gun approach where you really need a sniper’s rifle.

Using the direct marketing techniques that I’ve covered above can be much more effective. This is because they are targeted at your niche specifically, so the relevancy of your message is much higher.

Because the relevancy of your message is higher, it’s more likely to be read and acted upon. In other words, your promotion is much more likely to reach those people who are most receptive.

Pulling It Together

I’ve covered all the elements that are considered by conventional publishers for promoting your book. And I’ve added a number of others that are not well addressed by them.

Your book promotion strategy needs to be comprehensive – to be successful it should contain most of these elements. It also needs to be planned and co-ordinated to ensure that you reach your target market and find them receptive.

Finally, to be successful, your book promotion strategy should operate consistently over time – I suggest a period of 90 days for an integrated book promotion strategy.

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FCB celebrates AdFocus wins

It was a ‘good night out’ for FCB Africa and its agencies at the Financial Mail AdFocus Awards held on 23 November.
Not only did FCB Joburg take home the Large Advertising Agency of the Year award and Hellocomputer the Digital Agency of the Year trophy, FCB Africa CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Brett Morris, was named Agency Leader of the Year.

“It certainly was a night to remember,” said Morris. “I’m exceptionally proud of FCB Joburg and Hellocomputer. Both agencies and their teams worked very hard this year on their business and creative performance, and achieved much that benefited their clients’ and their clients’ brands. Both certainly deserved the accolade of agency of the year.

“The group’s performance over the past 12 months certainly contributed to the fact that I was honoured last night with the Agency Leader of the Year award.

“In my opinion, this award is as much a team award as it is an individual one, and so I thank everyone at FCB in Johannesburg and Cape Town, Hellocomputer and 1886 who got behind me this year and made our business soar.”

FCB Joburg leads first-ever Pendoring official ranking

FCB Joburg, the largest full-service agency within the FCB Africa group, has taken pole position on the first-ever Pendoring official ranking table with a total of 56 points while its sister agency, FCB 1886, placed in seventh position with 25 points. FCB Cape Town, with 11 points, just missed a position in the top 10 ranked agencies.
The ranking was created by the organisers of Pendoring 2016 and uses the Cannes Advertising Festival ranking as a guideline. This is a points-based methodology for shortlisted agencies (two points), Silver (five points), Gold (eight points) and overall winners of the Prestige and Umpetha Awards.

FCB Joburg’s haul included one of the only eight Gold Pendorings awarded to professional agencies on the night for a newspaper campaign in Afrikaans for Toyota ‘Hilux’tjie’ and added six of the 29 Silver trophies to its haul, making it the most awarded agency in terms of Silver.

Here its wins included several in the newspaper advertising category – NetFlorist ‘A War of Words’ (Afrikaans and Sotho), Toyota ‘Bad Parts’ (Afrikaans and Zulu) and Lexus Multi Terrain ‘Directions’ (Zulu); a Silver in the online & mobile advertising/social media & email marketing category for Toyota ‘Rampartytjie’; and two Craft Silvers – one for writing and one for music & sound design for NetFlorist ‘A War of Words’ (Afrikaans and Sotho).

FCB 1886 and FCB Cape Town also took Silver in the newspaper advertising category – FCB 1886 for Cell C’s campaign ‘Lugtyd-oordrag’ (Afrikaans) and FCB Cape Town for BMW Motorrad (Afrikaans) while FCB 1866 two Craft Silvers – both for writing – for Cell C ‘Lugtyd-oordrag’ (Afrikaans) and Lexus ‘Stiller Kajuit’.

“We’re nearing the end of the year and what a good one it’s been for FCB, both creatively and on the new business front,” said Group CEO and Chief Creative Officer Brett Morris.

“This latest outing comes after a sterling performance at the 2016 Loerie Awards, especially for FCB Cape Town and Hellocomputer whose ‘Testi-monials’ campaign for Cancer South Africa notched up a total of six awards including three Golds,” he said.

In addition, FCB Africa claimed the Robyn Putter Award for the third consecutive year at the 18th annual Sunday Times Top Brands awards function – making its fifth Robyn Putter Award in total – with 32 points. The agencies placing second and third achieved 18 and 17 points respectively.

“Altogether, these make for an exciting 12 months for the group and its clients; I’m very pleased with the creative momentum we’ve been able to achieve,” Morris added.