Friday, April 13, 2012

[Book Marketing Bestsellers] 20-Minute Book Marketing: 16 Markets 4yr Books plus others via @johnkremer

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20-Minute Book Marketing: 16 Markets for Your Books

Doug BoltonHere are a few of the venues and markets Doug Bolton has used to sell his self-help book, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.

Note: These are based on notes I took during Doug's appearance on my 20-Minute Book Marketing Podcast series at

1. County Fairs - There are county fairs in the fall. You will need to pay a table fee, but you could go to every fair a county may have plus the state fair. I sold 26 books at my state fair last year.

2. Holiday Bazaars - At holiday time you could have a table at the many bazaars that are held. Again there will be a table fee, but you should sell many more books than needed to cover that cost. You can do the same with summer craft fairs.

3. Beauty Salons - The beauty salon is probably the most unusual. My wife has been going to the same hair dresser for many years. I lost my main barber, so I started going to her hair dresser to get a hair cut. I liked her work so I kept going. We became very good friends. When my book came out I told her about it. She bought one, and loved it. I then approached her about trying to sell it in her shop. We both thought it was stretching it a little. She decided to do it. I sold 23 books in one month there, because she loved the book. She told every costumer about it as she did their hair. A built-in sales lady with a trapped costumer!

4. Wineries - Many wineries have small gift shops in their wine tasting areas. I went to a local winery where I knew the owner. He was happy to let me place my book in his shop. I sold 7 books out of there (I still have books there). He also let me set-up a table during his Mother's Day brunch. I sold 7 more copies at that event. Then we put together a signing there, and I sold 13 more books there. A total of 27 books at one winery. Of course you have to be where there are wineries, but don't pass them up if you have them near. They are great outlets.

5. Private Mail Depots - They are places you can take your mail and boxes to be shipped. I have one only a mile away, and I used it for years to do my shipping. When my book came out, I approached them about selling it in their gift shop area. They agreed and I sold out of the first order in one month. I am now working on putting in a separate stand with books in it.

6. Bookstore Chains - Contact the nearest Barnes & Noble store. They love to feature local authors. I sold 100 books at my local Borders before they closed down.

7. Local Independent Bookstores - There is a small chain here in Oregon and up in Washington called Rainbow West. I was able to get 16 copies of my books spread out to all of 6 stores. There is another single independent bookstore in town, and I sold books there as well.

8. Reviews - Another avenue that some authors pass up are reviews. You don't have to pay to have a review. When you get a great review, the person that did it tells others about it. I got three book orders from Indiana just because a local reviewer in a small town did a great review, and the people that knew her bought the book. I also display copies of my reviews at signings.

Signs of Hope9. Gift Shops - I am blessed to live near the Oregon coast, a haven for gift shops of all kinds. There is one town called Cannon Beach that has twenty gift shops in it. You can spend a day at one of these towns and do very well. Don't expect big orders. Gift shops will only want a couple of your books, but give them your card and mark on it how they can order more.

10. Drugstores - Independent pharmacies are a good outlet as well. They all have gift shops.

11. Doctor's Offices - I have sold books in chiropractor offices, dentist offices, my primary doctor's office. You won't be able to place them in a clinic that has several doctors, but if you have a private doctor, and he/she is open to letting you place a free book in his/her waiting room, you could do very well. I sold 5 at my own dentist office recently. They have three of my books at all times, and one free one in the waiting room. I get a call every once and while that they need more copies.

12. Churches - Talk to your own church about doing a talk and then sell your book afterwards. You should offer to give a percentage to the church. Then if this works, call all the churches in your area to see if you can do the same at their church.

13. Organizations - If you belong to any organization, see if they will let you have a table at any of their meetings. I sold books at a state meeting of retired teachers.

14. Consignment Shops - Consignment shops usually will put your books on sale. If you have a local Women's Assistance League in you town, talk to them about placing your books in their gift shop. I did that in my home town and sold 16 books there. You will have to expect a 40% share for them if you do a consignment.

15. Colleges - OSU bookstore has a section featuring books from authors who have graduated there. I just came up with another unusual way to sell books.

16. Coffee Clatches - You remember those when political people would had them in homes? Mine would be done during the summer and be outdoor events. You just need to find the right people to hold them on their property. It would need to have an area tat is big enough to hold up to a 100 people. Refreshments and snacks should be provided.

I am still looking for other new ways to sell. Anyone reading this guest post, please leave comments about any special markets you have found to sell your books. Thanks!

About the Author

Doug Bolton is the author of  Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World. Check out his book at

You can read his blog at His blog has over 11,000 followers and continues to grow by 40 or more followers every day. The secret to these numbers? As Doug notes, "The secret is posting everyday, and having great content."

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Do You Waste Time and Money on Useless Book Marketing?

Guest post by Jan Bear

For many authors, book marketing is overwhelming and exhausting. Experts tell authors how to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest; and then there's blogging and guest blogging, participating in Goodreads, answering questions at forums, blog commenting. And that's not even to mention all the offline promotion.

On top of that, reliable sources say that your best marketing for this book is your next book.

The array of options is dizzying, and your time is limited. The truth is, any of those methods can work - for the right audience. And none of them will work for the wrong audience.

Target Marketing Is the Key

The principle of finding and meeting the right audience is at the heart of restoring sanity to your book marketing efforts. In marketing circles, it's called target marketing, and it involves finding the people who are most likely to want your book, and speaking directly to them. Once you know your target market, the rest of your decisions fall into place.

Choosing Your Book's Topic

Target Marketing for AuthorsThe best time to start thinking about your audience is before you write your book. Knowing your audience can help you find an unmet need that your book can answer. If you're a doctor writing about diabetes, you may find out that there are many books about adult-onset diabetes but not enough about juvenile -- or vice versa.

Target marketing can tell you if the audience will support the effort you're planning to put into writing the book. If only a small audience shares your passion for the Atlantic hagfish, you may not want to devote years of effort on a massive exploration of its beauties, but instead write a short ebook to start building awareness and an audience.

Writing Your Book

Once you've chosen your topic, knowing your audience can help you write a more successful book.

If you're writing fiction, how you tell the story depends on who you're talking to. Children or adults? Science fiction or romance fans? People familiar with your setting or someone who has never been there? If you keep your audience in view, you'll help them enter into the story you're telling.

If you're writing nonfiction, knowing your audience will solve similar questions, such as how well versed they are in your topic and how much -- if any -- jargon to use. If you're writing to an audience reading English as a foreign language, you'll want to cut down on the idiomatic expressions, such as "Elvis has left the building." If you're writing to a hyperlocal audience, you might want to use the dialect of the people you're talking to.

Designing Your Website and Marketing Materials

If you know your target market, you can choose colors, images and fonts that make sense to them, make them feel at home. You will help them see you as one of themselves and view you as a trusted authority.

People are reading these nonverbal signals all the time - on the cover of your book, when they arrive at your website, when they pick up a promotional postcard at a book fair. They're asking, "Is this for me?" and they make that decision very quickly, before they've even had a chance to think about it.

You want to make sure you connect with your people, because otherwise the right ones won't see your book, and the wrong ones will be disappointed (and give bad reviews) if they read it.

Finding Your Readers Online

Now that you know who your audience is, you can invest your time in social media wisely. If your book is business-to-business, LinkedIn might be your best bet. If it's fiction, Goodreads will serve you better. You can use Twitter's search function to find your people on Twitter. The result is you're not talking about hours of browsing the social sites, but instead you can budget your time to get the best use out of it.

Meeting Your Audience Offline

When you know your audience, you can laser target your advertising and promotion efforts offline to make the most of your marketing budget. You can also find targeted audiences of people predisposed to like your work.

One woman, whose novel involved a beauty shop operator, set up a book signing in her hair dresser's salon. Another, whose murder mystery involved a racehorse, got a book signing at a horse racing arena and sold out all the hardbacks she took to the event.

By focusing on your audience, you can find where they congregate and get your book in front of them. So much easier than trying to scream loud enough to be heard by everybody. 

Finding Your Book's Target Audience

Finding your book's target market takes some thought and imagination -- but authors have plenty of that. By crafting your message to the people most receptive, you not only save time and money on your marketing budget, but you also save yourself from the unnecessary discouragement of having the wrong people saying, "No."

There's never been a book that "everybody" liked. Embrace that, and find your people. Speak to them in words and images that they relate to. You'll find that your book marketing -- and the next book's writing -- go much more smoothly. 

About the Author

Jan Bear helps authors build their online platform even if they don't have any experience producing for the web. She writes about book marketing at She is the author of a new book, Target Marketing for Authors, available at fine online booksellers.

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