Ah, marketing. The biggest fear of many writers. And my favorite part of my day job! I’m hoping this will help you feel a little more informed and confident the next time you have to tackle it for your own work.
Below, you’ll see what we did for my client’s book* and, tomorrow, I’ll cover some of my do-it-yourself tips.
Executive summary - An 8-page summary of the book's highlights in an easy-to-read design.
Key messaging document - WHY should readers pay attention to this book.
Lessons learned document – WHAT will readers take away from this book.
PowerPoint slides featuring the book – We added these slides to the end of presentations my client was already giving, so that audiences were aware of the book’s upcoming release.
Swag – A simple two-sided flyer used as a handout at the events and presentations my client was already booked for during the months leading up to the launch.
Cover letters – We did one for each specific audience we wanted to reach: media, industry leaders, legislators, and business experts. It was geared toward their specific reasons for being interested in the book.
Cover blurbs – In our case, we got blurbs from several prominent industry leaders. For fiction, blurbs are usually from other authors.
Media lists – We developed extensive lists of book reviewers and reporters at large daily newspapers, trade magazines and blogs.
Online interest form – We posted info about the book on my client’s website about two months before it released. Visitors could put their name down on an “advance list” if they were interested in receiving the book once it came out.
News release – We wrote and distributed an official announcement release about the book – this went out to the media a few weeks in advance. We also were in touch with media contacts and bloggers ahead of this, to make sure they were primed to talk about the book.
Tweets – We suggested several tweets and hashtags for our client to use on release day and in the weeks following to maintain a good buzz for the book.
Author interviews – Our client did a handful of short video segments – no more than 2 minutes each – talking about his book, why he’d decided to write it, and what he hoped readers got out of it.
Amazon author page – We developed an Amazon author page for our client before the release of his first book. For this launch, we made sure it was up-to-date. The page is automatically linked to his blog and website.
*Same disclaimer: This is just one particular example of a book launch. I’m not an agent or a publicist, and all my advice is based only on my personal experience. I’m sure there are many, many different ways to go about this – these ideas are simply what worked in this particular situation.