8 Powerful Book Marketing Tips

The Success Margin

Sunday, September 17, 2006

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Today, with the advent of the Internet, it’s easier, faster and more economical than ever to become a successful author and self-publisher.

Here are 8 profitable tips for you.

  1. Create a “killer” book title.

    Think of your title as a headline for your book. Your title must be so powerful were it a headline for a news article, everyone would want to read it. Most authors spend three months to two years writing their book and 20 minutes on the title.

    Don’t do it! Your book will simply not sell unless your title is absolutely irresistible.

    I write a large number of titles (as many as 217) before selecting the final one.

    Conversely, I’ve changed the titles of several failed books for myself and clients and turned losers into winners. (Sometimes a single word makes all the difference.)

  2. Examples:

    (a) First title (flop): How to Get Out If You Are in Over Your Head

    New title (winner):How to Get Out of Debt

    (b) First title (flop): Complete Asset Protection Guide

    New title (winner):How to Make Yourself Judgment Proof

    (c) First title (flop): The Mysterious Causes of Illness

    New title (winner):The Mysterious Causes and Cures of Illness

    (d) First title (flop): Do-It-Yourself Incorporation

    New title (winner):How to Form Your Own Corporation Without a Lawyer For Under $75

    Tip: Don’t be afraid to completely change the title of a book that is not successful. This move could make a huge difference.

  3. Do the work once–collect royalties forever.

    As is known by people who are very rich, the best kind of income is passive income. Royalties of a hot book are even more attractive than other forms of passive income such as rents, interest,and dividends.

    As a self-publisher, I urge you not to emulate what I call conventional publishers. They treat books like fashion statements, often attempting to tie them into a short-term trend. I feel this is a big mistake and a poor strategy.

    Instead, prepare your books in such a way the information is timeless and not dated. The end result is that you can market the book and collect royalties, the ultimate form of passive income forever. Plus, you’ll undoubtedly get far more fame, respect and personal satisfaction from being the author of a successful book.

  4. Publish both electronic and hardcover editions of your book.

    Most internet publishers do not publish hardcover editions of their books. I submit this is a lost opportunity.

    Of course, it’s simpler, easier and cheaper initially to just offer electronically delivered books.

    However, you’ll miss huge potential sales. There is a big market of book lovers who are satisfied only with a bound, hardcover book. And you can easily arrange for product fulfillment if you don’t want to handle this yourself.

    In addition, you can significantly increase the marketing opportunities for your book in a variety of ways. These include bookstores, wholesalers, libraries, radio and TV talk shows and personal appearances.

    Finally, you may be able to sell the rights to your book to a major publisher for a nice six- or seven-figure sum once you demonstrate success. (I’ve been offered many such deals
    but normally prefer to keep the rights myself.)

  5. Hire a professional designer to create a great book cover.

    No doubt you’ve bought books online or through the mail that simply look awful. They tend to look like some Rube Goldberg product. Don’t make the mistake of sending a valued customer a book that isn’t every bit as good or better than from a large major publisher.

    Your e-books also deserve a professionally designed cover (you can use the same design for e-books and hard or soft-cover books).

    Hire a graphic designer experienced with books.Of course, you should like and respect their work.The task involves designing the front cover, spine and back cover.

    Tip: Make sure the typeface for the title is large enough to be read, even in a postage stamp size.This is important in your advertising. See my product page at www.tednicholas.com for examples.

  6. Send out lots of review copies.

    One of the best investments you can make is your investment in review copies. If reviewers write a review of your book (especially if they love it!), you’ll gain lots of sales. Plus, you can quote their reviews in publicity for your book.

    I recommend sending at least 200 to 1000 copies to reviewers.

    A simple way to get reviewers’ attention is to pre-print your address on the envelope and also the words “New Book–Review Copy.” Plus, you can save postage money by sending your books via Bulk Rate.

  7. Speak and grow rich.

    If you can overcome the number one fear many humans have of public speaking, you can markedly increase your success and your income. Don’t worry. Most people have stage fright, so you are not alone.

    You can gain speaking opportunities quite easily simply by having an interesting book subject as well as title and speaking before groups free.

    If people like your talk, many attendees will buy your book.

    Contact local business groups such as Rotary,Kiwanis, Lions, Chamber of Commerce, women’s clubs, etc. Organizations are always looking for interesting speakers like you.

    If you make a commitment to yourself to speak at every opportunity, you’ll become a very person in every way.

    Speaking Tips:

    — Join Toastmasters. It’s a great way to improve speaking skills.

    — Don’t stand behind a podium, as do 99% of speakers. It is a psychological barrier. Remove the podium or stand next to it. Move about the stage.

    — Speak from your heart. People will listen and be moved by your message.

    — Smile. Don’t look so serious.

    — Prepare yourself well and you’ll overcome most of your stage fright.

    — Make eye contact with each person in the room. (Don’t look above the audience as do many nervous speakers.)

  8. Prepare an effective business card and talk with people.

    Nearly everyone passes out their business card.

    But, in my view the biggest wasted marketing opportunity you can ever have is to pass out a typical business card. Most are dull, boring, quickly forgotten and tossed.

    If you do just two simple things your personal success will dramatically improve.

    a. Create a dynamic business card
    b. Talk with people

    To create a memorable business card that really captures attention, be sure to take these steps:

    — Print on a glossy white card stock. Use no other color.

    — Put a professional color photo of yourself on the card. You thus will not be forgotten.

    — Create a personal USP for yourself and print it under your name. Mine is “I teach people how to turn words into money.”

    — Don’t waste the back of the card. Print on the back the names of your leading products and services.

    — Include your website, e-mail and street address, telephone and fax numbers.

    When traveling, or in any appropriate social or business party, meeting or visit with any club or group, people will almost always ask what business or profession you are in. Undoubtedly, you also do this yourself.

    Never say you are, for example, an author, in the publishing business. Or a lawyer, doctor, retailer, etc. Instead, state your USP. Unless the person to whom you are speaking is shy or unassertive, he/she will inevitably ask questions about your work.

    I’ve sold a surprisingly large volume of books, tapes and other products and services over the years in everyday conversations in social or business situations. So will you if you just talk with people about your passion in life, which should be reflected in your USP.

  9. Send free books to radio and TV shows.

    Contrary to popular belief, it’s easy to get on major TV and radio shows if you approach them correctly. And it’s a great way to sell books.

    The following simple technique has gotten me hundreds of media appearances on national radio and TV shows including Oprah Winfrey, Don Imus, John Gambling, Regis Philben, Maury Povich, Tom Snyder, etc. And don’t neglect regional or local shows, which can also be great marketing opportunities. And many shows on the radio can be done by telephone without traveling or leaving your office.

    An effective technique is to contact major shows in this way. Send them 20 free copies of your book. Include a letter, either from you as the author, or a publicist. While you can
    make the contact yourself, it’s even more effective if coming from your representative as this is how the shows are normally approached.

    The letter should also suggest that a copy be given to their colleagues, receptionist, camera people and other employees with a note from you, the author, to this effect: “Once you read my book, I guarantee that you’ll want me on your show!”

    Remember. Be persistent. Be sure to follow up the radio and TV stations and your bookings will dramatically increase.

    In my view, for so many reasons information publishing is the world’s best business. And even if it’s not your main business, information products (especially as free gifts) have been proven to increase the sales of any product or service you now offer.

Isn’t it about time you, too, became an information publisher?

As always, here’s to your increased success margin.

Your correspondent,

Ted Nicholas