A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
hear a lot of the same advice about book marketing and publicity. It’s very obvious what needs to be done. The question is how does one do these things
especially with limited time, money, desire, or knowledge?
best way to tackle this is to first take an overview of things. Start by identifying your short vs. long term
goals. Those goals will dictate your
priorities and help you schedule your time and allocate your resources
Short-term goals might be:
more copies of current book.
more presentations scheduled/book signings.
on social media to promote a book..
out to news media to seek reviews, interviews, byline article, guest-posts,
Long-term goals might be:
a stronger platform by increasing connections and followers on an expanded
number of social media sites.
lists of people to reach out to, introducing yourself.
your brand and author persona to help you sell future books.
with organizations, from non-profits and schools to businesses and churches, that
can expose you to more fans and readers.
look at all of the things you could be doing to market your book or brand and
you’ll realize that though there’s a lot of opportunity out there you must
narrow down what you’ll do, for how long, and at what cost. Just because you can do something doesn’t
mean that you should. Go for what will deliver the biggest payoff with the least
risk or investment.
You could do any-but not all-of the
1.Set up appearances
they be for free (church, school, non-profit)?
they provide an opportunity for book sales?
you get an increase in social media followers, testimonials for your marketing
materials, good experience that builds your resume, and a chance to share a
positive and powerful message?
you be paid or compensated for your appearance – perhaps at a conference,
before a company, or as a consultant?
you do book signings at bookstores or libraries?
you join a speakers’ bureau?
you attend events, whether free of charge or for a small fee, to have a chance
to mingle with people who can help you?
you join groups and organizations that help you expand upon or build a network
of professional connections \
you invest in growing as a writer by attending conferences, reading books, or
paying for online workshops?
you also seek to learn more about book marketing, subscribing to publications,
attending seminars, purchasing resources online, and hiring a consultant?
Twitter Linked In, You Tube, Instagram, Pinterest. Google+. For each one, consider your strategy to
develop profiles, engage others, increase connections, and build a fan
base. Will you blog regularly? Do you have a podcast? How much content can you create, share, and
convert into clicks, connections, and sales?
How often can you get others to interview you or talk about you vs. you
initiating the content?
television, newspapers and magazines.
They can turn your book into a best-seller. They also can be used to get you attention on
social media, such as when you share your TV appearance clip on social media,
on Facebook or Twitter. Create your
press kit, get media coaching, and reach out to targeted local, genre-specific,
or national – even international media, seeking reviews, feature stories,
news stories, panel discussions, interviews, byline articles, book excerpts, or
any type of exposure.
you advertise – and if so, where – online, print, or broadcast?
holding contests to doing mass giveaways, you can market your book to others.
Newsletters, webinars, skyping with book clubs, and joining forces with other
authors could give you a boost. Put
up a sign outside your house to promote your book. Hand out fliers by a mall parking lot. Cross promote someone else’s book, product or
service in exchange of them promoting you.
Net Galley, Amazon reviewers, and so many, websites offer opportunities for
book reviews. Will you make your digital
galley or printed book available, in a timely fashion, for review?
is a blend of social and traditional.
For instance, CNN.com would be digital media. So would HuffPost, Salon, and TheHill. Get people to cover you online. Be interviewed by bloggers, podcasters and
the websites of major media. Have video interviews with online TV outlets such
as Cheddar TV. Post press releases on
news wire services like PR Newswire or free wire services.
up your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, temple worshippers, bingo
players, and anyone you have ever come into contact with. Ask them to buy your book, post reviews,
follow you on social media and to pull favors to put you in front of anyone they know of who has some juice.
So what’s it gonna be?
overwhelmed and do nothing?
to do everything but not excel at anything?
on the short-term and long-term in a balanced manner?
others to help in areas you suck in?
author-turned-marketer can accomplish a lot – and will need to in order to
compete with the 3,500 new books flooding the marketplace daily. Take a smart, balanced approach and utilize
others to share in the plan. Good luck!
The All-New 2018
Toolkit to Promote a Book -- 7th annual edition
The Bridge of the Golden Wood: A Parable on How to Earn a Living
About the Book: Selected for Vermont’s elementary school
career/financial literacy curriculum. “5 stars. A clever storyteller …
colorfully illustrated. … A very educational resource.” - Jane Hills Orford for
Readers' Favorite. A child with a knack for solving problems helps some
hungry fish and finds a treasure. Illustrated Asian folk tale teaches the value
of work and includes career and business ideas plus online resources. Young
children will be captivated by the story; older ones will want to apply the
things they learn (for ages 4+). 26 pages; 530 words in dyslexic-friendly font
by former Silicon Valley recruiter Karl Beckstrand; more than 20,000 downloads;
hard cover, soft cover and ebook; ISBN: 978-0985398811 via Baker & Taylor,
Follett, Ingram, GozoBooks.com, Target.com
1. What really inspired you
to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and
conveying it into a book? Seeing a lack of kids’ curriculum on how money is
made—how to earn a living. I used to be a recruiter in Silicon Valley; today’s
graduates don't seem as prepared for work as their parents. Many young people don’t
know that failure is normal and can nourish future success.
2. What is it about and whom do you
believe us your targeted reader? A boy with a knack for solving problems
helps some hungry fish and finds a treasure. I hope it helps bridge the gap
between what kids learn in school and what they need to know/do to succeed in
life. Vermont’s Office of Treasurer has selected it as part of their financial
3. What do you hope will be the
everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain
with them long after putting it down? That helping others/solving problems
gives us experience, ideas, and a good reputation.
4. What advice or words of wisdom do you
have for fellow writers? Join a writer’s group!
5. What trends in the book world do you
see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? I think
ebooks are becoming more interactive—even animated (I worry that this will be a
disincentive for reading).
6. What great challenges did you have in
writing your book? Organizing the lessons I had learned as a recruiter and
business owner. There are more tips and free curriculum at ChildrenEarn.com
7. If people can only buy one book this
month, why should it be yours? My book will empower them to buy all the
books they want in the future!
Karl Beckstrand is the bestselling and award-winning author of
19 multicultural/multilingual books and more than 50 ebook titles (reviews by
Kirkus, School Library Journal, The Horn Book’s blog, ForeWord
Reviews). Raised in San Jose, CA (he knows the secret to peeling avocados),
he has a B.A. in journalism from BYU, an M.A. in international relations from
APU, and a broadcast & film certificate from Film A. Academy. Since 2004 he
has run Premio Publishing. His survival western, To Swallow the Earth,
won a 2016 International Book Award. A college media instructor, Beckstrand has
presented to Taiwan’s Global Leadership for Youth, city and state governments,
festivals, and schools. His nationally lauded Y.A. stories, e-book mysteries,
nonfiction, ESL/ELL Spanish/bilingual books, and wordless, and STEM books
feature ethnically diverse characters—and usually end with a twist. His work
has appeared in: Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Costco,
Follett, iBooks, Ingram, Papercrafts Magazine, Target.com, The Congressional Record, Walmart.com, FB, Twitter, http://KarlBeckstrand.com, https://GozoBooks.com
The All-New 2018 Toolkit to Promote a
Book -- 7th annual edition
so writing doesn’t seem to pay. You spend hours
researching, writing, and editing. Then
you spend time trying to sell your writing to a magazine, website, or book
publisher. Then you spend time marketing
and promoting your work. Is there a way
to make a few bucks from being a writer?
right, act like a non-profit and ask people to give you money – like a tipping
jar. If you have a PayPal account you
can create a PayPal Donate button and embed it into your site.
people to pay for content as a subscriber, the way magazines or newspapers
would charge people. Use chargebee.com
or easydigiitaldownloads.com or woocommerce.com. You can share content on a regular basis – daily, weekly, monthly or
quarterly – or find a way to post content at your leisure but to charge in set
amounts for increments of time.
to charging for an e-book, you charge for an online course that could include
video, worksheets, podcasts, or written content. Some helpful sites include teachable.com,
bigmarker.com, zippycourseplugin.com, zoom.us, and gotomeeting.com/webinar.
4.Sell Your Work
can write for publication with magazines or sell your work as a freelancer to a
news organization -- or sell your book to a publisher.
a book or file and sell it online via a self-publisher like Amazon’s Create
Space. You can sell information products
through gumroad.com or ejunkie.com.
written materials as part of your one-on-one trainings with people. Let’s say
you write about losing weight. You can
consult a group or an individual and support your teachings with written
can offer to write a company or organization’s history-for-hire.
8.Write For Free
your writing to showcase your abilities, knowledge, and writing style -- give it
away -- with the hopes it lures paying customers for some service or bigger
you have a big enough online following you can charge for advertising to your
blog or website. To accept advertisers,
look into litbreaker.com or google.com/adsense.
can also use your writing to boost your credentials and visibility with the
hopes of using it to get hired, promoted, or as a lead-in to launching a
business. Being a good, prolific writer
should net you some greenbacks. In fact,
you can make money off of the writing of others. You can join a program that gives you
commissions on book sales (affiliate marketing). The biggest one is affiliate-program.Amazon.com.
go write your way to success!
The All-New 2018 Toolkit to Promote a Book -- 7th annual
1.As the CEO of OCLC,
the largest library organization of its kind, what mission are you on?
OCLC’s mission is one that it shares with its member libraries –
to advance knowledge sharing and accessibility around the world. We support
this shared mission by facilitating library collaboration – providing shared
services, fielding future-focused research and convening critical
conversations, allowing libraries to move further and faster by working
2.What is your new
book, The Book of Mistakes, about?
The Book of Mistakes: 9 Secrets to Creating
a Successful Future is the fictional tale of David, a young man who lives a
disheartening and stressful life. Everything changes when a mysterious young
woman enters David’s life and he goes on to meet nine people who have
discovered core truths for living a successful and rewarding life. The advice
and wisdom in this book is from a successful and wide-ranging leadership
career, from decades of studying leadership psychology, and formed from over
1,000 interviews with CEO’s, world leaders, sports legends, and bestselling
authors. It’s designed to help you overcome the common mistakes that hold
people back from becoming successful change agents and leaders. We often learn best
from others’ mistakes rather than their successes.
3.What mistakes do most
leaders and entrepreneurs make?
All nine of the mistakes can be pitfalls for leaders and
entrepreneurs, slowing progress and preventing achievement of all that’s
possible. Each one of the mistakes can be personal to the entrepreneur or can
be one that the entire team is struggling with. For instance, one of the
mistakes is surrounding yourself with the wrong people. That can be deadly to a
startup. Each individual in our lives can either fuel our engine or drain our
battery. Another one is to allow
temporary setbacks to become a permanent failure. Most entrepreneurs have
resilience and push through what stops others. That’s not usually the problem
for the dreamers. It is, however, often a problem for others on the team who
may be more easily discouraged. How to recognize it and not ignore it, but work
through it is important. I’ve also written a Leadership Guide to The Book of Mistakes with exercises to help
teams understand each other and perform at a higher level. It is available on
my website for those who pre-order the book.
4.What do you advise
they do to avoid such pitfalls?
I also will be
offering a fun assessment / test for each team member to take and compare with
others. Once we know our own proclivities, it helps us understand the team.
What to do must be customized to the situation, the individual, and the team.
5.What challenges did
you overcome when writing this book?
led to early discouragement by someone I respected. Is this worthy of sending
to an agent? Is this the book I want to start with? I had to overcome the curse
of knowledge because of my experience in book publishing. Then there’s the
negative title, which is usually not a good idea. Finally, I’ve had to learn to
ask for help. As a type-A, driven leader, I’m not always the best to admit when
I need that assistance. Marketing a book is completely different than writing
one. I knew I needed to ask many people to help me get the word out.
6.If someone can only
read one book this month, why should it be yours?
My hope is that this
book is entertaining, pulling you in to the story like a great fiction read and
yet leaving you with advice and actions to better your life. One of my early
readers was a mega-successful leader and he called me halfway through the book
to tell me he was making immediate changes in his business because of it. I was
floored. But that’s what I’m hoping for. It wasn’t my prescription, but it was
change prompted by principles in the book.
7.What advice do you
have for struggling writers?
If writing is your
dream, then no one can stop you from it because it’s in you. Some people are
wired for expression and writing is necessary to release the creative pressure
building up within. If you’re struggling, don’t do suffer alone. Find someone
who has been on this journey and seek counsel.
8.Where do you feel
book publishing is heading?
That’s a loaded and
expansive question and not one that I can answer easily in this space. I’ve
remained bullish about all things publishing. New technologies will continue to
expand opportunities while new targeted marketing techniques will improve an
author’s ability to reach a particular niche.
Prichard is an accomplished global CEO, growth-oriented business leader, and
keynote speaker. He is known for his track record of successfully repositioning
companies and dramatically improving results while improving the corporate
culture. Listed as a Top 100 Leadership Speaker by Inc. Magazine, he is a regular
keynote speaker on topics ranging from leadership and personal development to
corporate turnarounds and culture change. Harvard Business Review labeled him as a “standout example” of a social CEO and
labeled him a “relentless giver.” His Leadership Insights blog has received
numerous awards and he has interviewed hundreds of leaders from Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice to journalist Dan Rather to baseball great John Smoltz.
His views have been featured in print and broadcast media including the BBC,
the New York Times, CNN, NPR, the Daily Beast, Harvard Business Review, Information Today, the Bookseller, Publishers Weekly,Christian Retailing, and the Library Journal. He lives in Ohio
and Tennessee with his wife, Anita, and daughter, Joy.
The All-New 2018 Toolkit to Promote a Book -- 7th annual edition
media can be a huge time suck for authors seeking to promote a book, market
their brand, and build a large following.
If you don’t do it, you injure your career and ability to get your message
out, but when you tackle it you find yourself losing hours that could be used
for writing or more effective marketing efforts. But if you’re going to pursue social media, do
it wisely and do it well! Want to be an
Instagram star? Follow these 15 steps
and strategies and you will grow your connections, increase book sales, and
influence more people:
Post images that are personal,
interesting, original, and unique. Come
across as genuine, passionate, and authentic.
Geo tag your updated and uploaded photos
with a location. Perhaps others in that
location will be browsing photos of nearby places.
Follow random users in the “suggestions
for you” section. A certain number of
people that you follow will follow you back.
Those who don’t follow you can be unfollowed.
4.Have A Call To
Tell people what you want them to do with
your posts. Find clever and smart ways
to get others to share your stuff.
Use Instagram Auto Complete to find
relevant hashtags for your genre, industry, or area of expertise or use hash
tags – if relevant – that are popular, including #love, #cute, #photooftheday, or #followme.
6.Post On Sundays
The fewest number of images are posted on
Sundays, so posting on that day may give you less competition and more
7.Get Creative With
Try going for humor, irony, or
emotion. Be outrageous.
8.Ask Questions In
Engage people and challenge them. Invite lot of opinions.
9.Post At The Best
Traffic is highest on Thursdays and
engagement is highest between 5-6 pm. EST.
10.Host A Contest
They are easy to start and run-and coupled
with a strong image you’ll get attention.
11.Post Frequently-But Not Annoyingly
A few posts per day is perfect. If you do it too often people will tire of
you and if not often enough, people will
12.Like Or Comment On Others’ Photos
To attract attention, give attention to
13.Uses Filters And Apps
Make sure you use filters. Also use the “tag for likes” app.
14.Fill Out And Update Your Bio Completely
A good bio can be used to feature a call-to-action,
branded hashtags, and links, which go a long way to securing followers.
15.Follow And Unfollow Celebrities Frequently
You can find
followers on the follower lists of big-time celebrities, just following a few
hundred of the most recent followers on a given account. Follow up follow celebrities repeatedly,
allowing you to keep your name at the top of the “recent followers” list. This ploy really works!
all else fails, you can buy followers, but I don’t advocate for that. But if Instagram is not your thing, try
Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, You Tube, and any of the other zillion platforms
The All-New 2018 Toolkit to Promote a
Book -- 7th annual edition