Book Marketing 105: Choosing a Book Distribution System - This vital mini-guide includes criteria for deciding how you will distribute your books. Also includes complete information on 30 distributors, 4 library distributors, 89 book publishers who also distribute for other publishers, 3 sales representatives to the chains, 27 bookstore wholesalers, 34 library wholesalers, and 23 Spanish-language wholesalers. Plus a sample book distribution contract. Ebook download, $30.00.
Top 700 Independent Bookstores - This database features 740 stores with address, book buyer, owner, event coordinator, phone, fax, email, website, and more! Cost: $40.00. This data file features an updated list of the largest indie bookstores that work with authors and buy books from indie publishers. The report comes as a data file download (your choice of Microsoft Access, Excel, or rich text format). The data files do require that you know how to use a database or word-processing program.
More great quotes at http://www.quotablebooks.com
The Art of Living: Artists, Poets, Photographers, Architects, Designers, Cartoonists, Writers, Novelists, and Critics on Art and Life: http://amzn.to/ccAJh8
The Business of Life: Business people and others on life, business, careers, the workplace, economics, investments, jobs, money, and more: http://amzn.to/bXp3Pd
How to Act: Advice on How to Live and Act from Actors, Models, Comedians, Directors, Producers, Playwrights, and Screenwriters: http://bit.ly/bJnqvz
In this issue . . .
- Some clever retellings of old stories
- 5-Minute Marketing Tips
- Specialty retailers
- Tweets you can use
- Q&A - How to find the size of the market for a book?
- Rewriting a news release for greater news value and impact
- Parenting magazine wants your story!
"Just a note to thank you for all your tips, resources, and advice. My book, We: How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement, just hit the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller lists. I really appreciate all you've taught me over the years." - Kevin Kruse, http://www.wethebook.com (Check out the Media Kit on his website, a good example of a kit.)
Some clever retellings of old stories
In the past few weeks, I've seen several promotions for old stories that are getting a new life via retelling:
1. Adams Media offered a free ebook for Valentine's Day: Pride & Prejudice: The Wild and Wanton Edition by Jane Austen and Michelle Pillow. It's a retelling of the classic novel with a lot more heat (i.e., sex). As they noted in their release, "Darcy is as passionate and intense with his knickers off as he is with them on--and that the ebullient Elizabeth is as saucy disrobed as clothed."
2. There's a new movie about Red Riding Hood, a thrilling retelling of the simple fairy tale as a werewolf movie. It's so obvious, given all the werewolf and vampire movies and books that have been releaased in the past ten years. I wish I had thought to write that screenplay. It looks like a far more exciting movie than the fairy tale I read as a child.
You don't have to retell an old story to create excitement, but it certainly doesn't hurt. Bible stories, fairy tales, classic novels are all embedded in our current culture. You can use those stories to make your book better or to promote your book via our common cultural heritage.
5-Minute Marketing Tips
Here are a few more ways that you can make use of a spare five minutes anytime during your work day, leisure time, breaks, or standing-in-line times. There are some great ideas here. Be sure to read all of them.
=> Create a Hangman word game for your book. The idea here is that as the author, you will create a fun word game targeted at your audience. For example, if you have written a romantic novel set in Paris, you can make a hangman game that revolves around famous restaurants in Paris. Or if you’ve written a thriller, you may want to create a hangman game based on a popular book in your genre. Or if you’ve written a book on pirates in the Caribbean, you can create a game that asks your audience to identify some famous Caribbean islands. You can then create a Fun Stuff page on your blog or website and put up the Hangman game there. Click here to see an example of how one author - Chetan Dhruve is marketing his book through a Hangman word game.
Anybody can create any number of Hangman games using http://www.freado.com/hangman. To create a Hangman game, click on Create Your Own Game, add in the words and hints (which you might want to prepare before you click on Create Your Own Game). After you create a game, you will find the “embed code” for the game. Simply copy this code and paste it on your blog or website. You can create a game in five minutes if you know the words and clues you want to use. - Vikram Narayan, www.bookbuzzr.com
=> Embed your book trailer inside a forum/message board page, not just the link to it. Then, when the members click on your topic, it automatically plays. I saw my sales go up 300% when I did this for a message board with my target market. - Jeff Rivera, www.GatekeepersPost.com
=> At book signings I ask for names and e-mail addresses of buyers so that I might alert them to my upcoming books. I get about 40% of buyers who say “yes.” - Jim Misko, www.jimmisko.com
=> Also at book signings I ask if they belong to a book club. If they do, I suggest that I come to their meeting, talk about my books, sell them there—at full retail—and come back the next month to discuss the book. It is well received and their snacks are top notch. At my last book signing at Costco, I sold 74 books in two days, got 17 names for future book notices, and contacts from three book clubs. If the book clubs follow through, I'll generate another 30 to 60 book sales. - Jim Misko (Note: Jim has sold 200 books in five days of book signings at his local Costco.)
Alert - I'm writing a short book of 5-Minute Marketing Tips. I'd love to hear from you on 5-minute actions you've taken that helped you sell books, set up a media booking, connect with a blogger, get a great testimonial, etc. Email me with your stories and 5-minute tips at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll share some of the best tips and stories in future issues of this newsletter.
Here are a few more specialty retailers who sell books, CDs, and DVDs, among other things:
Dig Gardens, 420 Water Street, Santa Cruz, California 95060; 831-466-3444. Email: email@example.com. Web: http://www.diggardensnursery.com. Books on gardening, interior design, backyard farming. Also some book signings and workshops.
Flora Grubb Gardens, Flora Grubb, Proprietor, 1634 Jerrold Avenue, San Francisco, California 94124; 415-626-7256 and 415-648-2670. Web: http://www.floragrubb.com. Gardening books as well as book signings, book launches, and workshops.
Little Bookworms, Heidi Allwood, 8111 Lakewood Main Street #103, Bradenton, Florida 34202; 941-907-3808. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: http://www.littlebookworms.net. Books for children through young adults.
Molbaks, 13625 NE 175th Street, Woodinville, Washington 98072; 425-483-5000. Email: email@example.com. Web: http://www.molbaks.com. This home and garden center features books on gardening, pets, home decor, an dmore. Also book signings and other workshops.
St. Francis Bookstore, 135 West 31st Street, New York, New York 10001; 212-736-8500, ext. 324; Fax: 212-594-6025. Web: http://www.stfrancisnyc.org/bookstore.htm. Catholic and religious titles.
Tweets you can use
There are some great book marketing lessons and tips included within these short tweets.
=> Facebook can shut you down with no recourse: http://www.emarketingandcommerce.com/article/facebooks-three-fatal-flaws
=> Mobile App Development services - http://www.bookmarket.com/mobileapps.htm
=> If you want an accounting of your worth, count your friends. - Merry Browne - http://www.quotablebooks.com/business.htm
=> RT @problogger - How to Write Great Blog Content http://ow.ly/3SOeO
=> Curious: I can't find Robert's last name anywhere on the home page of http://www.richdad.com. Very odd. He's losing a branding opportunity.
=> According to Glamour, 12% of married adults met their spouses online. The other 88% met somebody else’s spouse online. - Jay Leno #funny
=> Book printers: http://www.bookmarket.com/101print.htm
=> Book Marketing tips and resources: http://www.bookmarket.com. Of course, I'm biased since I created that website.
=> Looking for magazines that review creative fiction? See http://www.bookmarket.com/magazines-fiction.htm - Also poetry books.
Follow more of John's tweets at http://twitter.com/johnkremer
Q&A - How to find the size of the market for a book?
Question: I'm writing an Alzheimer's memoir and will need to convince an agent there's a market for this type of book. To demonstrate there's a market, about how many copies do you think some similar memoirs have to have sold?
John's Answer: Your best bet is to ask the publisher of similar memoirs. They should know the number of books they sold for any title they publish. You could also ask your local independent bookseller for the titles of their bestselling Alzheimer memoirs (but you won't get complete numbers from them).
Do you know of any other Alzheimer memoirs? If you can provide the bookseller or publisher with actual related titles, you'll have a better chance of finding memoirs that sold well.
To demonstrate a market to another publisher, similar memoirs would have had to sell at least 10,000 copies, but 50,000 or 100,000 would be better.
Of course, the key to any memoir selling (no matter the topic) is how well it is written. Does it tell a good story? Is it hard to put down?
All the numbers in the world won't tell you or a potential publisher if your memoir will sell. But if you tell a great story, some publishers should be interested in publishing your book. Remember: A great memoir has to read like a great novel.
Rewriting a news release for greater news value and impact
Below is part of a rewrite I did for a recent news release:
Is It Morning in America Again? Will Big Wave Surfers Save Us in the New Innovation Economy?
New Book tells how and why to spot the Next Big Waves of Innovation…
Eden Praire, MN, ..February 10, 2011-“The economy.” Even the very words strike fear in the heart of anyone who watches the nightly news broadcasts. Questions like – When will it recover? And what will it take to pull out of this nose-dive? – are frequently a topic of conversation among nervous business professionals.
But the real truth is that many of the Fortune 500 companies that are in the technology business today were launched in a recession or bear market!
Surfing the big wave of rapid technology change is the real HOPE for a thriving economy, and the hope for the future.
Big Wave Surfing: Extreme Technology Development, Management, Marketing & Investing by Kenneth J. Thurber, Ph.D is the must-have book with the insights needed to succeed in today’s current economy!
Note: The rest of the news release focused on the book, not the problem or the solution.
Will Big Wave Surfers Save Us from the Failed Economy?
Eden Praire, MN, February 10, 2011 - “The economy.” Even the very words strike fear in the heart of anyone who watches the nightly news broadcasts. When will it recover? And what will it take to pull out of this nose-dive?
Surfing the big wave of rapid technology change is the only real HOPE for a thriving economy, and the key hope for the future. The truth is that many Fortune 500 companies in the technology business today were launched in a recession or bear market.
"The US is 27th worldwide in educational performance right now," notes Ken Thurber, author of Big Wave Surfing, Extreme Technology Development, Management, Marketing and Investing. "This country is on a slippery precipice and how we deal with rapid technological change will determine if we ever get out of this economic downturn."
"Manufacturing in this country has sailed," says Thurber. "We'll need to grab onto our best and our brightest - the big wave surfers who create technology."
Like the physical surfers who ply the big waves at a beach, it won't always be pretty. "There will be winners. There will be wipeouts and losers. But if we don't boldly embrace the next wave, the innovation economy, then profound structural changes will occur in American society."
Note: After the news copy, we included info about the author and a website link to find out more about the book. In my rewrite, the book is mentioned only once - as a credibility builder for the author being quoted. I also included three quotes because you can make stronger statements in your news release when you include them within quotes than you can with plain old sentences.
The old headline (actually two headlines) focused on the book. The new headline focuses on the book's theme and the failed economy. More reporters want to write about failed economies than those who want to write about new innovation economies. Just a fact of life. The failed economy is news; the new innovation economy is simply speculation.
When you write news releases, don't focus on your book. Focus on the problem your book solves. That's possible to do even with novels. Novels solve the problem of boredom by providing a thrilling or sexy or mystery-bending read.
If you'd like me to critique your news release, check out http://www.newsreleasecritiques.com.
Parenting magazine wants your story!
You'll have to act fast on this information. Indeed, it might already be too late. The February issue of Parenting magazine calls for readers to answer this question: What makes you a good mother?
If you can tell them what makes you a good mother in 75 words or LESS, they want to feature your great story in their Mother's Day issue. Send us the reasons you stand out, especially the quirky, surprising stuff, and we'll make it a point to celebrate the heck out of, well, you! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note their one key tip - which is true for many of the stories all media like to feature: especially the quirky, surprising stuff. The media love quirky. They love surprising. They love differences. They love new stuff.
If a child is to keep alive her inborn sense of wonder, she needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with her the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in. - Rachel Carson