Wednesday’s book marketing tip for authors
Shell Horowitz’s Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers provides qualified marketing advice for authors before and after their book’s publication date.
Based on the author’s decades of publishing and marketing experience, as well as stories and comments contributed by numerous experienced authors, Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers offers quick access to ideas not available elsewhere.
Grassroots Marketing deserves attention, regardless whether an author is self-publishing their book or going with a trade publisher.
Grassroots Marketing’s organization
One of its best features is its organization. Its 4 sections describe marketing in the order that authors should address them–regardless who prints and distributes their book. (Notice the logical sequence described below, and ask yourself if the “before, during, and after” sequence couldn’t help you organize your own book.)
Part 1: Creating a marketable book
Marketing should begin well before a book’s publication date, although this point rarely receives the attention it gets in Grassroots Marketing.
1. The Marketing Plan–and Marketing Stunts
2. Publish Traditionally, Self-Publish, or Subsidy Publish?
3. Endorsements, Reviews, and Awards.
As in later chapters, the above chapters contain numerous stories and examples that illustrate important ideas. Authors can use the examples as templates to jumpstart their book marketing activities.
Part II. Publicity
Many first-time authors try to graft publicity onto previously published books. This usually meets with expensively obtained, but mediocre results. Publicity doesn’t happen overnight, but should take place while the book is being written.
4. Personal Networking
5. Build Your Website(s)
7. Attract Attention Elsewhere Online
8. Hook in the Traditional Media
9. How to Give Great Interviews
Of particular importance is Shel’s description of the long lead times needed to attract magazine reviews. In addition, Chapter 8, Google, provides a handy mini-guide to the many services, beyond searches, that authors can profitably employ.
Part III. Get Into–And Out of–Bookstores and Libraries
This section provides an excellent grounding in how an author’s distribution choices influence their book’s short term and long term profitability.
10. Understand the Bookstore System
11. Succeed in Bookstores, Libraries, and Other Retail Venues
12. Amazon and other Online Bookstores
Part IV. Advanced Marketing
Having covered the basics, in this section, Shel Horowitz takes an in-depth look at the specialized marketing activities, such as in-person and Internet marketing. As before, he frequently augments his advice with stories describing his personal experiences marketing his previous books.
13. Speak to Sell
14. Trade Shows and Book Fairs
15. Affiliate and Joint-Venture Marketing
16. Advertising and Direct Mail
17. Sell Rights, Extend the Brand, Make Profits
This section, in particular, goes beyond many other book marketing books and provides information that can take authors to the next level. I was particularly interested in his advice for authors considering attending (or exhibiting at) trade shows and other events.
Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers concludes with 17 pages of annotated online and offline resources.
Is it for you?
I can’t think of anyone else who could have written Shel Horowitz’s Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers because few share his practical experience or his willingness to share the details of what he’s learned.
One of Shel’s earlier books was Principled Profit: Marketing that Puts People First. In it, he described what he called the “magic triangle” of honesty, integrity, and quality.
Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers is an excellent example of those qualities wedded to Shel’s years of experience writing, publishing, and speaking.