June 11, 2008
How Many Bookmarks And Personalized Pencils Make A Best Seller? None!! | printable version
Yesterday, after work, while flipping through the mail, you find a postcard from Author Anne. It's a pretty postcard. It shows her book cover on one side, and has a brief description of the book on the other. But, you receive marketing postcards everyday...and you can't pick up the book and thumb through it. You're not online right now so you can't click to read more about the book. You leave it on the counter and forget about it. Later, you use it to push some crumbs into the sink and then you throw it away.
A few minutes later, your first grader comes in with a shiny new pencil he received from "a nice lady at school." On the pencil is the name of a new children's book. You say, "Oh, what a pretty new pencil!" You put it back in his backpack and turn to fix his after-school snack.
Later, you're online looking for romance novels (your weakness), and end up reading an excerpt ) from The Diary of Castaways Island by Tiarie Vaughn-Lazzar. You go to your favorite online bookstore, BarnesandNoble.com, to read more.
The next day, you're surfing on your lunch hour and you're reading MJ Rose's popular Backstory Blog. (Warning: That blog is highly addictive! You may not get back to work today if you start reading it now!). You click on Michael Simon's backstory for The Last Jew Standing. You laugh and choke on your egg salad sandwich after reading for only a few moments. This is great! You finish reading and then click to buy his book.
That evening, while you're paying your bills, you wonder if you can afford to keep heating your house. Your food costs have soared as well...but the pantry is no more full than it was a month ago. Is the country really heading for a recession or depression? You start googling your concerns and end up listening to an interview on Financial Sense Newshour with Warren Brussee, author of The Second Great Depression.
Which of the authors mentioned above are marketing their books the smart way?
Unfortunately, many self-published authors see beautiful graphics of full-color posters and postcards on their publisher's website, and fall for the "get noticed!" marketing verbiage. They happily plunk down hundreds of dollars or more, assuming these items are the silver bullet they need to sell books.
Just how many bookmarks, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, personalized pencils and fee-based book reviews does it take to make a best seller? None! In fact, buying those things usually lands you even further from your goal, which is making a profit on your book.
Just how much money does it cost an author to write articles, contribute to blogs and get interviewed? Just the cost of your Internet connection and, of course, your time.
Let's face it. A bookmark and a pencil don't represent YOU. And, YOU is what is going to sell your book. Why de-personalize YOU with bookmarks, pencils and bumper stickers when YOU can connect with YOUR potential readers in a much more personal way, by getting YOUR words published and YOUR voice heard in as many places online as you can? The more websites, blogs, news sites, and discussion lists you appear in, the more books you're going to sell. The more pencils, bookmarks and coffee mugs you buy, the less money you're going to have.
Many authors are looking for a quick-shot to best seller status. If you believe a bookmark is going to make you money, you have been sadly taken by some fancy bookmark marketing verbiage. It just doesn't work that way.
Marketing a book takes work, a lot of work. The great news is, you can do that hard work sitting right on your tush in your home office, furiously participating in interviews and contributing to blogs, discussion lists, websites and more.
To learn how to market your book effectively, and for free, online, read my popular 10-part ONLINE BOOK MARKETING THAT WORKS series. The links to the articles are HERE.