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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Books: Top Book Marketing Tips

Written By: Carol Roth | 11 Comments

Believe it or not, it’s been almost a year since my New York Times Bestselling Book “The Entrepreneur Equation” came out! The paperback version has just been released and since marketing my book was one of the toughest things that I’ve had to do, I’ve asked the CarolRoth.com contributor network of entrepreneurs, advisors and experts to share some of their best book marketing tips to help make it a little bit easier for you. Their tips are presented below in no particular order.

You may notice some similar ideas listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.

1. Truckload Sales!!

Sell in bulk! What companies could benefit from their team reading your book? Find companies with hundreds or even thousands of employees and offer to sell them large quantities of your book at a price that is substantially lower than retail. You can also offer a free speaking engagement for the company if they agree to purchase a book for each employee (this strategy gets you closer to the retail price). Either way, you will get lots of books sold!
Thanks to: Angel Tucker of Personality Profiles LLC.

2. Let's Talk About it

Whenever you speak, whenever you visit a new client, or whenever you go to networking events, have a copy or two available. I have a book that I contributed to and I give it as a draw - people like it and will talk about what a great presentation you did because something was given for free! It gives new clients a sense that you are credible and they too like free stuff! Get the word out. Yes, it will cost up front but all marketing does.
Thanks to: Kellie Auld of Simply Communicating.

3. Don't Launch into a Vacuum

Begin a full year before your pub. date, sharing compelling bits of your book -- key information and content that will grab readers, build buzz and create loyal followers. Don't make the mistake of keeping all your great content close to the vest, for fear that folks will "steal" it. If you don't talk about your content now, you'll launch into a large black void. Don't give away the store, but share vital snippets and memorable bits. Get out there now!
Thanks to: Kathy Caprino of Ellia Communications, Inc.

4. Partnering for Sales

I find people with complementary products or services and link up for a great multiplier effect for book sales. I've made some friends that way as well!
Thanks to: Barbara Kline of Breakthru Center.

5. Take to the (Online) Air

Two words: sponsored webinars. If your topic fits a large company's webinar series, it is a win-win situation - you are the "bait" for their sales leads and they have huge lists, so you get a big audience (and often get paid to boot!). Sponsored webinars with book giveaways took my "What to Say to a Porcupine" book to #1 in customer service, and two other books to the top 10 in their categories.
Thanks to: Richard Gallagher of Point of Contact Group.

6. Add to Your Seminar!

Including a copy of your book with your seminars as a take-away is an effective way of marketing it -- mainly through the efforts of your participants! They will share their books and/or talk to others about your "free gift" and you will get the "word of mouth" effect. The cost of your book may be incorporated into your seminar fees. Highlight some of the key book concepts during your seminar to promote the value of your gift.
Thanks to: Brad Dude of Brad Dude.

7. Use PR & Social Media

Issue a press release about your book with links to where it can be purchased. Use a newswire like MarketWire to issue the release. Send press release links to your target audience groups on LinkedIn, post it to Facebook & Twitter, add a picture of book cover & link where to buy the book to Pinterest. Create a community on BigMarker.com, schedule an e-conference & market it to other BigMarker communities. Discuss your book w/your BigMarker community.
Thanks to: Becky Boyd of MediaFirst.

8. Lights. Camera. Action. Sales!

One way to promote sales is with video, but it has to be professional, not just technically, but conceptually & performance-wise as well. There is a fallacy in today’s pseudo-savvy world of marketing that amateurism is prized, but do-it-yourself efforts or even technically proficient efforts that lack style, creativity & performance will do more harm than good. Video will reach a different audience than other marketing efforts, so you have to deliver something that appeals to that audience.
Thanks to: Jerry Bader of MRPwebmedia.

9. Get in Good with Prospects

Pitch your B2B book to your potential client's clients to buy and share as a promotion or give away to their clients or vendors. Then go back to your prospects and let them know that their clients picked up your book to share with their network of business contacts. You will be seen as 'the' expert, and have a better chance of starting new relationships within that market vertical. Getting speaking engagements and receiving trade media coverage will also become easier.
Thanks to: Julia Hidy of JuliaHidyMarketing.com Lead Agency.

10. Ask for Reviews

My best tip for marketing business books is to ask friends and colleagues for reviews. Most people are flattered to be asked to do a review.

My goal is to get at least 20 reviews on Amazon.com for each of my books. Reviews add a human element to a book. They also are useful when I blog about a book. I'll say something like, "So and so from XXX company has this to say about this book..."

Finally, pay it forward. Always offer to write a review for people you know who write a book.
Thanks to: Bud Bilanich of The Common Sense Guy.

11. It's All Up to You!

Accept the fact that YOU are responsible for marketing your book, not the publisher. It is sort of like getting a loan. The less you need the loan, the less risk you are, so the more likely you are to be able to get a loan. The more famous you are, the more the publisher will help you. But even if you are famous, marketing is still your responsibility. If you accept this fact, then you will not wait on the publisher or anyone else and will find every way you can to market your book(s).
Thanks to: Janet Christy of Leverage & Development, LLC.

12. It's Not Rocket Science!

First: Write a good book!
Second: If you self publish, make sure you have access to great distribution, like Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc.
Third: Build a "herd". Use all of your Linkedin and Facebook contacts to create a viral marketing program.
Fourth: Create a compelling reason to buy, e.g. what problem do you solve?
Thanks to: Gerry Patnode of York College of Pennsylvania.

13. Go After Cherry Trees

If you call the potential buyers of your book 'cherries', promote your book to the 'cherry trees'- the place where you can find many 'cherries' at one time.

My books are business start-up and advertising books, so 'business owners' and 'about to be business owners' are my cherries. So, I promote my books where my 'cherries' hang out.

It's much less expensive to get in front of cherry trees than it is to get in front of each individual cherry.
Thanks to: John Schulte of National Mail Order Association.

14. I Reached 5 MM w/ Partnerships

By partnering with newsletter editors, bloggers, a charity, and my co-author, I estimate that I reached 5 million people with the launch campaign for Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green. I can only reach 25,000 through my own network!

As a book marketing consultant and copywriter, I'm a huge advocate of this strategy.
Thanks to: Shel Horowitz of Book Marketing Consultant/Copywrtr.

15. Current Event PR

I found that I was most successful in getting PR when I tied my book into current events, such as the struggling economy. Most media professionals don't want to promote a book, but they do want an expert to talk about current news and trends. A book makes you an expert and ideal interviewee.
Thanks to: Leslie Truex of Work At Home Success.

16. Business Interest on Pinterest

Pinterest is the new social media tool which is in third place behind Facebook and Twitter. It is a virtual pinboard for social photo sharing. Use Pinterest to generate interest in your business book by creating boards which illustrate the story behind the book, resources discussed in the book and of course, a picture of the cover of your book. Link the picture to your website or virtual store for easy consumer purchasing.
Thanks to: Audra Krell of Writer, Speaker, Vocalist.

17. Don't Forget the Simple Stuff!

My clients always want to hear the latest trends for promoting their books online, but I always remind them not to forget the simple stuff first! Update your e-mail signature, add to your LinkedIn profile (in the Headline, bio and work experience sections, and the Reading List by Amazon application), update your business card, post to your Facebook and Twitter profiles, etc. Let people know that you are an author, open to interviews and reviews, and provide links to your book site.
Thanks to: Tara Alemany of Aleweb Social Marketing.

18. Build Your Tribe for Results

When it is time to market your book, being a lone ranger works against you. Think about all of the people you know who reach the same target audience. Then, cultivate those relationships either through affiliate opportunities, adding value to their followers with high content training or article marketing.

Leverage your reach, compound the effects with strategic alliances and build valuable relationships along the way. Successfully selling a book requires a tribe of partners.
Thanks to: Loren Fogelman of Expert Sports Performance.com.

19. Tweet Your Way to Book Success

You spent a long time writing and perfecting the material in your book. What were the significant messages, tips and strategic advice you shared with your readers? These are the very points your following will want to know. Create a list of 100 Tweets taken from your book; 75% without links and 25% with links. Leave extra spaces for people to easily Re-Tweet. These are your marketing samples for people to purchase. Expand tweets for posts elsewhere, blogs and articles. It's a Smooth Sale!
Thanks to: Elinor Stutz of Smooth Sale, LLC.

20. Marketing Your Book

This is not really unusual, but I have always found my best way to market my books is through publicity and pr. That includes the media of speaking, radio/TV, social media, blogging, article writing etc. There's nothing like being everywhere to get people talking about you and what you're doing.
Thanks to: Gayle Carson of Carson Research Center.

21. Align with an Orphan Cause

The best piece of advice I can give is that there is strength in numbers. Find an organization that you believe in that is under marketed and underfunded on a national level. Offer them $0.25-$0.50 per book for every copy that is sold and have them promote it through their websites and social media. Make it a win for them and possibly even build an edition with a forward from their national chair to promote the book. Trust me, if they start making money, so will you.
Thanks to: Ben Baker of CMYK Solutions Inc.

22. Take it on the Road

Authoring a business book is the easy part...getting it into the hands of those that should read it...that's the hard part. YOU, the author, need to SELL SELL SELL. Get on the internet and look up every business organization within 50 miles - call and offer your speech free in return for being able to sell your book to attendees. At the end of every speech, offer attendees an opportunity to bring you to another biz group they belong to--you'll stay busy for at least a year -- it worked for me!
Thanks to: Vicki Donlan of VickiDonlan.

23. It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Writing and publishing a book is one thing - a hard thing. But marketing it is a whole different beast, so get started early.

If I were to do it again, I would:
- begin building a database the moment that I had the idea for a book
- promote, presell and market it from day 1 - do not wait until you have the book
- leverage experts and their programs to educate and support your efforts
- take deep, long breaths...it takes a great deal of patience, faith, and oh yes, money, to get the word out.
Thanks to: Bernadette Boas of Ball of Fire Inc.

24. Give Them a Taste...

...and make them want more. Always, always offer a free sample from your book that will give just enough information to let readers know you have something valuable to offer, but leave them feeling like they can't live without what comes next. Make it easy for them to purchase, but don't be pushy about it - let the effort you made in writing speak for itself.
Thanks to: Shadra Bruce of SolutionsbyShadra.

25. Is Your Buyer Your Reader?

The fact is, the buyer of books is often not the reader. They both invest something: The buyer/money, the reader/time. The more you consider your audiences while composing your book, its formats, the problem you're solving, and your collateral, the easier your audience will part with their money and/or time. The BUYER is often a boss, professor, colleague or relative of the reader (of course, the reader MAY be your buyer). Each group has varied motivations. Know them vertically and horizontally.
Thanks to: Lisa Pelto of Concierge Marketing Book Publishing.

26. On the Radio

Radio interviews are a fantastic way to market your business book every single day. It's the easiest and most economical way to share your book with audiences all over the country.

It's easy to schedule a radio interview into your calendar; no travel time is required. You can conduct multiple interviews in one day, all from the comfort of your own home or office and it's as easy as chatting on the phone. No dress up, no cameras. It's just you sharing your book and the link to purchase.
Thanks to: Angel Tuccy of Experience Pros Radio Show.

27. Webinars & JV Partners

There are many businessmen (and women) who already provide services to your book's market and have a list of a large number of individuals. Get these "high power" business owners to invite you to present a webinar for their list - it is one of the most effective ways to sell a large # of books at NO COST.

Setting up an affiliate relationship often helps seal such informal Joint Venture partnerships.
Thanks to: E.G. Sebastian of myClientAttractionAcademy.com.

28. Give it Away

After I wrote my book "Savvy Leadership Skills for Women", I was tempted to take a break from it, but realized that after all of that hard work, marketing it was my next effort. I kept a supply of books in my car with me, in a pretty box, and at every business, customer or networking meeting, I gave away a signed copy. It increased the value I shared with others, elevated my status as an expert and was a good way to market the book. I also had drawings for it as a giveaway at speaking engagements.
Thanks to: Jane Morrison of Morrison Business Solutions.

29. Post Excerpts on Your Blog

If you want to market your book and gain interest from potential buyers, I suggest posting short excerpts from the book on your personal or company blog. By giving the reader a taste of what they will experience by reading your book, they may be more inclined to purchase it.
Thanks to: Brittni Abiolu of FundingAlley, Inc.

30. Know the Book's Purpose!

Know why you are writing a book– to build a consulting business, to give away for credibility, or to launch a speaking career- and stay true to that purpose. Don’t write one thinking you’ll become rich and famous. Be realistic and smartly use your book to augment and bring to life your business strategy. Most of us can use a book very effectively to build our business profile in our area of expertise, so leverage it for that purpose and the time invested in writing it will be worth it.
Thanks to: Martha Guidry of TheRiteConcept.com.

31. One Book into $30-Million+

This is the mother of all "Rich in Your Niche" strategies. For this to work, you have to target unlicensed professions that are in need of business guidance and education. For me, it was the martial arts. My first book, "Black Belt Management," was the platform for me to create a martial arts professional association that made over $30-million in a decade and brought the martial arts out of the stone age. The book helped me build trust in a profession steeped in tradition and resistant to change.
Thanks to: John Graden of The Martial Arts Teachers' Assoc.

32. 'Til You're Blue in the Face

Talk. Talk all you can. Find every speaking engagement you can and for these, don't worry if they pay you or not. Often, the pay is dinner and, if you're lucky, gas money.

The goal is to build word-of-mouth recognition. When you're just starting out marketing your book, you're not going to get rich off of it. That, hopefully, comes later when YOU are the recognized expert on the topic.

Talk about your book to whoever will listen, and the more people and opportunities, the better.
Thanks to: Ronald M. Katz of Penguin Human Resource Consulting.

33. Megaphone Marketing w/ Assocs.

I believe in the power of marketing through others, so I have always found it profitable to market through associations. I agree to speak for them. They send out flyers to their huge memberships and I get the free publicity. The people who attend my talk or workshop become natural buyers and cheerleaders for the book, and for me, and those who don't attend have my contact information for the book. It works for everyone.
Thanks to: Anne Miller of Chiron Associates, Inc.

34. Sell the Sizzle!

Give them something that they can really sink their teeth into. When you are trying to get some press on a business book, give a news writer something more than just the book to write about. I recently sent out a pitch about a booklet I wrote about advertising. The pitch I sent was headlined "The Five Commandments of Advertising." The pitch talked about advertising and referred them to an ad headlined the Five Commandments of Advertising. The ad pitches the book.
Thanks to: Robert Barrows of R.M. Barrows, Inc. Advertising.

35. Speak for No Fee!

My #1 marketing strategy for my book, Leadership Soup, is "Speaking for No Fee"! Yes, I know, it sounds strange. However, when you go and talk to groups and both for-profit and non-profit organizations about your message and share some great insights from your book, you get a chance to sell several and sometimes, a lot of books. Not only that, but you also may get other speaking engagements and this time, for a fee!
Thanks to: Kamran Akbarzadeh of Dream Achievers Academy.

36. Write and Connect

For my recently published business book, I watched what other business book authors were doing (like Carol Roth!).

Carol launched her book before she even pre-launched her book. She got connected on all of the major social media networks, (except for 1!) and digitally networked until her fingers wore down.

Since I was already entrenched in social media by the time I had a book deal, I just doubled up on my writing of blog posts and connected even more with the folks I knew.
Thanks to: Joel Libava of The Franchise King®.

37. Speak; Speak; Speak

Speak; Speak; Speak. The best way I have found to market any business book (including our latest) is to get in front of every potential reader. Have something of real value to offer them & then, demonstrate how they can't go another day without what your book has to offer. Your presentation should not be a talk or lecture, but a sharing of your "secrets". And ask for feedback!
Thanks to: Daniel Feiman of Build It Backwards.

38. Sharable Chapters

For a business book, one of the best marketing tricks is to make the chapters or sections of chapters, self-sustaining - able to stand on their own. This way, you can post online excerpts from the book that make sense in their own right, much like online articles. People who like the excerpt will be tempted to purchase the book to read more. Since different sections will be published in different places online, nobody gets too much of the book for free.
Thanks to: David Leonhardt of THGM Freelance Book Writers.

39. Collaborative Marketing

Collaborative marketing is groups of people intentionally working together to share information across multiple mediums. Each person uses their social media, bookmarking and email to build interest and buzz. Imagine that you create a video about your book and then, your collaborative team responds to your video with additional videos. They share their videos to their other social media and suddenly, there is buzz about your book circulating the Internet. Collaboration multiplies results.
Thanks to: Donna Price of Compass Rose Consulting, LLC.

40. Give Your Mother 20 Copies!

Parents make the best sales people. They will brag about your accomplishment to all of their friends and to all members of whatever organization they belong to. My mother even sold some of my books and passed out my business cards when she was in a nursing home recovering from surgery. Her nurse said she had set up a "virtual kiosk" around her bed.
Thanks to: Randy Peyser of Author One Stop.

41. Live It. Breathe It.

You need to be passionate about your topic and talk about it with anyone and everyone. Be ready at all times to give your business card and never hesitate to give complimentary copies.
Thanks to: Haleh Rabizadeh Resnick of Little Patient Big Doctor.

42. Mascot a Book Character

Market a book character as a mascot on the corner and give away free cupcakes. "Pimp" a character for publicity.
Thanks to: Sharron Dark of Serving Your Unmet Needs.

43. Resourceful Reviews

Provide engaging and well written book reviews as a resource for Amazon bookstore visitors. When writing the review of a book other than your own, you can include a direct link to your book within that review. Even if the reader does not click on the link, they may click on your Amazon profile.
Thanks to: Leanne Hoagland-Smith of ADVANCED SYSTEMS.

44. White Carnations and Limo

I delivered a presentation and signed books at a bookstore. We parked a white stretch limousine in front with a flashing light on the roof and the four-way flashers on. We placed two poster sized copies of the book cover in front of the store.

The uniformed limo driver greeted everyone and pointed at the posters while exclaiming, “The author’s inside.” He handed a white carnation to every woman.

It was low cost because the limo and the carnations were obtained on barter.
Thanks to: George Torok of Power Marketing.

45. Systematize Selling Success

Systems can be key to book selling success. There are many repeated tasks authors do related to marketing/selling. For example, we have an event system, whether it's a book signing, speaking event or trade show. Here's a sample of what's on the system list: order books, approach sponsors to buy copies of the book for conference attendees, press release announcing event & sponsors, poster to bookstore CRM/event planner, social media schedule, checklist of supplies, and thank you to planner post-event. Systems=success.
Thanks to: Charmaine Hammond of Hammond International Inc.

46. Stay, Write, Sell

The author:
• Stays at several different business-centric hotels, often, while writing the book.
• Makes top hotel management and staffs aware, during stays, of conduciveness of their facilities and guest services to author’s writing.
• Shares that sentiment before publication.
• Arranges drafting of flattering cross-promotional materials, highlighting each establishment’s contribution to author’s work, for proposal to targeted hotels for their own marketing.

Propose!
Thanks to: Conrad Taylor of TCF Business Group/PATH to FREEDOM.

47. The Title is the Key

Your book title is critical. It should make others want to pick up your book to learn more. It should be easy to remember and relate to what is inside. No matter what the marketing, a blah title doesn't excite.
Thanks to: Renee Weisman of Winning at Work.

48. Be Bold, Brave & Be Prepared

Be prepared to pitch your book, a speaking engagement using your book's topic, and even bulk sales of your book, at any moment. Always carry at least one copy with you and be ready to sell or promote it.

Seize opportunities as they arise and always be in promotion mode.

Marketing a book is a challenge, but remember, your goal should be to use the book to open doors. That's where the real money and fame lies.

Good luck and remember that bold actions really do pay off.
Thanks to: Lauri Flaquer of Saltar Solutions.

49. Free Publicity

You can't get your message out if no one knows about it! Get free publicity through TV, radio, magazines, blogs & social media venues.

Good luck with it!

Check out:
HelpAReporter.com
&
ReporterConnection.com
Thanks to: Wendy Kay of WellWealth, LLC.

50. Hit Them Young

I would bring it directly to colleges. Almost all colleges have studies in Business, Marketing & Management. They all use books and what better audience than the youth of our country, eager for real information from the Business world.

Contact the departments of the above disciplines I mentioned, because the heads of the departments are the ones who make book selections for each semester.

If it is well received, it will be used over and over and 2nd editions could follow.
Thanks to: Harris Glasser of Serving The People Press.

51. Bring Your Book to Life!

Make a fun movie-style trailer video for your book. Give people the chance to meet you as the author and learn about the book as well. People want the opportunity to connect with you as the writer, so give them a little bit of who you are and why the book is so important to you. Let us know how we can help spread the word or share your video; offer to do a short interview with people who post your video w/ a book review on their website!
Thanks to: Phyllis Nichols of SoundAdvice Sales And Marketing.

52. It's a Trap!

I've seen a number of new authors fall for the trap of joining forums and spending hours online marketing to other authors. Focus on your target audience. Though it's nice to form relationships and support each other, your readership is "out there". It's the same as McDonald's trying to market their burgers to other fast food chains.
Thanks to: Mike Saxton of Sagido Publishing.

53. The Journey

Make it personal and relevant. Demonstrate to your audience the benefit of your book and let them know why they should come to hear you talk about it. I incorporate education, entertainment and my personal interest story to keep them engaged.

When I market my book "The Journey”, I demonstrate to my audience how they can take a path to health and fitness and energize their lives. I offer my book as an invaluable go-to reference that can answer multiple diet and exercise questions.
Thanks to: Paul Scheatzle of Bailey Rehabilitation.

54. Give in Order to Get

One of the most effective ways to promote your business book is to put on seminars pro bono. The organization you are presenting for will always return the favor and let you promote your book. The seminar will help establish you as a business expert. By giving of your time and expertise, you not only will generate business book sales, but will help struggling businesses as well.
Thanks to: Robert Papes of Papes Consulting.

55. Reads = Leads for Your Brand

Your book establishes you as an authority in your field, so don't blow this opportunity to capture leads and generate repeat sales. At various points in your book, invite readers to visit your blog, sign up to your newsletter, like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter, etc.
Use an incentive, e.g. "For a free up-to-date breakdown of the latest [your subject], subscribe here." Once you create a relationship, you can market your other books to them, or any relevant service you wish to offer.
Thanks to: Naomi Elbinger of Writing for the Web.

Do you have a book marketing tip that wasn’t included? If you do, please share it below. And as always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!

And if you would like to become a part of the CarolRoth.com contributor network and find out about opportunities to contribute to future articles, sign up here: http://www.carolroth.com/carolroth-com-blog-contributor-sign-up/

Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth