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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
46. Stay, Write, Sell
• 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!