Book Marketing Blogs

by Penny Sansevieri
What the Shopping Channels Can Teach Us About Selling: Tip #44 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
February 24, 2015by: ameeditor
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Welcome to Tip #44 of our 52 Ways to Market Your Book! I hope you’re enjoying these tips and they are helping you sell more books. Want the complete book of tips? Get it here!

What the Shopping Channels Can Teach Us About Selling

Tip 44Whether we admit it or not, we’ve all watched a home shopping channel, even if we just stopped by for a minute or two while channel surfing. Home shopping channels are big and the two of the biggest are HSN and QVC; together they generate a combined total of $10 billion in sales every year. They are geared to selling 24/7. What can we learn from this mode of sales? Well, actually a lot. When you break down their method of selling you’ll see quite a bit of brilliance behind the shopping channels’ strategy that can be applied to your own marketing and sales efforts.

Details, details: The first thing the host will do is give you an overview and then zero in on the details, pieces, parts and bonuses. When you’re showcasing your book or product, it’s important to not just focus on the 30,000 foot overview, but the minutiae as well. The caveat is: it has to be exciting to your consumer. The idea is to push the product, then entice them with the details. How will you do this? Start with one, big, overarching question or pitch. Let’s say you wrote a book on dieting, you might say: “If you’re ready to finally lose those extra 30 pounds for good, this is the last diet book you’ll ever need to read.” Now, that’s a pretty big statement, and you’ll need to follow it up with some details that help build your case. See what I mean? If the book has recipes, highlight several and talk about them. If the book has some never-before-revealed secrets, highlight those too and make sure your consumer knows the whole package they’re getting, not just the idea.

Repetition: If you’ve ever watched HSN or QVC you know that their specials are repeated over and over and over again. Telling your consumer once won’t cut it, but telling them twice generally won’t either. You have to tell people again and again and again. Think about it: How many times are you telling folks about your book? How can you adapt this to book marketing? Think about the different ways you reach out to your consumer. How many times are you mentioning your book? If the answer to that is “I don’t know,” then you might want to rethink your marketing strategy. Now, I’m not saying that every Tweet and Facebook update needs to have your book title it in, but what I am saying is that if you are doing any kind of target marketing, email, or mailing, you need to make sure that you continue to push the message of your book for as long as you are marketing it.

Results: What will this book do for your reader? If it was featured on the Home Shopping Network you can be sure you would know, and it would be explained to you in Technicolor detail. Often, they will demo the product on the air. Why do they do this? Because the before and after is wildly popular with consumers. Now, if you’re not on HSN, how will you demo this? For starters, you can get testimonials for your website. Remember: what someone else says about your book, message, or product is 1,000 times more effective than anything you can say. You can also consider a YouTube channel (think of it as your very own HSN) and get video testimonials, or demo the ideas in your book. If you’re marketing a product, demo the product on video. Remember we love to know it’ll do XYZ for us, but seeing it is 1,000 times more powerful than just hearing it.

How’s it selling? It never fails: during the broadcast, the host will always tell you how well the product is selling. In fact, often they will tell you that it’s nearly selling out, thereby heightening the urgency to buy. As part of your book marketing have you pushed your updates to your audience? Have you told them how well it’s selling? Share stats with them, social proof, and popularity. Remember, people like what other people like. If a lot of other people like your book or product, tell your new consumers. It will help heighten their excitement.

Packaging, bonuses and oh, wait, there’s more! The beauty of this last line (as hokey as it might sound) is that it keeps the consumer on edge and ready to dial, but there’s more… so the additional bonuses entice them further. When we offered my book, Red Hot Internet Publicity, packaged for a limited time with another title (the offer was “Get 2 books for the price of 1”) we tripled our sales. Packages and special offers work, though it’s generally a good idea to offer them for a limited time. As you’ll see from one of the points below, urgency sells.

Pricing: Consumers love a bargain and the Home Shopping Network knows this all too well, so the discounts are crucial if they are trying to sell out a product. If you are trying to push your book, don’t get greedy. As I mentioned in the point above, the deeper the discount, the better the response. Be clear on your price point, i.e. what you need to make a profit, then play with the numbers and see what your consumer responds to. Now, you don’t have to offer shippable product as a special offer or price enhancement; it can also be electronic which makes it easier and raises your profit margin.

Urgency: Let’s face it, while it might seem cheesy, urgency sells. “Only 10 minutes left to buy!” and suddenly the phones light up. During the process of the sale, sale updates, bonuses, discounts, etc. all help to heighten the urgency of the buy including the limited time offer. When you’re running a special promotion, the best way to get people to beat a path to your door is to give them a deadline.

Remember the upsell: When you’ve got someone’s attention, why not try and sell them more? If you have bundled product, or special additions to your product, be sure and mention it. In fact, one of the most effective ways to generate sales is to entice your consumer by offering bonuses. Keep in mind that the bonuses need to have value to the consumer: they must enhance your product, not detract from it. You likely wouldn’t offer a copy of a colleague’s fiction book if you are selling a book on building your business. You might want to sell something a bit more compatible like a handbook, white paper, or webinar (either pre-recorded or live). Upsells are great when the product pairing is complimentary.

If you’re not convinced by these tips, try watching a shopping channel and see if you don’t agree. Their methods of selling are so finely tuned, you’ll see a real pattern in how they present each and every product. What that says is: if it works, stick with it. Try one or all of the above insights and see if it doesn’t tip the selling scale in your favor.

Good luck!

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – February 23, 2015
February 23, 2015by: Penny
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Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. This week we have guest posts on writing, self-publishing, and book marketing. Thank you to all of our contributors.

Book Marketing

Mayowa Ajisafe submitted Case Study: From Launching Her First Book To Becoming An Amazon Best Seller posted at Authors Crib, saying, “In this episode of the Authors Crib Podcast, we discussed about what happened from A to Z with her book launched and how she walked her way to becoming an Amazon best-selling author in the first week of her book launch and the lessons she picked from that as well as some tips and strategies that can help you achieve the same result with your book launch.”

amzon box


Colin Dunbar submitted Format a Book in Word: Kindle Formatting posted at Format a Book in Word, saying, “Formatting for the Kindle is really plain formatting (just like typing on a typewriter, if you’re old enough to remember those days). In this post I explain formatting your Word file for the Kindle.”


David Leonhardt submitted Not All Words are Created Equal posted at THG Writing Services, saying, “Not all words are created equal. Some are more powerful than others. Some are more precise. Some will elicit the right reaction.”

That concludes this week’s carnival. Our weekly roundup offers the best book marketing, self-publishing, writing, and general publishing industry tips to guide authors, would-be authors, publishers and others on their book journey. Submit a post to our weekly carnival by using this link:

Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of February 16, 2015
February 21, 2015by: Penny
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Get some marketing mojo from these book promotion and publishing industry tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include choosing Kindle keywords, finding revenue streams, using Amazon reviews to sell more books, and more. Happy marketing!


* Authorpreneurship: To Succeed, Authors Must Be More Businesslike Than Ever

What does this entail? Authors need to think strategically about their brand and how to market themselves and their books:

Online Shopping Concept. Shopping Cart With Boxes Over Laptop

* 33 Revenue Streams For Authors – Even If You Write Non-Fiction

This fabulous list from Joan Stewart offers an amazing range of ideas, from special reports, tips booklets, cruise ship workshops, board games and more:

* Top 5 Ways Authors Can Promote and Sell More Books

Spread your message through your local market, for instance:

* How to Choose Kindle Keywords

When you select the right words for your book you increase the chances for your book to be discovered:

* Are Novellas the Future of Publishing?

Publisher believes so, and they’re focused on creating short reads that people can fit into their hectic daily lives:

* 6 Trend-Savvy Book Publishing Strategies

With all the competition out there, you want your book to stand out from the crowd. These tips will help:

* 53+ Free Image Sources for Your Blog and Social Media Posts

Stumped for good images you can use? This list will give you plenty of options:

* Amazon Reviews: How Readers Look at Them, and How to Sell Using Them

Learn how you can use your book reviews to generate more sales:

Your Book Signing Checklist!
February 19, 2015by: ameeditor
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So you’ve landed a book signing, congrats! Book signings are a great opportunity to take your exposure to the next level and help build lasting relationships with your readers. These days it isn’t always easy to secure a book signing event, so you want to be sure to make the most of it. The last thing you want to do is show up unprepared. Check out our Book Signing Checklist for everything you need to rock your next event! Best of luck!

Book Signing Checklist Infographic page 1


Book Signing Checklist Infographic page 2


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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – February 16, 2015
February 16, 2015by: Penny
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Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. This edition features posts on book marketing, getting published, writing, and book sales. Thank you to all of our contributors.


Hazel Longuet submitted 20 Writing Tips: This Week’s Most Popular Articles On Writing posted at A Novel Experience, saying, “Here are top 20 articles that got most traction from my social media followers last week. They cover the whole gamut (writing, self-publishing, book promotion, author platforms, social media). A collection of great articles from great authors.”

writing working on laptop keyboard

Getting Published

Erica Verrillo submitted 23 Poetry Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts posted at Publishing… And Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “This list consists of publishers that do not charge a fee or require an agent, and which offer royalties, however modest. All of them publish book-length collections and/or chapbooks.”

Book Marketing

Iola Goulton submitted Introducing NetGalley posted at Australasian Christian Writers, saying, “What is NetGalley, and how does it work (for writers and reviewers)?”

Book Sales

Sarah Bolme submitted The State of Fiction Reading posted at Marketing Christian Books saying, “Is fiction reading on the decline? If so, what does this mean for book sales?”

That concludes this week’s carnival. Our weekly roundup offers the best book marketing, self-publishing, writing, and general publishing industry tips to guide authors, would-be authors, publishers and others on their book journey. Submit a post to our weekly carnival by using this link:

Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of February 9, 2015
February 14, 2015by: Penny
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We’ve got some great tips for you from these book marketing and publishing industry tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include getting more out of Twitter, keeping inspired to write, handling bad book reviews, and more. Happy marketing!


* Be Traditionally Published or be Damned?

Being a self-published author means you’ve survived the gauntlet of publishing to get your book out to the world:

* How to Handle Bad Book Reviews

For starters, develop a thick skin or just don’t read reviews of your book:

book review word cloud

* 10 Things to Say to a Writer Who’s on the Ledge

If things don’t look so good, here are some things to remember to put it into perspective:

* The Ebook is Not Dead

Don’t believe the hype, the statistics prove that ebooks are alive and doing well:

* 8 Compelling Ways to Tell 140 Character Stories On Twitter

Discover the elements of a great tweet:

* Judging a Book by Its Cover: What Publicists & Media Want to See on the Outside of a Book

This book cover checklist will ensure you produce the best cover for your book:

* 3 Common Mistakes Authors Make With Amazon Book Listings (and how to fix them!)

Is your Amazon listing doing everything possible to make your book appealing to readers?

* 53+ Free Image Sources for Your Blog and Social Media Posts

Images are important, and this list of resources will help your graphics stand out wherever you use them:

Your eBook Deal How-To Guide!
February 12, 2015by: ameeditor
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eBook Sites You Should Be Using to Promote Your eBook Deal!

POSTED eBook Deal How-To 02122015So you’ve scheduled an eBook promotion and marked down the price of your book (or maybe you’re even offering it for FREE –, but now what? How are people going to hear about this promotion?

You have to do a little work to get your book into the hands of readers. In addition to announcing your eBook deal on your website and other social media platforms it’s definitely worth your time to have a few eBook promotion sites blast out an announcement to their readers.

Check out these sites when you need to get the word out about your eBook promotion!

Note: You may wish to promote on a variety of sites. Some have paid options, others are free. Some sites won’t post about your book unless you have a minimum number of reviews, a certain star rating on Amazon or are priced below a certain dollar amount. A few restrict genres, too. So pay attention to the “rules” for each site.

Author Marketing Club – Join their club, and take advantage of the perks.

AwesomeGang – “Where awesome readers meet awesome authors”

BookBasset – Their guaranteed Freebie post costs under 8 bucks

BargainBooksy – Easy to use site, with tons of subscribers

BookBub – Their packages are on the more expensive side, but the average downloads are very impressive

BookGoodies – Some of their forms are pretty involved, but they have tons of options worth considering

BookGorilla – Their paid services have a far reach, and won’t break the bank

Book Lover’s Heaven – Their form is simple, and there are no strings attached

BookSends – Depending on the genre of your book, they have affordable options

Cheap eBooks for Teens – If you have a YA book, take 60 seconds and submit your info to this site

Daily Free eBooks – Their name is a bit misleading because they actually promote books that range in price from 0.01-0.99

Digital Book Today – You’ll find countless free and paid submission options here

eBooksHabit – Their paid options are only $10-20

eReader Girl – They accept non-fiction, Christian Fiction and children’s book submissions

eReaders News Today – They have over 500,000 subscribers

eReader Perks- They also provide some really helpful links to resources for authors

Erotica Everyday – Write erotica? Submit your deal here

FreeBooksy – They are partnered up with Bargainbooksy, and are specifically for books that are free

Free Book Dude – If you have a book trailer, they’ll even add it to your post

Frugal Freebies – This site is about all things free, and they’ll post your listing on social media as well

GoodKindles – Great options and flexibility with their packages

HotZippy – One form submits your listing to multiple sites

Indie Book of the Day – All authors, all book types

Ignite Your Book – Their very affordable paid option will get you in front of all their newsletter subscribers

Kindle Book Promos – Listing options and resources for authors can be found here

Kindle Nation Daily – All things Kindle, every day

Naughty List Books – For erotica and romance authors

One Hundred Free Books – Paid and free options for books marked $2.99 and under

Read – Great books, no middleman

ReadCheaply – Help them promote their service, and they’ll help you promote your book

Reading Deals – Free and paid options, all under $10

Risque Librarian – Submit your erotica or romance listing to get in front of their readers

StoryFinds – Tons of options to give your book the exposure it needs

The Book Circle – Connecting authors, readers and publishers

The Kindle Book Review – They tell you not to put all your eggs in one basket, and offer recommendations for other great eBook deal submission sites

Next Up: Part Two of Our eBook Promotion Guide! Hashtags and Twitter accounts to use to help you promote your eBook deal!

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Maximizing Media Leads: Tip #42 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book
February 10, 2015by: ameeditor
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We’ve heard from a lot of you telling us how much you love these tips. We’re so glad you do! Well, here are a few more that you’ll receive over the coming weeks. You ready to sell more books? Here we go!

  1. Maximizing Media Leads
  2. Ten Reasons Why You Should be Blogging
  3. What the Shopping Channels Can Teach Us About Selling
  4. Creating Powerful Content That Will Help You Sell Books
  5. A Quick and Easy Guide to Using Video in your Promotion
  6. The Quickest Way to Kill Your Online Success
  7. 20 Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Website and Blog
  8. 50 Things to Tweet About
  9. The Power and SEO Behind Blog Commenting
  10. Six Simple Ways to Promote Your YouTube Channel
  11. Five Simple Ways to Improve Your Ranking on Google

Want the complete book of tips? Get it here!

Tip 42Maximizing Media Leads

Thanks to HARO ( and similar media leads services, there are media leads out there for everyone, all the time. Media, media, everywhere! The key, however, is to maximize these leads. Often, we think that as long as we respond to them, and give them our information, the hard part is done. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  In fact it’s really just the beginning. How can you get better exposure for your pitches? Here is a quick guide to pitching these media leads services that will provide you with insight and guidance for better placement and better stickiness to the stories you pitch.

Pitching the right lead: First and foremost, you need to define the right lead to pitch. But really, it’s more than that. Keep in mind that for a variety of topics such as finance, dieting and parenting you might find a lot of leads but not all of them are appropriate to your topic. Some people think that you shouldn’t pitch anything that isn’t 100% spot on. If I followed this way of thinking, I wouldn’t have gotten myself into a variety of publications, including Entrepreneur Magazine (issue forthcoming).

So what’s the goal? The goal is to go after as many leads as you can within the appropriate market. For example, if you have a diet book that is focused on a soy based program and you see a lead about getting ready for summer, you might think it seems off, but the idea here might be to pitch them your topic, to help people get ready for summer. The same is true for an article on the high divorce rate and you have a book on making divorce a smoother transition. This could be a great opportunity for you to pitch a sidebar idea on creating a gentler transition for families of divorce.

The idea really is that, to the degree it’s appropriate, pitch yourself to as many on-point topics as you can. When I do this, however, I will always address the issue of the topic they pitched and then ask if they are interested in perhaps taking a sidebar angle to the piece or offering an extended insight into their topic. You’d be amazed at how often this gets a response.

Response time: Basically, as fast as you can. You should never, ever, ever sit on a lead unless you need to gather additional data before responding. Don’t wait. Period. Remember that you aren’t the only person seeing that lead, many of these reporters and journalists get hundreds of responses per lead they send and generally, the first who respond get the most attention. Ignore the deadline and send it right away, if you wait until minutes before the deadline you might get buried in the hundreds of other leads that have flooded the recipient’s inbox.

Responding: Short, sweet, and to the point. While I suggested in the above tip that you take some liberty with some of your leads and responses, I still recommend keeping it on point and short. In fact I’ll often highlight some key points, send the response off and indicate that I’m aware they might be sitting with a flooded inbox and if my response has piqued their interest, I am happy to send as much additional data as they need. Also, if appropriate, cite or link to any current articles that you’ve been featured in online so the media person can see the breadth of your knowledge. Oh and one final note, please, please, please spell check your emails. You’d never send a resume to a potential employer with typos in it, right? So it baffles me that anyone would send an email that wasn’t spell checked.

The media are your customers: Remember to always treat media like your customer and like a consumer, they probably have a lot of choices. Serve them as you would a new client. Give them what they need in a timely fashion and don’t under deliver. Ever. Don’t embellish, don’t alter the facts and be ready to prove every single point you are making in your pitch.

Managing the responses: As you get responses you should be ready to act immediately. In fact if you are pitching yourself to *any* media you should be checking your email regularly – several times a day in fact. Depending on the story you are pushing for, you should really be on top of your email, all the time so you can be prepared to respond immediately.

Follow up: Unless you’ve been tapped by the media person to be in the article don’t follow up on a lead you sent, ever. Why? Because if they need you they’ll let you know; if they don’t, a follow-up email is just annoying. Keep in mind that even if the media person doesn’t respond, you might still see some activity from them down the road. This happened to me with an INC online piece. They didn’t need me for the original story I had responded to but kept my information on file and used it later. Had I followed up a few times this might not have happened if I had gotten labeled as a “pest” – be careful the impression you make in email!

You’ve got placement! Great! Congratulations! So, what now?  Well now it’s time to promote, promote, promote the lead you were just featured in. Post it to Twitter, list it on your blog and Facebook Fan Page and oh, don’t forget to thank the media person too!

How to find great leads: There are a number of great resources out there for finding leads. Here are just a few of them!

Help A Reporter Out:

Reporter Connection:

Blogger Link Up:

Pitch Rate:

Media leads are a great way to get yourself in front of media who need your expertise. I have found media lead responding to be a fantastic way to gain media attention for our authors. Get on the media leads bandwagon and start responding. You never know where you could land a story!

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AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors – February 9, 2015
February 9, 2015by: Penny
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Welcome to Author Marketing Experts’ Blog Carnival. We thank this week’s contributors for their pieces on writing, getting published, book marketing, self-publishing, and social media.


Hazel Longuet submitted 20 Writing Tips: This Week’s Most Popular Articles On Writing posted at Novel Experience, saying, “Every Monday I do a round-up of the previous week’s top 20 articles on writing, self-publishing and book promotion as buzzed up by the actions of my 7k social media followers – comprising of primarily published and aspiring authors. So here are this week’s top 20…..”

Success Tools Toolbox Succeeding Goal Skills

Social Media

Chrys Fey submitted How to Create an Author Facebook Page posted at Write With Fey, saying, “Creating a Facebook Page is a big step, because it says you’re ready to get more readers and engage with them.”

Book Marketing

Mayowa Ajisafe submitted How To Get The Best Cover Design And Use Your Cover Design To Market Your Book, Build A Side Author Business And Sell More Books With Derek Murphy posted at Authors Crib, saying, “In this episode of Authors Crib Podcast, I had a chat with Derek Murphy of The Creativ Indie and DIY Book Covers who is an author and a book cover design expert who has designed tons of book covers for bestselling authors like Joanna Penn of Derek shares his writing journey and discusses how he started working with authors as an editor and cover designer and offers tons of great cover design and book marketing tips, strategies and advice as well as his best tips on how authors can build a side business as an author to augment their writing income.”


David Leonhardt submitted Who Hires a Ghostwriter posted at The Happy Guy Writing Services, saying, “Everybody knows that some people hire ghostwriters. But it might surprise you to discover who some of those ‘some people’ are.”

Getting Published

Katie McCoach submitted What NOT to Say to a Literary Agent (or Editor) posted at KM Editorial, saying, “After attending an event hosted by GLAWS, KM Editorial shares the takeaways on what NOT to say to a literary agent (or editor) to sell your book.”

That concludes this week’s carnival. Our weekly roundup offers the best book marketing, self-publishing, writing, and general publishing industry tips to guide authors, would-be authors, publishers and others on their book journey. Submit a post to our weekly carnival by using this link:

Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of February 2, 2015
February 7, 2015by: Penny
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Get some ideas and inspiration from these book marketing and publishing industry tweets, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include whether social media is worth a writer’s time, how to use Thunderclap to promote your book, a guide to advertising on Amazon, and more. Happy marketing!


* How to Win Sales And Influence Amazon’s Algorithms

A great discussion between two authors who have found creative ways to share their audiences and boost their sales:

* Tips for Gaining Attention in the World of Fiction

Here are some things you can do to get your book noticed:

free 2

* Free Publicity for Your KDP Select Free Days

If you’re going to offer your ebook for free, you need to promote it. This list will give you a lot of options for free and paid sites as well as Facebook groups you can use to get the word out:

* How You Can Use Thunderclap to Promote Your Book

Thunderclap allows authors to build a book launch team, promote a sample chapter, share a book promotion, and more:

* How to Advertise on Amazon: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Now that authors who use KDP Select can advertise on Amazon, the question is: how does it work? Author Nicholas Rossis explains:

* 21 Free Resources for Authors

You’ll find a range of freebies here, and something is bound to be useful!

* The Finances of Publishing

How indie authors can set a realistic budget to get their book published, from book covers to editing to ebook and print formatting and more:

* Do Writers REALLY Need to Use Social Media Anymore?

Authors already have plenty to do – is social media just a time suck?

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