Publishing Insiders Wrap-Up: Promote Your Book: 250+ Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques

by | Nov 30, 2011 | Book Marketing Basics, Social Media for Authors

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We had a great show discussing low cost promotion tips for authors with expert Patricia Fry.

About our guest:

Patricia Fry is the author of 34 books. Her latest is “Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author,” (Allworth Press, 2011). Learn more at

Patricia has learned a lot about the publishing industry in her 40 years of writing. At one point she even formed her own publishing company. Her writing career also led to others asking her questions, and she realized she had a lot of insight to offer struggling and beginning authors.

Study the publishing industry before getting involved

Publishing is not an extension of your writing. There is a craft involved with writing and researching a book. Publishing, on the other hand, is a competitive, serious business. Seventy-six percent of all books fail in the marketplace, meaning those books sell fewer than 100 copies.

Know how publishing works, what your choices are, the possible consequences of your choices and your responsibilities as a published author. Your book is a product and if you publish it and you want it to be widely distributed you have to think of it as a product. You want to know about the suppliers, distributors and your customers – their needs and desires. You need to think about a marketing plan.

Build promotion into your book before it’s a book

Promotion should begin before the book is published. The novelist should think about the audience while writing the book. Nonfiction writers must consider their audience so they write a book their readers want and need.

There are a lot of ways to build promotion into your book. For instance, add a lot of people to expand your customer base: quote experts, or mention agencies. This works well with nonfiction. For her latest book Patricia interviewed approximately 20 authors for their promotion ideas. Those authors are going to promote the book, too, since they are mentioned. If you have interviewed people for your book and have permission to quote them, list their names and let them know they’ve been quoted in the book, how they can obtain a copy, etc.

For fiction, you can build promotion in a few ways. Choose your setting carefully. If the setting is a real place, make sure it’s a place where the community has a lot of community pride so it will welcome you and want you to do radio shows, book signings or other events. Also involve your characters in current issues, things people are interested in reading about now. This gives you another way to promote the book.

Promotion also occurs beyond bookstores. If motorcycles play a role in your book perhaps you can have a signing at a motorcycle store.

“Make news” to promote your book

You can also create news. If your novel’s primary characters are homeless you could become involved with a project to benefit the homeless. Be sure to notify the media when you are working on your project and you just might get coverage. One time Patricia put on a full-blown Hawaiian Luau for her book on doing a luau on the homeland, and the media covered the event. The story ended up on page one.

Some other ideas

English: Frans de Waal signing one of his book...

Image via Wikipedia

Establish a good website and promote it like crazy. Have a blog and promote it. To get into bookstores, promote outside the bookstore so people are buying the book and start asking for it at the bookstore. Also, ask independent bookstores if they will carry your book. Consider specialty stores – pharmacies, toy stores, kitchen stores, etc. If your community has some kind of auction, see if you can include your book – it will get a lot of exposure and publicity. Flea markets and community festivals can offer opportunities to get a table to sell your book.

Public speaking and article writing are also good promotional vehicles. Articles allow you to share your expertise and can be very valuable.

There were also some great questions from listeners that Patricia answered.

Download the full show at:


Upcoming Episode:

Please join us for a show with Special Guest Chris Brogan on Monday, Dec. 5 at 12 p.m. Pacific:

Chris Brogan

Image by BryanPerson via Flickr

Chris Brogan is an author, journalist, marketing consultant, and frequent speaker about social media marketing. He is president of Human Business Works, an online education and community company for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs. His first project there, 501 Mission Place, helps nonprofits and charities learn how to grow their capabilities. Chris is also Entrepreneur in Residence at CrossTech Ventures, where he’s working to develop New Marketing Labs and The Pulse Network, among other projects.

Chris is also the cofounder of the PodCamp new media conference series, exploring the use of new media community tools to extend and build value.

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