Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Targeting the influential and signed paperbacks available.

Monday I received my shipment of 50 books from Lightning Source.  After setting aside the ones that people had reserved, they are half gone already.  I have numbered them as the first run.  When I order and sell more, I will still sign and date them but only these 50 will be numbered.  If anyone wants a signed numbered copy, there is a Pay Pal buy it now button on the right.  The cost is an even $15 and that includes taxes and shipping inside the United States.  If you are wanting a copy and live outside of the US, you can e-mail me and we can work something out on shipping costs.

Now on to marketing again.  Yesterday I wrote up a pair press release regarding my book for the media.  They are basically the same except one tends to focus a bit more about being a local author and an upcoming book signing I have at the end of the month.  The other doesn't mention the book signing because no one in New York will care that I am signing a book in Idaho and is tailored to a more general announcement.  I have not done a press release before so we will see how it goes.  I have asked for help from the Kindle Boards forums regarding them and the response has been mixed.  Some say they are not worth the time, and others say the exact opposite.  In my opinion, it can't hurt to try and as one person mentioned, the only reason they got any press was because they sent out a press release.

Next piece of marketing advice I heard came from a movie I watched over the weekend.  'The Social Network'.  There was a scene early on when they first launched The Facebook from their dorm room.  Zuckerberg asked his friend for the e-mail addresses of the people in his fraternity because they were people of influence.  The general idea being that they would influence those around them to also join Facebook.  Later on a girl is checking out Facebook because she had six e-mails from her friends about it.  Book sales follow the same rules.  They rely on word of mouth to sell.  Even if the book is from a celebrity author, if its good, people will talk about it.  Once you hear about it enough times, you will either buy, borrow, or check it out from the library.

Its one thing to update your Facebook page, send a tweet, and announce that you updated your blog in hopes to generate word of mouth and ultimately sales of your book.  However if you are the only one talking about your book, then the only people who might buy a copy are those you influence directly.  The idea now is to get other people to talk about your book, thus targeting people of influence.  Now everyone influences everyone else to a small or large degree.  The goal here is to get the people you influence to talk about your book, tweet, or mention it somewhere and that will influence the people around them.  Even if its just a copy of your book on the table that people see during a party.  There will be overlap on some of this and you will pick up even more people.  Also targeting people of influence that you do not influence directly.  Such as a local radio talk host, or perhaps someone on the local news.  The lottery of influence would be Oprah.  But that doesn't mean you can't get a plug from someone like Joe Konrath if you play your cards right.

So when you get ready to release your book or already have.  Take a look at your social circle.  Find the ten or twenty most influential people in your circle and get them to plug your book.  Either ask them, or give them a free copy of your book, something and see what happens.  Also find a handful of influential people outside of your circle and do the same thing.


  1. Those are some great points. Word of mouth is key, but the Internet gives everyone a shot for it to catch fire. Old school promotion, like a press release, can still work too, at least I hope it can. I'm sending out my first press release ever for my fourth book next week and I think - if the presser gets picked up - it could definitely move the needle for me here in my hometown. Just have to figure out what to say on it... I'm also planning to get business cards that double as lock picks (zombie promo tie-in thing).

  2. Wherever I am going I am hearing a lot about word of mouth publicity. Its the best way I feel, as people trust other people to give them great advice.