Creative Ways to Market Your Book

As a publisher I am often asked what type of marketing I do. Like most publishers these days, we generally make your book available to the bookstores, libraries, and other book sellers through the purchase of book catalog listings and advertising. However, the bulk of the marketing must be done by the author themself.

You, as the author, are best equipped to market your book because you know it best. Besides, who else can sign your book? Surely not the publisher. That is why they call them “Author Book Signings” and not “Publisher Book Signings.”

So, how can you market your book to help you make the most out of your time and effort? Here are just a few creative ways to get the word out and as a result sell more books.

Quote Excerpts

Everyone is using social media today, but what can you do different that will make you and your book stand out? Rather than just posting your book cover and asking for the sale, why not start by quoting from your book and then share with them where you pulled the quote from in your book, by chapter at the very least.

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Author Copyright Questions Answered

Copyright; it’s a scary word, but like all creative professionals, authors need to understand it. You’ve probably thought about copyrighting your work at least once. So, to help you better understand it, here’s a quick summary of some of the most often asked copyright issues.

What is a copyright?

Let’s begin by explaining just what copyright means? Copyright is the right to control reproduction and commercial exploitation of your work. This means others cannot make money off something you created, without compensating you. It protects any kind of work: books, movies, photographs, graphic designs, etc. Copyright falls under Intellectual Property laws, which concern creations of the human mind. So basically, if you can create it, you can own it. What does this mean to you?

Do I need to copyright my work?

Technically, your work is automatically protected under Intellectual Property laws. Anything you create, design, draw or write is legally yours, provided you have physical evidence. To make sure, you can register your work under copyright laws. But, since it is already copyrighted, unless you expect to have to file a claim, it really isn’t necessary.

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Kindle and Book Reviews

If you want to get more reviews for your book, the easiest way is to allow your book to be in the KDP Select program. This can be accomplished by selecting the option in your kdp dashboard. I have heard the complaints, but the fact that Amazon sells more books than any other retailer, both online and offline, makes most complaints moot.
 
When you put your book in the Select program others who are signed up for KU get your book for free! This makes the incentive to read your book that much greater—especially with review groups.
 
The other way is to purchase a copy yourself and then loan it out. When the review has been posted they can return the loan before the 15 days are over. So, don’t worry that you can only lend it out twice a month. That’ll depend on the loanee to return it early, if they finish early. But, don’t forget to remind them in your note when you send the loan notice that they should return it manually if they finish before the 15-day deadline.
 
I hope this helps those of you all here who are worried about reviewers having to purchase a copy of your book in order to review it; KDP Select/KU programs or purchase a copy yourself to loan out.
 
Publisher/Designer
www.Calomarllc.com
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Interesting Turn of Events

Recently I met with a potential author to discuss the possibilities available to her. When we sat down, with one of my authors who was introducing us, I fully expected to be able to assist her in some way. But as the conversation developed, it was clear that she already had a substantial product line and really needed to focus on getting that out there instead.

It took a bit of convincing, and she was a bit put-off when I handed her back her sample manuscript and told her to table this for a later discussion. That’s when I had a ‘light bulb’ moment!

What I saw is that with the Adult Coloring Book (ACB) phenomena in full swing, she needed to take her products and turn them into ACBs. At that time, I was unaware that others in the industry were thinking along those same lines.

It's not just about Mandalas anymore! Many other books are being turned into Adult Coloring Book (ACB)…

Norman Rockwell Adult Coloring Book page

For example, did you know that Norman Rockwell images are available for you to purchase and color to your liking? Yes, even Rockwell’s images have joined in on the ACB craze.

If you have products that fit this market, I highly suggest you open your mind to the possibility of this addition income stream. And, do it now, before it passes you by entirely.

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Remain Steady On Your Course

You’ve done all the work, your book is published and you had a successful launch. But, you’re not seeing the sales you envisioned. All too often this is true for new and seasoned authors alike. The result is you get disillusioned and are ready to call it quits. But, don’t give up quite yet. After all, you really are just getting started. I mention this because I just had an author the other day after four months tell me they were throwing in the towel. I told them that as their publisher I wasn’t ready to do that and so he decided to keep his baby active just not to promote it.

I waited a couple of days and sent him a quick email letting him know I was in the process of updating his files and asked him to take a look at them. After a couple more days I got back in touch to find out how it was going and was told to proceed with the files as is and order him some more books.

Don't Give Up!I tell you this to make you aware that if you are thinking the way he was thinking, you need to step back and take a breath and refocus on your ‘why’. It’s not always about the numbers early on, it is about the belief in yourself and your work.

The truth of the matter is that it takes three years to see a modicum of success. Usually, momentum hasn’t even begun to build until almost a year down the road. If you think about it, you don’t even get your first commission check from Amazon or your publisher for two to three months after your first sale. So, after four months of time and money investing you have barely scratched the surface.

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Amazon Book Review Guidelines from the Horse’s Mouth

There’s a lot of question around Amazon reviews. As a publisher/author this is a subject near and dear to my heart. So, I went searching and found the answers. Now, to set the record straight, it seems going to the source directly, instead of reading other ‘take’ on the issue makes the most sense.

Amazon Customer Review Help Page

Amazon Customer Review Help Page

When I first arrived at the Official Help Page for Customer Reviews it was a bit confusing as I found that when I click each link in the body of the page it came up blank. Nevertheless, my tenacity paid off when I discovered that on the left sidebar is a list of subtopics that actually hold the information I was on my Amazon Quest to find. Oh, I like that!

So, here we go …

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Give Credit Where and When It’s Due

Recently, on one of my FaceBook groups a question was posed by one of the authors that I hear time-and-time again, “What are the rules for using quotes in books/journals?” So today, I thought I would answer that question here for you as a handy reference.*

To start out, any meaningful, significant, copyrighted phrase, and music lyrics can not be used without the expressed permission from the source. Sometimes that means months, and even years if ever, of waiting and/or payment to do so. If you are wondering what ‘significant’ means it is more than 30% or the ‘meat’ of the work.

Here’s how it is officially stated.

“In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.”

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Facebook Social Media Graphic ‘Hack’

As you all know, graphic design is what I love. All forms of design from business branding and marketing to book cover design and formatting done well draw my immediate attention. That’s why in this post I just have to share with you a Facebook social media graphic ‘hack’ that I learned and implemented just yesterday!

You already know that in Facebook, in your profile area, you can use up to five images that you have uploaded to ‘Feature’. Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but … this area can be used to better purpose by following these doable, and simple, directions.

First, you have to design the graphic. I know, not all of you are designers so you may have to ask for help from yours—or you could hire me, *wink*—but here’s what you need to know about how to design it.

  • In your graphic design program open a new document and set the size to 300 x 300 px. If you go longer than that it will be cut off, as I found out the hard way and had to go back and readjust my original longer design.
  • Add a CTA (Call To Action) either button or text at the bottom that we have become used to seeing so your visitor knows what you want them to do. This can be something as simple as ‘Click here’ or as specific as you want and will encourage them to click the graphic where they will find your link, which you’ll add later in the description.
Design your graphic while keeping in mind the purpose you intend.

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Life After Kindle Book Launch

In order to keep your book alive after your promotion on Kindle ends you could do quite a few thing. They all involve promotion. After all is said and done, if you don’t promote they won’t come, if they don’t come, they won’t see, if they don’t see how can they ever purchase? You have to accept the fact that you are changing your hat, so-to-speak. When you wrote your book, like I did, you were a writer. Then you changed hats the day your book launched and earned the moniker of Author. Now, you have another chapeau to wear, that of marketer.

But what does that really mean?

Do at least five things each day to keep your book in the pubic eye.

Some of the things that I do  are:

  1. Comment on blogs to create link backs
  2. Use Social Media to connect with potential readers
  3. Grow your contact list by connecting with other authors in your niche (they are potential partners, NOT competition!)
  4. Create and purchase ad space
  5. Search for podcasts that you could possibly be a guest on

There’s five different things you could start with, but don’t limit yourself to these. There are a ton more you could benefit from sticking your toe in the proverbial water.

Until next time, “Show you care before you share.” —Ginger Marks

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And We’re Live

Finally after a too long hiatus it’s time to get back in the swing of things. I am going to share with you at least once per week beginning today!

Over the years I have been building my business of publishing and design and keeping up with the annual Weird & Wacky Holiday Marketing Guide. Last year I started offering one free bonus marketing idea on the HolidayMarketingGuide.com website. I am continuing that tradition this year. I hope you will visit me over there as well.

I am also now on the board of the Florida Authors and Publishers Association FAPA www.myFAPA.org where I help with the designing and have been a feature speaker and panelist at their annual conference. I indeed have been keeping busy.

This week’s piece of advice is something that I have recently come to embrace.

Use the software you have as it was intended to be used.

Word is not a formatting or drawing program. I have seen it used for those purposes over the years and the results are always tentative at best. Get yourself acquainted with the right software for the right job.

Even creatives get caught in this snare. As an example, Adobe has a host of programs that professionals use incorrectly. Illustrator is not a photo manipulation or layout program, and is Photoshop is not a drawing or formatting program. To use InDesign for photo manipulation or drawing does you and your clients a disservice. Therefore, if you have not been using your software as it was intended I highly recommend that this year you change that bad habit!

That’s all for now. See you on the web. To an awesome 2017!

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