Take the Book Marketing Expertise Quiz!

After my last post, I decided to develop a quiz that authors and publishers can take to discover their level of marketing expertise. I plan to post this quiz on my website where Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace is sold.

I am offering a sneak peak here for my blog readers.

Take the quiz! It’s simple. Just answer “yes” or “no” to each question. The number of “yes” or “no” answers you give will determine your level of expertise.


1.  Did you secure endorsements for your book prior to publication?

2.  Did you submit your book for reviews to each of the following: online book reviewers, library journals, Christian church library journals, and Christian bookstore publications?

3.  Is your book available through a national book distributor / wholesaler?

4.  Do you, as an author, or your book have a presence on social media websites including: a blog, a microblog (Twitter or Plurk), Facebook/MySpace, and a book social networking site?

5.  Does your book have a promotional book video and is it posted on multiple sites online?

6.  Has your book taken a physical (bookstores, etc.) or virtual (blog) tour?

7.  Have you nominated your book for at least one book award?

8.  Can you name five websites and publications that your target audience enjoys?

9.  Can you name the top four Christian bookstore chains?

10.  Do you have a written marketing plan for your book that includes specific tasks and timelines?

Now you can grade yourself:

9-10 Yes answers – Veteran

You are a Veteran book marketer. You know what you are doing. You understand the importance of good marketing. If you need some additional Christian resources for marketing opportunities you might find the numerous resources listed in Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace useful.

5-8 Yes answers – Amateur

You are an Amateur book marketer. You have some experience and are doing fine with most of your marketing efforts. However you could use some work to improve and strengthen your marketing strategies. Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace will provide just the guidance and resources you need.

0-4 Yes answers – Novice

You are a Novice, also known as a beginner, and you need help. You are missing some basic concepts and trends in book marketing. Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace is just the resource you need to guide you on your journey in marketing your book.

Let me know if you think this quiz is helpful.

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What is Your Level of Book Marketing Expertise?

I recently had an inquiry from an author considering purchasing my book, Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace.

This author’s concern was that my book might be for “beginners” and since she had already published a book and done some marketing she did not want to waste her money on a book that only gave the “basics.”

I couldn’t help wondering “Since when is a one book author no longer a ‘beginner’ at book marketing?” I am inclined to think that this is the very definition of a “beginning” book marketer. Maybe after the third or fourth book, one can claim to be an “amateur” book marketer.yg2-front

This author went on to say in her email that she “could not afford distribution.”

Every “amateur” book marketer should know that distribution is one of the fundamentals in marketing a book. The more places your book is available for sale, the more sales you will make.

Among her marketing and sales endeavors, this author listed Twitter, Facebook, an unfocused blog, and cold-calling bookstores. She was writing me to find out what my book would give her in terms of resources that she could not find herself.

All the marketing efforts this author listed are good endeavors, but it is clear to me that she lacks a comprehensive marketing plan. Her efforts are unfocused and scattered. She is also lacking in some of the more important marketing endeavors, including endorsements and reviews, which are integral to a good marketing plan.

I kindly let the author know that the resources in Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace took years of research and knowledge acquired from assisting publishers in marketing their Christian books for me to accumulate. In addition, I directed her to the reviews listed on the book’s website where publishers report that, after years of publishing and marketing experience, they still found valuable and useful information in the book.

Maybe I need to develop a quiz that authors can take to rate their level of marketing expertise so that they know if they really need the information listed in my book.

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How to Catch the Media’s Attention

All authors hope that they will be able to “catch” the media’s attention and gain great coverage for their book. Authors know that good media coverage can boost a book’s sales.

What is the best way to engage the media and catch their attention? Drew Gerber, CEO of PitchRate.com, a complimentary networking service that allows journalist participants to make requests for input and for expert participants to submit pitches, talks about three ways to engage the media in this video:

  1. Make short pitches.
  2. Put a link to your book’s website in your pitch.
  3. Tell the journalist why he should care and why he should care now.

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Want to Publish Your Book? Cut Out the Middle Man!

The recent news is full of a certain large Christian publishing house starting a “self-publishing” (vanity press) imprint. The publishing house claims they want to help authors who can’t find a traditional publisher (which they are). Critics are saying that the publishing house just wants another way to make money.

The publishing industry is suffering. Books, once considered recession-proof, are no longer selling well in the current economy. Book reading is declining in our country. The number of books published each year continues to increase, making the competition for book sales stiff.books

One recent survey found that 81 percent of people feel that they have a book in them and that they should write it. With the advent of print-on-demand and digital printing technology, the cost to publish a book has come within reach for the average American.

The number of authors choosing to finance the publishing of their own books increases each year. With so many authors self-publishing, the traditional royalty publishing industry, looking for a way to boost their revenues, is turning to opening “self-publishing” imprints.

Among Christian publishers, Bethany Press led the way with Believers Press at the beginning of 2009. B&H, in partnership with Lifeway, joined the trend this summer and announced the opening of CrossBooks at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS). Now Thomas Nelson, not wanting to be left behind, has joined with Author Solutions to open WestBow, their vanity imprint.

So, as an author who wants to publisher your own book, how do you choose? Which one is the best option?

Let me tell you: Cut out the middle man.

Start your own publishing company. Publish the book yourself.

Every one of these “self-publishing” imprints of a large traditional royalty publishing house is offering the service because they want to make money. That means that you pay them not just to publish your book, but for their profit as well.

Why pay a “self-publishing” imprint to publish your book when you can publish it yourself? Here are some great reasons to publish your book yourself:

  1. It’s cheaper.
  2. You retain more control over the look and feel of the final product.
  3. You start earning money quicker from book sales.
  4. Either way you and you alone are responsible for marketing your book.

If you want to consider publishing your own book, but don’t know where to begin, then purchase my audio presentation (with outline) on how to publish your own book. The cost is just $6.00 and the presentation provides you with the basic information you need to publish a book yourself. Click here to order the presentation.

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The Amazing Book Race

What a great way to promote literacy and books!

Sponsored by an adult and family literacy nonprofit organization, the Amazing Book Race is a fun-packed day where teams of 4-5 people race around to Ottawa’s downtown literacy checkpoints. At each location, the teams are given literacy-based tasks such as reading a story to a group of people or completing a word search. Once a team has visited all the checkpoints, they return to the starting point to claim their prize and rest with some well-deserved refreshments.

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