An Equation Every Publisher Should Know

Brian Jud recently wrote an article on “50 Tips for Promoting Your Book” over on Book Business Magazine. In his first 25 tips, I think three deserve highlighting. These are three that I have talked about time and time again, but since I keep running into publishers who don’t pay any attention to them, I guess I need to continue to use one of Brian’s other 25 tips, which is “say something old in a new way”. So here goes.

The three tips from Brian Jud’s article I think need highlighting are:

  1. People do not buy quickly. A one-time exposure will not make a person buy your book. Even hearing a recommendation from a friend once won’t necessarily get them to buy a book. A person needs to be exposed to a book anywhere from 7 to 12 times before they will make a purchase.
  2. Promote daily. If you are not selling many books, it is probably because you are not doing much promotion. Marketing your book to your target audience must be an on-going task. Do one to three things every day to promote your book (and not the same things every day, vary what you do).
  3. Use a variety of promotional tools. This is the varying part. There are many, many different ways to promote a book. Here are just a few: writing guest blog posts (check out BloggerLinkUp.com to find bloggers who need posts in your subject area), send your book on a blog tour (if you are a CSPA member consider using the BookCrash.com program), use Google Adwords to advertise your book, exhibit at a conference or tradeshow, use social media to promote your book, enter a book award, be an expert for the media (check out HelpaReporter.com to find journalists needing stories), and be a guest on a radio show (head on over to BlogTalkRadio.com to find hundreds of Internet shows looking for guests).

Self-publishers and small publishers wear many hats in their publishing business. Marketing is truly a time-consuming effort. It is easy to let it fall by the wayside. However, if you want to sell books, you can’t neglect marketing.

The equation is simple: Promotion = Book Sales. Remember, the inverse is also true: No Promotion = No Book Sales.

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2 thoughts on “An Equation Every Publisher Should Know

  1. As a first time author who believes in the little novel God nudged me to write, generally framed as a “Baseball Story with 2 Christians on the Team,” with funds nonexistent at this time, would you consider a traditional approach to Christian publishing houses or something more grassroots.

    Would you give three non-negotiables in seeking publishing houses or is there another blog that deals more with them?

    Are there some superstars out there who gave it a go on their own, self-published, who I should track alongside their efforts?

    How highly do you value taking an individualized specific approach in self-publishing, trying to innovative on your own, or are there even for self-publishing, certain tried and true concepts to not miss?

    Are there any books you’d recommend beside the Christian Writer’s Market for reaching publishing Houses and self-publishing.

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  2. Roger:
    Wow, you asked a ton of questions. Here are some suggestions for you. You can try finding a traditional publisher. One place to start is on CSPA’s website at http://www.christianpublishers.net. Just click the link that says “Author Seeking a Publisher.” If you decide to self-publish, think of raising funds through a creative solution like Kickstarter. You can read my blog post on it at https://marketingchristianbooks.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/creative-funding-for-publishing-a-book/. There are many successful self-publishing stories! Check out John Kremer’s Self-Publishing Hall of Fame listing for a ton of success stories. You can find it at http://www.bookmarket.com/selfpublish.html. If you plan to self-publish, I recommend Don Poynter’s Self Publishing Manual or The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Tom and Marilyn Ross. I hope this information helps in getting you started on your journey. ~Sarah

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