Francine Silverman is the editor of Book Marketing from A-Z as well as the editor of the popular Book Promotion Newsletter. She has recently become a columnist for John Kremer's blog. Below she gives advice on how to successfully market your books.
1. What has been the most successful for you in your own marketing efforts?
I would have to say starting the ezine, Book Promotion Newsletter, in March 2003. My subscribers have been so supportive and have wonderful marketing ideas to share.
2. What do you wish you had done differently in marketing your books?
When my local guidebooks, Catskills Alive and Long Island Alive, were published, I spent too much time seeking reviews instead of concentrating on getting the books into local stores. This was rectified with the second edition of Catskills Alive. The Catskills has many more mom and pop stores than Long Island so I got the book into several markets.
What I should have done for both books is teamed up with B&B owners and a local charity to have a book party. I should have asked the Chambers of Commerce to sponsor a talk by me about the region. As to Book Marketing from A-Z, the best sales have been from subscribers and contributors to the book. I am hoping that sales will increase by my representing other authors with my new publicity service. I also hope to teach and do some speaking engagements in the spring, which should help boost sales.
3. What are your recommendations for writers and small publishers in
order to be successful?
The most important thing for writers is to know their audience. Who are they writing for? The second is to identify the benefit. How will their audience improve or enhance their lives or their business from their book? Small publishers who publish books of other authors should work as a team. Authors and publishers can learn a lot from one another. Unfortunately, most publishers know little about marketing, but how many look to their authors for advice?
4. You've recently had a book published on marketing books. Tell us about that experience.
Book Marketing from A-Z (Infinity Publishing, 2005) was the result of the newsletter.
I realized I had oodles of great marketing ideas from subscribers that could be categorized and compiled into a book. Because the book has 325 contributors, I could share the joy of its publication with them. Many suggested ways to market the book or put the book on their websites. This communal experience was so much better than when my guidebooks were published.
The book has since spawned an Expert Site and now the publicity service. Who knows what's next?