Off and Running
Yesterday, I spent an hour online with writers about book proposals at an online writer’s conference (which continues this week). I sent ahead a brief handout, then used some of the time for lecture and other time to quickly answer questions. The conference director moderated my panel and also sent a list of all the registered participants. I followed up the session with a news release to each of them which stressed some additional benefits in Book Proposals That Sell. While this effort wasn’t a huge one on my part, I write about it so you can see the on-going necessity to tap into your core audience and tell them about your book or to be speaking on the key subject of your book.
With the number of available books sold (and it grows daily), it takes time and effort to find your audience. Some writers give up too easily. Connecting with your audience doesn’t have to consume your every waking moment—but I believe it is something you should be doing on a consistent basis (particularly if you are looking for a successful book). Over the last few days, I’ve been pulling my teaching notes and my books to head for the Glorieta Christian Writers Conference. It begins tomorrow evening in New Mexico. For the first time at this conference, I’m teaching the continuing class on the nonfiction book (or about six hours). Part of that session includes information about book proposals but I will be covering many other topics during this time period. I’ve prepared 16 pages of handouts (my conference limit) which are crammed with additional information and resources for the people in my session. I’m eager to pass on my information and experiences. If you are headed to Glorieta or another conference, make sure you read these articles about the value of a writers conference, networking and the keys to a successful conference—before you go. It will help you take full advantage of your time and give you some solid reminders.
Finally today I want to tell you about a simple, cost-effective way to promote your book—but it takes careful planning and thought to put it together properly. I’m talking about bookmarks. For the Glorieta Conference I’m carrying enough bookmarks for each attendee and each staff member. At a trade show or bookstore, I’m always picking up these bookmarks and looking at them. Some are more effective than others—that’s why you have to plan. This entry includes my current bookmark (but a bit smaller than the actual printed bookmark). Notice I have a short simple headline to draw you into the topic. It says, “Achieve Your Dreams.” Then I include a color miniature of the book cover—but not too small that you can’t read the title.
Next I include an endorsement which stresses the benefits of my book from someone with credibility (an editorial director at a publishing house). While I put together this bookmark, the words on it are from someone else—which increases the effectiveness in my view.
Finally I include the critical information so people can use the bookmark to get the book. I include the retail price (which is also printed on the back of my book), the International Standard Book Number (ISBN). With this number, someone could carry the bookmark into their local brick and mortar bookstore and order Book Proposals That Sell. Then I include the name of my publisher (Write Now Publications) and finally a website address. When I launched the book a couple of years ago, I created this website and maintain it and keep it current. For example, this site includes my speaking schedule.
I see a number of bookmarks which do not include the necessary information. I’ve mentioned it before but one of the most difficult things for anyone to proofread is something which is not there. Before you run out and print several thousand bookmarks, make sure your bookmark includes the essentials which help your reader purchase your book.