Sunday, March 06, 2005

More Take An Educated Shot in the Dark

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been working on some promotion for my forthcoming book.  Often in this process, I’m working in faith that something will actually sell from this promotional effort. I’ve done several things to help this unpredictable process:

1. I created a quality and tested book manuscript. None of the other things I’m doing will have merit if the book isn’t well done. Currently this book is only available as an ebook but I’ve received emails from a number of writers about the contents and how it has helped them. Next month, my ebook, Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success, will become a trade paperback. My original ebook (currently on the site for another few weeks) has been greatly expanded and improved. My forthcoming manuscript has been professionally copy edited.  Quality is a key element for any product which will be successful—or so it seems to me.

2. The book has an appropriate title and outstanding cover design. The outward package looks attractive.

3. Over the last few months, I’ve utilized my publishing network to gather endorsements for the book. These endorsements are the type which will hold weight with my potential readers and were thoughtfully and purposely gathered. I asked 17 different people and to my surprise 15 of those people sent endorsements.  These promotional blurbs are helping the publicity process—on the front cover and the back cover (I’m working on getting a better image for the back cover). Plus the endorsements fill two pages on the inside of the book. Also I’m using them with the press materials and other places. It took some preparation and planning to secure these endorsements but they are important to the process.

4. I created some quality Advance Review Copies (ARC) of this book. In some cases, the publisher will create these ARCs. I’m working with a small press and I created these copies. I made 16 copies and because the cover is designed and the interior of the book is at the printer, the ARCs are essentially the finished book.  I’ve received many of these types of galleys or advance materials in the past. I know my book will stand out in this process because of what is typically received. It’s another way I’m using my educated publishing experience into this process.

5. I created a relevant and topical news release with the largest possible target audience in mind. I worked and reworked this news release before sending it. I made sure every word was spelled right and the release made sense and would draw the readers plus contain all of the relevant information about the book. For ideas in this process, I used various promotional books I’ve mentioned in my previous post.

6. I created a personal cover letter for each of these press kits. I collected the person’s current name and address to make sure I was sending the package to the right person. I slanted each cover letter to the particular person (magazine editors, book reviewers and editorial directors of book clubs).

7. I made each of these packets to the absolute best of my ability. They looked as professional out of the packet as the many that I have received over the years and in some cases much better.

8. I took them personally to the local post office. Each one was weighed and mailed.  Some times they are delayed and return if they don’t have the right postage.

9. In addition, I’ve been creating a unique website for this book. I used a short and relevant domain name and I’ve been working on key elements for the website. If you go to the link, it’s a work in progress.

At the end of the day, I’ve taken an educated shot in the dark with the book promotion.  I’m hopeful that it will open some amazing doors and people will learn about my new book. I’m absolutely certain that if I had done nothing, none of these people would know about my book. There are many books produced with little of this type of promotional effort. Now at least I’ve knocked on the door and shown them my excellent book. At the end of the day, it’s still a shot in the dark and the results are unpredictable.

Here’s my advice for you, work with excellence yet make sure you get it out of your head or your file drawer and into the marketplace.  It’s through your continual venturing out that something is able to happen. 

3 Comment:

At 9:04 AM, Blogger C.J. Darlington Left a note...

Terry, does your new book have anything about fiction proposals? I'm always looking to learn more about these.

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...

C.J. My new book does briefly discuss the differences between a fiction proposal and a nonfiction proposal. The bulk of the book is about nonfiction proposals. Any writer will find valuable my insight about the editor's life, how publishing decisions are made, the current state of the market and how to track trends (information included in the book). Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, this book would give you some additional publishing insight. Thanks for the question.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger C.J. Darlington Left a note...

Thanks, Terry. I'm looking forward to reading the book when it comes out.


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