View Full Version : Promoting Your Mystery: Advertising, Marketing & PR

March 21st, 2011, 07:42 AM
Yeah, your book was just picked up by your publisher.

Your next thought is how do I begin to market and promote your book. Your publisher will take you only so far. If you want to be successful, you need to plan your marketing and adverting.

This week, I am going to publish several chapters of my book Driving Book Sales to help you turn your books into best sellers.

My credentials: I have over 35 yearsí experience in advertising, marketing and public relations. I began as a copywriter with a regional advertising agency and ended my career as National Director of an International Advertising Agency. In the early gold rush days of the Internet, I was Executive Vice President of Communications with a major Internet Company.

I came to the table with a broad background of experience in marketing, advertising and public relations. The book industry was a new genre for me with new so I took the time to learn. Some of my experience, I admit, came from trial and error with the end result, knowing what aspects of book marketing are effective and what aspects simply donít work.

Driving Book Sales through Public Relations and Promotions began as a series of lectures for any number of writerís conferences to include Sisters in Crime, the Florida Writers Association and to the Romance Writers of America online Kiss of Death Chapter as well as the Florida Publishers Association and other Romance Writers of America Chapters.

Authors, writers and attendees have asked me to put these classes into a book format.

Driving Book Sales through Public Relations and Promotions is an easy to read primer on every aspect of publicity, marketing, advertising and public relations. This little book is a comprehensive guide that contains sound marketing strategies that will work online and in the real world to help you make your book a success.

I have 26 chapters in Driving Book Sales and they include an Introduction to Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations which I will be sharing today, the High Concept which we already covered, Blurbs, writing the Tip Sheet, Branding, Amazon, Google; Blogging, Book Signings, Chats and Online Review Sites, Contests, Auctions, Prizes, Direct Mail, Newsletters and Personal Appearances.

Driving Book Sales also includes Personal Appearances - Public Speaking, how to write and where to send Press Releases, includes other Opportunities in Print and Media. You will also learn what should go in The Press Kit, Promo Items, how to book appearances on Radio and TV and niche marketing, selling beyond the bookstore and including elements for a successful website and how to take the information and write out your own personal Marketing Plan.

I want to begin by sharing a couple of realities:

Your print book will generally have a six week shelf life at the bookstore. Your local book seller is likely to keep local authors a bit longer, but donít count on it. Thus, you have a six week selling cycle and after that time, unsold copies will be returned to your publisher and sold through online booksellers like Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.

Your online book will be in cyber space forever and will be available forever. You will want to expand your selling cycle to accommodate continued success.

You simply cannot depend on your publisher to help you sell books.

If you are with a major publishing house; their focus is on their top selling authors like Nora Roberts, John Grisham and Stephan King. Their A list authors are going to garner a lionís share of the publisherís limited publicity budget.

At most major houses there are less than 10 publicists for every 125 authors. The majority of the publicists are fresh out of college as the seasoned publicists have moved on to more lucrative positions elsewhere.

If you write E-books, your publisher will help but if you truly want to hit the high sales, you need to do your own promotion.

As a midlist author, it pays to learn how to do your own publicity and you donít need to spend thousands or even hundreds of dollars on advertising or publicity.

Here is the good news, in fact is great news. As a writer, you already have the tools you need within you. You have the inborn talent to write a book, you certainly can pen a press release; you just need to know where to send it.

Today we will begin with an overview and introduction to Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations. Tomorrow we will be discussing Blurbs, Wednesday how to develop a Tip Sheet and Thursday we will cover branding.


Marketing in its simplest context, the umbrella to which all, in our case; book sales and promotions are developed. This includes advertising, public relations, publicity and promotion.

Marketing sets forth specific goals, and develops and implements plans, sets budgetary parameters, and projects outcome.

In addition to setting initiatives, Marketing also assists in developing branding, and helps you with your scheduling and setting budgetary parameters.


Advertising will attract public attention to your book through paid announcements, print ads, billboards, and electronically. You can off-set advertising costs by sharing your advertising dollars with a friend or groups but understand Advertising is expensive and is my least favorite way to attract attention to your books.

Studies show that as Americans we are subjected to over 3,000 advertising messages a day. Those messages include television, ads on radio, the backs of cereal boxes, internet ads, billboards, the back of bathroom stalls and mall display signs. Unless you have unlimited funds in your advertising budget, itís difficult to capture attention.

Buying a banner add right here at Coffeetime and posting your messages with your signature line is an excellent way to promote your book through advertising.

Publicity & Public Relations:

The most effective way to capture that same attention is through public relations, promotions and publicity.

Publicity, hands down, is the key component in any good marketing and public relations strategy. Unlike advertising where you pay for attention, publicity is free.
Publicity and promotions will drive your book sales.

Your publicity campaign will give you credibility, name recognition and helps you develop your brand. Publicity will help you increase book sales and publicity is free.

In my book Driving Book Sales I explore the various marketing opportunities and the 26 chapters cover,

The next three lessons are the cornerstone for almost everything that follows.

Your High Concept that you have developed will find its way into almost everything you do and you will find yourself using it in almost every aspect of your bookís promotion.
Included are my own Tip Sheets as well as my High Concepts and blurbs. Use them as guidelines to create your own.

To develop your own high concept, think about the amount of words on a Billboard Sign, seven words or less. Describe your novel with a few quick easy words to say and if you can draw popular themes. Make it catchy and memorable. The High Concept was previously posted in this seminar.

Please free to post your High Concepts and ask any questions you may have.


March 31st, 2011, 03:26 PM
Cookies, deposit boxes, and a determined Santa.

You make the high concept look so easy.

April 10th, 2011, 08:10 PM
Telly, LOL, thanks for the compliment but in reality, I struggle with the High Concept all the time!