The Book Launch Strategy Every Author Should Use

Chanting crowdHow can you get a ‘rave’ response when you launch your next book?

Start Marketing Your Book Long Before It Appears On The Stage

The day your book launches is way too late to start your marketing program if you want to see a significant level of early sales.  Ideally your ‘theater’ needs to be filled with an eagerly waiting crowd, long before your book fronts the footlights. But for first time authors this can quite rightly seem to be an impossible stretch.

Colleen Hoover 'Hopeless'Most authors dream of hitting a home run, as Colleen Hoover did earlier this year with her novel Hopeless.  But the reality is this does not happen for the vast majority of writers, and so promotional activity needs to begin well in advance.

For example, Tim Ferris started marketing three years before he launched The 4 Hour Work Week by collecting bloggers, media and supporters, and stayed in touch with them right through.

Rebecca Skloot also began building her audience several years before launching her book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Is it Too Late To Start?

If you did leave marketing your book until after launch, don’t worry – all is not lost.  Not at all in fact!  It simply means that it’ll take a little longer.  And if it’s an eBook, you still have plenty of time to successfully market your book, because on Amazon, your book lasts forever, giving it time to find its audience.  But do start today if you haven’t already.

The fact is, for the initial book in your series, you may not entirely ‘fill the theater’ prior to launch.  But by the time your third book in your series comes around, you’ll not only have a fan base, but be well versed in all the theatrical tactics around launching a book.

This has also been my personal experience.  I took a very long road and found out the hard way.  But after taking many wrong turns, I finally made it and am happy to share what I’ve discovered.

Don’t Plan To Be ‘In Store’, Plan To Be READ

For a moment, picture the dream of the aspiring author:  A newly published novel on the bookstore shelves:

Book Store Shelves

But… where is it?  The reality is that the thrill of seeing your book ‘live’ in a store wears off very quickly.

Publishing is merely the beginning.  What you really need is your books being read, because if your books have appeal, readers will want to spread the word.  Your fans are ‘reader evangelists’ who’ll carry the flame for your books and drive the most powerful form of promotion – word-of-mouth recommendation.

Your task therefore is to ignite the viral flame using your author platform, which includes interaction with readers on social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.

You’re A Rock Star To Your Readers, So Connect With Them

Book ReaderReaders have given you their commitment, you owe them yours.

So take time to communicate with them and reply if they ask questions or send praise.  Why?  Because if you keep on producing titles, and maintain contact, your readers will become your fans and ‘Word Of Mouth’ promoters for life.

Your fans value the fruits of your imagination far more than you may ever know.  From your very first book, readers become invested in you.  If your books are well written and have appeal, they’ll buy everything you write and feel they ‘own’ you.  You certainly owe them your allegiance, because they’ve given you theirs.

Aim your communications at them, connect with them, and keep the fans you’ve already made constantly fascinated, engaged, and crowding into the ‘theater’ at the launch of your next book.

And the bottom line is… start today.

Note:  This post is part 1 of a 3 part series on how to sell more books.
Part 2:  How To Attract Readers By Creating A ‘Lighthouse’ Author Brand
Part 3:  7 Bestseller Marketing Strategies For Fiction Authors

 

I hope this was reassuring.  Is your book published?  Did you start your promotion late?  (You are not alone.)   Can you think of other mistakes writers make?  Do leave a comment.

Jonathan Gunson

Article written by Jonathan Gunson

Author / CEO Bestseller Labs

 

Notice: This article is copyrighted material. Reproduction of brief snippets of this article with a link to this site are permitted, but it may not be reproduced in full anywhere without the written permission of Jonathan Gunson at BestsellerLabs.com

Download My FREE Guide To Getting Published And Increasing Your Book Sales...

Free Download

Includes the strategy I used to sell over 350,000 copies of my bestselling book ‘The Merlin Mystery’

Get The Free Guide
Privacy assured. Your email
address will never be shared

Comments

  • Julia says:
    April 18, 2013 at 9:23am

    This is inspiring and exciting, Jonathan, and I have actually just started to try to do this very thing on my website and blog and on facebook and twitter. But nevertheless, at present there is only a smattering of followers/fans. What I don’t fully grasp is how I get folks interested in reading my blogs, etc? I try to make blogs and anouncements on fb/twitter current and somehow related to events of the moment that are trending but I’m not convinced that I’m very good at it! Also I need to spend the bulk of my time writing my next novel, otherwise, with all the advertising in the world, it won’t actually be on the shelves! So, Jonathan, how can I invest my time wisely and profitably – how do I attract followers/fans to the first base?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 9:48am

      Julia
      I’ll be releasing a blogging product for authors shortly, although I’ll also be putting up posts as well, containing a lot of ‘how to’ information. The secret is to talk about the world around your book (about your genre). Scandal is always good for example! Then post intriguing links to your equally intriguing blog posts, in which readers ALSO discover your books.
      ~Jonathan
      PS. Fiona Ingram’s advice is spot on re blog tours.

      • April 18, 2013 at 10:12am

        Thanks for are all the great suggestions, but I can understand what Julia is saying about putting in time that you need for your writing. I feel the same often but have realised that there is no getting away from it. You need to put in almost as much time marketing your book as you spent writing it so that the original effort is not wasted. I have several books available in print on Amazon but find the sales very poor. Recently I put up a collection of ghost stories for children independently and have decided to use all these tips to push that book and hopefully my earlier titles by conventional publishers will get noticed.
        Beginning, I’m going to look at my description again, as suggested by Terri. Then work on my Author profile and review more books which has worked so well for Fiona. Networking on sites like Goodreads has paid off a bit for me in terms of reviews.
        Jonathon, I’m looking forward to your blogging product for authors. I liked the suggestion in one of your earlier blogs too, about adding links and book description about other titles in your Kindle Book.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          April 18, 2013 at 10:58am

          Deepa
          It all takes time – there’s the rub. But let me add this: The most important aspect is Amazon. This post is about ‘starting early’. And that early work includes deep preparations to ensure your potential readers head for Amazon in particular when you launch. If already launched, the same applies. You’ll get more bang for your buck by working the Amazon system than almost anything else. The objective of Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and a blog is (apart from attracting allies and supporters) to send readers over there to ignite the process. That effort will pay off even more if your Amazon set up is maximized.
          ~Jonathan

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          April 18, 2013 at 1:11pm

          Deepa
          The Kindle links suggestion is a beauty even if I say so myself!
          ~Jonathan

      • Valentina says:
        April 18, 2013 at 10:46am

        I understand Julia’s problem. I started a pre-launch campaign of my novel 3 months before its publication. I thought it would attract a lot of attention, because it is an enhanced eBook. However, after my pre-launch, just one person bought the novel. The other readers came later. Maybe one problem was that the campaign was too short (Jonathan, you talked about 3-4 years in advance. Is it not too much?). But I think my mistake was that my blog didn´t have many readers (ca. 10 visitors per day) at that time. That means, the first step for a blogging author is to build an audience, and that’s difficult and time-consuming.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          April 18, 2013 at 12:10pm

          True enough Valentina.
          You don’t have to spend 3 years in preparation, that is an extreme example, although clearly in each case it paid off. Attracting attention does require having a great book, with consistent effort. If your book is on Amazon, then studying that system and learning how to work it to advantage would be the most productive. The idea of blogs, Twitter and Facebook is to find readers and draw their attention to your books on Amazon to start that process.
          ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 9:25am

    Hi! well as an independent author with six books on sale, I’m really struggling with the whole marketing strategy. It’s knowing where to start and where to go to keep up a momentum. I’ve written a series of crime novels set in Manchester and featuring DCI Sara Hoyland. She’s an interesting woman and a good police officer and all the books centre on a contemporary crime with a hard political edge that sometimes goes back some way in history. Any ideas to get my marketing rolling I’d be grateful for.

    • April 18, 2013 at 9:35am

      David: I have found that reviewing books in my genre (I review all genres) has attracted interest from people who like that genre. Whenever I post a MG book review, I get loads of comments from the Moms, who are the buyers for their MG kids. Try reviewing crime novels which are incredibly popular. If you have an Amazon author profile, then your reviews show up on your profile and people tend to read more about the reviewer. Again, book sites like Shelfari, Goodreads and LibraryThing are a fountain of potential readers. Follow authors, post your reviews and wait for your own fan base to grow. Just a suggestion. (I have tried so many avenues!)

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        April 18, 2013 at 10:01am

        Thanks Julia. High value. David, a huge question: Essentially the idea is to locate where your prospective readers gather. Amazon is the big Kahuna of course, by listing your books in the right categories, using the right keywords to which Terri just alluded. But you can also locate readers on Twitter by this means: http://bestsellerlabs.com/how-to-find-readers-on-twitter/
        Another big source is to write guest blog posts for large high ranking literary blogs that are in your market genre. Even broader will give you coverage.
        ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 9:30am

    Julia: many people decry blog tours, but I have found it a marvellous way of getting to a target audience, and one that passes on recommendations to followers/friends. I have done three very successful ones for my first MG novel. (Women on Writing; World of Ink; Pump Up Your Book). Another good thing is all your reviews and guest posts from these tours go onto the web so you begin to have a huge profile without really trying very hard. Of course, you then have substantial info to FB and Tweet about. Reviewers then put their reviews on Shelfari, Goodreads etc. If you do interesting guest posts it makes it more interesting for followers and they then send to their friends. Blog hops are also good and open the doors to other bloggers who pass on info.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 1:13pm

      Excellent thank you Julia. Almost a blog post in its own right. Blog tours are a brilliant pathway – if you can get a string of the right bloggers to agree.
      ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 9:48am

    I think the biggest mistake most authors make is blowing off what could be the most important part of marketing – the book description on Amazon (or other vendors). They don’t think about pumping it full of keywords that will make it pop up earlier in the search when people show up. Too many are down the street and around the corner from the bookstore, when they should be right there in the aisle next to the bookshelf for their genre or topic.

    They often spend hours on blog tours, Facebook posts, tweets trying to reach a few hundred people when thousands of people everyday are looking for books like theirs right in the online bookstores themselves. Then when they find the page, they get a one or two line description with about as much excitement as a preparation H commercial. Maybe less.

    In other words, they are selling to hundreds, but not doing a thing to reach thousands.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 9:52am

      Terri
      Amazon is the elephant in the room, and cannot be ignored. In fact is about 80% of the equation for Indie authors, let alone traditional. In my upcoming material I say a lot about attracting readers to Amazon by the very means you describe. So what you say is absolutely right, and the same applies to author description, and equally to the quality of book covers. They need to be amazing. See http://bestsellerlabs.com/the-billboard-that-can-make-or-break-your-books-success/
      ~Jonathan

      • April 18, 2013 at 8:11pm

        I agree with what Jonathan and Terri said. Amazon is the place to sell books, and where authors should hang out with their loyal readers and prospective ones.

        It just saddens me that authors are shouldering a lot of these marketing responsibilities that used to be traditional publishers’ selling point to attract authors to them. If authors are continually having to market their own books, why need publishers? Authors have to go directly to their readers anyway, interacting with them, building up reading tribes, keeping their brands current in readers’ minds and pocketbooks. It seems to me that authors needs publicists more than publishers in this new publishing world. What do you think?

      • April 18, 2013 at 10:44pm

        Yes, Jonathan. I am just now testing the waters elsewhere, but I try to optimize the book description, about the author, and from the author. If I can get the keywords into the title or series name, I’ll do that too.

        Of course, doing that while still making the text readable takes some time. However, I find so many people just toss off the description or try to write it like a jacket cover blurb neither of which really play to the Amazon search engine. I did write a short book on Kindle about this. However, this is your site and I’m not going to promo it here.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          April 19, 2013 at 12:13am

          Terri
          Do post the link to your Kindle book here – in a reply to this comment.
          ~Jonathan

          • April 19, 2013 at 3:17am

            Thanks, Johnathan, I just don’t want to be one of those people who go blog hopping for sales.

            It’s called Point of Sale: Secrets to Supercharging Your presence on Kindle

            http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BD2PNO2

  • Julia says:
    April 18, 2013 at 9:59am

    Many thanks to Jonathan, Fiona and Terri. All advice welcome!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 10:59am

      You’re welcome Julia. Part 2 of this “How To Sell More Books’ blog is out next week.
      ~Jonathan

    • April 18, 2013 at 10:45pm

      Yes, Julia. We can all learn together.

  • April 18, 2013 at 10:06am

    Jonathan: Well said, and of course, your’re absolutely right. Gifted writing, by itself, is not enough in today’s fast changing world publishing. Indie Author’s have to wear a lot of hats. Some of these hats don’t fit so well. Most Indie Author’s don’t have marketing experience and feel helpless after completing what they thought was the hard part, writing their book. This is true even if they somehow snag an agent and a traditional publisher. Traditional publisher aren’t throwing around as much money as they used to. In fact, if you’re an unknown author, even though they have accepted your book, you the author, will still have to do most of the marketing and promoting.

    Websites like yours are a tremendous help. Attending an Indie Author workshop, like the one in Tampa, Fl on November 1st and 2nd, is also something to consider. Accessing the resources and tools of the self-publishing industry are critical elements to the success of an Indie Author. Good luck to all, and hope to see you at our conference.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 10:14pm

      Terry
      The workshop sounds like an excellent idea. It’ll certainly be encouraging.
      ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 10:12am

    Thank you Jonathan and Fiona – a lot of food for thought and like Julia, all advice is welcome!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 11:01am

      David. A little support and enthusiasm goes along way yes?
      Plus, think Amazon … Amazon… Amazon
      ~Jonathan

  • Sue Brown says:
    April 18, 2013 at 10:18am

    I’ve been published for nearly three years and have about 30 stories in print. This last year I have seen the benefit of having a visible presence on Facebook, and welcoming other authors to my blog. The goodwill created has definitely helped as other authors will promote me. I also chat about what I’m writing, while trying not to give too much away. Also, writing a series has definitely helped to get readers invested in the characters, and they will wait for the next book if you talk about it during the writing process.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 1:09pm

      Sue
      Love the sound of your author interactions. Community pays.
      ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 10:50am

    Thanks, Jonathan, for that interesting post on book marketing. You mention Twitter and Facebook and blog tours as some of the best ways to promote your book. Is Pinterest worth trying as well? Although my book In Pursuit of Platinum got to #2 for war stories on Amazon at Easter, I am still struggling to get to grips with this digital age. Twitter I can just about do, Facebook is still a bit of a mystery and now someone has suggested Pinterest to me. Would you recommend that?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 11:09am

      Vic
      Pinterest, like the other channels, has potential to attract a significant number of people to your books, and I’ll be writing about it in the coming months. But I would also be wary of spreading yourself too thinly. Twitter yes, Facebook bit by bit, because EVERYBODY is there. I capitulated a year ago, set up the Facebook page for Bestseller Labs, and it is now paying off.

      But only you will know if you have the time to run several channels. If you do, then great. But it is better to become expert at a few things than a Jack of all trades and master of none.

      See my blog post on this potentially fatal flaw
      http://bestsellerlabs.com/social-media-train-wreck-that-authors-must-avoid/

      ~Jonathan

      • April 18, 2013 at 11:36am

        Many thanks, Jonathan, and I’m grateful for the link to the blog post.

      • Diane says:
        April 18, 2013 at 3:18pm

        Thanks, Jonathan for the reassurance of not spreading ourselves too thin. I struggle with this. It’s hard to focus and prioritize when I’m on several social sites, blogging, reading great posts like yours and in my spare time trying to pound out my next book. Your expertise and suggestions are very helpful!

      • April 18, 2013 at 10:47pm

        I’ll look forward to your information on Pinterest. I don’t go there often, something about the way my brain is wired or something, the site is just so busy it bothers me for some reason. I just don’t know where to look. But that is me. I know a lot of people go there, so I’m using it, but I’m pretty sure I’m not using it to its full potential

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          April 20, 2013 at 12:56am

          I’m still investigating Pinterest and understand the advantages quite well now, but don’t have much of a presence there yet because I’m trying not to spread myself too thinly. I can see good value if used in a certain way. e.g. Colorful quotes from literature on beautiful, sharable backgrounds, posted as the source of inspriation for the author’s own books.
          ~Jonathan

          • WriterSideUp says:
            September 11, 2013 at 1:56am

            Jonathan, I’m so glad I’m following you on Twitter and that you re-posted this link! :D This is invaluable, much-appreciated content. Thank you SO much!

            I just wanted to mention that one author I know uses Pinterest predominantly for her own purposes–as bulletin boards for her own links, such as one page focusing on one aspect of research, another on articles that are handy, and so on. It can be a bulletin board-like tool for you as an author. It doesn’t have to serve as social media.

  • April 18, 2013 at 11:52am

    Jonathan,
    Thank you for this post which is really reassuring and has come at a time when I needed it. My publishers informed me yesterday that they have rescheduled my book’s release date from August to January. I have just started updating my book’s website with relevant posts about the book’s premise and genre, and hope to connect to a number of readers before the actual release.

    The tips for book promotion from other authors in the comments section above are useful and interesting as well. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 1:08pm

      Indu
      Glad to be of assistance. Yes, the authors here are a classy, helpful bunch. Always well informed.
      ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 12:06pm

    Jonathan, great advice but yes I am one of the ones who got the memo too late. I wrote my novel in a month and a half. Was out of work and the words flowed on to my page. I read tons of articles on self promoting. The articles I read said to set up Facebook page, Twitter account, etc and to make a blog.( They said to blog about something other than your book to get other readers involved in the way you write). I did that plus threw in book comments here and there, to remind readers that I have written a book and working on second. I am going no where with this and trying not to be discouraged. Feeling like I don’t have a clue what to do regarding marketing, even though I spent countless time researching my options. Now I am told that blogging should be about my novel. Unfortunately I currently don’t have the financial resources to pay for marketing assistance. Barely finding time to work on second novel while keeping up on social media contacts, let alone marketing strategies. Finally found out what I wanted to be when I grew up and don’t want to lose another dream. Any advice? Thanks, Mare M Ellison

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 12:53pm

      Mare
      This business is a long haul. The key to it all lies with your novel(s). To quote Ray Bradbury “Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed.” Well not quite, but a single novel will not gain much traction generally. Readers will want more of you than just one book.

      Re. Energy spent on marketing.

      Blogging. You can certainly blog about your novel, but think about this: Would that truly be interesting to anyone else? (It might be, but think about it carefully, and do what you know will intrigue others.) The blog posts you DO write have to be TRULY interesting and full of personality, and yet brief.

      You also need to do more than just ‘go through the motions’ and tick the box in each promotional channel. It has to be special, so you may burn out if doing too many channels. So also limit the time spent on Facebook and Twitter, and put more time into Amazon’s system.

      Are your Amazon book descriptions glittering and exciting?
      Are the covers great?
      Are the keywords you use what people look for? (Keywords = words you feel people will use to search for books of your type on Amazon. Include them in your book descriptions.)
      Are you in the right category?
      Is your author description fascinating and confident?

      Plus, check out authors of similar books in the same genre who are successful on Amazon and mirror what they do. What you’re after is being found during searches by readers, and also to end up with Amazon placing your book alongside more popular titles with the recommendation: ”Customers who bought this book, also bought (your book).”

      I hope this helps a little.

      ~Jonathan

      • Diane says:
        April 18, 2013 at 3:28pm

        This was a HUGE help. Thanks so much. Diane

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          April 18, 2013 at 9:48pm

          More than happy to help
          ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 12:23pm

    Thanks. I will be quoting you! Story and Logic Media Group.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 1:07pm

      Sharon. Thank you!
      ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 12:34pm

    Hi Jonathan,
    Your series is very timely for me. I am working on pre-release promotion strategies for my Christian novella, An Invisible Hand. I was wondering about several things:

    One: How far in advance should we start promoting a book?

    Two: How do we find high-ranking literary blogs in our genre?

    Three: Even if a book were completed and ready to sell, should we hold off releasing it until we build up some interest in it?

    Thanks,
    Kathy

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 1:05pm

      Kathy

      1. The further ahead you begin to build contacts who can help promote the book the better. As far as a ‘launch’ goes, that pulls all the threads you’ve established together and takes place over a week or so. (Although during the previous 2-3 months you’ll be sending out press releases with book release dates and so on, and booking a book blog tour maybe.)
      2. Re Bloggers – see this post: http://bestsellerlabs.com/how-to-get-massive-free-publicity-for-your-book/
      3. Yes you can release your book before building interest, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If on Amazon it will be there forever so you have time to grow an audience. I assume you’re doing a series?

      ~Jonathan

  • Hayson says:
    April 18, 2013 at 12:45pm

    A most excellent article! Thanks Jonathan. I have just had a book released this month and have just started getting into the whole marketing thing. I think getting reviewed on Amazon is a good way to go. Beg up the reviews from family and friends. I have also been sending copies of the book for an honest review. Yes, I’m paying for it, but hopefully I’m building a base of fans for subsequent books. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    I’m also mindful of spreading myself too thin across social media. It can be exhausting and saps my ability to write my next book.

    Thanks again for the post. I am a fan of them.
    Hayson

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 12:58pm

      Hayson
      You’re on the right track with Amazon reviews, so hunt them down ferociously. Amazon is the place to expend the most energy: See my reply to Mare M Ellison above. And yes, limit the number of social media channels you use.
      ~Jonathan

      • Diane says:
        April 18, 2013 at 3:41pm

        As far as reviews on Amazon go, I’ve been able to get friends, family members and people in the professional field of grief recovery to post helpful reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Does it make sense to add a “comment” on Amazon in response to their positive, constructive reviews? Also, is there any way to avoid or deal with a “sabotage” one star review that has little to do with the book?

        By the way, I have you bookmarked and now have a special section designated in my “Marketing Notebook.” :) Also, tweeted and FBed this page. Thanks for all you do to support us!

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          April 18, 2013 at 9:52pm

          Diane
          There’s nothing much you can do about the one-star review. But I shouldn’t worry too much. Readers are fairly savvy and won’t pay much attention to it if it’s the only one, and if the rest are OK. By all means add a comment – it adds personality, as long as it’s not pitifully grateful! It doesn’t add to the sales appeal however – 3rd party comment is what counts.
          ~Jonathan

          • Diane says:
            April 19, 2013 at 1:19am

            Thanks, Jonathan, for the helpful feedback on my review questions.

  • Jeanie says:
    April 18, 2013 at 1:11pm

    As always, you deliver, Jonathan. But, I am a writer. Marketing? : – (( NOT SO MUCH!
    Hiring someone to do the marketing : – )))

    I’ve just completed my second ebook, Life is Just a Bowl of Jerrys: Breaking the Cycle of Serial Monogamy and now working on the cover, then an upload to Amazon. Your advice is well taken, but finding the time is another matter. How many bloggers? What to look for on their blog. Is that a numbers game, like how many people follow them? It makes my eyes cross.

    There’s also the gathering of emails from sites that offer that for a low cost of $79 and up. You plug in your two/three word target audience and send off the emails about your book and launch dates. Any ideas about that? It seems it may be easier and faster.

    Thanks for all the good advice.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 9:59pm

      Jeanie

      I would avoid using a paid service that spams bloggers. The bloggers who count will ignore any such communication. (As I do.) Select carefully and just approach 2 or 3 to start with. But don’t throw your book at people who’ve never heard of you – again that is spam, and they’ll largely ignore you. They are saturated with requests.

      Here’s an article that shows what to do:
      http://bestsellerlabs.com/how-to-get-massive-free-publicity-for-your-book/

      ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 1:47pm

    Thanks again, Jonathan. Looking forward to reading the next articles.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 19, 2013 at 12:33am

      You’re welcome Peaches.
      ~Jonathan

  • Don Finn says:
    April 18, 2013 at 1:59pm

    Jonathan:

    Very informative article! I’m looking forward to reading the others. My question relates to a point raised by Mare: I have had academic works published, but I am branching out into the world of practical inspirational works emphasizing Christian philosophy and principles. I recently overhauled my consulting website to include a blog on which I have posted thoughts and reflections on contemporary issues blending in my personal thoughts and trying to inspire others. I have tied in social media (Facebook and Twitter) to get the word out and to cite authors by their Twitter name in hopes that they might read and comment on my work.
    I have a manuscript that I have been working on for a few years now. My progress had stalled out, but I have renewed vision and energy to complete the work and I hope to have a final manuscript in the next 6 months. I have heard conflicting views on releasing portions of the manuscript on blogs and was wondering if you could share your opinion of this practice and maybe offer some alternate strategies?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 19, 2013 at 12:36am

      Don
      Your ‘motivational’ work is ideal for the sharing of snippets. Just a paragraph or two at time. This will allow you to bulild up a following prior to release. Do make contact with people and build up a mailing list of a few hundred. Perhaps run a weekly inspirational tip for peole that they can sign up for.
      ~Jonathan

      • Don Finn says:
        April 20, 2013 at 12:53am

        Jonathan,

        Excellent idea–publishing snippets. I wonder if you have a preferred email service to build a following?

        Thanks again,
        Don

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          April 20, 2013 at 1:01am

          Don
          AWeber is the most sophisticated service. I use it for Bestseller Labs which has many thousands of subscribers now. A close runner-up is Mailchimp. I have used that as well and liked it greatly. It’s also probably the one you should use to save money, because they allow the first 2000 subscribers free. (Unlike AWeber.)
          ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 4:00pm

    Very good article. I’m one of those that started late. I found that blogging about my characters received more attention and sales than blogging my story lines. I guess that works for me the best. Still, it is a long slow climb to build fan base and to let people know about my books then create interest so they want to read them.
    Have a great day and keep up the good work. I look forward to your next posting. A. George Moye aka agmoye

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 10:15pm

      George
      Box on – you’re heading along the right path. Thanks for stopping by again.
      ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 4:19pm

    Thought-provoking! Here’s yet another example of how old-school writing advice is apparently no longer applicable in today’s modern climate.

    I can’t count the number of times way back when that I heard “three months tops-six is really pushing it” when it came to how soon to start marketing. More than that and the fear was the excitement would crumble. Readers would grow bored of hearing about it without being able to buy it, and by the time the book came out, the “buzz” would be finished. Now I feel bad I haven’t done a ton more to promote my May release!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 10:17pm

      J.Rose
      As I say, in this ‘Amazon’ environment, you still have plenty of time to promote your book. Pre-release is starting earlier basically, so you get earlier results.
      ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 4:28pm

    Thank you Jonathan for letting me know it’s not too late to start marketing one month after, yes, I did launch Blossom, A Flower’s Journey. These have been busy days and I’m just getting back to using social media and reading encouraging lessons like yours, while still trying to find time to continue writing. Keep them coming!

  • April 18, 2013 at 5:05pm

    ‘Will it go round in circles’. Blood, Sweat and Tears. You are a patient man, Jonathan, to keep on pushing the marketing versus writing merry-go-round with your merry followers (myself included). I have detected a whisper of weariness, though, in the blog posts of of those who champion the gospel of platform building for authors. Are they starting to doubt themselves? ‘Amazon is the key’…’Write a good book and the rest will follow’… As a new author I have one foot on the twitter, blogging, Pinterest merry go round, and I am pushing as hard as I can with the other, but I cannot shake off this ghost of a feeling that maybe, just maybe, I am going around in circles instead of in a straight line, and that straight line heads in the direction of…AMAZON! I do believe you are right, Jonathan, and I suspect that you suspect you are even more right than you suspect you are. John.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 10:05pm

      John
      Yes. I suspect many ‘teachers’ don’t actually know how Amazon works. The fact remains that your writing is the best sales tool by far. But Amazon is most certainly the ‘key to the door.’ The platform of Twitter / Facebook / Blog is not supposed to be used instead of Amazon tactics, but are channels to 1) form relationships with people who’ll help, and more vitally 2) to draw reader attention to your books on Amazon, which is where the real sales work happens. I’ll be posting more about this.
      ~Jonathan

  • Atabo says:
    April 18, 2013 at 5:05pm

    Hi Jonathan
    I found this article very useful. I’ve been following your blog posts over the last few months and its been paying off. I started creating awareness for my upcoming book two months ago. I have a cover for it (http://twitter.com/mohammedatabo/status/324756633597120513/photo/1), written about three blogs about it (see latest here http://atabobooks.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/blo), i got an email list from a couple pf book reasings i attended and have even shot a trailer about it. (coming soon). The efforts have paid off. I got positive comments, email replies, and lots of thumbs up. Im doing all that in order to make the book prospective enough for a publisher.
    However, most of these came from Nigeria. I have accounts on goodreads and authonomy but I don’t know hot to comprehensively use those platforms. How can I effectively make the best use of these sites?
    And again in Nigeria, ebooks revolution is yet to take full effect and so my book is anticipated in hard cover. And most people who read my blog posts prefer commenting in Facebook, BBM or email, not on the blog itself. How can this change?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 19, 2013 at 12:42am

      Atabo
      You need to find your audience, and the pathways to them. If your book is going to be in book stores, then you need to talk to the owners about how you can help to promote them there. Also keep reading the posts here. (This is not a ‘cop-out’, because the question you ask is so all encompassing.)
      ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 6:41pm

    Thanks for all the insights. My latest book, The Copper Trail, is already out and earned a five-star review on Goodreads. But now I have to find ways to publicize it. You’ve given some good suggestions. My next book, On The Rim, comes out in September, so I still have a little window of time to get the word out.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 19, 2013 at 12:51am

      Florida
      Congratulations on the 5 star review.
      ~Jonathan

  • Sheena Singh says:
    April 18, 2013 at 7:22pm

    Greetings Jonathan!
    Thank you for such a worisome topic. My question is that I released my book six months ago and due to a mix up with my publisher my book never had a formal Press Release. Now it is sorted and expected to be official with two to three weeks. How will this impact on my exposure as its been on most sites @B&N,Amazon etc? I’m also trying to be active as you may know on FB &Twitter but I have had no sales or reviews since launch. A very frightening experience since the exposure on sites as these as you also say is fantastic. Please advise as future about press release and how I could get my book exposed as per its need. Book two is on almost ready for release as per the promise in one and a third too. I
    Thank you once more for all your inspiring mails and posts on FB. Stay Blessed.
    Regards.
    Sheena Singh.

  • April 18, 2013 at 8:16pm

    Jonathan said: “Don’t Plan To Be ‘In Store’, Plan To Be READ.”

    That’s the key, isn’t it? I was talking to DH about this shift in perspective for writers to stop thinking about getting our books “on the bookstore shelves” but to get our books “to the readers” instead. It’s a key shift in marketing strategy.

    Thanks for this timely article. Good stuff!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 19, 2013 at 12:28am

      Jan
      The ultimate focus should always be on writing. That is the force that will generate word of mouth recommendation. So yes, being ‘read’ is crucial. Publishing is one step back from that.
      ~Jonathan

      • April 19, 2013 at 1:30am

        Another good article, that. I agree that publishers will have to adapt, and they don’t have a choice. Maybe authors will get more than the 25% given to them for digital books if publishers realize that there is serious competition from Kindle and Apple that give authors 70% of the profits.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          April 19, 2013 at 5:31am

          With eBooks publishers will need to hand over at least 50%. In fact they’ll be forced to, because there will be publishers along soon who’ll do just that.
          ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 9:38pm

    This is an important lesson. I think new authors are more self-conscious about their work, and therefore hesitant to promote it much until it is an actual finished product. That was certainly the case with my first efforts. Now that I’ve had some experience with self-publishing, I’m more comfortable speaking about it along my social networks and posting excerpts at sites like Wattpad. It’s certainly something to consider because the author is the only person who can get the word out at first. You have to find a way to rouse the interest of your prospective audience.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 11:01pm

      Bard
      ‘Rousing interest’
      Yes indeed. You’ve neatly summed up in two words the main challenge authors face beyond writing. Basically traffic & conversion.i.e. Find prospective readers, get them across to Amazon, and be sure to have all your ducks in a row there. i.e. Marketing within Amazon to readers who are already there and looking. It’s part two of the equation.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Yolanda says:
    April 18, 2013 at 9:59pm

    I wanted to start promoting my new book, but I ran out of ideas of how to do so, So I just put all my books together on one blog, and put up cover for my next two books.
    My Hillary Hermes book has its own blog, but now I’m writing another series as well.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 18, 2013 at 11:04pm

      Yolanda
      Be sure your Amazon listings are optimized. I’ll cut and paste from my reply to another comment above:

      Are your Amazon book descriptions glittering and exciting?
      Are the covers great?
      Are the keywords you use what people look for? (Keywords = words you feel people will use to search for books of your type on Amazon. Include them in your book descriptions.)
      Are you in the right category?
      Is your author description fascinating and confident?

      Plus, check out authors of similar books in the same genre who are successful on Amazon and mirror what they do. What you’re after is being found during searches by readers, and also to end up with Amazon placing your book alongside more popular titles with the recommendation: “”Customers who bought this book, also bought (your book).”

      ~Jonathan

      • Yolanda says:
        April 19, 2013 at 1:37am

        I’ve done that for my blog, but you are saying I should do SEO for the actual Amazon link? I’m glad I found this blog.I like the conversation here. I did alot of marketing last month for my book launch.Sales this month have been dismal. I get good traffic on the Hillary Hermes blog ,but they don’t buy. I put a link on Good reads but 3 people put it on their want to read. I spent a long time editing that book. I not going to spend as long editing the sequel. Although I anticipate spending as long writing it because I work on inspiration and the ideas aren’t coming as quickly for that book. It took me a year to write it which isn’t too bad.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          April 19, 2013 at 4:37am

          Yolanda
          A year is not too bad at all for a completed book. (It’s not an easy toil.) Re SEO I was referring to what you do inside Amazon itself.
          ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 10:33pm

    Another great blog Jonathan. My new book the Way of the Initiate comes out in July 2013. Thanks to the teachings in your blogs I have been promoting the concepts for the last few months. I have shared the odd chapter and also the name of my blog posts which I have called ‘Connecting with the Wisdom of your Higher Self,’ is aligned to what is in the book.

    Thanks again for your encouragement and inspiration.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 19, 2013 at 12:18am

      Geof
      It appears that you are steadily finding your niche audience. Great work.
      ~Jonathan

  • April 18, 2013 at 11:55pm

    Thanks again for great advice! The problem I have found is being able to stay in contact with readers who have read my books to tell them about new releases etc. I have email signups, twitter and FB references and a blog to subscribe to and links to all these on my website, at the back of my ebooks and on every bio and end of book descriptions Amazon etc – and still, even those readers who have bought multiple books and written 5 star reviews don’t always click on any of these to follow me on Twitter or subscribe to future emails etc – it’s such a small percentage who do – so I guess that’s where I tear my hair out – is how to be able to get back in touch with readers or stay in touch when they don’t take that step themselves.

    Some readers have told me they have a lot of favorite authors but they don’t want to sign up to all their Twitter posts or FB pages or blogs etc – too much coming at them at once – so they prefer to just go to the author’s website every now and then.

    Any thoughts? Is it just a slow process you just have to keep working at to get critical mass and more word of mouth?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 19, 2013 at 12:17am

      AFN
      Keeping in touch with existing readers is the Holy Grail of book marketing. Amazon collect the email of every buyer. So do the same. Links at the back of your book for the next one yes, but another tactic is to sign up to get the next book free. Basically trading off a free book for an email address.
      ~Jonathan

  • April 19, 2013 at 1:16am

    I so resonated with this blog post, Jonathan. The marketer in me is so grateful that you and others are consistently getting the message to authors and soon-to-be authors, the importance of setting the stage before their performance.

    Although my non-fiction has been published I am also preparing for the launch of my WIP novel. Like you, I just love sharing the message about platform building with emerging authors. We each do it in our style and I love sending people your way!

    Thank you for all that you’re doing for writers. You are sincerely interested in our success and it shows:>)

  • Elisabeth says:
    April 19, 2013 at 2:25am

    Good post. Looking forward to parts 2 & 3. In regard to the Amazon elephant, everyone should think of the data we enter on the pages as ‘real estate’ (yes I was a Realtor in another life, I confess.) When we are ready to add our info, a good place to look for best practices is the Kindle forum – there are many discussions and lots of good info. The tools are there, we just need to read them :) and then use our imaginations.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 19, 2013 at 4:22am

      Elizabeth
      Re Amazon the elephant: I see you’ve been wading through all the comments :)
      Yes, Amazon is of critical importance, and they supply some brilliant sales tools. There’s a huge crowd of readers already there, but we also need to use Twitter, Facebook and our blogs to get people over there, to build our support networks, and to KEEP existing readers on our own lists, not Amazon’s
      ~ Jonathan

  • April 19, 2013 at 2:40am

    I am guilty of not marketing before the book launched. But sales are coming along slowly but surely. Grace, Miracles, and Chocolate is previewable at http://tinyurl.com/cec8xfq and http://tinyurl.com/bvm2bjn. I have had several radio interviews, with one coming up this Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 7AM PST on fhcradio.com. Scroll down and click “On Air”. I have had a couple of book signings with more scheduled, and I’m speaking at the Oregon Right to Life Convention as a workshop presenter, with a book sales table available. Am I on the right track? I have limited resources for advertising. If I did my math right, the book was in the top 3% of all amazon.com books last weekend. What would you recommend I do to increase sales?

    Sincerely yours, Marriott Cole

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 19, 2013 at 4:33am

      Marriott
      With the your sales table at the conference, you’re definitely on the right track. I would also not spend money on advertising – that would be fearfully inefficient. Better to spend time optimizing your Amazon listing. See this comment:
      http://bestsellerlabs.com/the-most-effective-book-marketing-strategy/#comment-6028
      And it’s not an issue starting to promote late – it’ll just take longer. Your book I assume like your blog is a Christian thesis, in which case you’ll know where your (very large) community gathers. That is where to make your book visible.
      ~Jonathan
      PS. I would make giving away chocolate a promotional mini-tactic wherever you go. e.g. Send your book to Christian TV presenters, with chocolate included. That will garner attention. Just a suggestion.

  • April 19, 2013 at 4:26am

    Dear Mr. Jonathan,
    I really appreciate you very helpful post but would request for a little more helpful hints as to how to get reviews. I have published 9 ebooks online on amazon.com, more coming, but find it difficult to be prominently visible online.
    My first ebook was DANCING ON THE QUICKSANDS, a novel.
    My most recent ebook was QUEEN IN RAGS (QUEEN OF TAMNAGAR TRILOGY BOOK # !)
    Hope you show me the way. I am 67 years old.
    Thanks.
    AMRIT PAL TIWANA
    amazon.com/author/amritpaltiwana

  • Zorodzai says:
    April 19, 2013 at 7:31am

    Hi Jonathan

    Excellent advice – as always.

    When I look at most of the marketing strategies available I feel they seem to work well for non-fiction writers. How do you create hype or a potential market for fiction?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 19, 2013 at 10:00am

      Zorodzai

      Basically you are asking the question. “How do you sell fiction books?”

      Answer: Non-fiction is dead easy to promote because the market puts its hand up and says “I’m looking for this information.” Fiction by contrast does not provide this advantage, and therefore is far more difficult to promote, which is the reason I set up this advisory blog.

      The pathway to market for genre fiction authors is – pivotally – that the books need to ‘find their audience’. This takes time, but there are logical step-by-step processes involved.

      A potential market certainly cannot be ‘created’, or hyped into existence as you propose, because it’s possible no-one will like the books, in which case they will not sell, no matter how much hype or advertising is implemented. But if the work has appeal, then readers will begin to tell each other. (Word of mouth – WOM – the most powerful form of book promotion)

      This is where the author entrepreneur comes in. Their task is to ignite that WOM process by getting prospective readers across to Amazon using a blog, Twitter, and Facebook, and any other resources they have on their author platform, and also using the platform to grow relationships with people who will help the process, such as media based reviewers and also book bloggers.

      Additionally they need to have the book on Amazon set up the right way so it comes up in searches, and work to have it placed alongside other more popular books so they can ride that author’s wave. “Customers who bought this book, also bought (your book).” They also need to attract great reviews on Amazon – by the same viral word of mouth process.

      Eventually with a fair wind, good timing and a dash of genius, the books become known, then well known and then famous-brand products, and as easy to sell as non-fiction. i.e. customers are actively looking for them: e.g. Harry Potter, Twilight, Poirot, James Bond, Game of Thrones.

      That’s just for starters, a once over lightly, a mere sketch of what is involved, and which is gradually being expanded on point by point on this blog each week.

      (e.g. Part 2 of this post will be out within 10 days.)

      ~Jonathan

  • Martin Bates says:
    April 19, 2013 at 12:14pm

    As a would be self publisher I’m working two books up for editing (and yes I’m going to pay for a professional job). I have a first draft of another book completed. So now I’m about to develop a web site and blog etc. Trying to build that base.

    So all this advice is much appreciated.

    Any thoughts on using a pen name, instead of my own name?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 19, 2013 at 12:38pm

      Martin
      A pen name is great, but only if you stick with it and also use it exclusively within a specific genre. It’ll become a permanent and valuable brand.
      ~Jonathan

  • April 19, 2013 at 10:04pm

    I am in the lotus position, murmuring “Amazon…Amazon…Amazon.”
    Got it that the 1,000-pound gorilla is where marketing energy should be expended. But it’d be easier to get a pipe bomb through security in Tel Aviv than to do all the tasks required to drive traffic there.
    1. Review books on Amazon and Goodreads in my genre. (Which, duh, means I have to read them first. Lots of them.)
    2. Write terrific blog posts for my website every week about “the world around my book.”
    3. Comment on the blogs of book reviewers, get to know them, let them get to know you.
    4. Write guest blogs for other writers; host blog tours.
    5. Join Goodreads groups, interact, become known there.
    6. Write enticing Tweets and FB posts to drive traffic to my blog.
    7. Interact with fans on Twitter, FB and website.
    *Somewhere between five and fifty other things I couldn’t think of or don’t even know about.
    If you write/work-a-day-job for 5-8 hours a day, you have to sandwich these things in between laundry, groceries and colonoscopies. Say you can find two hours daily—which is a stretch for me and every writer I know.
    Hang in there, I’m finally getting to my question.
    Soooo, if YOU had 90 to 120 minutes a day to do these seven tasks and all the other vital ones I forgot, which would YOU do? What’s the priority, Jonathan? What’s first, second, third? Or do you map out some elaborate system where you do a portion of each one every day?
    If I got up in the morning, parked my backside in my writing chair and did NOTHING but these things all day—in my pajamas, with bed-head—I still couldn’t do them all.
    I know you can eat an elephant—one bite at a time. I’ve preached it! I’ve got my napkin in my lap and a fork in each hand. I just don’t know where to start.

    Review books in my genre (which, duh, means I have to read them first.) on Amazon and Goodreads.
    Comment on the blogs of book reviewers, get to know them, become known.
    Write guest blogs for blog, host blog tours.
    Respond to readers/seekers on FB, Twitter
    Write great blog posts and promote them on FB, Twitter
    Join Goodreads groups, interact, become known there

    Key words, is there a list of those somewhere. How do you find them. Are you talking about putting those key words in your book descriptions?

    • April 19, 2013 at 10:10pm

      Uh…Ignore the part at the bottom that repeats–everything below “I don’t know where to start.” I wrote this on my IPhone waiting in my dentist’s office, and had to finish it later. Apparently I left pieces of the first attempt at the bottom. Comes from trying to maximize every minute of your time.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 19, 2013 at 11:56pm

      Ninie
      This is an all encompassing question about book marketing. The first key is to have appealing books.
      Assuming that is the case, the task is to discover readers, and draw their attention to your books on Amazon. This is a drawn out process that takes time and steady work rather than a mad frenzy! Yes, blindingly obvious, but I’ll be blogging about the processes involved over the next few weeks bit by bit in parts 2 and 3 of this subject.

      Where to start? It’s best to focus on a just two or three channels rather than ten.

      I would begin by getting your Amazon book description pages right – that’s where the keywords (brief 2 – 4 word phrases) come into play. These are words you think people will use when searching for your sub-genre of book so use them in book descriptions.

      The second thing I would do is put limited time into Twitter (and Facebook if you can) to post interesting, personable stuff. This will also allow you to put links (one in ten Tweets / FB Posts) to your books. Tweeting “Buy my book” all the time as you know doesn’t work.

      Thirdly, start to track down book bloggers and seek reviews – it doesn’t require a large time input but is drawn out over some weeks or months, because they are all saturated with requests. They’re human and are more likely to accept books from people they’ve come to know first.

      OK. That’s a brief sparkle of ideas for you to get started. It is not a plan, but hope it helps.

      ~Jonathan

      • April 20, 2013 at 12:03am

        I’m on it. Thanks!

  • Belynda Kitts says:
    April 20, 2013 at 12:32am

    I totally agree that marketing needs to start early. I am still writing my 1st of 3 books and have a Twitter and Facebook account. I post excerpts of my book periodically so that I can get feedback as well as visibility.

    Recently, I just started a blog. Again to get my name out there and just to have fun writing about what I want. I am enjoying it so much that I wished I had started one ages ago.

    I have a lot of sales and marketing experience, so my head is always swimming with ways I can make myself known before I even get my book published.

    I read and value the articles you post. Your tips and information are very helpful to me! Please keep them coming.

    Belynda

  • Liss says:
    April 20, 2013 at 9:19pm

    Thank you for this information. I did some work in advertising my book to friends for at least 9-12 months while it was being published. I sold 100 copies fairly quickly. But now I am onto my 2nd hundred and really struggling. Friends and word of mouth – even facebook and twitter are not really enough. I need to get out into the big, wide world, and I really have no idea what I’m doing. I have spoken at a few schools and churches and this is a start. But to be honest, I’m disappointed that publication isn’t what it used to be. Now authors have to market, sell and advertise on their own. Once your famous – then publishers like you. And it’s not even based on whether you can write. It’s based on popularity – which makes sense I guess… I’m just saying: I’m frustrated.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 20, 2013 at 11:43pm

      Liss
      You are not alone. And what you say is correct re popular authors – they’re a safe bet for publishers investing money. But the ‘big wide world’ to which you refer all gathers in one place: Amazon, so there’s no need to go ‘door to door’ as it were.
      Twitter, Facebook and a blog help attract people to your books at Amazon, and also provide a connection point for readers and publicists alike.

      But once people arrive at Amazon, the action begins… if you’ve set up your books correctly that is. So check out this comment. That will give you a starting point.

      http://bestsellerlabs.com/the-most-effective-book-marketing-strategy/#comment-6028

      ~Jonathan

  • April 29, 2013 at 6:55pm

    Couldn’t agree more Jonathan, I’ve found some incredible books over the years that should have been promoted better, or for that fact at all. I suggest book blogger tours to every single person that asks me how I promoted books. Sounds simple, but you have to research the tour company and then be prepared to wait 3 months to even get a slot on the better ones. Build your twitter and facebook contacts.. be willing to offer incentives for people to join you… people love getting gift cards…

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 29, 2013 at 9:28pm

      Michele.
      Great tips. Seems an increasing number of authors are realizing they can’t just sit and write, then hand it to an agent and publisher who will ‘do it all for them’.
      ~Jonathan

  • May 1, 2013 at 2:38pm

    I’m kind of afraid if I start promoting a book before it is ready to be launched, it will jinx the whole project and I will never be ready with it.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      May 2, 2013 at 3:05am

      Nissa
      A valid fear, related to setting up expectations and then having to live up to them.
      http://bestsellerlabs.com/how-to-beat-writers-block-forever/
      Best path in your case is to instead focus on steadily setting up all the connections you’ll need for promoting your book – step by step, rather than talking about the potential of your book. It’ll take the pressure off.
      ~Jonathan

  • Tom Gold says:
    June 5, 2013 at 8:08pm

    Jon,

    Just about to hit the ‘Go’ button on my book after spending way to long querying agents and publishers. I have not, unlike Tim Ferris, got a ready made audience, gagging to read it but I console myself with having at my disposal the sort of tools and advice that writers of yester year would have killed to get their hands on – and they’re all free.

    Your posts on this subject are a regular source of inspiration and optimism for me as are your regular tweets to let me know how nice the weather is where you are (raining here again).

    Tons of work to do: find more relevant followers, write more blog posts, make a trailer, identify potential reviewers – the list is endless but my book is at least finished!

    Thanks and best wishes as ever,

    Tom

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      June 5, 2013 at 9:32pm

      Tom
      This is excellent news to hear. Standing by for the launch. Does your book have a title yet?
      Jonathan

      • Tom Gold says:
        June 5, 2013 at 9:42pm

        Title and cover yes, if you get 2 mins they’re on my w’site. I make a point of not inserting self promotional links when replying to other people’s posts – just not the done the done thing old chap! T

  • Jillian Bullock says:
    July 4, 2013 at 12:58pm

    I started my marketing late, actually when my memoir, HERE I STAND, was published in Feb. 2012. So, now I am playing catch up. There was so much I didn’t know, so now I’m applying what I have learned which I hope will increase book sales. The good thing so far is that although I didn’t market HERE I STAND early I have managed to get a few film producers who are interested in optioning the rights to my book.

    However, now that I do know I need to start early, I’m currently writing two new books and I am working on marketing those books now.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      July 4, 2013 at 9:22pm

      Jillian
      With Amazon, it’s never too late. Your books will be there forever! You have time – and I’ve written a post about this. Congratulations on the interest from film producers, if the work is optioned, then that is great element to feature in your publicity.
      ~Jonathan

  • Yvonne says:
    November 27, 2013 at 9:06am

    As always your information is phenomenal I even book mark your articles so I can refer to them later. I always find something I need (not necessarily what I want) so when I need that little bit of push or inspiration I turn to your articles and am blown away each time I read them

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      November 27, 2013 at 9:27pm

      Thanks Yvonne. Plenty more writing / book marketing / book advertising advice to come.
      ~ Jonathan

  • December 13, 2013 at 3:18pm

    This just re-reinforces the idea that I need to start promo now for the 2nd in my series that launches in February. Must. Get. Cover. Done.

    Thanks for the reminder!
    Kim