Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Marketing Self-Published Books: More Advice From Joy Wooderson

Last week, we talked with Joy about her self-publishing journey for her memoir, Finding Joy. If you are struggling with whether or not to invest in self-publishing, her interview might give you some answers you've been looking for.

In this segment, Joy discusses how she is marketing Finding Joy: One Woman's Journey Back to Faith. As we all know whether you self-publish your book or publish at a small or large house, the marketing falls on the author. So, grab a cup of tea, and take a few minutes to learn some tips from Joy.

Margo: Welcome back to The Muffin, Joy. We learned a lot from you last week about self-publishing and the choices you made. Today, we're exploring marketing your self-published book. What types of marketing are you doing for Finding Joy?

Joy: It had become increasingly clear to me that authors are now pretty much on their own when it comes to marketing their books, whether they are self-published or not. So I began by creating postcards on my computer, showing the cover, and “I’m pleased to announce . . .” on the front with distributor and contact information on the back. I mailed these to friends and other parties whom I felt might be interested. I also e-mailed the information to everyone on my contact lists.

I had compiled a list of people to whom I wanted to send a copy of the book in addition to close friends, relatives, and those individuals who had played a major part in the development of the book. My hope is that these people will be willing to read it and share their comments.

I also created bookmarks on my computer, showing the cover, a brief synopsis, distributors, and contact information on the front. On the back, I listed excerpts from two or three reviews. I included several copies of the bookmark as handouts with each sale.

A neighbor organized a community book-signing which was not only enjoyable but highly successful. I also participated in the Author Open House at the library. I joined Facebook, SheWrites, Women On Writing, and other social networking websites in order to spread the word through these avenues.

I contacted two independent bookstores and placed copies on consignment in each.
My package with BookSurge included a review by Kirkus Discoveries, which was forwarded to their distribution listings. Regrettably, most newspapers will not review self-published books.

Margo: WOW! You gave us a lot of great tips here. I like how you've tried many different types of marketing ideas, and you are getting out there and meeting people. You're not waiting for people to come to you! What are you finding to work the best?

Joy: What I knew would be the best avenue for Finding Joy: word of mouth. My top sales have come from people who know me and who, in turn, have purchased copies for others. I knew going into this project it would not be a speedy process, given the nature of the book. However, I feel I have planted seeds and now wait for them to germinate and grow.

I am grateful for the excellent review on A Book A Week Blog, for this interview opportunity, and the positive comments I continue to receive from readers.

Margo: Your attitude is so awesome! I love how you are being patient, as hard as that is (I'm sure), and continuing to pass the message on about your book. What are future marketing ideas you have or would like to try?

Joy: I’m feeling my way in this new venture and am open to any and all suggestions. I am exploring meeting with small church groups, donating to the local library district, setting up additional book signings, and taking advantage of whatever opportunities may arise.

Margo: Those all sound like great ideas. Hey, maybe a church group could even Skype you into discuss your book with them! I've heard of some authors using Skype to visit with book groups and school groups that are reading their book hundreds of miles away. So, update us: besides marketing Finding Joy, what are your current projects you are working on?

Joy: At the end of the section on “Self” in Finding Joy, I write: “My daily prayer for wisdom led me to the inescapable conclusion that, like it or not, I was going to have to delve into my emotional and psychological background, to examine the developmental rings of my own ‘tree.’ I had no idea at the time that this exploration would be so wide-ranging it could fill another book.”

I’ve decided to complete the manuscript for Recovering Joy: One Woman’s Journey to Personhood and Place.

Margo: A sequel of sorts! That's great. Good luck to you while you market your current book and work on another.

Here's more information about Joy Wooderson and her book, Finding Joy.

Ladies, if you have any questions for Joy, please feel free to leave them here. We hope you have some new ideas and/or inspiration for marketing your work. Also, if you have a great marketing tip for us, please leave it in the comments below.

Margo Dill

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Friday, April 24, 2009


Friday Speak Out: Message Board Marketing, Guest Post by Rita Milios

Message Board Marketing:

First Make a Good Impression, Then Make a Sale

by Rita Milios

Do you have a book to sell? Are you considering using message boards or news groups to reach potential book buyers? How you present yourself in your early contacts with members of these social networks can make the difference between being seen as an intruder or spammer and a valued member with a valued resource to share (your book).

Before you post that first message, take a moment to stop and think. Is your post likely to establish good rapport? Does it set a friendly tone? Does it help you create a good reputation for yourself–as a respectful and helpful resource person?

Prior to sending your message consider these questions:

• Is this topic something that most members will be interested in?

• What is the stated purpose of this group?

• Is my message “on topic” with the group’s stated purpose?

• Does my message offer an answer to a question or the solution to a problem?

• What benefits can the members derive from reading my post?

If you answer the “what’s in it for the group?” question with each message you create–starting with your very first message–then you will quickly become a valued resource person that members admire. Then, later, should you have an announcement that helps you (a new book to announce, for instance), they will be less likely to consider your announcement as “spam”.

Here are some announcement tips to help you craft a message that will be willingly read:

1) Focus on the benefit for members (what’s in it for them?).

2) Appeal to the emotions. Sales experts say that people respond first emotionally to a sales message and then later re-think it and justify it with logic.

3) Hook ‘em with a great headline. A headline is the first few words of your message. It is the “title” as it were. Your announcement’s headline is the most important part of your message. Members (who are also potential customers for your book) will either continue reading your message or completely ignore the rest of it, depending on how good your headline is.

4) Make sure your headline suggests a benefit or value for the reader. Make your headline interesting and cute if possible, but don’t sacrifice clarity…they have to “get” your message.

5) Most importantly, make sure your headline spurs the reader toward an action. (If the action you want them to take is to click on a link that takes them to your website, don’t be shy about telling them what to do. Be direct. Say something like, “Go to (www.yourwebsitename) to find out how you can access this valuable information!

6) Once they arrive at your website, direct them to the sale. Tell customers exactly what action to take. Click here. Fill out this order form. Provide your credit card information. If you fail to direct your customer to these final actions, you may lose them at the most crucial point. So make sure that your customer knows exactly what they need to do in order to purchase your book.

Rita Milios is author of more than 30 books, including How to Create Quizzes, Surveys and Polls to Power-Promote Your Book or Website! She offers unique book promotion services to fellow writers, including hourly “Borrow a Brain” brainstorming sessions. Find out more at, where you will also find FREE Quizzes and e-Reports.


Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Thursday, April 02, 2009


Attention Authors! Bring Out Your Book Trailer

by LuAnn Schindler

For aspiring authors, toss out the word 'promotion' and some have visions of whirlwind book tours and glamorous TV appearances on Oprah or Ellen.

Bur for those of us who write for a living, we realize that 'promotion' translates into a 24/7/365 sales pitch. Self-promotion, including book signings, blogging, and endless hours spent on social networking, is inevitable. Authors realize we must introduce our material to readers. We must present an image our brand, of ourselves, of our work.

One often-overlooked type of promotion that works is the book trailer. The term, trademarked by Sheila Clover of Circle of Seven Productions, describes an advertising tool used to market books. You know what a movie trailer is. Substitute book for movie and you get the picture.

With the popularity boom of social networking sites, including You Tube, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter, book trailers have reached a wider audience. One of my favorites is Samara O'Shea's trailer for Note to Self: Keeping a Journal and Other Dangerous Pursuits. (I interviewed Samara for two different WOW! articles and have read both of her books. Amazing!)

If you're a published author and are considering a book trailer or if you've already produced the clip, consider submitting it to I stumbled on this site one day and watched quite a few of the trailers. I added several to my "must read" list after viewing the trailers.

Book trailers, as a marketing tool, bring written words to a visual reality and capture the essence of a book's soul in just a few short minutes. It might not get you a whirlwind book tour or a spot next to Oprah or Ellen on their shows, but it can connect you with the people who purchase books.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Got A Minute? Get Some Marketing Tips!

By Jill Earl

Among the emails I receive inbox every Wednesday is ‘The Marketing Minute’, from marketing and publicity consultant, author and speaker Marcia Yudkin. After spending some time checking her site, I signed up for the free newsletter.

Why? I like the fact that when I read the information presented, my immediate response isn’t, “Hmm, I might be able to do that---someday.” Her nuggets of tips are easy to incorporate into your life, whether you’ve just stepped into the writing biz or you’re an old hand at it.

And it only takes a minute.

Recently, the ‘Create Entry Points’ email asked whether your material--website, book, or whatever--could be easily read by a first-time visitor or would that visitor have to have some familiarity with your work to understand what’s presented. Ms. Yudkin then offers suggestions on how to make your material accessible to all.

In another email, Ms. Yudkin used one of the newsletter’s subscribers as an example of imaginative marketing. In ‘Inject Fun into Fundraising’, subscriber Carolyn created Perley, a church mouse that keeps his church’s congregation up-to-date on the happenings of ‘their’ church through fundraising letters. As a result, Perley has a cookbook, offers various children’s activities on his webpage, and has another book on the way, co-authored with Carolyn.

There are also articles, publicity tips and other information to help you make the most of your marketing efforts.

See it all for yourself at

Go on, take a minute. Your marketing's worth it.

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