How to Promote Your Self-Published Book During Small Press Month

Since March is Small Press Month, now is a great time to promote your self-published book! Celebrate Small Press Month by doing something to promote your book every day during the month of March. Here are some ideas to get you started.

March 1 – Order extra author’s copies to have on hand as you work through these promotion tips.

March 2 – Contact other independent published authors in your area and combine your resources to fully exploit the opportunities during this month. With the advent of social networking sites, this is easier than ever. In fact, your publisher may already have a group on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

March 3 – Contact your local bookstores and suggest they offer discounts on Small Press books this month. Bring in yours and offer it to them at a discount to get them started.

March 4 – Contact your local newspapers and inform them of Small Press Month. Suggest they write a small article or events calendar for Small Press events in the area. Tell them you will be sending them a press release.

March 5 – Send a press release to the local media (newspapers, radio, television) mentioning Small Press Month and your independently published book. Be sure to mention any events you are hosting or participating in.

March 6 – Follow-up on your press release from yesterday with the local media via telephone. Reiterate Small Press Month, your planned events in the community, and your Small Press book. Send them a review of your book so they can use it as a foundation.

March 7 – If you haven’t yet published your book, today is the day to start. Research self-publishing companies and choose a company that finds your needs.

March 8 – Contact your local libraries and suggest they feature Small Press titles, including yours. Offer to leave a free copy with them. Also, leave a sales sheet.

March 9 – Send out review copies of your book. If you need help getting started, contact your self-publishing company. They may offer resources to help you.

March 10 – Contact local schools in your area and tell them about Small Press Month. Mention that you are a local published author and offer to speak to their assembly about how to accomplish their dreams of being published. This is particularly effective if you have a children’s book you can then sell after the assembly.

March 11 – Contact local universities and colleges. Same concept as yesterday — promote yourself and your book by sharing your knowledge of how to write a book and get it published. Have copies of your book available to sell.

March 12 – Schedule a seminar or teleseminar on “How to Write and Publish a Book” and offer a “Small Press Month” discount on the registration fee. Send out a local news release about your class.

March 13 – Contact other sales channels outside of the bookstore that may be likely to sell your book. This may include websites related to your book’s topic, gift stores, hardware stores, grocery stores, boutiques, etc. Look at your book and ask yourself where your readers may be shopping.

March 14 – Contact local art studios, design boutiques, or other small independent businesses in your area. Give them the opportunity to share in co-op on some advertising initiatives (plus, if applicable, offer to conduct some events in their venues).

March 15 – Join with other independently published authors and arrange a co-op advertisement in the local media, using any dollars secured from local businesses you spoke with on the 14th. In addition to simply promoting your book, promote your upcoming events. The other authors can join in the events, which may lead the bookstores to be more interested in scheduling it.

March 16 – Contact all the local radio producers in your area and pitch them on Small Press Month.

March 17 – Make sure your online Amazon.com listing is all it can be. Do you have a Kindle Edition for your book? Is your book participating in Search Inside the Book? Do you have your Book Video trailer playing from your Amazon blog?

March 18 – Contact the major newspapers (New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post) about Small Press Month. They’re likely to write up something if enough authors contact them, and you will want to be among the piles of information they have received.

March 19 – Contact your local community center and inform them of Small Press Month. If you have gathered a band of local authors, this will be more effective. Schedule an impromptu event, celebrating Small Press books.

March 20 – This may be the month to switch publishers if you have published elsewhere. Look at the publisher you chose and ask yourself: Is your retail price too high? Is your profit too low? Is your author’s copy price too high? Are your marketing options too costly?

March 21 – Small Press Month is just one month out of 12. Prepare for other book events, like the London Book Fair, Book Expo of America, Beijing, and Frankfurt.

March 22 – If you haven’t already done so, create a social networking account on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. Start using these sites to promote yourself, your book, and your events.

March 23 – Contact the Learning Annex (or similarly themed Adult Education Program) in your area and offer to teach a class on the subject of your book. As a published author, you are qualified to teach on your subject since you are an expert. Your book may even be required reading for each student.

March 24 – Start writing online reviews through Amazon. Write reviews for every book you have ever read. Mention that you are the author of your book at the bottom of each posted review. If people like the writing style of your review, they may investigate your book, especially if you write reviews for books within the same genre as yours.

March 25 – Contact the public libraries in each state and mention your involvement with Small Press Month. Send them information about your book. Here’s a link that will get you started: http://www.publiclibraries.com/

March 26 – Start preparing for April (National Poetry Month), especially if you have a volume of poetry you have published.

March 27 – Help other writers you know get published and earn a 10% commission for the referral after their book is published. Contact your self-publishing company to see if they have an affiliate program.

March 28 – Start a blog and keep it active and up-to-date. Register it with blog directories so others start reading it and participating. There are many blog programs to help you get started. Conduct a search on Google to find the one that works for you.

March 29 – Submit your published book to the Google Merchant Center.

March 30 – Publish a “Large Print” edition of your book. With the world’s demographics growing older, “large print” editions are becoming more and more popular. Featuring 14 or 16 point fonts, these editions appeal to the aging community because they are easier to read. This will help you increase your revenue and double the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives.

March 31 – Take a breath. It’s been a busy, productive month.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Self-Publishing Authors Can Get Their Books on the Shelves of “Traditional” Bookstores

Even with the recent changes in the book publishing industry, a “traditional” bookstore presence should still be a goal for authors who want this. Why? Well, with this presence, authors are able to target an audience that is passionate about books. Think about it — people have to leave behind the comforts of their own home to go into a bookstore. Most likely they are there to purchase a book. If your book is on the shelf, yours may just have a chance at being the book they buy.

How can you work toward getting your book into that bookstore, though? Is it a matter of luck? Can self-publishing authors make the cut? The good news is that even if you’re not necessarily on a “lucky streak”, it’s still possible to successfully target placement in “traditional” bookstores. However, you must have a solid plan in place for doing so. Here are a few action items to put on your list as you get started:

  • Make sure your book is fully returnable. If your book cannot be returned, there is great risk involved for the bookstore. For example, if they stock 10 copies of your book and only 4 sell over the course of a year, they are losing money. If the book is returnable, though, the store can simply send the book back that doesn’t sell. Think of this return-ability as a type of “insurance” for your book.
  • Offer a sufficient trade discount. What’s sufficient? Typically that will be around 50-55% (or higher). Of course this does cut into your profits, but a higher retail margin gives the bookstore more incentive to stock your book on their shelves. No incentive? No cigar.
  • Build proof that your book is desirable. This is probably the most difficult (though not insurmountable) part of it all because authors often have a bias view of their book. However, the best indicator of a desirable book is exponential sales figures. If the amount of books you sale doubles, triples, quadruples, etc. month-after-month, that is something that can work in your favor. If you aren’t a professional marketer, you may want to seek the services of a book marketing consultant. Make sure they are able to help you draft a marketing plan and go forth on planning your publicity.

After you’ve done all of the above, you must put together a proposal to submit to bookstore contacts. You can find others specifically on their websites, but Barnes & Noble can be reached here:

The Small Press Department
Barnes & Noble
122 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10011

Other bookstores can be found through Google. Another popular site for locating independent bookstores is Indie Bound.

Do you know of any other bookstores that are small press/self-published friendly?

ABOUT WENDY STETINA:
Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.

31 Self Publishing Tips to Promote Your Book During Small Press Month

Since March is SMALL PRESS MONTH, this is the month to promote your self-published book! With that in mind, here are 31 ways you can market & promote your book during Small Press Month, one for each day of March. Time to get started!

Mar 1 – If you do not have enough author’s copies on hand, contact your publisher and order more so they arrive in enough time to pursue these other tips throughout the month.

Mar 2 – Contact other independent published authors in your area (through local associations you may belong to) and combine your resources to fully exploit the opportunities during this month. There’s a lot to do, and four hands are better than two. With the advent of social networking sites, this is easier than ever. In fact your publisher may already have a group on such sites as MySpace or FaceBook or a following on Twitter.

Mar 3 – Contact your local bookstores and suggest they offer discounts on Small Press books. Bring in yours and offer it to them at a discount to get them started. Show them the rest of this calendar as a way of indicating your commitment to making their event successful. Offer to leave a free copy with them along with a sales sheet.

Mar 4 – Contact your local newspapers and inform them of Small Press Month (in case they don’t know about it). Suggest they write a small article or events calendar for Small Press events in the area, specifically the ones you secured on March 3rd. Tell them you will be sending them a press release on the 5th.

Mar 5 – Send a press release to the local media (newspapers, radio, television) mentioning Small Press Month and your independently published book. (If you secured some events, mention them in the release.

Mar 6 – Follow-up on your press release from yesterday with the local media via telephone. Reiterate Small Press Month, your planned events in the community, and your Small Press book. Send them a review of your book that they can use as a foundation. (Less work for them).

Mar 7 – If you haven’t yet published your book, today is the day to start. Outskirts Press, the fastest-growing full service self-publishing and book marketing service is offering an instant 10% discount on all their book publishing services throughout March. Click here for the necessary promotion code.

Mar 8 – Contact your local libraries and suggest they feature Small Press titles, including yours. Offer to leave a free copy with them, along with a sales sheet. If you’re an Outskirts Press author, your free author’s center generates your sales sheet automatically. You can even change it and update it first through your Author Toolkit.

Mar 9 – If you haven’t yet sent out review copies for book, now is the time. The Book Review Starter Kit has many book reviewers listed in the Author Resources section, which is available at http://outskirtspress.com/authors.php no matter where you have published your book.

Mar 10 – Contact local schools in your area and tell them about Small Press Month. Mention that you are a local published author and offer to speak to their assembly about how to accomplish their dreams of being published. This is particularly effective if you have a children’s book you can then sell after the assembly.

Mar 11 – Contact local universities and colleges. Same concept as yesterday — promote yourself and your book by sharing your knowledge of how to write a book and get it published. Sell copies of your book in the back of the room.

Mar 12 – Schedule a seminar or tele-seminar on “How to Write and Publish a Book” and offer a “Small Press Month” discount on the registration fee. Send out a local news release about your class.

Mar 13 – Contact other sales channels outside of the bookstore that may be likely to sell your book. This may include websites related to your book’s topic, gift stores, hardware stores, grocery stores, boutiques, etc. Look at your book and ask yourself where your readers may be shopping.

Mar 14 – Contact local art studios, design boutiques, or other small independent businesses in your area. Give them the opportunity to share in co-op on some advertising initiatives (plus, if applicable, offer to conduct some events in their venues).

Mar 15 – Join with other independently published authors and arrange a co-op advertisement in the local media, using any dollars secured from local businesses you spoke with on the 14th. In addition to simply promoting your book, promote your upcoming events, so people show up at them. The other authors can join in the events, which may lead the bookstores to be more interested in scheduling it (even on such short notice).

Mar 16 – Contact all the local radio producers in your area and pitch them on Small Press Month. The Radio Interview Starter Kit within the Outskirts Press author’s center makes it easy, with free contact information in your local area, available to everyone regardless of where you published your book.

Mar 17 – Think St. Patrcik’s day thoughts. Then make sure your online Amazon.com listing is all it can be. Do you have a Kindle Edition for your book? Is your book participating in Search Inside the Book? Do you have your Book Video trailer playing from your Amazon blog?

Mar 18 – Contact the major newspapers about Small Press Month. They’re likely to write up something if enough authors contact them, and you will want to be among the piles of information they have received:

THE NEW YORK TIMES: 229 W 43rd Street, New York NY 10036-3959 (212) 556-1234

USA TODAY: 1000 Wilson Blvd, Arlington VA 22209-3901 (703) 276-3400 and 535 Madison Avenue, 20th Fl, New York NY 10022-4212 (212) 715-5410

WALL STREET JOURNAL: 200 Liberty Street, New York NY 10281-1003 (212) 416-2000

WASHINGTON POST: 1150 15th Street NW, Washington DC 20071-0002 (202) 334-6000

Mar 19 – Contact your local community center and inform them of Small Press Month. If you have gathered a band of local authors, this will be more affective. Schedule an impromptu event, celebrating Small Press books.

Mar 20 – This may be the month to switch publishers if you have published elsewhere. Look at the publisher you chose and ask yourself: Is your retail price too high? Is your profit too low? Is your author’s copy price too high? Are your marketing options too costly? Compare the top 4 publishers here and save potentially thousands of dollars.

Mar 21 – Small Press Month is just one month out of 12. Prepare for other book events, like the London Book Fair, Book Expo of America, Beijing, and Frankfurt. Or make it easy on yourself with the Global Book Tour marketing package.

Mar 22 – Create a social networking account on Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, and LinkedIn.

Mar 23 – Contact the Learning Annex (or similarly themed Adult Education Program) in your area and offer to teach a class on the subject of your book. As a published author, you are qualified to teach on your subject since you are an expert. Your book may even be required reading for each student! Cha-ching!

Mar 24 – Start writing online reviews through Amazon. Write reviews for every book you have ever read. Mention that you are the author of your book at the bottom of each posted review. If people like the writing style of your review, they may investigate your book, especially if you write reviews for books within the same genre as yours.

Mar 25 – Contact the public libraries in each state and mention your involvement with Small Press Month. Send them information about your book. Here’s a link that will get you started: http://www.publiclibraries.com/

Mar 26 – Start preparing for April (National Poetry Month), especially if you have a volume of poetry you have published.

Mar 27 – Help other writers you know get published and earn a 10% commission for the referral after their book is published. Register for the exciting Outskirts Press affiliate program at http://outskirtspress.com/affiliates.php

Mar 28 – Start a blog and keep it active and up-to-date. Register it with blog directories so others start reading it and participating. There are many blog programs to help you get started. Conduct a search on Google for the one that works for you.

Mar 29 – Submit your published book to the Google Base listings. It’s free. http://base.google.com

Mar 30 – Publish a “Large Print” edition of your book. With the world’s demographics growing older, “large print” editions are becoming more and more popular. Featuring 14 or 16 point fonts, these editions appeal to the aging community because they are easier to read. You’ve already written the book, now re-publish a new “Large Print” edition to increase your revenue and double the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives. It’s easy to get published here.

Mar 31 – Take a breath. It’s been a busy, productive month.