Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, book signings, Indie book publishing, self publishing

Confused about how to do book marketing? Here is a simple way to build an effective marketing plan.

Book Marketing sign postIt wasn’t that long ago that the biggest challenge for a writer was getting published. Clearly that has changed because now there are four paths to publishing which I have written about extensively. So getting your book into the hands of readers is not the obstacle it once was. Now what I hear from authors is confusion about how to market their books. They seem overwhelmed or not sure where to start.

Knowing this POEM will help you.

So in this blog post I want to give you a simple framework and acronym for how to think about book marketing that will take some of the mystery out of the process. Any good integrated marketing campaign has four key activities. Publicity. Online. Events. Multi-Media. That forms the acronym POEM, which is an easy way to remember what you need to do.

Publicity is using the traditional media to make sure people know about your book. By traditional media, I mean newspapers, television and radio. To be effective in this activity, you need to be clear on the elevator pitch for your book and the audience you are trying to reach. Tactically, you will likely need a press release and a simple media kit you can use to pitch producers and journalists. The key with publicity as with the other categories is being clear on what you are going to do and what you need to hire someone to do for you.

On-line is perhaps the biggest opportunity for all authors. I believe a key element is having a blog. This is a way to create an ongoing connection with your audience. Use keywords and tags to make your content show up in searches. And be sure to have an email for media who want to reach you.

You should also be selective and strategic about social media platforms. What I have learned is Facebook is good for some books and worthless for others. Same thing with LinkedIn and Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest and whatever the next platform that will appear. Try some things and figure out what works best for your book. Use the analytics available to you to see what creates traffic and engagement. Also, be sure to gather email addresses. That way you are building a list to which you can market future opportunities.

Book signingEvents is the third area where you should focus. The first and most important event is your book launch party. You can do this in very creative ways, but every author should celebrate the publication of the book. Then look for other opportunities for book signings and speaking engagements in your area with groups that would be interested in your topic. Libraries are also a great place to connect with for events.

Multi-media is the fourth area of a solid integrated marketing plan. We are an image driven culture so I believe having a video or book trailer is critical. If you do one, make sure it is produced well. You want it to make a good first impression and you can use it to help you with your other areas. Post it on your blog. Send it as part of your pitch to media. You may also want to consider creating an app for your book depending on what type of book you have.


Putting POEM to work for you.

Marketing is work, but with POEM you have a framework for creating the right type of plan to make sure you are engaged in the right activities and not missing something. However, even with a plan, the biggest challenge for many authors is persistence and consistency. It is easy to get discouraged, but the most successful self-published authors I know just keep at it.

Questions to ask as you get started.

So look at what you are doing right now. Do you have plans or activity in each of the four key categories of an integrated campaign? If so, that is great, but no matter what you are doing now, you should still write down a six or twelve month plan to keep yourself accountable. Then once you do that, you should make an honest assessment of what you can do yourself and where you need help.

Hopefully you find POEM helpful and please use the comment section to let me know what else you are doing to organize your marketing activities.

Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, book selling, book signings, Ebooks, Kindle, Publishing, self publishing

Free e-books. Meet the authors. Online booksigning event. Tuesday, October 9th.

Readers and authors both love book signings.  Readers get free books and get to meet the authors who wrote the books. Authors get to connect with potential readers and put faces and voices to those who are interested in their writing.

But how do you do a book signing with authors from all over the countryi who have an e-book . The answer is the Behind the Story online book signing event. It is free to register and attend and gives readers a chance to meet four different authors via a go-to-webinar environment.  During the 45 to 60 minutes allotted for the event, you will learn:

  • what inspired the authors to write their books
  • what they hope readers will gain by reading the books
  • advice they have for  aspiring authors.

You will also get a chance to ask the authors questions via a chat window through a moderator. Best of all,  after the event, you’ll get an email with four free Bookstubs which allow you to download a free e-book version of each of the books to a Kindle or iPad.

The next online book signing is this Tuesday, October 9th at 5:00 pm EST and you can register here The authors and books are very diverse, but even if you are only interested in one of the titles, I think you will enjoy the experience. Also, feel free to share this opportunity with friends who you think might be interested in any of these titles.

The Medicine Wheel for Step Parents
By Mary Jane Grange, R.N.
With The Medicine Wheel for Step Parents, the author hopes to give some understanding and relief to blended families. Step families have common threads of dysfunction due to issues caused by the power structure changing in a home after a divorce or death in a family. Step parents and step children feel that they must protect their territory, ego, and family with secrets, isolation, intimidation, manipulation, and stonewalling behavior. This book helps you analyze and carry the opposition to your efforts for your blended family.
Vibrational Harmony
By Beverly Nadler
This amazing book leads you out of the old paradigm of The Material Model that makes change so difficult, into the revolutionary new paradigm for the 21st century. VIBRATIONAL HARMONY clarifies the little-understood relationship between what you want, the Universal Laws, your mind, your subconscious programming, and what you actually get. Discover tools and techniques, plus step-by-step processes to release your negative beliefs, and “reprogram” yourself to create and attract more success, health, happiness, peace of mind…whatever YOU want!
Canadian Charter Rights and Freedoms
By Joseph W. Jacob B.A., M.P.A.
Canada currently has the most comprehensive charter of rights and freedoms in the world, and it overrides all other Canadian laws. With this charter, truthful, proven and demonstrable harm must occur before punishment may be legally imposed. This is similar to the charter’s guaranteed right of liberty. A law that has the potential of convicting a person who has not really done anything wrong offends the principles of fundamental justice.
Medical Uses of Marijuana
By Joseph W. Jacob B.A., M.P.A.
Throughout history, more than 150 successful medical uses of marijuana plants have been identified, effectively tested, publicly used, and reliably trusted. In Medical Uses of Marijuana, author Joseph W. Jacob provides an extensive chronological history of marijuana and its medical uses throughout the world in the last 10,000 years. Medical Uses of Marijuana seeks to provide the truth about the loss of the legal use of this beneficial plant.
authors, book selling, book signings, Ebooks, Publishing, self publishing, writing

How do you do a book signing when you have an e-book? Answer below.

I saw this Speed Bump comic strip, and while it made me laugh, I also thought it captured the problem many authors have pondered when they think about book signings in an era of growing e-books sales. How exactly do you do a book signing in the days of digital publishing? Well, I think there is an answer and you can see how it works this Thursday, May 10th from 2:30-3:30 EST.

It is called Behind the Story: A Virtual Book Signing. Registration is limited to the first 200 people and you can sign up by clicking on this link.

Registration URL:

If you attend, you will have the opportunity via an online webinar format to meet four authors, learn about their books and inspiration for publishing, plus ask them questions using a chat window.  Best of all, after the session you will receive an email with a card called a BookStub that allows you to download a free copy of each of the author’s e-books. The four authors and their books are:

  • Harvey Gould and his book, A Fierce Local, which is a memoir that offers a vivid picture of what it’s like to travel and live in Ireland.
  • Ted Simon and his book, A Toxic Assault, which draws eerie connections between race relations in the American South and environmental crimes.
  • Harvey Burgess and his mystery novel, Kiss Her Goodbye, which introduces readers to the character Houston Cash, an ex cop turned private investigator.
  • Stuart Maloney and his book, 26, in which he takes readers on an in-depth tour of his life with cerebral palsy.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to connect authors with readers. I think you will find it quite enjoyable.

authors, book marketing, book selling, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing

Author C.S. Marks tells how she went from self publishing to traditional publishing deal.

One of the great changes in publishing over the last two years has been the number of self published authors who have found traditional deals. In this interview with author C.S. (Chris)  Marks, she shares her story of what she did to create visibility for her book. There are lots of great ideas that other authors could use or adapt. One of the key themes in her story though is she believed in her work and she was committed to publishing it and promoting it.  Let me know if you think there are things you could do that Chris did to promote your book.

authors, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, writing

Every author’s greatest fear and greatest hope: Will they like me?

A review on Amazon for my book reminded me how publishing enables us to impact the lives of people we have never met.

As you know, I have a lot of conversations with authors of all experience levels. I myself have used indie publishing to put two books in the market and recently, after a  number of interactions with a variety of authors, I realized there is a common fear we all have and a common hope. We want people to like our books, which is actually a proxy for them liking us

Now that may not sound like a  revolutionary idea, but I decided it was worth writing about because I have never seen a post about the topic.  Much is written about the economics and process of publishing, but what I have learned is becoming an author is an intensely personal and emotional experience. When you put a book in distribution, you are actually putting a bit of your self out there for the world to see. I am not saying that is bad or good. I am just saying what we really hope for is that people will like our book and like us.  When they do, it can be very gratifying. Readers may express their appreciation through an email or blog comment or at a book signing.   Recently, I was thrilled to see someone really liked my book Eli the Stable Boy becaue she wrote a customer review on Amazon.  I have never met her, but here’s what she wrote

A drummer boy story for today!,

What a charming and insightful book! This is the story that teaches our children that they, too, serve God, in their own way! Just as the Little Drummer Boy taught my generation that we all have gifts to give to God, Eli, the stable boy shows our children that they can have a real part in the story God is writing for them!

The illustrations are charming, the story is engaging, and the lesson is well taught, and one that will be remembered for lifetimes. I recommend this story and book to anyone with children.

Her words were a reminder to me of a statement I have made previously,but which I think bears repeating. That is when you publish a book, you have the opportunity to impact the lives of people you have never met, and even if it is just ten or twenty people, it is worth the effort. So don’t let that manuscript sit in your drawer. Get it published and into the hands of readers. Not all of them will like it, but you may find a number of people greatly appreciate your work and that is one of the best things about becoming a published author.

authors, book signings, Indie book publishing, self publishing

Three Things at LA Times Festival of Books that Surprised Me


Young children, including boys, love printed books

Last weekend, I attended the LA Times Festival of Books, which I think may be the best book fair in the country. I was concerned because after years of being held at on the picturesque campus of  UCLA; this year it moved across town to USC.  I’m happy to report that the folks at USC did a tremendous job of hosting the fair and the change of venue ultimately turned out to be a non-issue.

There were three things at the fair took me by surprise:

The death of the bookstore has been greatly exaggerated: While recent headlines seem only to report about the struggles of national book retail chains, behind the story a revival of sorts is underway with the independents, as a number of them are thriving.
There were constant crowds at the Vroman’s tent; and the Book Soup tent was equally popular. In fact as I travel the country, I’m finding independent stores like Booksandbooks in Miami; and others I’ve visited in Austin, Texas, and St. Louis are succeeding by playing the role of community gathering places. Selling books is certainly an important part of what they do, but the books also serve as a reason for people of like interests to to gather and interact. The independents aren’t going away anytime soon!

 Children may like apps, but they still love printed books: I saw it time and time again. During the dozens of author signings Author Solutions hosted throughout the weekend, the longest lines included kids waiting with their parents to meet an author and get a copy of a book. There is hope for books and reading after all! That said, I think an opportunity exists for more authors to focus on writing books that appeal to young boys. In my opinion, there is a huge need to reach out to these young readers so that the love of reading takes root early.

Indie publishing continues gaining interest

Indie book publishing continues to pick up steam: While most of the people featured on the stages were traditionally-published authors, the interest in Indie book publishing continues to grow. More and more authors realize there is no reason to wait at the mailbox for an acceptance, or rejection letter, when you can get your book to readers now.
The numbers bear it out – indie publishing is now the rule not the exception; but it really hit me how popular it’s become as I spoke with even more authors who are deciding to take control of their works.

As usual the LA Times Festival of Books was a fantastic event. If you are a book lover, I highly recommend a visit to this fair.

authors, book marketing, book signings, self publishing

What I learned at the Indie Author Weekend booksignings

I participated in two booksignings so far this weekend for my children’s book, Eli the Stable Boy.

The key to making a book signing work is having a pitch about your book to people walking by the table

It has been very fun, but also very informative. A few key things I learned so far. First, you have to be willing to ask people if they are interested in a new book. You can’t just sit there and hope people stop at your table. Second, you need to have a tightly worded pitch. In other words, be ready to tell the reader in a few words why they should be interested in the book. Also, offer to sign it and dedicate it. Third, ask them if they have someone who they might be able to give the book to as a gift.  A few people bought the book because they are going to give it as a gift. I have another signing tomorrow and will update after then. Nothing beats talking to the readers.