#IndieAuthor Book Marketing Secrets finally revealed!!

Did that header really draw you in? Well, lets get started.

First off, we need to thank Nick Eftimiades for this wonderful list (I was going to put his site in here…but realized he would get inundated with inquires from folks who are not going to get the point of this post) If you find his blog..DO NOT BOTHER HIM WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR BOOK, PLAN OR HOW TO SUCCEED!

He received the list from a publicist as an “actions” list for him to pursue in marketing his novel.

Now, before you run off all giddy at the prospect of finding a magic key to marketing your Indie novel, you need to slow down and READ what we are saying very carefully.

What follows is NOT a plan. It is a list. A good list, a comprehensive list. An unachievable list, but a list nonetheless.

Unachievable? “But…but…I was going to…”, what? What were you going to do?

You were going to open the floodgates of readers to you novel? No. You weren’t.

And you aren’t.

There is NO quick fix or “Free marketing” way to get the word out about your novel. Sorry. Posting book link promo bombs in Facebook groups is useless. Tweeting all the time is useless. Those tactics do not lead to direct sales. But they are a weapon (when used correctly) that helps you wage war.

Yes, WAR. You are at war. And like a good General, you must pick your battles, deploy your troops, manage your resources and win the war. (in this analogy, FB and Twitter promo bombing are the equivalent of waving at the enemy while they are shooting at you. Same result).

So, if the overall goal is to win, let’s put it in Author terms. The war is won when you have 1000 Fans. Not 1000 followers on Twitter or 1000 likes on your Facebook Novel/author page, but 1000 solid fans that are waiting to read your next diatribe and poke you about its release. That is the big goal. Rumor has it that if an artist truly has 1000 “benefactors/customers/fans” for their work, they can self-support.

Now, what’s the strategic goals? These goals are not finite, but directional. They are how we know we are winning. They support the overall goal of 1000 fans

Here would be some SAMPLE strategic goals (Make your own):

1) Implement methods to increase exposure to book (grow book sales 50 X over 6 months. Increase word of mouth).

2) Investigate, implement and manage “Perpetual” marketing methods that require tweaking, but not constant input (Reviews, author interviews, Book Blurbs, etc).

3) Ally with a promotional entity with a proven track record in TOTAL book marketing (Genre specific preferred. No “generic multigenre”. Make them prove track record).

4) Produce multiple works (Body of work) and Webisode short stories.

5) Increase online presence (Blogs, blogcasts, guest appearances, reviews, etc)

6) Raise profile of book in genre market

Got it? Strategy now dictates we need to take some actions. You need a plan and goals. NOW you get to the list. The Tactics to achieve the goals and win the war.

This list is full of mini-goals/tactics to increase your profile and taper into your strategic goals. Most require some adeptness in a field or technology, and in a lot of cases, serious expenditures of time and/or money.

You have to decide which ones you can do by yourself.

You must decide which ones you can learn in short order and become proficient in, while being able to manage them, all in the time allotted.

You must decide which ones you have to hand to an expert.

as you read them, check them off. What’s left that you can do within your budget/time/skillset? Now, does that refined list let you achieve the short term goals or overall goal? (Really look at it).

Are you done at this point? No

Did you consider that you still need to take time and money to produce multiple bodies of work (Short stories or novels) in there as well? And pay to have them edited, covers designed, etc? Now how much can you do? Your plan to reach 1000 fans must include the two other legs: Body of work, Reviews of work.

Don’t be depressed. Just understand that your stated goal stayed the same, but the time it takes to win the war just moved out by months (or years). Some of these things can perpetuate and aid other items. Some will only require passing care. Others are almost full time jobs.

AGAIN PLEASE don’t go bothering Nick with questions about what you should do or what worked for him. This list was given to him by a publicist for him to form a plan around. IT IS A BIG LIST. IT IS NOT A PLAN!(there is a lot of overlap in the list)



When you get done reading the list, do not go flailing about, getting all wound up about the one or two things you can do and ignoring the rest, or not even condescending them. It is a big list, but it is not a complete list. You will throw out a good portion of the list because it does not git your strategy. If an item would REALLY help you reach a goal, but you cannot afford to do it….you better figure out how to do it. Beg, trade, pray. Do something other than plead poor.

Time to find (or develop) two tactics for each of you goals, that will help you achieve EACH of your strategic goals and then DO THEM (or begin to do them).  And pay special heed to item 27 below. Measure everything. Every result and failure, along with success.

If you are asking “How can I sell more books without spending any money?”,  you have failed. You started off asking the wrong question.

Have fun.



1)         Publish book with the following on line publishers:

a.         Amazon Bookstore

b.         Pubit (Barns and Noble)

c.         Books on Board

d.         Ebooks.com

e.         Sony Reader Store

f.          Borders

g.         Diesel Books

h.         Google Editions

i.       Smashwords

2)         Websites

a.         Personal website

i.          Sell Book on site. Links to all distribution. Own your domain.

ii.         Introduce concept of coordinated learning:  i.e. fiction book, summer camps, video game, yearly activities

iii.        Introduce as lecturer and Subject Matter Expert

 iv.        find other genre experts. Parrots and extend their techniques

v).         Requires developing a 30 min presentation on the concept

b..    Link to book sales web sites from your blog.

c.     Para Publishing web site. List the book free on the Para Publishing Web site. Just click on Success Stories and fill in the form. Include your email address and URL so that interested surfers can click directly back to you.

4)         Offer to give interviews and speaking engagements

a.         Develop soft copy Press Kit

i.          About the author

ii.         Reviews of book

iii.        Include “what people are saying about the book”

iv.        Video talking about book

v.           You Tube technology video?

vi.        Video of speeches/interviews/discussions about book

vii.       Transcripts of speeches, presentations, interview/discussions of book

5)         Live broadcast Book Blog/Blog radio

a.         Podcasts

b.         Include press clippings of publications and articles

c.         Links to quotes from other works

d.         Link to book reviews (hey..we do this! www.bookreviewcoop.com)

e.         Amazon and other book reviews

f.          Sale of book in multiple media – ebook, audio and print book

i.          Actively seek out affiliates

ii.         Offer 50% of profit for all sales (my profit) that come through them (NOTE: We disagree wit this one)

6)         Soft Copy Marketing

a.         Send e-mails offering to give interviews and speaking engagements (It will be appropriate to sell books at some of these venues)

i.          Local radio

ii.         Local TV

iii.        Scifi Clubs and Groups

7)         Offer to send free copy.  Ask for review and on-line link

a.         Conventions

b.         Genre Groups

c.         Civic groups

8)         Book clubs, college groups, school study groups, clubs,etc

9)         Specialty Store Distribution

a.         Trend shows tremendous growth of book sales through specialty stores.

b.         E.g. more books on parachuting are sold through parachute equipment sales stores than through bookstores.

c.        Define how you are competitive with other books in the genre. Target their fan base for distribution of materials.

d.         Approach specialty stores to sell book (Createspace to produce hard copy)

i.          Comic book stores

ii.         Novelty/game/ genre sensitive stores

iii.        Others?

10)      Event book sales (and signing)

a.         Science Fiction/Genre conventions

b.         Comic con

c.         Cosplay conventions

d.         Book fairs

e.         Renaissance fair

f.          Store book signing

i.          Make arrangement with book store

ii.         Advertise through the book store

11)      Poster

a.         Cardboard cutout, etc. Book cover art submitted to various forums

b.         Advertise on line – notices to genre groups, Socially relevant groups, fan-base groups, local newspapers,

c.         News release (formerly called press release).

12)      E-mail Lists

a.         Must be legal list.  One that people have signed up for.

i.          Genre Readers?  What other groups?

ii.         Must buy/rent recent lists

b.         Regular Mailing Lists

i.          What type of mailing lists for genre fans?  Other groups?

13)      Develop book brochure for distribution

a.         Leave at conferences, conventions, events

i.          Genre conferences

ii.         SciFi/fantasy/romance writer conventions

b.         Leave at stores

14)      Publicity

a.         Local papers, radio and local TV stations

i.          Play the local angle of the new author. Write the article for them.

ii.         Cable or local TV show for local news

iii.        Send copy (media flier) to relevant media people.

b.         National papers, radio and TV

i.          Target groups with free offers to speak

ii.         Press releases to national press targeting cities and career pages

iii.        Send multiple press releases to the media through British Associated Press and direct to targeted journalists

15)      Book Reviewers

a.         Send copies of book or links to book reviewers in various publications

b.         Get reviews (personal and professional). Reviews need to be across ALL book sites and media.

c.         Send review copies to book clubs with large distribution

16)      Testimonials and Endorsements

a.         Get cover quotes from famous people quoted in the book

b.         Put testimonials on other peoples websites with my website address on them as link backs

17)      Print Articles

a.         Submit articles for print media on related subjects

b.         Genre issues, impact on society/industry/other authors

c.         Write article on future of books in your genre…or genre specific subjects

18)      In Person/ Speaking/ Building a platform

a.         Volunteer for local associations and organizations that need speakers

b.         Develop “Elevator speech” for quick pitch

c.         Build slides of key points of lecture so I can produce these as part of speaking

19)      Networking

a.         Active member of Genre groups, clubs, associations

b.         Writers groups?

c.         Sell at networking events

d.         Genre groups in US, UK, etc

e.         Build brand and reputation as an author and sell book at events as well as talking about it

20)      Book Launch and local bookstores

a.         Launch at independent bookstore. Make sure media are aware.

b.         Press release before, and after.

c.         Approach local and independent bookstores to see if they will buy books.

d.         Donate books to local library and offer to speak

e.         Sell at fairs and markets in person

21)      Promotional material

a.         Have book cover on business cards and hand them out whenever possible

b.         Wear T-shirt with book image and name on as well as website

c.         Stick stickers or stamp with website name on all post

22)      Articles

a.         Post regularly on top article websites EzineArticles.com and Articlesbase.com that syndicate across the web

b.         Post with Genre Group

23)      Amazon.com

a.         Do Amazon.com book reviews on similar topics with links to my book

b.         Add Amazon blog and all testimonials to site

c.         Add video to my Amazon page

d.         Promote sales through affiliates

24)      Blog and social networking

a.         Drive traffic to my website and encourage sales through my blog

b.         Facebook profile has link to website and promotes book

c.         LinkedIn profile has info on the book as well as the day job

d.         Set up a lens on squidoo.com

e.         Channel on YouTube for book related videos

f.          Post free (speeches, documents)  information and useful documents on Docstoc.com for search engines

g.         Profile on AuthorsDen.com

h.         Add a Tell a Friend button to website

i.          Create a screensaver for YouTube with inspirational quotes and the website address

j.          Add signature file with book free offer and website to all emails

k.         Invite other authors, scientists, technologists, etc. to be guest blogs or interviews on my blog. They reciprocate and promote me.

l.          Approach organizations to buy for their employees or clients as porate gifts e.g. recruitment companies, seek.com and similar

m.        Direct marketing to libraries for self-help/careers section

n.         Universities and careers offices for bulk buy

25)      Targeted Internet advertising

a.         Run ad campaign on common words for looking for scifi movies or future issues.

b.         Use targeted Facebook advertising, which can be directed to age group, gender, interests as well as location (WARNING: DON’T!! waste of money on this bad idea!).

26)      Build database for email marketing and auto-responders

a.         Email addresses are captured and auto-responders are sent to the people over the period of 1 month encouraging them to buy the book.

b.         Periodic emails blasts on interesting topics and blog posts

c.         Set up affiliate program where people can earn commission on referrals to the website for sales

27)      Measure and optimize marketing activities

a.         Use Google Analytics to track traffic and conversion rates and measure success

b.         Measure Google Adwords campaign and tweak adverts as necessary

c.         Measure traffic to blog and use keyword finder to blog with searchable terms. Use tracking links at every opportunity.

28)      Joint Ventures

a.         Target similar authors for co-promotion

b.         For example, I have been a featured author on XXXXXXs

c.         Be a guest speaker on a new book and have a giveaway in their program that directs traffic to my website

d.         Be part of compilation books which promote my own book in the resource box

i.          I have a chapter in XXXXXX which also includes blah, blah blah, amongst others

ii.         My chapter includes my website

iii.        Have excerpts in another compilation book

29)      Check groups that have a library and a book sales service.  Approach them with opportunity.

30)      Charitable Tie-In

a.         Charity is XXXXX (10% of profits)

 Did you get all the way to the bottom? Good. Now the next time an Indie author asks “What they can do to market their book”…just send them to this link and let them get started.

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