Thursday, January 28, 2016

What Authors Must Do On Branding, Platform Building & Marketing A Book

I often hear from authors that they don’t know where to start when it comes to branding, marketing, and promotions. We hear a lot about branding and building a platform. So what type of help might an author need in this area?

Certainly many authors could take advantage of establishing or improving their brand, including:

·         Unpublished writers seeking to land a book deal with the help of a bigger profile
·         Writers who want to seed growth for their books many months prior to a book’s launch
·         Authors looking to grow their brand and profile during their book launch and beyond

Authors may benefit from people who can supply these services:

·         Strategic Branding Advice:
o   Branding consultation and strategizing sessions with an expert
o   Having a pro review their book, background, and marketing materials to determine their brand
o   Having their key selling points identified
o   Getting a website audit by a pro who knows what to look for
o   Understanding how to leverage his or her network of contacts
o   Knowing how to secure blurbs and testimonials for their books
o   Brainstorm on marketing opportunities to pursue
o   Strategize on messaging and developing one’s brand
o   Create fliers and marketing materials/letters
o   Perform extensive/detailed research of specific markets
o   Help them leverage their network of  lists and assets
o   Help them conduct or circulate a Webinar
o   Help create content for seminar or events
o   Help them put together a promotional download or create a marketing video
o   Consult on the Development A Column, Radio Show, TV Show
o   Provide A Book Marketing Audit – or a SWOT
o   Competitive marketing analysis – show them what others in their genre/field are doing
o   Bestseller consultation
o   Manage an advertising campaign – advise on where to spend money, content of ads

·         Establish accounts and create user profiles with key social media outlets:
o   Twitter, You Tube, Linked In, Instagram, Google +, Pinterest

·         Social Media Activity:
o   Have content crafted for the author to share via social media
o   Brainstorm or develop content for an author’s blog or podcast
o   Interact online as a surrogate for the author, including sharing and posting content through social media platforms on behalf of the author
o   Increase the frequency and quality of social media engagement of an author
o   Greatly increase the number of connections/friends/followers on each social media platform

·         Speaking:
o   Identify organizations to solicit engagement opportunities
o   Research the right contacts and developing outreach lists
o   Put together a speaker’s sheet/marketing kit
o   Help the author identify which topics he or she can speak on
o   Reach out and follow up with groups for paid/unpaid speaking appearances
o   Seek out a speaker’s bureau on their behalf

·         News Media/Publicity:
o   Develop your media profile by pitching you as an expert to targeted media, including select local or national radio, television, newspapers, magazines, newswires, industry publications and niche media outlets

When it comes to marketing a book, authors might need these services:

  • Craft a letter - -and gather a list of independent and chain bookstores – and contact them about an author’s book.
  • Arrange for book signings

  • Craft a letter - -and gather a list of public libraries and/or specialty or school libraries – and solicit them about an author’s book/
  • Arrange for book talks – possible book sales

  • Craft a list, gather a letter, and contract thousands of national, regional, and local associations, both professional and non-profit ones.
  • Seek out speaking appearances, bulk sales, opportunities to post on their site/blog/newsletter, or explore some way of collaborating with them

  • Compile a list of non-profits – then write a letter -- and connect with them via call, email or mail regarding an author’s book and seek out speaking appearances, bulk sales, opportunities to post on their site/blog/newsletter, or explore some way of collaborating with them

Facebook Groups
  • Identify groups you should join
  • Connect with these groups on your behalf

Book Awards
  • Identify awards for authors to apply to, providing application/rules/fees
  • Help authors apply for these awards

Conferences/Seminars/Book Fairs
  • Identify the conferences/seminars authors should consider attending or displaying at

  • Identify when publications or digital resources authors should read to inform them on book marketing strategies/resources.
  • Identify sources for authors to read for their industry

Book Trailers
Create/distribute them for authors.

Create one for the author.

Book Freebies
  • There are many sites and outlets like Amazon that offer the posting of books for free – you could benefit from having a list of these giveaway sites. Consider posting on an author’s book or backlist title on the giveaway sites to help build a brand

Book Clubs
Work with MJ Rose Author Buzz or Penny Sensiverri – or develop your own lists.

Direct Sales
Depending on the book’s subject matter and the author’s credentials, authors need to develop lists of each of the following – either nationally, regionally or locally – and to contact them regarding the purchase of their book, pursue the consideration of a speaking appearance, or secure an opportunity for writing a piece for their web site/newsletter/blog

  • Government Agencies
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Retirement Communities
  • Nursing Homes
  • Universities
  • Public Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Rehab Centers
  • Churches and Temples
  • Certain kinds of stores, such as Gift Shops, Clothing Stores, Italian Restaurants
  • Realtors
  • Senior Centers
  • Day Camps
  • Summer Camps
  • Day Care Centers
  • Corporations of a certain industry, size, location
  • Women’s Groups
  • Political Organizations
  • Museums and Cultural Centers
  • Professional/Organizations
  • Military Bases/Veterans groups
  • Sports Leagues and Teams
  • Travel related entities
  • Health Organizations
  • Labor Unions
  • Schools
  • Special Markets such as Airports
  • Overseas markets: Canada, UK, global

Think about what you can do vs. what a professional would do for you. Determine which areas are most important to you and which ones you need the most help in. Then seek out a professional who can guide you and work closely with you in a collaborative manner.

2016 Book Marketing & Book Publicity Toolkit

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016

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