The Value of Marketing Materials

On LinkedIn.com today, I was asked whether there is such as thing as “unnecessary marketing material.”

My response:
I think effective marketing material is beneficial, but most cards, fliers, and ‘about me’ material just get tossed. What makes an effective marketing piece? Look to the big PR firms and publicists for examples. They do white-papers and useful articles that take a unique spin on an author’s book, rather than just a blurb about the book.

I recently reviewed a book on creativity and the author is highly visible for marketing an article on “Seven Steps to Tap Into Your Creative Spirit” or some similar title. A piece like that has more value and relevance than a marketing piece created specifically to drive sales but without benefit to the reader.

Do you agree? Are you proud of the marketing materials you’ve created for your work? Comment here, and I’ll send you the book review on creativity.

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Make Amazon work for you

In my May 30th post, below, I mentioned some of the ways you can use Amazon to create visibility for your books. You can comment on forums, post lists, and of course, review books, mentioning your book or website along the way.

Amazon has also announced it is Beta testing AuthorCentral at www.AuthorCentral.Amazon.com.  AuthorCentral takes the place of Amazon Connect which allowed any author with a book on Amazon to add a blog.

"Release Your Writing" on Helen's Amazon free author page

"Release Your Writing" on Helen's Amazon free author page


AuthorCentral allows you to do a number of things from one page – add photos, add a blog, add new books, apply for Search Inside the Book add your book to Kindle and become an Amazon Associate – all in an effort to help authors sell more of their books on Amazon.

If you have a book on Amazon and haven’t already done so, add your own blog to Amazon at AuthorCentral by clicking on “Add a blog you already write using an RSS feed”. It will automatically be updated each time you add a blog post.

This is a very cool way to increase your visibility online. Why not do it today?

Special mid-week update: BookTour.com walks on the moon!

I know I promised you a marketing tip each Saturday, but this one can’t wait.

I’ve told people here (see 6-13), and in “Release Your Writing” about Booktour.com where authors can post events, and I’ve talked about the free blogs on Amazon for authors.

Now the two have combined to show author events from Booktour on the author’s Amazon page.

Read more here:

What belongs in your platform?

Help me by adding other elements of visibility you use in your book marketing platform:

1. Begin to build your platform before your book is published
2. Register unique domain name for your work, and use it everywhere
3. Use the domain as your email – no more unprofessional hotmail accounts.
4. Subscribe to relevant blogs to stay informed and contribute value.
5. Join online communities and forums.
6. You are in a writing group aren’t you? You must – to add strength and support to your voice and to your colleagues.

What else should I add to this list? What works for you? Let me know…

Expose Yourself on Amazon

Amazon.com didn’t get to be the #1 bookseller in the world by sitting back and waiting for success.

They honed the model of online book selling, and did it by matching consumers to books of interest, and engaging readers, … well, you know the psychology of Amazon as well as I do.

So today’s question is: Are you capitalizing on capitalism?

You can if you use Amazon’s features to promote your books, whether new or old. It’s up to you to keep feeding the pipeline.

1. Write reviews of other books, and include a link to your own book. Search for my review of “One Year to a Writing Life” and you’ll see what I mean.

2. Every author on Amazon can have a blog, through AmazonConnect. Right now, it appears on your book’s page.  (See my “Release Your Writing” page for a sample.)

3. And now there’s news of Amazon’s new AuthorCentral service, where they create Author Pages for you, coming next week:

“…free service provided by Amazon to allow authors to reach more readers, promote books, and help build a better Amazon bookstore. … We are creating Author Pages for all AmazonConnect authors, and yours may already be live. If so, this means you will be able to blog from Author Central immediately and see your posts after you sign up. “

Being found online…

Sure, we write because we love to, but it’s nice to know others are reading our work out there in the big e-universe.

The name for your site, blog, and most importantly, for your book, can be a critical tool for your visibility.

You can now find out what people are seeing in search results, when they are looking for you. Check out www.freekeywords.wordtracker.com to see what results come up when people search for sites like yours.

If you want to purchase a domain name that will be readily found, or even better – when you are choosing a book title – use this free service to see how well it would rank.

I’ve been told again and again that I did the right thing by having a domain name and book title match: “Release Your Writing” and releaseyourwriting.com works double-time. They drive traffic to my web site, to my blog at releaseyourwriting.blogspot.com, and to steadily growing book sales.

To use http://www.freekeywords.wordtracker.com, type in the search phrase you expect people would use when looking for your site. It then calculates the average number of expected searches on that term per day.

Questions? Leave a comment and I’ll help you out.

Your Platform

excerpted from Release Your Writing, by Helen Gallagher.

Now that you’ve got plenty of ideas for marketing strength, let’s look at what the publishing industry calls a “platform.” Start by speaking at your local chamber of commerce, attend an expo, and get a booth or table at community events.

Whether you self-publish or go the longer route with an agent and publisher, book marketing is up to you. Having a platform is critical to your visibility and success in book promotion.

Your platform combines your credentials and your outreach:

  • Audience
  • Experience
  • Mailing list
  • Website
  • Blog exposure
  • Book tour availability
  • Media and public speaking.

All of these components are essential to promoting your work at the highest level or attracting a publisher, by illustrating your ability to sell books.

Your tasks, whether published by a POD service or traditionally, will be to market the book, do author signing events at bookstores, and get your book reviewed. Be creative in exploring free ways to gain visibility.

Read more at Amazon.com where you buy the book, in softcover or Kindle versions. Ebook also available for instant download from the publisher or at Smashwords.com.