Marketing a Book.

On Mondays, I ususally write a post about the book writing process— but I’m going to skip that this week for a little side conversation about marketing.

On Saturday, I went to a “Book Marketing Bootcamp” in San Jose taught by Kathi Lipp and hosted by Class Seminars. The class was only one day– but the day was jam-packed with marketing ideas and thoughts and well, let’s just say that I’m suddenly supermotivated to become a book marketing machine. Anyway, since I’ve been living and breathing marketing today, I thought I’d give you the highlights and see if you had any other wisdom to share.

Here are the highlights:

* In order to successfully market your book (and therefore yourself), you have to come up with a very specific, very reader-focused value statement. Tell the reader what they are going to gain by reading your book. This value statement should transfer to everything you do… from your blog, to your book, to your speaking endeavors. Yikes.

* Your branding needs to be cohesive. You can’t have an upbeat, lively book with a tranquil ocean scene on the cover. And, with that in mind, you can’t have an upbeat, lively blog or website with a tranquil ocean scene either.

* When marketing your book, your job isn’t to convince people to buy your book, but to convince people that your book is going to help THEM. Nobody likes spam. So telling someone to do something or buy something does no good. Instead, you need to build relationships with people so that your work can meaningfully contribute to their life.

* If you’re a non-fiction writer, it’s pretty darn important that you become a speaker as well. Gulp. I hate speaking in front of people. I’m considering hiring a stunt-double– someone super funny and entertaining who can speak and pretend they are me. Anyone intrested in the job?

Questions for you:

* What are your best book marketing ideas?
* What works for you?
* What have you tried that didn’t work?


  1. Hmmm. For fiction, writing the best book possible. Working with the house to set up signings and blog appearances.

    Asking God for THOSE opportunities.

    I had no idea how much time it would take…


  2. Your blog is fabulous! I just fell across it today and saw that you were a fellow Texan so of course I had to stop by and follow you!

    The post for today was also great! I'm currently in the writing process. I have two completed first drafts, a round of edits and another two novels that are currenty WIPS. As far as marketing what I do right now is get my name out through the blogs, stopping by, saying hello, commenting. Learning about my fellow writers and listening to their journeys and all they have to offer (which is a ton!).

    I hope to be a great marketer and I'll keep this information in the back of my mind for when it's time for me to make a statement and know what my book is teaching others.

  3. I think when my first book comes out I'll hire out a tour bus and wrap it with my jacket cover and tour the country. Practical, no?

  4. Ive worked very hard lately at the platform thing. I now have some speaking gigs and Im networking with as many people as I can. The one thing I wonder about is, although blogging is greatly beneficial for learning to write and information, is it really that important for marketing? And other things like tweeting just dont make sense to me – even tho I do it.
    Oh and I like T.Anne's suggestion!

  5. Hi, Erin. Thanks so much for becoming my 31st follower. This is a great post, and it makes me want to read more of your blog. I thirst for this information. If God blesses me with a publishing contract, I want to make sure I do everything I can to share my books with the world.

    Looking forward to more of your posts!

    ~Britt Mitchell

  6. Erin– Nice post, thanks for sharing. I really like the idea of a value statement. It makes sense to make one's "brand" (feels weird to think of myself that way) cohesive. I will add this to my to do list!!!

  7. Erin,
    You have some wonderful suggestions! I hooe when and if I get a book published you will be the expert I can come to! I still am in awe of how all this happened for you:)) Would love to share some writing feedback now and then:) I am in a group but critique with a few other writers too because everyone is so different.

  8. When I speak to groups about my book, I don't actually speak about the book. I talk about Proverbs (which my book is about) and then, toward the end, say something like, "These are some of the things my book addresses." Seems to work ok. Good suggestions here, Erin, thanks.

  9. Wow – just saw this. You are a great student – and just all around rock star. We are going to have to spend a day working on your Marketing Plan ((I'm sitting over here with twisting my hands with an evil grin on my face…)

  10. Hi Erin! Love the idea of a focused value statement. Also, if you find a stunt double…share! I really need one. :)

  11. Loving reading your blog! I've recentlty heard of something similar to a value statement -an "Elevator Pitch" a brief overview/pitch you'd tell someone that takes about as long as en elevator ride 😉

  12. This is a lovely blog. Thanks for sharing your insights, and the best to you! -laura

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