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3 Marketing Mistakes A-Level Authors Make


In today’s publishing industry, it’s common for 80% of a publisher’s book sales to come from its top 20% bestselling authors. These “A-level” authors are treasured for their ability to write and market books that sell 100,000 – 1,000,000 copies or more. Plus, their platforms are so strong that their presence at a book-signing or speaking events can quickly draw hundreds of readers. Thus, publishers tend to devote more marketing dollars and resources to these writers. Who can blame them? A-level authors represent a safer bet to produce much-needed revenue, especially in a difficult economy. The surprising reality, however, is the amount of marketing mistakes that some A-level authors continue to make. Sure, they’ve sold a … [Read more...]

The 10 Commandments of Book Marketing


Behold, the 10 commandments of book marketing for authors and publishers. Are you breaking any? Thou shalt: 1. Tell people about the results your books create, not just the topics you write about. 2. Test your manuscript on focus groups and get actual success stories before you publish your book. 3. Avoid coveting another author’s Facebook friends, Twitter followers, or Amazon ranking. 4. Honor your website visitors by letting them test-drive your books’ content and expertise. 5. Maintain a growing database of leaders and send them regular value-laden newsletters…righteous! 6. Remember the Sabbath and carve out breaks in your schedule to recharge your mind and soul. 7. Show your contact information on all … [Read more...]

Why Smart Publishers Build Bad Websites

When you compare the online traffic to a news website versus a publisher website, who gets the most visitors? Think the New York Times and Fox News versus HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. The news websites get way more traffic. It’s not even close. Yet, both groups create massive amounts of content that people enjoy reading. Why such a big difference? One group understands the power of content. Let’s face it. Most readers never visit publisher websites. And, if they did, they won’t see many good reasons to return. That’s because the typical publisher website is covered with dozens of images showing frontlist releases, current bestsellers, author listings, and some lame ads to join a boring mailing list. In other words, … [Read more...]

Publishers: Avoid Grading an Author’s Social Media Status


When I was in college, my initial major was landscape design and architecture. For some strange reason, I had visions of designing golf courses with fancy clubhouses around the world. But, my dream was crushed as a sophomore student when I was graded on our biggest project of the year. I was given the task to design the structure and landscaping for a new county library near the college. Each of the six professors in my department would assign a grade. When the big day arrived to receive our grades, I was stunned. One of the six professors gave me a failing grade of D, while another professor gave me a quite positive grade of B+. Likewise, my scores from the other four professors were all over the place. I remember feeling bewildered by … [Read more...]

How to Recover from a Marketing Injury

Marketing Injury

True confession time: I’m a guy who finds it difficult to accept my real age. Many people don’t know that I’m actually 47 years old. I guess my blond hair has a way of hiding most of the gray that’s on my head. And, when people try to guess my age, they usually think I’m in my late-30’s or early-40’s. Due to this misconception, I sometimes find it hard to act my age and accept the realities of life. However, I had a wake up call earlier this year when I decided to go trail running one afternoon along a river near our house. As I ran down part of the path, I hit a patch of loose gravel that caused my right ankle to slip out from under me. The result was a violent ankle sprain, and I had to limp back almost a mile through the … [Read more...]