Showing posts with label beyond book sales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beyond book sales. Show all posts

"Book Reviews as Tools of Promotion," by Mayra Calvani

Book reviews are one of the most effective tools of book promotion. In fact, some experts consider reviews to be the most effective tool.

For librarians, top review publications such as Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, School Library Journal, etc., play a vital role in the selection of titles. Reviews are the strongest criterion for selection. While it’s true booksellers look at different criteria when making a decision about which books to stock, reviews are a tremendously useful and helpful factor, especially when in doubt or when the author is unknown. Pre-release review publications like the ones mentioned before play an important role in the selection of books, allowing bookstores to order titles in advance of their official release dates, thus making them available to the public immediately after their release. Online reviews are particularly important when selecting titles from small presses or unknown authors who often don’t get reviews in the major pre-release publications.

The fact is, most people read reviews. Reviews and readers go together like wine and cheese. Before spending money on a book--especially in the case of expensive hard covers--most people turn to reviews to get an idea of the book’s quality and whether or not there’s a recommendation. In this age of computers when almost every person has a PC at home, it’s easy for booklovers to access the Internet and read book reviews. With the rise of so many niche review sites, book blogs, and readers sharing their reviews on sites like Amazon, it’s popular to read reviews. Also, the more reviews about a book, the more buzz and exposure.

Do you read reviews before purchasing a book? Do you have a favorite review publication or website?


--Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and is the co-author of the award-winning The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing. She’s had over 300 stories, articles, interviews and reviews published both online and in print, in publications such as The Writer, Writer's Journal, Acentos Review, Bloomsbury Review, Mosaic, and Multicultural Review, among many others. A reviewer for more than a decade, she now offers numerous book reviewing workshops online. She also offers workshops on the art of picture book writing. Visit her website at 

Selling Your Book Before It’s in Your Hands

When is the best time to sell your book? The second your book is in the printing process. Pre-selling your book is a must and an important marketing strategy, especially for self-published authors. If you’re not a New York Times best-selling author or celebrity, then the success of your book is a marathon, not a sprint. This means you must talk repeatedly and consistently about your book over a long period of time. 

Everyone gets the general concept behind marketing…Advertise. However, it does not do any good for a product to have a big “to-do” when it is released and then just drops off the face of the earth and out of the minds of the consumers. Your book is a product and in order for people to buy the product, they need to know it exists before its release date. So, how do you make your book sell even prior to its launch date?

1. With an email marketing campaign. An email campaign allows you to reach quickly and inexpensively a huge market—hundreds, thousands or even millions of people. Email advertisements work like a spider web. They can be boundless, giving you more possibilities and bigger sales. By personally broadcasting your email advertisement to your own list and on social networking sites, it can increase the popularity of your book and these virtual connections, just like word of mouth, forward your advertisements without hesitation, causing an increase to your book’s exposure to books lovers and reading enthusiasts across the internet, further expanding its popularity.

2. Link to your publisher's bookstore. Email advertisements can be talked about and attract discussions about your book, further expanding its popularity. But by increasing your book’s exposure with a link to your publisher's bookstore, you can vastly increase book sales and awareness about your published work. Furthermore, these email advertisements and links to an online bookstore help give consumers more information about the book. They can learn how they can purchase it—a highly effective tool that helps drive traffic to the book and you the author. 

3.Book reviews. Book reviews are another great way to gain exposure for a book. Amazon is a great place to build up your reviews. You should have all of your friends and loyal followers post a review of your book on Amazon and other book review sites. If you want to know how many reviews is enough -  Enough is never enough! Having over 100 reviews would be great, but if you look up some bestsellers, they will have even more than that.

One way to get reviews posted on Amazon and other review sites is to list your book on Dan Poynter's Publishing newsletter. You need to have free copies ready to mail prospective reviewers, and here is how you get your book listed:

Email Dan Poynter at
Put "Review Wanted" on the subject line
Write a small description of your book - he requires LESS THAN 100 words
Include your contact information
Wait for people to contact you to get a copy of your book so they can post a review on Amazon.
It is that simple.

4. Have an Author's Page on Amazon, Linked In, Facebook and other review or social sites. You don't need to have an author page on every online social or review site, but you should have a couple on the sites you tend to visit often. This is a great way for fans, reviews and avid book readers to learn more about you, your books and events.

5. Do book reviews. Believe it or not, but by doing book reviews you help build your name as an expert. You also hone your own writing skills by reading others work. You may even get an idea for a book or even be inspired to write in a genre you never tried before. There are many reasons to do reviews and this is one area many writers over look.

6. Sell your books on Facebook. Facebook is an important place for publishers, authors, and books to have a presence. It is the number one social media site on the Internet. With more than 500 million active users and more than 50% of them logging on to Facebook on any given day, keeping your books and your brand in front of your fans is one way to improve your sales.

7. Offer autograph copies on your sites and blogs. Studies have shown that “ease of purchase” is an important factor in making sales. People are more likely to purchase a product that is easy for them to find and buy. Therefore, it follows that the next step, after engaging your fans offer your books for sale right on your sites and blogs, ensuring ease of purchase.

8. Start talking about your book to friends, family and co-workers. Let them know you are becoming an author! Be excited about your upcoming book and don't feel you're over doing it. A newly published book for an author is like becoming a parent to a new baby. Wouldn't you be telling everyone about your new baby? So why not do the same with your book? 

9. Send a news release and media kit to your local TV, Radio and Newspapers. Make sure your media kit has a copy of your book and how to order your book.  

10. Contact all local organizations and schools and ask to be a guest speaker.  

11. Network, network, and network some more. Networking working is key to the success of your book. Contact local retail stores including bookstores and specialty stores. Contact local craft fairs, city events and libraries. The list is endless.

These are just a few ways to get exposure. Talk to other authors who you feel have really made an impact on their book sales. Find out what marketing strategies they used and customize to fit your budget and marketing plan. 

Remember that what worked for one book might not work for another so try a couple at a time and stick to the ones that show results.   

About our Guest Blogger: Lisa Umina, owner of Halo Publishing International, not only publishes books but also enjoys a successful career as an award-winning author, motivational speaker and literary consultant. Umina´s publishing company continues to flourish by strengthening the movement of words across the international borders in order to benefit cultures and society as a whole. She has been interviewed by countless newspapers, radio and and television shows and has traveled the world to teach children about their purpose and important life lessons inside her books. 


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