Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Day with the Masters

Yesterday an incredible event for authors and publishers took place in St. Louis. Brian Jud, Judith Briles and Dan Poynter spent a full day here at a Book Marketing Summit. For an extra fee of $75 there was an opportunity to have dinner with the three of them on Friday night to brainstorm ideas for marketing your book. At first blush that seemed a little pricey, but when you consider that you would have the undivided attention of three publishing powerhouses, it actually might have been a deal. We had tickets to the Fox Theatre, so attending was not an option for me anyway. I will attempt to summarize what I learned from each of the three "Masters".

 Dan Poynter started the morning, so I'll begin with him. I have a lot of respect for Dan and heard him speak last year at Publishing University. He is the author of, among other books, The Self-Publishing Manual. I always tell people that if writing a book is like giving birth to a child, then Dan was my birthing coach. His book really helped me understand how to set up my publishing company as well as produce and market my first book.
  • set up Google Alerts to notify you when you, your book, or your topics of interest are mentioned anywhere on the Internet
  • even if you are going straight to an ebook with your manuscript, still have some print books made up to distribute for review and promotion
  • doesn't recommend that you pursue brick and mortar stores, but if you feel you must then offer to do a mini-seminar there NOT a book signing
  • if you are going to use different publishing company, google the name of the company + fraud or scam to see if the company is legitimate
Judith Briles was the second speaker, and she is the author of 28 books and has, indeed, been on Oprah. She is known as The Book Shepherd and the founder of Author U.
  • in 2010 with the New York publishing companies, only 10 books sold over a million copies; the average book published by them only sells 500 copies
  • she recommends placing a QR code on your business cards, bookmarks, etc. so that those with smart phones can scan it and gain immediate access to your website
  • make sure that the main page on your website is not static, but changes with your tweets, Facebook feeds, etc.
  • Facebook is the 8th largest search engine so have a page for each of your books in addition to yourself
  • guest post on the blogs that your potential readers might be following
Brian Jud is also an author and publisher, and his latest book is How to Make Real Money Selling Books.
  • know who your market is and where they shop
  • book marketing is a simple as pie - plan, implement, evaluate
  • shopcompanion.com and mantra.com can help you determine different retailers that might sell your book
  • aptac-us.org is a website that gives information on selling to the government
This is but a small overview of what I learned yesterday. It was an  information-packed day that was well worth the the time and money I spent. St. Louis was very lucky to pull in three speakers if this caliber, and some credit goes to the St. Louis Publishers Association for making it happen. I have a long list of things to do now!
Brian Jud, Judith Briles, Dan Poynter & Bob Baker

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