Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Book Marketing Research Tools (Part 1)

Getting Reviews an Offering Related Articles

How can authors and publishers trace down the appropriate magazines, newsletters, e-zines, etc. that are eager to spread the word about your books? If you want the comprehensive resource, go to Ulrich's Periodicals Directory. It contains close to 1/4 millions resources, categorized by subject so that you can find everything from an e-letter specializing in fish bait to a newsletter dedicated to people in wheelchairs.

How to Access Ulrich

You can probably search it digitally, free of charge, through your local public library or university. I've been using the print version in four volumes (large enough to put a bar through and do a decent set of bench presses.)

Here's how I'm mining gold with the print version:

1. Open volume one and flip to the one page "Subject Guide to Abstracting and Indexing" (in the Roman Numeral section before the 1,2,3 page numbering begins.)
2. Find a category that that might relate to your topic. Example for my personal finance theme: "Business and Economics." Write down the category and the associated page number.
3. Find that same category in the following "Subjects" section. In this section, you'll find subheadings under your chosen category. Example: "Investments." Write down all relevant subheadings.
4. Repeat #2 and #3 until you've found all your relevant categories and subheadings.
5. Look up each category on the page number indicated. You'll likely find hundreds of magazines, newsletters, etc.
6. Skim down the middle of the column to weed out resources from countries or languages of no interest to you. I decided to start with only the USA. I might come back at another time and search other English-speaking countries, since my book will be available globally with Kindle.
7. Write down whatever information you need. Although Ulrich's gives me contact names and phone numbers, I'll probably check these against each website anyway, so that I'm primarily writing down the name of the publication and the web address. I also write down any pertinent information about the publication (e.g., who it's targeting, how many subscribe) to help me prioritize who to seek out first.


Volume 4, as well as cross-referencing and indexing the subjects and titles, lists daily and weekly newspapers by city and state. Don't you think your hometown newspaper might be interested in your book?

How to Use These Contacts

I'll send some of these an early copy for review. Others, I'll e-mail or mail a flyer and book information to see if they're interested. If they don't respond, I may follow-up on to see if they received the information.

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