Sunday, January 17, 2010

Book Marketing: The Snowball Effect

When I first published Enjoy Your Money!, I narrowed down a distributor who targeted selling to libraries and applied for their services. They turned me down flat. Now, eight months later, two library distributors are requesting my book and one, a distinguished distributor, (Follett) has signed me on as a vendor.

What brought them to me? Follett said that they had received some orders, which, I assume, came from libraries. But how did the libraries hear of my book?

My best guess is that it's either from VOYA Magazine - a review magazine that targets youth libraries (which I pursued), or The Librarian's News Wire - to which I sent a free press release.

Besides orders from distributors, my Amazon sales have doubled in December and January. Yesterday, for no discernible reason, I sold 17 books on Amazon, although I average only 2 per day. Where are all the Amazon orders coming from? There's no way for me to know.

Apparently, some of those links from reviews or word of mouth from readers or links from my contributions to discussion groups - something - has made publicity take on a life of its own.

I suppose it's what publicity folks call "buzz." Being the skeptical type, I'd always been suspicious of those claiming that you could create buzz by doing certain things. Sure, it happens to some, but what percentage of authors can create it, even when they do all the right things? But I guess it can happen!

My lesson?

"Nobody wants you till somebody wants you;
then everybody wants you."

So the trick is to get somebody to want you and build upon that. Put your manuscript out far and wide to get blurbs and reviews. Use those reviews and blurbs to solicit more reviews and blurbs. Eventually, movers and shakers begin to notice. If you have 100 or 1000 links out there pointing back to your book, somebody who's searching for a book like yours is likely to find you. And occasionally, one of those buyers will be a person of influence who spreads the word far and wide.

Hey, this is pretty exciting!

Time Saver for Typing the Same Text Over and Over

I found a free clippings manager (multi clipboard) that's a free "ad on" with Firefox. Once I copy my five line signature (see at end of this post) into the program, I can hit ctl/alt/v and then click "n" (for "name") and the below signature magically appears! This should save me a lot of time!

Without a multi-clipboard, we copy text to put into another document or program, but once we copy a second text, the first text disappears. With a multi-clipboard, you can store any text that you find yourself regularly typing, so that you can paste it without having to copy it all over again.

It's called Clippings 3.1 and can be downloaded here if you're running Firefox as your browser:

J. Steve Miller
President, Legacy Educational Resources
Author of Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It
"The money book for people who hate money books."