Tuesday, May 06, 2008

So What's With All the Online Marketing Talk?

Learning from the Big Boys and Girls and Vice Versa

In my AllMarketing edition of Sharing with Writers* you saw lots of talk about e-books and online marketing. I hope you aren't still giving e-books the squint-eye. I'm pretty sure I've convinced you that online marketing is as important, if not more important (because of its reach and because of its no-cost or low cost)) and if I haven't, all this news from the likes of Borders, HarperCollins,in that issue should have convinced you. These big guys (gals?) should have been the leaders. Instead books like The Frugal Book Promoter (first published in 2004) have been. That's OK. At least we're all getting onto the same page!

So, even if you're not convinced yet that you should publish your book as an e-book if for no other reason than that some people WANT to buy it that way and that one person who passes your book because it's not available on Sony Reader or Kindle or just as a plain old .pdf on your publisher's website, might be a director or producer who would have read your book on a plane, fallen in love with it and decided to offer you a contract. If that doesn't sound good to you, far be it from me to try to convince you -- even those of you who write literary novels or short stories.

Still, here are some other e-adventures you could take with your book.

1 Publish it as a .pdf to be given as a small add-on purchase with that bouquet of roses florists' (or some other commercial) sites at Mothers Day or Valentines. That's what Magdalena Ball and I did with Cherished Pulse, our book of unsyrupy love poetry. Find it now free at www.authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com/free_ebooks.htm.

2. Use a small e-book as a promotion device. Soon to come is my The Ultimate Frugal (FREE) Booklet on Editing: Get Zero-Tolerance Editors to Look at Your Manuscript, a list of common and errors easily overlooked during the editing process. It's sort of an addendum to The Frugal Editor: Put YOur Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. I haven't decided how to get this booklet to you. Free with purchase? An under $5. retail? A gift-with-purchase using a code when people buy my books at fairs and speaking venues? All of the above? Stephen King tried it a couple of years ago and gave up. He was to far ahead of the curve, I guess.

3. E-publish your book chapter-by-chapter on your site or as a blog. No ch ^ rge or a small charge. To build loyalty and interest in your other books. This is especially a good idea if you have an early novel that hasn't been published and needs some sprucing up.

4. E-publish excerpts from your book on your blog or on your website -- free. One chapter at a time. When you try this idea (I've not tested it), remove the former chapter when you put up the next. I think this might work especially well for a book that has been out there awhile and is losing steam. Or as prepublicity for a book that won't be out for some time. Those who come in late will buy your book to get the early chapters. Those who come in late will visit your site every single time a new chapter is posted and become loyal fans. You know they will!

Read Kathe Goglewski's free e-book that will soon be released at www.tri-studio.com. It's full of Out of the Box promotion deas including some e-ideas. All the ideas in it were winners of her first annual Out of the Box promotion ideas contest.

*Subscribe with the automatic signup window in the left column of this blog or send me an e-mail at HoJoNews@aol.com with "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject line.

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author THIS IS THE PLACE; HARKENING: A COLLECTION OF STORIES REMEMBERED; TRACINGS, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books, THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER: HOW TO DO WHAT YOUR PUBLISHER WON'T; and THE FRUGAL EDITOR: PUT YOUR BEST BOOK FORWARD TO AVOID HUMILIATION AND ENSURE SUCCESS.
Her other blogs include TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com and AuthorsCoalition.blogspot.com, a blog that helps writers and publishers turn a ho-hum book fair booth into a sizzler.

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