5 Marketing Tips During Book Production

5 Marketing Tips During Book Production

Don’t wait for a physical book to begin marketing. Authors can complete these five things while books are in production.

Facebook Author Page:  Create an author Facebook page that includes a “Shop” feature to capture book sales.

Create Contact Lists:  Create a contact list of schools, libraries, bookstores, gift shops, reviewers, and customers for the upcoming book. Export this list into MailChimp, Constant Contact, or a contact database. Publishers have their mail lists. Authors should have a mail list too.

Create Template Emails: Create a short two paragraph “introduction template” email introducing the author, book, and purpose for book event. Create a “pricing template” email regarding speaker fees. Create a “book reviewer template” email to submit books to reviewers. Create a “author bio” email that includes: author bio, book titles, book covers, and author photo.

Calendar:  Reserve dates of availability for book marketing events. Choose weekends, holidays, or evenings to attend bookstore signings, school events, book festivals, etc. Once the calendar is in place, start booking dates!

Create Blog Posts:  Schedule blog posts about “Beyond the Book” resources: photos, research, interviews, and other content from the book. Schedule blog posts that link to the author’s Facebook page. Release posts every few days over six months to engage new and existing readers. Link all mentions of the book to the Publisher’s website. When the book is available for preorder update the link.

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Mark Wayne Adams Books & Illustrations

Cashing in on Author Facebook Pages

Cashing in on Author Facebook Pages

“Does Facebook sell books?” No. Authors sell books being social. Social authors with products available to consumers sell books and much more through Facebook. Here are tips to setup a profitable Author Facebook Page.

  • Page Banner:  Create a Facebook banner displaying books in a creative setting.
  • Profile Photo:  Use an eye-catching author image. The best images are author photo, book cover, or logo.
  • Link Social Media:  Link Twitter, Instagram, and other social media accounts to the Facebook Page. This reduces posting time and allows tagging images.
  • Facebook Shop:  Create a Facebook Shop on author pages, linking to the author’s PayPal account. Note: Check PayPal every other day. Currently, there is no alert when an item sells.
  • Tag Products/People:  tag people, tag pages, locations, organizations,  and tag products in posts. Mobile devices limit the amount of tagging. Advanced features like product tagging are available online by “editing posts.” Once a Facebook Shop is created authors can tag previously posted images on their page.
  • Post Content:  “Book Titles!” in quotes and punctuated properly. Authors are writers and must keep posts as professional as possible.

Not all images appear correctly on multiple platforms. Test everything created on multiple devices: phones, tablets, and computers. Visit Mark Wayne Adams Books & Illustrations Facebook Page for a author page example. If this article helped, Like my Facebook Page and Share this article with fellow authors.

“Do you think awards and reviews are key to sales of new releases?”—Anna Faktorovich, PhD Interview

Faktorovich: You boast on your website that over 5 years the authors you’ve published with MWA, Inc. have won over 50 major awards. To how many awards do you submit each of your releases to? How expensive is it to do a mass submission to so many awards for several books? Do you or your authors fund these submissions? Do you see a positive return in terms of sales after a book ends up winning awards? Do you think awards, reviews, or some other components are key to the sales of a new release in the illustrated children’s book category?

Christa Carpenter receives the Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Award.
Christa Carpenter receives the Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Award.

AdamsAwards—we all want them, but why? Most authors rely on publishers to submit for book awards. The publisher works within a fixed budget and may only enter a few awards competitions. What authors and illustrators may not realize is they can submit for book awards. Some awards offer monetary compensation, while all offer either local, regional, or national exposure. What value is an award? Awards offer something different for each person. Authors may use awards to validate their profession to consumers, peers, or family. Readers may see awards as a quality review from book professionals. Publishers may see the award as a reason to contract for future books. No matter what the reason, be confident that your book is of professional quality before submitting. Be open to the fact that not all submissions win. Being a finalist is as important as receiving a medal. For my fifty published books, only eleven have won awards. I use critiques from judges to enhance the next book or second edition printing of the current book. Not every book is a winner, so why not learn from each.

Read the complete interview with Mark Adams, Award-Winning IllustratorAdams-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-template with Anna Faktorovich, PhD

Write Back! Fan Mail is Good Business.

I usually don’t respond to student telephone calls, texts, or Facebook posts. As a parent myself, I feel kids communicating with adults should happen with parent supervision. So, I avoided numerous calls from Isabella, until I received a letter from her parents.

She was working on a library book report about her favorite author. After purchasing King for a Day, the Story of Stories during the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort, Kentucky, she’d chosen me for her report.

“My librarian says authors are better than movie stars, because they write the story.” Isabella said in her letter.

Being a fan of librarians, I replied “I think librarians are better than movie stars, because they choose the books that fill the library.” Isabella shared the letter with her class and school librarian. Within a week, I’d been asked to visit two schools in her district.

As an author and illustrator, answer fan mail—schools are a niche market.

Illustrators Draw a Crowd!

“The only person who can sell a book better than the author is the illustrator.” —Mark Wayne Adams

Authors aren’t the illustrations a key selling point of picture books? So why is getting the illustrator to make public appearances so difficult? Money may be the main factor. Illustrators not making royalties usually don’t promote. Consider offering royalties when hiring and negotiating contracts with illustrators.

Having not only a talented illustrator, but also an entertaining illustrator can boost sales too! An entertaining illustrator’s presence literally “draws a crowd” at events. Why should the illustrator make appearances? They are like magicians transforming words into pictures worth a thousand words.

Illustrators participate in events if royalties are earned. The percentage may be small, however for every book sold around a $1.00 could be earned.  Helping authors and publishers sell 5,000 copies a year, is a $5,000 royalty check that year.  The longer it takes to sell the books, the longer a substantial royalty check takes to arrive. This fact is true for inactive authors too.

Authors and Illustrators can set the selling pace by becoming sales people. Focusing individual and combined energy in selling is rewarding in several areas.

  • Awards:  The benefits are recognition in local and national media, retail sales, speaking engagements, award money, and new contracts.
  • Book Festivals:  The benefits are quick retail sales and new contracts.
  • Book Signings:  The benefits are distributor sales and new contracts.

Most importantly the time spent selling together and individually will Draw a Crowd of readers faster with teamwork. Double one another’s following through association. Working together may also inspire additional books in the series. Making a win win for everyone involved!

3, 6, 9, 12 Month Author Marketing Plan

Publishers follow a proven book marketing formula based on their past successes. Don’t rely solely upon a publisher’s marketing goals!

I’ve found the best sales person is the book creator. How’s that possible? Before the book releases, create a 3, 6, 9, 12 month author marketing plan. Commit to these goals. Share the list with the publisher to avoid scheduling conflicts.

Below are ideas for each three month phase:

3 Month Goal: (Do these things for 3 months. Longer if successful or as time allows.)

  • Commit two weekends a month for book signings.
  • Attend 3 BOOK festivals. Choose genre appropriate festivals with at least 5,000 readers. If authors out number the readers, steer clear.
  • Write one book related blog post a week. Choose a reader experience, an event, or excerpt from the book.

6 Month Goal: (Do these things for 3 months. Longer if successful or as time allows.)

  • Submit for 12 book reviews. Choose reviewers who post to Amazon, GoodReads, or popular blogs.
  • Submit the book into 3 national book awards. Consult the publisher to avoid double entry.
  • Schedule at least 3 local newspaper, blog, or radio interviews to mention or feature the book.

9 Month Goal: (Do these things for 3 months. Longer if successful or as time allows.)

  • Shop bookstores, gift shops, or local retailers where the book can be sold. Example: A sea shell book would sell well in vacation beach. Personally gift a book to the store buyer along with purchasing information.
  • Speak at one professional event a month. Choose writers’ groups, schools, or professional organizations and sell books afterwards.
  • Offer one unique book giveaway a month. Example: Romance writers may offer a romantic gift basket giveaway. Include chocolates, an adult beverage, and the book.

12 Month Goal: (Do these things for 3 months. Longer if successful or as time allows.)

  • Write at least 12 blog posts about the past year. Schedule each post throughout the upcoming year. Fan mail, hand written book reviews, and accolades are personal and engage readers.
  • Personally write thank you letters to the book’s top 10 best promoters. Promoters continue to endorse the book when they feel appreciated.
  • List the top 10 most profitable events from the past year. Cultivate the top 3.

This 3, 6, 9, 12 Month Author Marketing Plan can be applied to future books. Enhance the publisher’s standard marketing by infusing a personal marketing strategy. Boost the book’s success and your royalty checks!

—Mark Wayne Adams, Award-winning Illustrator of Nicholas, that’s Ridiculous! A Story About Being a Boy

Children’s Books: Illustration & Marketing

Children’s Books: Illustration & Marketing

  • Workshop Title:  Children’s Books: Illustration & Marketing
  • Instructor:  Mark Wayne Adams, CEO MWA, Inc., FAPA President
  • Date:  Saturday, April 11, 2015
  • Time:  1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Location:  110 West Railroad Avenue, Dawson Springs, KY 42408
  • Price:  $50.00

Award-winning author, illustrator, and publisher Mark Wayne Adams shares principles for producing successful children’s books. Learn personalized techniques to increase sales at festivals, schools, bookstores, and even lunch!

Receive valuable insight, marketing techniques, and a dynamic presentation about illustrations. Discussion covers the importance of cover art, how to work with an illustrator (including costs), rights needed for reproduction, and an overview of services professional illustrators provide.

Topics Covered:

  • How to find, contract, and work with illustrators
  • Value and importance of illustrations and cover art
  • Rights for reproduction of illustrations
  • How to incorporate educational illustration resources
  • How to extend the reading experience with illustrations
  • Incorporating marketing through illustrations

This class is for teachers, writers, authors, illustrators, and publishers interested in children’s book publishing. Laptops, iPads, and/or tablets are not required. Wifi access is provided. Participants receive an interactive course pdf with resource links to topics discussed.

Class size is LIMITED to 15 people. Register early to reserve a seat!

Register Here.