Francine Silverman. Book Marketing from A-Z (InfinityPublishing.com, 2005). Trade paperback. 400 pages. $18.95 US.
For beginning authors, book promotion is the key to success. Whether an author self-publishes or is published by a major house, most often that author needs to market her book herself if she wants there to be any chance at all of it being successful. Large publishing houses are too concerned with promoting the next blockbuster to focus even on mid-list titles, and smaller publishing houses usually don’t have the resources to commit to marketing their titles. Even worse off are those who self-publish, because when they receive their books, they are on their own. Any marketing that happens, happens because of their efforts, and their efforts alone.
What is a new author to do? He can sit back and hope that his book sells somehow, or he can put money into a marketing plan and hope that plan is successful. But without a marketing background, that money can be wasted quickly. As a result, many authors don’t market out of fear of loss and uncertainty, and sell far fewer books than they should.
Into this void comes a wonderful book – Book Marketing from A-Z by Francine Silverman. The sub-title explains it all: “More than 300 authors share the peaks and pitfalls in promoting their books.”
Silverman hasn’t so much written this book as she has edited it. She is the successful author of two books, as well as the owner of a very influential book promotion newsletter (http://bookpromotionnewsletter.com). Over a couple years of publishing her newsletter, she has collected marketing success stories from many authors, and, combined with her own expertise, has put it all together into an excellent resource.
This book contains everything a new (or even experienced) author needs to begin marketing. Authors might be surprised to learn that there are many free things they can do to market their books! For example, I was surprised at how many authors related that something as simple as handing out bookmarks or pens stamped with their website and book name resulted in much publicity and many sales.
The book is comprehensive—arranged alphabetically, Silverman covers such topics as the importance of good reviews, what to do (or not do) at book signings, how to brand yourself, how to tie-in with holidays or movies, how speaking engagements can help a career blossom, and how to send out press kits. There are two huge sections on using Internet technology (web sites, ezines, e-groups, etc.) and newsletters to build a following. In my view, these two sections are the most informative sections of the book.
Silverman has produced a timely, comprehensive, and very helpful book that new and expert authors will return to time and again as they build their writing careers.