Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Military Writers Society of America Spurs Book Sales

Guest post by Sandy Lawrence of Perceptive Marketing

As a publicist and marketing professional for 30+ years, I’ve seen a number of successes for my author clients. The marketing campaign described below has been fun and the results are still ongoing.

Jack W. London, distant relative of the original Jack London, has used several publicists and seen some amazing results from each one. This marketing story is based on the work of a team of marketers and, most of all, the perseverance of the author and his willingness and enthusiasm for marketing and showing up when his presence is requested.

French Letters

In 2011 Jack submitted his French Letters books to the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) for review. The MWSA helps veterans, their families, and historians record history and the complexities of military life – and encourages writing and other creative endeavors as therapy for the stresses of special circumstances. They focus on using these works to educate the general public, students, and the military community. They offer a community for authors through their website, Facebook group and marketing efforts.

Both of Jack’s books received great reviews and awards, and Jack himself was named the 2011 Author of the Year. Jack was the first author to receive this honor. His writing was such that it warranted a new, never before offered, award. As Jack pursued his role and the responsibilities that were included – regular blog articles, appearance at special events, etc. – he was recommended for a first-of-its-kind tour of Italy and Spain as part of the US Navy Writers on Deck program. Jack was given the honor of being the lead author to launch the tour which began in May 2012 and concluded in September 2012.

The Writers On Deck tour, sponsored by the US Navy Library Program, brought authors to visit active duty military members and their families who are stationed in Spain and Italy. Their mission is to “deliver some inspiration and motivation, with humor and interest in our Navy Heritage, creating a desire to read and explore for our active duty and community.”

A paragraph from the press release –

Writers On Deck begins the tour in May with Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) Author of the Year, Jack Woodville London. Jack is the author of the French Letters series Virginia’s War and Engaged in War, historical fiction based on life during World War II and its effect on those at home and those in Britain and France, with only letters to communicate. Jack begins his tour in Sigonella, Italy on May 21, followed by Naples on May 23 and Rota, Spain on May 25.

Jack, who is a diplomat of the writing academy of St. Céré, France states, “I am honored to be a part of the Writers on Deck program and look forward to representing MWSA with the Navy military and DOD families.”

As a result of submitting his books for review, Jack has now sold hundreds of books, had unbelievable experiences with the active duty military personnel and still speaks to civic groups telling the stories of his experiences. He received the recognition of holding the highest position in the MWSA organization.

All of these results are due to Jack and his recognizing that marketing is a team effort. We used both traditional and digital marketing strategies, sent press releases to the media, covered all the social media platforms and had an author who was available to share his experiences!

About Jack Woodville London

Jack Woodville LondonJack Woodville London is a well-known trial attorney, acclaimed author and World War II historian. Jack is a graduate of West Texas A&M, the University of Texas and the Academy of St. Cere, France.

The Military Writers Society of America recently awarded Jack the prestigious title Author of the Year for French Letters: Engaged in War. Jack’s French Letters series were awarded Honorable Mention for Fiction in the esteemed London Book Festival http://www.londonbookfestival.com.

Jack also writes a series of articles about writing titled “A Novel Approach.” Jack’s books are available at quality bookstores and at Amazon.com in both print and Kindle formats. http://www.jwlbooks.com

Friday, September 14, 2012

Are You Aiming Too Low in Your Book Marketing?

Are You Aiming Too Low?

If nobody laughs at your dreams, you are probably aiming too low. - Art Jonak

I shared that photo plus made an additional comment I think is worth sharing with all book authors:

If you don't laugh at your own dreams, at least some of the time, you are also probably aiming too low. Have fun. Dance. Enjoy. Keep aiming higher. - John Kremer

For more advice, check out the rest of this update article here: http://bookmarketingbestsellers.com/are-you-aiming-too-low-in-your-book-marketing.

Book Marketing Magic: http://www.bookmarket.com/novelmarketing.htm - How to market novels, children's books, memoirs, and more. $48

15,000 Eyeballs Internet Marketing Program: http://www.bookmarket.com/15000eyeballs.htm - Ten lessons on how to get thousands of impressions for you, your book, your blog, or your website. $50

New York Times Bestseller Program: http://www.bookmarket.com/newyorktimesbestsellers.htm - This program offers unprecedented access to the most up-to-date book marketing resources and insider tips to help any author create a New York Times bestselling book. $17

Amazon Bestseller Campaign: The Inside Secrets to Becoming a Real Bestselling Author on Amazon.com: http://www.bookmarket.com/amazon.htm - You can create a true bestseller on Amazon using the step-by-step guidelines included in this multimedia course. $17

Monday, September 10, 2012

Parodies and Spinoffs of Bestselling Novels

Fifty Shades of GrayWith the bestselling novel this year, Fifty Shades of Gray, and its sister books in the trilogy also bestsellers, many other authors and pseudo-authors have piggybacked off the novel.

I find the following novels are wonderful parodies of Fifty Shades of Gray. Note: The titles are listed in the order they are featured by Amazon.com when you search for Fifty Shades of Gray.
  • Fifty Shades of Black and Blue by I. B. Naughtie
  • Fifty Shades of Beige by Reid Mockery (Kindle only)
  • Fifty Shades of Silver Hair and Socks by Phil Torcivia
  • Fifty Shades of Alice in Wonderland by Melinda DuChamp (Kindle only)
  • Fifty Shades of Earl Grey by Fanny Merkin and Andrew Shaffer
  • Fifty Shades of Spice! by Blanche Valentine (Kindle only)
  • Fifty Shades of Gray and Zombies by Grey West (Kindle only)
  • Fifty Shades of Pink by Faythe America (Kindle only)
  • Fifty Shades of Twilight by Secret Anonymous (Kindle Only)
Besides writing parodies, many authors have also written nonfiction sex advice books spun off the bestselling novel. Check these out sex advice books (again listed in the order Amazon.com features them):
  • Fifty Shades of Gray Decoded: A Man's Playbook by M. Alan (Kindle only)
  • Fifty Shades of Pleasure: A Bedside Companion by Marisa Bennett
  • Fifty Shades of Stupid: The Real Man's Guide tothe World's Stupidest Book by Poupón Grey (Kindle only)
  • A User's Guide for Fifty Shades of Gray by Jennifer Slingerland Ryan (Kindle only)
  • Fifty Shades of Ecstasy by Marisa Bennett
If you want a bestselling book, especially a Kindle ebook, why not try writing a parody or spinoff of a hot novel? All of the books listed above are selling well without any book promotion beyond a great tie-in listing on Amazon.com.
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Sunday, September 09, 2012

Bestselling Books Sell Other Products as Well

Eat Pray Love Fifty Shades of Gray The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

When a book becomes a bestseller, it also often inspires sales of other products. Of course, many of those products are licensed products based on the brand of the book. Think Dummies and Chicken Soup for the Soul, both of which have generated a lot of income from merchandising royalties.

But, in this post, I want to highlight some of the ancillary product sales inspired by bestselling novels and memoirs. Check out these product sales inspired by bestselling books:
  • Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - Women were inspired by this memoir to join Siddha yoga programs. You can attend a three-day Eat Pray Love yoga retreat in Montana for only $1,295.
  • Fifty Shades of Gray by E. L. James - Has boosted the sales of vibrators and other sex toys.
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Inspired the sale of many tattoos, especially dragon tattoos. You can get a dragon tattoo just like Lisbeth's for only $1,200.
  • Harry Potter series - The game of Quidditch inspired the sale of lots of brooms. You can buy an official Quidditch broom for $35 on up at Alivans.com.
  • The Hunger Games - Sales of bows and arrows tripled in many sports stores.
When writing and promoting your novel, look to see if there is something in your novel that would inspire such fan devotion.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Everything You Need to Know You Can Learn from Noah's Ark

I found this wise (and funny) poster via my Facebook stream: Everything I Need to Know About Life, I Learned from Noah's Ark.

I don't know the source of this great poster (the credit line is not clear). If anyone knows the source of this posted, I'd love to credit it. Please leave a comment below. Thanks.

1. Don't miss the boat.

2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.

3. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah build the Ark.

4. Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big (like build an incredibly huge ark).

5. Don't listen to critics. Just get on with the job that needs to be done.

6. Build your future on high ground.

7. For safety sake, travel in pairs.

8. Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

9. When you're stressed, float awhile.

10. Remember: The Ark was built by amateurs. The Titanic was build by professionals.

11. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

New Hot Book Promotion: Cookbook Discussion Groups

Cookbook ClubsWhile most local book clubs or reading groups have focused on fiction, the new hot movement is Cookbook Clubs. Members pick a cookbook each month, spend the next few weeks test-driving the recipes, and then come together for a potluck and discussion.

If you write or publish cookbooks, ask your local booksellers if they  are hosting any cookbook clubs. Or, better yet, start to promote cookbook clubs where your book or books are the first to be featured.

For more on how to start a Cookbook Club, read this blog post:

For a list of five San Francisco Bay-area cookbook clubs, read here:

Monday, September 03, 2012

Book Titles Must Be Memorable to Sell More Books

Book Title Critiques

Is Your Book Title Memorable?

You need to make your book title memorable. That’s what I look for when I critique book titles.

When John Gray followed up his bestselling Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus with What Your Mother Couldn’t Tell You and Your Father Didn’t Know, Borders returned 50% and Ingram 70%. Why? Because readers had trouble remembering the second title.

As Susie Russenberger of Ingram Book wholesalers noted, “The previous book had a great title, but this one was really hard for people to say.” When Gray began doing more Mars and Venus books, he again leapt to the top of the bestseller lists - with much fewer returns!

John Kremer’s Book Title Critiques. Get yours today:

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Children's Book Marketing: Reading Starts Here

We Believe in Picture BooksAs part of the We Believe in Picture Books campaign honoring the importance of picture books, Candlewick Press has launched a yearlong video celebration of picture books at Reading Starts Here.

Candlewick will share 365 videos about picture books – a new one each day – from their authors, illustrators, staff, family, and friends.

The videos will be short, engaging, informal, and personal as each contributor shares what picture books mean to them, recommends favorite stories, and more.

They will be including videos featuring non-Candlewick books and authors (provided they can get the necessary permissions).

They are only doing active outreach to their own authors and illustrators, but they are "absolutely open to accepting videos from authors and illustrators from other houses."

Here is the first video celebrating their We Believe in Picture Books campaign:

Children's Book Marketing: Spot the Difference

Chris Evans uses illustrations from his children's books to keep children and adults on his Jumbalees website by offering a number of games: Spot the Difference, Word Tree Crossword, and Tangle Puzzle.

Below is the Spot the Difference puzzle featured here: http://www.jumbalees.com/spot-the-difference.htm:

Spot the Diffrence

A Spot the Difference puzzle is a great way to get people involved in the illustrations from your children's books (or even from many other illustrated books).

But make the puzzle better than the one above, especially for kids. The puzzle should be easier than the one above. I was expecting at least four easy ones, but the differences are subtler than most I've seen in such puzzles in children's magazines.

Note: You won't even see some of the differences from the small photo featured on this blog. You might find them all in the larger version on the Jumbalees website.

The Jumbalees website offers five children's books for sale, as well as the following one as a free download.

The Jumbalees

You can download this free children's book as a PDF or Mobi ebook by going here: The Jumbalees in Return of the Captubots by Chris Evans.
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