How Should I Market My Books When I Have Little Time?

Book Marketing Question

I’m 83 years old. I really don’t want to spend a lot of time of marketing, but I would still like to see my book sell lots of copies. What should I do? — Robert C.K. Lee, author

John’s Book Marketing Answer

Here’s my I-Don’t-Have-Any-Time Seven-Day Marketing Plan:

Do one thing a day. Focus on creating relationships with high-traffic targeted websites (targeted to your audience or your topic). That’s it.

Day 1: Research

Do some research to find at least one high-traffic targeted website related to your book’s topic.

If, while writing your book, you’ve already discovered some such websites, then your work is already done for today.

Or ask your friends what websites they like to visit or spend time on. What websites related to the topic of your book do they like to visit?.

Or use Bing or Google to search for such websites and blogs. Ignore the Amazon, Wikipedia, and similar pages (unless, for example, you have a reference to your website on Wikipedia). Go for the websites that often use outside content (articles, reviews, interviews, Q&A, etc.), especially those that feature other authors and related books.

Time to carry out this task: 1 to 2 hours.

Day 2: Follow the Links

Most websites have links to other related websites and blogs. These links are often at the end of articles, on resource pages, on blogrolls, on directory pages, etc. Follow those links to discover other high-traffic targeted websites for your book.

On Day 1, you discovered one high-traffic targeted website. On Day 2, you’ll have discovered anywhere from one to ten other related high-traffic targeted websites.

Time to carry out this task: less than 1 hour.

Day 3: Locate the People Behind One Site

Now take one website you’ve uncovered and dig through the website until you find out who edits the website, blogs on the blog, or writes a column on the site that would be appropriate for your book. Try to find out their email address or phone number or other contact information.

If you are ambitious and like connecting via social networks, then also note their Twitter handle, Facebook Page, Google+ profile, Pinterest boards, LinkedIn profile, and any other social networks you enjoy using (YouTube, GoodReads, Instagram, etc.).

By the end of Day 3, you should have the following information: name of website, URL for that website, phone number and/or email address for one key contact, and possibly some of their social connections.

Time to carry out this task: less than 1 hour.

Day 4: Connect

Go to the website you identified on Day 3. Comment on one of the articles or blog posts written by the person you want to connect with. Tweet their article. Like it or share it on Facebook. Pin their article or blog post on one of your Pinterest boards. Plus One their article or share it on Google+.

If you are into social networks, then carry out a few of the following acts connected to their social profiles:

  • Retweet their tweets. Favorite their tweets. Respond to one of their tweets.
  • Like their Facebook posts. Comment on their Facebook posts. Share their Facebook posts.
  • Like one of their pins. Comment on one of their pins. Repin one of their pins.
  • Comment on one of their LinkedIn posts.
  • Do the same for Google+ and any other social network you share with them.

If you want, you can spread out these comments and interactions over a week so the person gets to know you before you make your offer on Day 5. If you spread this connect activity out, then try connecting with several websites at the same time

Time to carry out this task: less than 1 hour (if you don’t lollygag on the social networks). Don’t lollygag.

Day 5: Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Contact the person you identified on Day 3 and offer them some great content. Note: High-traffic targeted websites love new content that targets their daily visitors. They need new content every day to keep traffic (visitors) flowing to their website.

  • Offer to write an article for them.
  • Offer them an excerpt from your book that they can reprint on their website.
  • Offer to do an interview with them: Internet radio show, podcast, teleseminar, webinar, Skype interview, Google Hangout, etc.
  • Ask if you can interview them for your blog.
  • Offer them a review copy of your book.
  • Or think even bigger: Ask them if you could do a Q&A column for their website on your special topic. If your topic is general (as yours is), try to drill down to a specific topic that you could do a Q&A column on.

Make this offer via a short email note or via a phone call. If calling, be sure to have an already prepared two- or three-sentence message you can leave if you get their answering machine. Be sure to start with your name, title of your book, and your phone number. Then leave a short pitch. A real short pitch.

Time to carry out this task: less than 1 hour. Write the email and send it. Or write the answering machine script, pick up the phone, and make the call.

Day 6: Respond

When they respond to your email or phone call with a positive request to see more or hear more, send them more. If they ask questions, respond to those questions. If they ask to see your blog post, write a blog post. If they want to set up an interview, schedule an interview. Respond that same day.

Time to carry out this task: generally less than 1 hour.

Day 7: Follow Through

Once they’ve interviewed you, featured your blog post or article, assigned you an on-going Q&A column, or whatever, thank them.

Then share the news on your blog and social networks. Spread the word about your connection. Be sure to link back to your content on their website.

Time to carry out this task: generally less than 1 hour.

7-Day Book Marketing Plan

That’s my I-Don’t-Have-Any-Time Seven-Day Marketing Plan. Simple, isn’t it? Now, rinse and repeat. That means start at Day 1 again or start at Day 3 or 4 (if you developed a list of more than one relevant website or blog).

This strategy will reliably develop your relationships with other people who share your interests. It will get you more links to your website. It will get you more traffic to your website. It will generate more Google juice (a better ranking on Google search results, better page ranks, and more traffic sent your way). And it should generate more book sales.

One caveat: Any content you share with other websites and blogs must be top-notch valuable content. That’s the only way you’ll get Google love. That’s the only way you’ll be invited back to share more content. That’s the only way you’ll develop fans of your own. And that’s the only way people will come to your website hungry for more content from you (that means buying your book!).

Now, isn’t your book worth an hour a day?

About John Kremer

John Kremer is author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, the Relationships Matter Marketing program, and many other books and reports on book marketing, Internet marketing, social media, and book publicity. -- .

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  1. This is an excellent article. The step-by-step instructions are so clear that anyone can follow them and succeed! Thank you, John. And I just love the question, Robert!

    Jill Ronsley

  2. Pingback: A Very Simple Marketing Plan | catherinekanewrites

  3. Pingback: John Kremer's Book Marketing Tip of the Week: February 3, 2014 | Book Marketing Bestsellers

  4. That sounds like a great plan. I have almost no bookstores in the area where I can do booksignings. It seems the Internet and similar websites to my books are the way to go.

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