While traditional marketing can work for book author or publisher, return is dim for huge effort it takes. You must pitch relentlessly and constantly to even get a milligram of attention. While you may have a success or two, most of your efforts will bring poor book sales. Ask yourself right now, what is working for me? What is not?
The Press Release
Sure, press releases can bring you attention, but it takes a lot of time to gather specific media or radio/TV producers' names. Even though I wrote "The San Diego Media Resource Directory" that took 50 hours to research, I had to also keep media list up-to-date, ask editors and radio producers by phone how they wanted their releases. Some prefer fax, others email or snail mail.
You waste your efforts too, if your release doesn't go right person. Many authors make mistake of sending release to book editor. He gets hundreds each month, and will pay no attention if you are self-published. Like agents and traditional publishers, only 1-2% are chosen.
Another problem is sheer numbers of releases you send out. Don't relax after you send one or two releases. Think in terms of at least five a month. Ninety-five percent releases are ignored and tossed into round file. Why? For many reasons, but check to see if you include a compelling heading, a human interest story, or present-time news analogy. Did you make it under one page, double-spaced? Did you construct. organize and freely give solutions that your book or service offer for your readers' problems?
Your news release should not be about your book, but give actual solutions media readers and radio audiences can use. My first published press release responded to an article on editorial page about "Three R's." My headline was "School need to teach Fourth R--Rapid Reading. After discussing background problems, I included benefits of rapid reading, and gave nine how-to solutions. The publisher not only loved article, but came personally to my home to take my picture. I used piece for marketing to corporations with minimal results
Giving Talks, Presenting at Expos
Creating a talk takes a lot of time. Then you must practice it at least two times before you deliver it. Then, you must discover resources to find organizations to present to. Many of them don't pay their speakers. You may say that's OK because I will sell books. Yes, you'll sell a dozen or maybe more, but think of huge effort it took to get there. Consider travel time, clothing upkeep, and schlepping all those heavy books around.
Like myself, you may present a talk or seminar to a corporation with big hopes of selling your products. When they pay you, though, they may set boundaries on book sales. One positive is that because you have a book, you can negotiate and leverage with meeting planners and top executives for higher paid presentations.
The biggest disadvantage? You must wait for decision makers to accept and schedule you, and you have invested much paperwork and meetings too. Even though I had books, I left this venue because time from presentation to fruition was usually more than six months. I knew there was a better way! But was it expos?
Speaking at Expos or maintaining a booth takes many hours of work. Consider preparing and submitting press releases, creating brochures, hand outs, decorating booth, presenting a drawing, and bringing in products to sell.
Speaking can bring you a few book sales, but people passing by your booth are usually just looking. Even when I gave free mini seminars every 2 hours, and passed out free tickets ahead of time, not many bought books. Giving out hundreds of flyers on other free seminars didn't work either.
Yes, I did get on a talk-radio show and eleven people showed up at my Supermemory seminar. No, they didn't buy books or book a coaching session. Yes, I collected names and email addresses from a free drawing. I was able to use them for my free eNewsletter, The Book Coach Says...,"but clients did not bang down my door to use my talents.