Business name: Book Marketing Works, LLC
Book Title(s): You’re On the Air (video), Perpetual Promotion, It’s Show Time, Get Your Word’s Worth, Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan, Beyond the Bookstore, How to Make Real Money Selling Books (without worrying about returns)
Website URL: www.bookmarketingworks.com
How did you come to do what you’re doing today?
After being laid off at my corporate job, I decided to start a new career as an author and wrote a series of job-search books (Job Search 101, Coping With Unemployment, The Career Action Plan, Help Wanted: Inquire Within, Effective Interviewing Techniques, Elementos basicos para buscar trabajo). After trying to sell them through bookstores I discovered a more profitable way to sell them in large, non-returnable quantities to colleges, state governments, niche markets. I did this successfully, then began to help others do the same.
Can you describe a typical day in your life?
Up at 5:00 and off to the gym; home by 7:00 for breakfast and newspapers (the old-fashioned paper kind); in the office by 8:00; I plan my day the night before, but once I check emails the day sometimes takes an unexpected turn; I check in with my admin assistant to go over the day’s work; then I post on several groups on Linkedin (I moderate a group on Linkedin), including the NFAA group, several groups on Facebook, and also Twitter throughout the day. I moderate three groups in the Idea Marketplace for my Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS); I return phone calls based on the time zones (I’m on the East Coast and work my way West as the day goes on); I spend an hour working on my next book. I have started a national network of local chapters for APSS and I finish up the morning working with them to schedule speakers, find new members, answer questions, write newsletters, etc.
I try to take some time midday to do some business reading—Harvard Business Journal, industry publications, etc.
During the afternoon I schedule client meetings and conference calls. I usually have a consult with a client that goes for 30-60 minutes. I have a program to sell books to non-bookstore buyers and we work through a national network of 60,000+ salespeople. They have questions on the books we represent and seek ideas for selling them, so I work with them, usually on Skype. Right now we are finalizing our semi-annual catalog of books, and I work every day with my clients and designer to get that together. I am the editor of several newsletters, including “Book Marketing Matters” (goes to about 20,000 on my opt-in list), “The Sales Informer” (APSS), “The Authority” (for the CT Authors and Publishers Assoc—CAPA—of which I am the founder), and “Bound to Sell” (for the sales representatives), as well as the eight different newsletters for the chapters, and work on them daily to write (or find writers) on appropriate topics. I also write for several blogs (APSS, AIA, Bowker, Book Business and Sheridan Group) regularly.
After a break for dinner, I usually have a webinar that goes for 60-90 minutes for APSS, CAPA or one of the APSS chapters. On off-nights, I make West Coast calls until 8:00—close of business out there. I do the miscellaneous things I forgot to do that day, then plan tomorrow’s work. After catching some news and/or talk shows, I’ll read fiction for a while to decompress, then off to bed.
Generally weekly, I will drive for short trips to New York City (primarily for APSS Board meetings), Philadelphia, Boston (I’m on the IPNE Board), or D.C. to meet with clients, potential APSS chapter organizers, attend trade shows, sell my books, meet with sales reps, and find new prospects. I speak to many of the regional publishing groups, which periodically take two-to-three-day trips. Examples are NFAA (I spoke to Stephanie’s group last year, then to BAIPA on the same trip), MBPA, FAPA, SLPA, PWSD, etc. I also meet with the APSS chapters around the U.S. and Canada to speak at their meetings.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
The diversity of activity and the opportunity for creative marketing. No day is the same, and the challenges—and opportunities—are myriad.
What is your latest book about?
How to Make Real Money Selling Books (without worrying about returns) is about showing authors and publishers how to sell more books more profitably to non-bookstore buyers. These could be retailers (airport stores, gift shops, supermarkets, warehouse clubs, discount stores, etc.) or to non-retail buyers in corporations, associations, schools, the military, and government agencies.
What inspired you to write your book?
There was an unmet need for an alternative way to sell books in any format (printed, ebooks, booklets, etc.) in large, non-returnable quantities. I had the education (MBA in marketing), sales experience (sales manager for a Fortune 250 company), and the information about selling books from my own experience. I put that all together to start and run my businesses.
Can you describe your writing process?
I write something every day for my next book, newsletters, blogs, etc.
Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey?
I became a fan of Dan Poynter early on, and followed his advice on publishing and book marketing.
Can you share some book marketing tips for our readers?
Book marketing is as simple as PIE—if you Plan, Implement and then Evaluate your progress. Planning begins with defining your buyers, organizing them in segments, and helping them solve their problems with your content. The product form is a variable. It could be a printed book, ebook, booklet, or any form in which the prospect wants to purchase it.
Sell to non-bookstore buyers—retail and non-retail. Have your books available where your buyers shop. Implement an assorted promotional mix—online and off —including publicity, media appearances, social networking, personal networking, direct marketing, trade shows, Internet marketing (website, blogs, podcasts, trailers), personal selling, and sales promotion. Evaluate your progress and make necessary changes.
Anything writers should NOT do when marketing their book?
Don’t sell exclusively through bookstores (either bricks or clicks), don’t think social media is the only marketing technique, and don’t give up.
Can you share something that people may be surprised to learn about you?
Sometimes (when it’s not snowing), I like to go on a 40-mile bicycle ride just to clear my mind and look at problems from a different perspective.
What’s next for you?
I am the Executive Director of APSS and want to build it into an effective, prosperous international organization that will help tens of thousands of authors and publishers grow their businesses selling their books to non-bookstore buyers. I have many ideas on how to do that.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I like helping people and look for every opportunity to do that.