Alison Baverstock’s excellent book is
directed towards book marketeers in publishing companies, for whom it
would be very helpful, but it is also immensely useful for anyone who
wants to promote and sell books, especially self-publishers. All
authors could benefit from understanding more about how books are
publicised and sold, and what their part in the process should be.
First the author tackles how books are sold and how marketing departments
work in publishing. Then there are very useful specific chapters on
techniques for writing successful copy and the design and printing of
promotional material. The section on different types of promotional format
takes you through the various possibilities. It also gives a blow-by-blow
account of a key document, the publishers’ advance information sheet, what
goes on it and what it will be used for. There’s useful background on
publishers' catalogues and detail on how to put together leaflets and
flyers which may be particularly useful for the self-publisher.
Advertorials and ads are also dealt with in this chapter.
The increasing importance of direct marketing in reaching the
market and the mysteries of lists, list rental, ‘de-duping’ and
‘merge-purge’ are explored. The comprehensive sub-section on planning a
direct mail campaign is worth the price of the book for any novice
thinking of venturing into direct marketing.
Alison Baverstock then turns her attention to free promotion and shows
you how to get the best out of all the many opportunities, including
working with the media, writing press releases and getting press coverage
of all kinds.
She looks next at paid promotions, but always bearing in mind that book
promotion budgets tend to be fairly slender and it is important for all
publishers to extract the maximum value out of all paid-for promotional
activity. There are excellent guidelines for organising events of all
kinds, from sales conferences to launch parties and press conferences.
Finally there is a superb and very thorough chapter on approaching
specific interest markets, which is a real boon for anyone trying to
publicise a book with a very particular audience. It could be
indispensable if you want to sell your own book to a specific market.
Useful appendices provide lists of addresses and references for each
chapter, a glossary and a list of proof-readers’ marks.
This new edition has additional chapters on the Internet, including how
to set up a website and carry out an email promotional campaign, and more
on how to attract the attention of literary editors.
How to Market Books gives an excellent overview and a mass of
helpful detail. The strongest parts of the book are the authoritative
chapters on direct marketing and reaching specific markets, which would be
useful for anyone trying to target promotional activity in these areas.
But the book as a whole is highly recommended for all self-publishers,
authors and marketers in publishing, or anyone who wants to develop their
book promotion skills.