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Marketing

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Marketing is the tip of the iceberg for most titles, one of the four main ingredients for book success. Generally speaking, publishers market upstream to booksellers and distributors who will be buying their books, and the authors must concentrate on marketing downstream to the readers.

Köehler Books partners with authors to create comprehensive marketing programs that include conventional media, social media, and other ways to build a buzz and raise awareness about your book. We also train and coach authors on the best methods for reaching out to readers, using low-cost guerilla marketing techniques as well as working with publicists and marketing professionals.

The items listed below are from our POCKET GUIDE TO PUBLISHING (a free gift to you at the bottom of this page) and are used with our clients as we develop their book and begin to deal with their marketing program. The first part lists what we (the publisher) do, and the second part lists the things that we coach and train the author to do.

What the Publisher Does

  • Book Web Page
    Each title gets a stand-alone web page on the Köehler Books website. It includes the cover, description, author bio and photo, an excerpt, as well as buying and other optional information. We will also add you to our author’s page.
  • Author’s Questionnaire
    This is a comprehensive document that solicits the author for information about their title, the cover, marketing plans, description and comparative titles. This information becomes the bedrock for Ingram’s Title Management System (TMS).
    Download an Author’s Questionnaire
  • Title Management System (TMS)
    Ingram’s TMS provides title information and graphics to booksellers and distributors. This includes descriptions, endorsement quotes, marketing plans, and other information from the author’s questionnaire. Booksellers can download tip sheets and package the information in a number of ways.
  • Tip Sheets
    Tip sheets are comprehensive single-page sheets that originate from the author’s questionnaire. Tip sheets are invaluable for authors to send along with Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) for endorsement quotes and reviews and also useful when visiting booksellers. They include ALL sales information, ISBN, pub date, etc. about your book and also include Ingram’s logo. Ingram is a known distributor and adds weight to your presentation. Always include a tip sheet! They are priceless and extremely useful.
    Download a sample tip sheet
  • Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs)
    Each author receives at least twenty printed ARCs after the book has been approved for distribution. Authors are urged to use them for soliciting endorsement quotes and reviews and for their personal enjoyment. They are finished books in every way. The author will also receive a digital ARC, which is the entire text of the book saved as a .pdf file with the front and back covers added. These are extremely useful for our authors and are accepted by many reviewers and endorsers.
    Download a Digital ARC sample
  • ARC Author Purchases
    Köehler Books authors may purchase additional copies of their books at or below the wholesale price. Authors may sell those books for profit and also use them for promotional purposes. Author orders do not count toward royalties.
  • E-book Campaigns
    We work with our authors who have signed on with a legitimate e-book promotion such as BookBub. Typically, we lower the price prior to the event and then bring it back up to an agreed level afterwards.
  • Ingram Catalog Inclusion
    All Köehler Books titles are included in one or more of Ingram’s catalogs, printed and online. The primary online catalog used by booksellers is iPage.
  • Vote the Cover Campaigns
    In most cases during the development of the cover, we will work with the author to narrow down the choices to the top two covers. This is part of our collaborative approach: we treat the author as important part of the team. At that point we will take the top two choices and post a VOTE THE COVER poll on the website to get the pulse on two opposing cover designs for the book. Once we install the campaign on our website, we post it on Facebook and Twitter feeds and give the launch URL to the author to share with his or her entire network. This has become one of the best prelaunch publicity campaigns for our authors. They send the link out and ask their friends, readers, and entire network to go and vote for the two covers the publisher has proposed. It is so easy to do, and readers love to cast their vote. While this is not used as the primary method for deciding a cover, it can show trends and provide valuable insight, as well as stir interest in the book. It yields statistical data, and this data which can sometimes surprise us so much that we go in another direction or pick the cover we thought was the lesser of the two.
  • Audio and Foreign Rights
    Most publishers will acquire rights to the printed and digital (e-book), but many, including Köehler Books, will also acquire rights to an audio version of your book, as well as the right to sell it to another country’s publisher to have it produced in a different language. We tend to be very active with the print and e-book production and publication, and we know that they will happen. Audio and foreign rights deals are more passive: we will only do them if a deal becomes available. In that vein, we use the services of an agent who specializes in finding deals for audio and foreign rights. She brings those deals to us to consider, and we decide based on the offer. Typically, such a deal will include a decent advance and very low royalties. The advance is split with the author after agent fees are paid.

What the Author Does

  • The Right Mindset
    We are looking for team players: authors willing to learn and be coached and trained in new ways; authors willing to share information, ideas, and solutions; and authors willing to work with us to help make their book a success. We will be training and coaching you in some areas, but we do expect you to reach out and figure out the rest. We want you to become a marketing pro.
  • Marketing Coaching and Training
    Authors will be coached on guerrilla marketing techniques for promoting their title. Starting with their website and social media and progressing through book events and publicity, Köehler Books coaches you on building a good brand for you book and for you as an author.
  • Social Media
    Social media refers to the entire network of online tools, apps, websites, blogs and networks you can use to raise awareness about your title. Here is some of what we do and what you should expect from a responsible and progressive publisher.
  • Author’s Website
    Your website is the linchpin of your social media program. It needs to look good and work smart. It needs to connect readers to the rest of your social media empire through Facebook, Twitter, etc. Köehler Books cannot build your website for you, but we can offer valuable feedback.
    We recommend WordPress or another similar type web application, which allows the author to easily change and add posts, photos and other media. You can learn how to build your own site or trade or pay a professional to build it for you. The keys are that it looks professional, that it is loaded with the right information, and that it is accessible, searchable, and easy to use.If you have a budget for creating your website, you may consider our list of Publishing Experts. They are independent contractors and trusted pros who have worked with some of our authors. You may hire them or another pro, but as always, author beware!

Author website samples:

  • Blogs
    We recommend that you add a blog to your website. The fewer the clicks, the better for readers; plus, it adds your voice to your work. Regardless of how you do it, this is the place for you to share your thoughts as a writer and author and reader. If possible, try to use a plugin or other tool that will automatically send all new posts to your social media network sites like Facebook and Twitter. That is a great way to easily expand your reach and save you time.
  • Facebook
    Facebook is king, according to some book publicists. No doubt, it is important, and the author needs to have an author fan page. Instead of friends, you want “likes.” Make sure that your FB page is connected to your website and that you take the time to flesh it out with relevant information.
  • Facebook Forum
    Over ninety of our authors have formed a writers’ forum on Facebook. They trade notes about marketing tips and tricks and coach each other on the things that they are doing to market and promote their books. This shared wealth of intelligence can be very helpful, especially for newer authors. If you are a Köehler Books author, you can join the forum by contacting the publisher.
  • Twitter
    Twitter is all about getting followers and making noise. Whereas FB is for friends and associates, Twitter is for complete strangers, so you can discriminate less with it. Come one, come all!
  • LinkedIn
    An author once asked, “Isn’t LinkedIn for professionals?” To which we replied, “Aren’t authors professionals?” LI is the place to post your resume. It is another place you establish yourself as a professional author. After you post your information, you really don’t need to do much else.
  • YouTube
    Don’t overlook YouTube. It is a great tool for sharing book trailers and author talks. Don’t overthink the production values. Readers want to hear from you, and they don’t expect heavy makeup and perfect lighting. You can do it on your computer. Keep them short, less than five minutes, and add the video to your site using the embed code.
  • Amazon’s Author Central
    Amazon’s Author Central is a great way for you to see reviews, track sales, and pay attention to your activity on Amazon.
  • Goodreads
    Goodreads is the Facebook for readers, a place authors want to be. You can create a profile, add your books, and even do giveaways, which Goodreads will manage and then provide you with the addresses and names of the winners. You then ask the winners to post a review of your book.
  • BookBub
    BookBub is an online service that notifies millions of readers of deeply discounted e-books. If you manage to have your book selected by BookBub for a limited-time deal, then you are afforded the incredible opportunity to expand your fan base and sell a lot of books. Upon your selection, Köehler Books will discount your e-book so you can run your e-book campaign.
  • NetGalley
    www.netgalley.com
    Kristina Radke
    kristina.radke@netgalley.com
    This marketing and publicity service offers cultivated influencer communities; offering interesting, relevant marketing promotions; and providing rich, real-time data. NetGalley is the key pre-publication marketing channel for new books. The NetGalley memeber community, with over 300,000 influencers, has reviewed more than 500,000 books (with 50,000 new reviews a month), fuels over 3,000 Library Reads nominations and 1,200 Indie Next nominations monthly, and generates over 4.6M pageviews per month on book blogs we track.
  • Winner’s Circle
    https://writerswin.com/join-today/
    The Köehler discount code, Koehle20, gets our authors a full year’s access to resources for emerging authors, allowing them to source and pitch influencers including reviewers (vetted by genre), live book clubs, festivals, competitions and more.
  • Conventional Media
    Newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio are all viable sources for acquiring reviews. They are tougher to navigate, but the results can be spectacular. This is an area where publicists or marketing pros can be especially helpful due to their established network.
  • Advanced Review Copies (ARCs)
    We expect our authors to use print and digital ARCs that we will provide to acquire endorsement quotes and reviews. The quotes and reviews can be used on the front and back cover and in the text. They establish validity and quality. We add them to the book prior to release. They are priceless.
    We will provide an agreed-upon number of ARCs as part of our publishing agreement. Authors may also purchase additional copies for near or under wholesale prices. Our authors typically purchase 50-100 ARCs for personal and professional use. They may sell them, but the sales do not include royalties.
  • Book Talks, Signings & Events
    Authors will often set up a series of talks and other events to spread the good news about their book. These can be at bookstores, for book or reader’s groups, writer’s clubs, professional organizations that bring in speakers, and more. If the event is held at a bookstore, the retailer must purchase the books. Otherwise, authors may use their own ARCs.
  • Blog Tours
    A blog tour is essentially seeking out some blogs related to your book’s subject matter. Craft a relationship and follow their blog. Then ask them to review your book. Bloggers are like columnists, and they have a following of readers. Many publicists and book marketing pros have a list of bloggers they work with.
  • Share the Wealth
    When our authors set up a tour or a series of talks or anything else considered newsworthy and relevant to readers and the industry, we ask them to send it to us. Köehler Books may then post it on the website and/or share it with Ingram.
  • Hiring A Pro
    If you have the budget, you may consider hiring a professional to help you with your website, marketing, or other aspects of your promotion. Our Experts are proven vendors who are or have worked with our authors. Talk to them, along with others, and then make the call carefully as always.
  • Author Questionnaire
    An Author Questionnaire (AQ) is typically one of the first things a new author will fill out after landing a traditional or hybrid publishing deal. Self-publishing questionnaires will vary, depending on the company, and may not include all of the material shown below. We are including the Author Questionnaire below so that you can see the types of things that publishers or self-publishing authors need to know. The contact information includes the obvious street address, phone number, but also includes website URL and social media links and handles. The author’s biography is an important section, as most books will include an author’s bio along with a photo on the back cover or inside flap. It is important that good style and form be used. The author residence is of interest to booksellers who want to know where the author lives for events and sales. The sales hook and main description are critical components for creating the back cover synopsis. The AQ has good guidelines to follow. Key selling points are a nice bulleted short list useful for marketing. So is the audience, a listing of the various types of readers who you think will buy your book. There is a section asking for details about your cover. We like the author to pull samples that they like from Amazon and paste them into this section to help give our designers an idea of the type of covers that you like. Written descriptions are great and sketches are welcome. We will then have a discussion with the author and brainstorm about the cover.The Marketing and PR section has some guidelines to follow. It is extremely important for the author to fill out these sections in as much detail as possible. 
    Download Sample Author Questionnaire

 

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