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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.

Köehler Books teams 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.

Authors who are willing to work hard to hone their DIY skills to build relationships and sell books, combined with our excellent marketing tools, catalogs and more, can expect success.

 

GET YOUR FREE MARKETING BOOK

Pocket Guide to Book Marketing: A Road Map to Marketing Your Book

“This guide will help save your life as an author.”—Robin Cutler, former director at IngramSpark and vendor manager at Amazon’s Create Space “Marketing and promoting a book is a marathon, not a sprint.” —Katrina Shawver, author of HENRY: A Polish Swimmer’s True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America“The MOST important thing to do in regards to book marketing is to write a great book.” —JC Sasser, author of Gradle Bird Ooh, I need this!

What the Publisher Does

“Most authors I know would rather write, and leave the marketing to someone else. However, more and more we are having to lead or support publicity efforts for our work. Truthfully, over time, I have begun to enjoy the process…”
—Jeffrey Blount, author of The Emancipation of Evan Wall

 

Pocket Guide to Book Marketing
The book shown above has, along with its counterpart (POCKET GUIDE TO PUBLISHING) been read over 200,000 times by readers, writers and authors, and others in the field. Ingram has licensed them from us and uses them on their website as an educational tool, as do we. Ingram is also planning to have both books translated into German, French and Spanish. As to the marketing book shown, feedback from our authors suggest that new authors should read it more than once, throughout the process. These books have proven to be invaluable tools for many authors. 

Marketing Calls
After an author signs with us, and completes the Author Questionnaire, we setup two initial Welcome & Creative calls on Zoom to walk through the entire publishing operation in detail, and then follow up with a call to discuss their website, and finally a call when their book is up for pre-order.

Actual Author marketing recordings:

Call 1
Call 2

Call 1- We cover the schedule, key dates, precisely how the author will coordinate and collaborate with Koehler Books. We then jump over to our website marketing page and cover part 1, the things we do for the author with regards to marketing, including the following:

• Author Questionnaire Editing
• Author book webpage on KB website
• Lightning Source
• Distribution
• Direct Access
• Social Media templates
• Koehler Books social media
• Working with Bookstores
• Tip Sheets
• Endorsement Quote Assistance
• Digital & Printed ARCs & Author purchases
• Ebook campaigns
• Catalog Inclusion
• Vote the Cover campaigns
• Awards Assistance

Call 2- this call occurs a few weeks after the first. We jump back into marketing and cover the options for the author to consider. Most of this deals with guerilla marketing techniques, but we also discuss whether or not the author wants to work with a professional  marketing expert. We end the call with a discussion of the Author Questionnaire, with a primary focus on the cover. Here are some of the thing we cover:

• Author website and social media
• Working with Bookstores
• Podcasts & Blogs
• Book Launch Team
• KB Authors Facebook Forum
• Shepherd for Authors
• Bookshop.org
• Amazon Author Central
• Pubby & Bookbub & Netgalley
• Amazon Author Ad Program
• Working with the media
• Book events
• Hiring a marketing pro

Call 3– go over author website and social media with the author 6-8 weeks after call 2.

Call 4– after the book shows up for pre-order. We walk the author through what to expect and what to look out for, and coach them on the marketing activities they have in place. This includes:

• planned events or book talks
• use of digital and printed ARCs
• Acquisition of endorsement quotes and reviews
• Book orders
• Creating ads online
• Tracking rankings and reviews on Amazon and elsewhere

Author Questionnaire Editing
Coordination and editing of the Author Questionnaire to produce data including author bio, back cover description, BISAC codes, marketing plans and others items we place in the tip sheet.
Download our Author Questionnaire

Author Book Webpage on KB website
Each title gets a stand-alone web page on the Köehler Books website. It includes the cover, description, author bio, as well as buying and other optional information. We will also add you to our author’s page.
Example of an Author Book webpage.

Lightning Source
Ingram’s Lightning Source print-on-demand technology and systems help reduce your expenditures and get the books to your readers faster. Ingram’s state-of-the-art printing facilities manufacture the highest-quality digital POD books in the industry.

Ingram’s Distribution
Ingram distributes to over 30,000 print booksellers via Ingram’s Lightning Source, one of the largest print global book distribution networks. This includes the United States & Canada, the U.K. and Europe, Australia, where Lightning Source has seven huge POD printing plants that help get our books to market quickly and with the highest standards in digital printing.

Direct relationships and access to:
• Online stores
• Independent and chain brick and mortar stores
• Ebook retailers
• Libraries
• Universities and Colleges

Social Media templates
We will create design templates and bookmark for you to use.

 

“Once you know the demographics of your reader avatar, you’ve crossed off the first critical step in reverse-engineering a marketing plan. Whether it is a website, an author Facebook page, an Instagram account dedicated to your author brand, a blog, or any other channel that suits both you and your audience, choose a platform to grow and be consistent. As you carry out other marketing initiatives, and news of your book grows, this “community” will be the place where you can authentically engage your buyers, even after they’ve read your book, and keep them interested in your brand.”

— Corinne Moulder, VP of Business Development, Smith Publicity

Koehler Books Social Media
Our social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, supports our authors and titles by featuring monthly new releases, vote the cover campaigns, pre-sale book information, book covers and descriptions, author headshots and bios, best sellers, and more.

Working with Bookstores
We will help you develop ways to work with your local or regional bookstores (https://www.koehlerbooks.com/author-center/kb-authors/working-with-bookstores/) These include our making your book returnable and attractively priced to the stores you will line up for a book tour.

Tip Sheet (sell sheet)
Tip sheets are comprehensive single-page sheets that originate from the author’s questionnaire and are produced by Koehler Books for the author’s use. 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

Endorsement Quote Assistance
Coordination of endorsement quotes from up to 8 Koehler Books authors. The author provides the list of authors and their digital ARC, and we email the ARC and request a quote from our authors.

Digital Advanced Review Copy (ARCs)
The author will receive a digital ARC, which is the entire text of the book including covers, 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. This typically occurs 2-3 months prior to the pub date. Download a Digital ARC sample

Printed Advance Review Copies & 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. Below market prices for authors to purchase copies of your softcover and hardcover. This gives you more profit at your own events or individual sales.
Most authors buy books directly from us below or near wholesale at a 50-60% discount. We also sell books to organizations, schools and groups affiliated with the author at 30% discount.
Visit our author book order page
Visit our wholesale book order page

E-book Campaigns
We work with our authors who have signed on with a legitimate e-book promotion such as BookBub or wish to do a guerilla marketing Ebook campaign on their own. Typically, we lower the price prior to the event and then bring it back up to an agreed level afterwards. We recommend an Ebook sale on the pub date, or 4-6 months after the pub date.

Catalog Inclusion
Inclusion in 4 Catalogs used by online and physical bookstores
• Ingram iPage- one of the biggest
• Edelweiss- this is the big guns in the industry
• Overdrive- sells our Ebooks to libraries
• Dropcap – our foreign rights agency

Vote the Cover Campaigns
We collaborate and brainstorm with the author to narrow down the 3-4 cover designs we present, to the top two covers. We then take the top two choices and post a VOTE THE COVER poll on our website to get the pulse on two opposing cover designs for the book, with votes coming mainly through the author sending it out to their followers. This has become one of the best prelaunch publicity campaigns for our authors.
Visit our Cover Poll page

Awards Assistance
We will send 10 softcovers to the author when they send proof of signing up for a book awards program. We advise and coach the author on which awards program to submit to, starting with the awards our authors have won here: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/author-center/kb-authors/awards/

 

“Don’t get overwhelmed! Just like setting that word count or writing-time goal each day, you can divide your marketing tasks into equally manageable bite-sized pieces. To do this, set a number in your mind. Let’s say TEN: You commit to making sure at least ten new people know your name and the name of your book by the end of each day. Whatever your number is (there’s no wrong answer; this has to work for you and your schedule), commit to hitting that number EVERY day.”

—Shari Stauch, owner of the marketing firm Where Writers Win

What the Author Does

There is no question that for most authors, especially new authors, figuring out how to do their own part of the marketing can be difficult and tedious. We are here to show you the way to success, but ultimately you must research the options we discuss, talk with other authors, establish a budget if any, and then implement your plans to build your brand and sell some books.

 

Author’s Website & Social Media
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. You can learn how to build your own site or pay a professional to build it for you. To see examples go to Author Websites page. Social media can include: Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tik Tok, YouTube, blogs and podcasts.

Working with Bookstores
Most authors have a desire to have at least one bookstore event. There is a certain romance to the idea. Our authors work with bookstores to do book tours and events. These options are outlined here: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/author-center/kb-authors/working-with-bookstores/

Podcasts
One newer and trending media platform is podcasts. When polling a few of our bestselling authors, all of them said they had been guests on podcasts, and 18% claimed that it was their most successful media to promote their books (>50% answered social media, and 27% answered local communities). Read more about how to promote your book on podcasts.

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.

Book Launch Team
This is a great way for an author to get good advice and extend your social media reach. We recommend adding 3-5 people to your team.

 

Criteria for launch team members:
• Someone who is well known to the author either on a collegial or friendly basis.
• Someone with good social media skills and with a decent amount of followers, and who in some way is influential in their community.
• Someone willing to help the author extend her social media reach and get the word out about the book.

What you will ask of your launch team members
• That they rebroadcast any blog posts or social media you send them.
• That they encourage the author along the way towards launch.
• That they act as spokespersons for the book and the author.

KB Authors Facebook Forum
Over 100 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 Teresa Inge, the moderator. Send her your Facebook url (web address).

 

“I approached marketing from the perspective of originality and practicality, aiming to get the most “bang for my buck” by targeting as large a target audience as possible with each effort. My initial advice? To know thyself and thy product, meaning, figure out what distinguishes your book from others of the same type/topic in the market. Is it the narrative voice, the lessons gleaned and imparted? Why did you write this book and why should readers choose yours instead of others? Answering these questions allows you to develop your “hook,” meaning the unique thing you’re selling to readers, as only you can.”

—Whitney Ellenby, author of Autism Uncensored

Shepherd for Authors
Submitted by author Rona Simmons, and an alternative to Goodreads. Shepherd helps you meet the most likely readersfor your book. And they do this in a way that engages and delights readers. It puts you in front of your most likely readers for your book. It gets readers interested in you and your book. It promotes you and your book year after year.

Bookshop.org– Sell books directly from your Author website
Bookshop.org provides an easy way for authors to sell their own books directly from their website. Setting up an affiliate program is easy and free, and takes about 15 minutes. Sales are routed through Ingram and count as royalty sales for the author. Plus 10% of every sale will go to the author directly from Bookshop, and another 10% will support local and independent bookstores. To find out more and sign up for your own Bookshop.org account, go here.

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.

Pubby, Bookbub & Netgalley

Pubby – as noted by author Madison Brightwell

“The system at Pubby is that you pay $29.99 a month, and you are given points for your book to be reviewed. You earn the points by reading and reviewing other people’s books. I have managed to gain now almost 150 reviews, and I’ve only been with them for just over a month.”

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 is a well-know way for authors to get reviews from other authors and people in the industry. www.netgalley.com

Amazon’s Author Advertising Program
In 2022 Amazon began allowing authors to setup their own ad programs. In the past only self-published authors or publishers on KDP could do so, but now Koehler Books authors may create and manage their own ad programs directly on Amazon. I would suggest authors could schedule this to start on launch day but not before, as I doubt it would work for preorders.. https://advertising.amazon.com/library/guides/advertising-books-on-amazon-authors

Our author Bill Canady had success with Amazon’s ad program. His system and thoughts are found here.

Working With the 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, however we recommend that our authors start locally, as their local media may do a human interest story about the author.

Book 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.

Hiring A Marketing 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 Expertsare proven vendors who are or have worked with our authors. Talk to them, along with others, also talk to other authors, and then make the call carefully as always.

“I BELIEVE TWO things are critical constants for every author. First, you must set a budget for ongoing marketing. Even when you maximize every creative and free guerilla marketing tactic, there will be other costs to launch a book and keep it visible while it is in print. Some of these costs will be for business cards, bookmarks, advertising, the cost of books for giveaways, professional headshots, and the fees and costs of entering contests or hosting events.

The second critical constant: understand that the book business is about long-term relationships and referrals. I have received some amazing grassroots publicity and speaking engagements from simple word-of-mouth referrals. I maintain an ever-growing contacts list of local librarians, and book-store owners and managers in your area. Ditto for local media outlets, key organizations and fellow writers. Cultivate those contacts for yourself by getting to know them on a first-name basis, in-person wherever possible. Stay in touch and help them by sending them referrals and helpful information they can use. It’s never about YOU, it’s about what you can do for THEM. Be Nice. To everyone. Always be the writer they invite back.

“Marketing and promoting a book is a marathon, not a sprint.”

—Katrina Shawver, author of HENRY: A Polish Swimmer’s True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America

 

 

Here’s our gift to you.

GET YOUR FREE EBOOK

Pocket Guide to Publishing: 100 Things Authors Should Know

“A clever and candid look under the hood of today’s publishing vehicle.” —Shari Stauch, CEO and creator of Where Writers Win “I wish Pocket Guide had been available when I started out.” —Betsy Ashton, author of The Mad Max Mysteries, president of the Virginia Writers Club “A real no nonsense guide for authors that cuts to the chase about publishing.” —William Hazelgrove, bestselling author of The Pitcher and twelve other books Ooh, I need this!