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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.


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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pocket Guides
    Our two pocket guides have been downloaded and read over 120,000 times by writers and authors. The POCKET GUIDE TO PUBLISHING was written by Executive Editor Joe Coccaro and Publisher John Koehler to give an overview of the publishing industry and to detail how Koehler Books works. The POCKET GUIDE TO BOOK MARKETING provides a concise overview of book marketing relative to things a publisher must do and things for an author to consider for their part.
  • 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. We may also recommend an Ebook sale on the pub date, or 4-6 months after the pub date.
  • 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 your book and for you as an author.
  • Ingram iPage 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.
  • Edelweiss
    Edelweiss is the book industry’s premier platform to sell, discover, and order new titles. Booksellers, librarians, and reviewers can:
    • Search the industry’s frontlist and backlist catalogs
    • Leverage the most complete title and sales data
    • Market titles and manage the sales process
    • Share and download Digital Review Copies
    • Network and share reviews with other book professionals
    Edelweiss is used by over 100,000 book professionals. Edelweiss is used by a select group of publishers including dozens of big names, like Amazon Publishing, DC Comics, Disney, Gryphon House, Hachette, Harlequin, Harper Collins, Harvard Education Press, Hay House, Kensington, McGraw-Hill, National Geographic, Pearson, Penguin, Prometheus, Random House, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Skyhorse, Time Inc, Tyndale, many university presses, W.W. Norton, Workman, and now Koehler Books.
  • Awards Assistance
    We will send 10 softcovers to the author if they send proof of signing up for a book awards program such as the awards list shown on our website here. Scroll to the bottom of the page.
  • Overdrive
    Overdrive allows libraries to review and purchase Ebooks and Audiobooks directly from the publisher. With over 30,000 libraries enrolled, Overdrive is a strong new way for Koehler Books to reach libraries without going through distributors.
  • Foreign & Audio Rights
    Koehler Books has contracted with the DropCap Rights Agency to sell and market foreign language publication rights as well as audio rights for its titles. Minneapolis-based DropCap has sold book rights in more than 180 languages over the past twenty-five years. It has relationships with more than 2,200 book rights buyers in 120 countries.
  • Movie and subsidiary rights and advice
    While we do not typically acquire movie and subsidiary rights, we may seek them if a title takes off and we get inquiries from production studios. If that is not possible, then we may provide details to the author or provide introductions to the agent. Getting a movie made from a book is a very slow and laborious process, so we advise authors to be patient and have very low expectations.

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.
  • 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.
    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 pay a professional to build it for you. To see examples go to Author Websites page.
  • 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. Your mission is to recruit people you are close to, who would be willing to help you launch your book, and who have some level of influence on social media with a good number of followers. You will ask them to be available to help you make tough decisions for instance about the cover. Also ask them to extend your social media reach by forwarding any links or posts you send them. Finally ask them to provide any other help they can to help you promote and launch your book.


    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 spokesmen and women for the book and the author.

  • 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 Teresa Inge, the moderator. Send her your  Facebook url (web address).
  • 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.
  • 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 – 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 think it’s really a win/win because you get great reviews written by other authors (so well written!) and you get to read some interesting books. You can choose whatever books you like to review. Yes, you have to buy them but they’re not expensive, ranging from 99c to $4.99, and remember that other people are also buying YOUR book to read and review!
    I have managed to gain now almost 50 reviews, and I’ve only been with them for just over a month.
    The other way to earn points is to invite other authors, which is why I’m inviting the Koehler authors to join. My signup code will get anybody who joins a 15% discount, here it is: https://pubby.co/?invite=24961
  • Publishers Weekly Reviews
    Publishers Weekly offers reviews (hard to get) and paid reviews (easy to get) to authors. Koehler Books may assist with non-paid reviews for work that we feel has a chance, as PW is very picky. Go here for PW reviews.
  • Publishers Weekly Ad Program
    Koehler Books will work with authors interested in a PW ad program that includes print and digital. We will create the ad and place it. Ad prices include: $1000 for a 1/6-page ad and boom box digital ad. $1300 for 1/3 vertical or square plus boombox. $1750 for 1/2 page vertical or horizontal plus boombox digital. $2995 for full page ad plus boombox digital. $5495 for 2-page spread plus boombox digital. Inquire with John Koehler for details.
  • 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.
  • Bargain Booksy is another online Ebook service similar to Bookbub and appears to be cheaper.
  • NetGalley
    Kristina Radke
    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 member 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.
  • 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.


    From author Karen Ruben: Below is a link to Amazon’s Author Advertising program. Some marketing gurus and book promoters have advised that this program, coupled with as many positive reviews as authors can get posted on Amazon (at launch), are the two most important elements to the overall success of the book. It’s at the author’s expense, based on cost per click and author sets the budget.
    From author Danielle Koehler: Yes, it works but it requires some time to set up because you have to be strategic about the titles you’re targeting and your cost per click.

    I would suggest authors could schedule this to start on launch day but not before, as I doubt it would work for preorders.
    Our author Bill Canady had success with Amazon’s ad program. His system and thoughts are found here.
  • 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


Here’s our gift to you.


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!