When considering how to publish your book and the pluses and minuses of various approaches, be sure to plan for how you will promote your book. Yes, how you will promote it. Naive authors don't realize that publishers expect authors to promote and sell their book. If you run into a Web site or self-publishing organization that says it handles promotion, be extremely skeptical before you spend a lot of money for very little return.

            Because of movies and other fantasies, many authors believe that promotion of their book – leading to big sales and lots of money – somehow comes from the publisher. That is not how publishing works. Authors think the publisher will set up bookstore signings that will translate into numerous sales; arrange promotional tours that will have people hungering to buy the book; schedule radio and TV programs where authors talk about their books. Books can be promoted in these ways—but it is the authors themselves who do so, for example by signing on with a publicist. But the effectiveness of these promotions is at best uncertain.

           Ronin has the best distribution that an author, especially a newbie, could hope to get. Ronin takes your book out of the backwater and puts into the world-wide mainstream, where any bookstore in the world can order your book and get it quickly.

Think about this: selling and promoting your book is really promoting you and your professional work.  Books that sell large numbers—which are often ghostwritten with celebrities’ names on them—do so because they have a built-in audience. For example, Fox News superstar, Bill O’Reilly had two books on the best-seller list—which he promoted every night on his TV show, viewed by millions of fans. O’Reilly had no trouble selling his books. If a well-known media figure’s name appears on a book, and that person promotes the book to his or her media audience, then a lot of fans will likely buy the book. But that applies to celebrities, not to authors in general.

            One big reason that publishers give advances to authors is to give the authors money that the authors will spend on promotion. A seasoned author who has produced several books might receive an advance as large as $10,000—which the publisher expects will all be spent on promotion.  But $10,000 barely makes a dent in today’s media environment, where there are so many communication channels, all with different requirements, and so many people out there trying to get other people to pay attention to their message.

            Ask yourself: how many non-celebrity authors’ books have you heard about and become interested in during the last week? The last month? The last year?  There is far too much clutter for most books and most authors to pierce.

            So, you may be thinking, why not just hire a publicist? As noted, some authors do, and there are plenty of publicists willing and ready to take your money. If you want to try self-promotion using a publicist, there are hundreds and hundreds from whom to choose. Here is a web site that may help you, with an alphabetical (and partial) list of publicists and information on what sorts of services each offers. Contact many of them to find out their rates and details of their services. None will “guarantee” book sales, although many of them will be able to get you some appearances in various media—notably Internet media and possibly local radio, a medium with a huge amount of air time to fill and an unending appetite for interview guests.

            Publishing with Ronin will not relieve you of the need to promote your book—as noted, all publishers expect the author to push the book. But Ronin has tools that will put you ahead of the game in promoting your work. If we co-publish your book, we will give you access to a series of promotional tools created by our distributor, which is  the leading book sales and distribution company in the United States—and a company that has more than 40 years of experience in book marketing and sales. These user-friendly tools, which you can easily learn to use, will help you cut through the clutter and get your message out to your audience. You will design the promotions yourself, and they will look professional, even elegant, thanks to these special, proprietary tools—to which no self-publisher can provide access.

            If you think you may have a Ronin Publishing book in one of our fields of specialization, contact us. We focus on self-help, medicine, life skills (with attitude), spirituality, psychedelia, and a “fringe series” of unusual and offbeat topics, such as ghost hunting and underground comics. Send a query for more information about co-publishing with Ronin.

PR Tips:

Get Your Book Included in Presentations and Classes
Program planners often have two budgets, one for the talent, that's you, and one for the materials, that's your book. Negotiate a good discount with your publisher, or if you are self-publishing, offer your book to the program planner to be given to ALL attendees at a good discount, like 40%, which is what bookstores get. Ideally, you want everyone who heard your presentation, to leave with your book in their hand. They will keep and treasure that book and speak of you often. Yet, if you don't "bundle" the book in the tuition, few, if any, will buy it from you.

When you are the Key Note Speaker
If you are invited to sell your book after your presentation, get someone from the sponsoring organization to handle the sales. Attendees will want to ask you questions and have you sign their book, which will be hard while taking money and credit cards. At end of your presentation mention that you have books with you should they want to buy and that you will donate 20% of sales to the sponsoring organization. This charitable offer often spurs enthusiastic sales.

Present yourself as an out-of-town expert when traveling on business
When traveling on business to a different area, especially if it is a distance from your home base, you can research the talk shows, especially "drive-time" shows during commutes.  Call the radio stations and ask the operator what talk shows they have. Get the producer's name if you can.  Then call back and ask for that person. If you get them live on the phone, and you probably won't, tell the producer or host that you are so-n-so expert from San Francisco or NYC or Paris, in town for XYZ and author of Great Book perhaps they might like to have you as a Guest. If you get their voice mail—most likely—leave a pitch with your contact info. You can also pitch the producer in email. There is a lot of competition but it is worth a shot and costs only your time and effort.

Give good discounts to your fans
Stop thinking of your book as something to make money with and start thinking of it as a fabulous "marketing piece" for your Key Notes and to build your brand, for which the prospect actually pays you to get!!!!!  So give good discounts to your fans. Make sure to sign your book in a personal way, then they will always keep and treasure it.


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