Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

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Posts Tagged ‘book marketing’

Market Mondays: part 3 of 3 on author blogging tips from John Kremer

Posted by Lisa Lickel on January 23, 2012



For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing tips from Marketing Mentor John Kremer. Please visit his web site and sign up for his awesome tips. He’s one of the nice guys who really wants to help us. These tips are taken from some of his free articles.

This post originally appeared June 26, 2011 and has been updated. (These tips came in as a fresh set of numbers, but are really 67, etc. on his list.)


  1. Share any video that inspires you, even if it is off-topic. Here’s recent blog post I wrote that featured an up-and-coming viral video: Watch the video. You’ll be glad you did.
  2. Create a video channel playlist and embed it on your blog. There are many tools to do this. Here’s one example:
  3. Share a song you really like. Link to a music video on YouTube or a link to a music site where people can buy the song. Minutes after Susan Boyle’s video went viral on YouTube, I shared a link because I found her signing and story so inspirational.
  4. Share a photo you really like. Something like this wonderful library desk made of books:
  5. Feature an excerpt from a magazine article you liked. For instance, see Books add warmth to any room (from Allure magazine):
  6. Offer a freebie for download. I offered a collection of quotations in the form of an ebook:
  7. Cross-pollinate. If you have more than one blog, feature blog posts from your other blogs. Besides this blog, I also blog at,,,,, and
  8. Index your blog and post a link to the index. See my index at
  9. Share content from a book, like this great first line from a novel: Or these great first lines:
  10. Share a great line from a TV show or movie. The TV show or movie should be current and hot, a classic, or right on target for your topic. Or simply funny. Funny goes viral.
  11. Share a joke. Jokes go viral. Even better if the joke ties into your topic or novel.
  12. Create a bibliography for your genre or topic. Feature the best books you recommend.
  13. Create a glossary for your genre or topic. Define some of the key terms for romance novels, for science fiction, for rabbit hunting, for crocheting, for what you write about.
  14. Share a fact. Give your readers some tidbit they likely don’t know about your topic. This can be a short blog, something like this: Did you know that 1200 years ago there were probably 12 million kiwis in New Zealand. Today there are only 70,000.
  15. Promote your news. Let your readers know about your new books, new products, new updates.
  16. Blog about new pages you’ve added to your website. Or new websites you’ve created. Here’s the blog post I created to promote the launch of my website:
  17. Congratulate someone. Give them a thumbs up when they publish a new book, launch a new product, do some great service for humanity, have a new baby, get married. You don’t have to tie it into your book or topic.
  18. Thank someone publicly. When someone does something especially nice for you, thank them in public via your blog.
  19. Make a prediction. Here’s something I tweeted over a year ago that still hasn’t really come true. Alas. – You heard it here first: The economy has begun to turn the corner. People are beginning to trust themselves again. Good times coming again.
  20. Raise money for a charity. Offer to donate to a specific charity for every book sold during a specific week or month. Promote this via your blog, tweets, Facebook posts, etc.
  21. Ask a provocative question. Encourage people to share their answers in the comments section for that post. Joel Comm once tweeted this question: What would you do if you discovered $100,000 hidden away in your basement? He got 3.5 pages of replies in less than an hour.
  22. Solicit help. When Jeff Rivera was fighting gay prejudice in Costa Rica, he asked his Facebook followers and others to write emails to a list of government leaders and thought leaders in Costa Rica. It helped.
  23. Celebrate milestones. Blog about your company anniversary, the two-year anniversary of the publication of your book, the 700th post on your blog (coming soon right here).
  24. Announce awards and honors. If you receive any awards for your book or honors for yourself, blog about them. Link, of course, to the site of the award giver as well.
  25. Excerpt your book. Run a series of excerpts from your book. They can be short paragraphs, tips, entire chapters, a story, whatever you want to share.
  26. Ask for feedback on your blog and blog posts. Ask for feedback on your website design.
  27. Share personal stories. I tweeted and posted on Facebook when I had a heart attack scare a week ago. Not only did it personalize me for my followers and fans, but it encourage me when I received so many good wishes.
  28. Have your dog or cat write a blog post. Chances are, of course, that you’ll have to write the post, but do it in the voice of your pet.
  29. Invite family to blog. Ask your wife, husband, child, mother, father, or favorite aunt to write a guest blog post. The post can be about you, your book, your website, or whatever they want to write about.
  30. Invite your friend or neighbor to write a guest blog post. Again, the post can be about you, your book, your website, or whatever they want to write about.
  31. Create a scavenger hunt. Ask your readers to find a specific blog post where you wrote about xyz. Or have them find three specific passages in your book. Or three webpages on your website. This scavenger hunt can be a great tool to encourage people to explore your book, blog, or website in greater depth.
  32. Solicit money. If you need to raise funds for the reprinting of your book or to produce a book trailer, create a project and promote it through your blog. Better yet, have your child create the project and let them write about it on your blog. Children can be very effective promoters of their parent’s work. And cute.
  33. Recruit joint venture partners. When you are working on an Amazon Bestseller Campaign or a BookTourPalooza blog tour, solicit partners via your blog. Write about what you propose to do, and ask your readers if they want to help. You can do solicit JV partners for any promotion campaign.
  34. Create a holiday. Anyone can create a new holiday, commemorative week or month, special day of recognition, or related date. You can check out where I feature over 18,500 such special events. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Memorial Day were all days created by individuals or organizations. Take Your Daughter to Work Day was created by the National Organization of Women. What day could you create to promote your book or the topic of your book?
  35. Ask for contributions to a new book. I did that for my 4-Minute Momentum series of books (still working on them). Here are some sample 6-word memoirs from the book Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak. I bet the authors solicited many of these memoirs via their blog or social networks. – Married by Elvis, divorced by Friday. It’s like my heart has sciatica. It’s worth it, despite your mother. She defines happiness, I defy gravity.
  36. Share a mistake. Admit it when you make a mistake. It makes you human. Humans are more fun to read.
  37. Create a meme. That’s what Tim Ferriss did in creating his Here are a few memes being created on Twitter: Let’s go all the way tonight, no regrets, just spuds… #replacelovewithspud – Come for the funeral, stay for the all meat buffet. #funeralhomeslogans – #mysuperpowerwouldbe Teleportation! NO MORE TRAFFIC! NO MORE WAITING AT THE AIRPORT!
  38. Invent a new word, and blog about it. Something like the two words I recently created: booktourpalooza and blogtourpalooza (with accompanying websites soon to come).
  39. Use Google to find more ideas. Follow the advice here:
  40. Make a list – like this one. People love lists. And they love to pass them on. Please tweet about this list. And come back to visit again. I’ll be adding more ideas as you pass on your great ideas – and as I come up with more of my own.

People care about novelists and book authors. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be professorial. You don’t have to be journalistic. Tell the truth. Keep it simple. Cut a vein and let it bleed on the screen. As noted in this update to the original post, this list can also be used by nonfiction writers. I focused on fiction because fiction writers often ask what they should blog about. Or what they should write articles about. Or what they should do for press releases. The above ideas, obviously, can be used for more than blogging: article syndication, press releases, new products, newsletter articles, videos, Facebook fan pages, tweets, website content, and much more.

The last two weeks in January: Facebook tips.

Posted in Author Marketing, Authors, Encouragment | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Market Mondays: part 3 of 3 on author blogging tips from John Kremer

Market Mondays: part 2 of 3 on how authors can blog effectively with John Kremer

Posted by Lisa Lickel on January 16, 2012

For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing tips from Marketing Mentor John Kremer. Please visit his web site and sign up for his awesome tips. He’s one of the nice guys who really wants to help us. These tips are taken from some of his free articles.

This post originally appeared June 26, 2011 and has been updated. (These tips came in as a fresh set of numbers, but are really 34-66 on his list.)

101 Ways to Blog as a Book Author – Updated

  1. Survey your readers’ opinions on any key issue in your books. You could do a number of posts. Announce the surveys. Then promote the surveys. Then announce the results. That’s worth at least three blog posts, probably more.
  2. Run a contest. Ask people to name their favorite character and describe why they like the character. For nonfiction books, ask readers to describe the most important tip they learned from your book. Offer a free book, sample chapter from your new novel or book, a phone call from you, or something else as a prize.
  3. Feature your reader comments in upcoming blog posts.
  4. Have your readers interview you. Encourage them to send in a series of questions you will answer.
  5. Ask your readers to pick which character in your novel is most like them. For nonfiction books, ask your readers to tell you which story you told most touched them.
  6. Tell your readers which character in your novel is most like you. For nonfiction authors, let them know which story has most meaning to you – and why.
  7. Interview book reviewers.
  8. Interview bloggers.
  9. Interview booksellers.
  10. Interview a celebrity in your field.
  11. Interview a major celebrity that has a passion for your field. For example, interview a movie star that loves dogs or is a vegetarian or fights for the preservation of the ocean. In this example, the celebrity should be passionate for the topic you write about.
  12. Feature your favorite bookstores (with photos). Describe why you love them.
  13. Interview your favorite novelists or book authors.
  14. Write a ditty. Write a poem. Share a short story.
  15. Expose your inner being. Share your feelings.
  16. Let readers know about your day.
  17. Post photos or videos of your favorite novelists and other book authors. Write a little introduction.
  18. Join in the Amazon Bestseller Campaigns of your fellow authors. Promote these campaigns via your blog
  19. Join in the blog tours of your fellow authors. Promote these blog tours via your blog.
  20. Have a reader interview one of your characters with you responding as the character. For nonfiction authors, have readers send in a list of questions for an expert to answer. Ask the expert to respond via your blog. Here is an example of a blogger interviewing a character in a novel:
  21. Report about the launch parties and other promotional activities of your fellow authors.
  22. Have readers vote for variations of your book covers and/or book titles.
  23. Write guest posts on other blogs. It’s a great way to exchange blog posts with other authors. Plus, of course, it exposes you, your book, and your blog to other readers.
  24. Post photos of your readers and fans. Feature them reading your book.
  25. Run a promotion asking readers to send you photos of them reading your book in unusual places: foreign locations, mountaintops, in the water, at the dining room table, in a restaurant, while standing in line for the latest version of the iPhone, while dancing a jig, at a location featured in your novel or book, up a tree, down a sewer, at the zoo (perhaps with a monkey reading your book, in a bookstore.
  26. Feature photos of yourself with your book in the same locations. Have fun with it. Make it a game for yourself.
  27. Feature tweets and Facebook posts where others write about your book or you.
  28. Create a controversy. Comment on a news story, blog post, current event, historical event, website, or tweet. Say something outrageous and let ‘er rip.
  29. Write about a service you used in writing or promoting your book. Tell your readers why you liked or did not like the service.
  30. Share a quote you like. For example, see
  31. Share your tweets or Facebook posts. At least several times a month, I feature some of my most important or useful tweets with the readers of my blog. For example, see
  32. Write a how-to post. For novelists, tell people how to cook a dish featured in your novel, or how to sew a corset, or how to sail the seven seas, or how to spot a vampire (something, obviously related to your novel). For nonfiction authors, feature tips or how-to advice related to your book.
  33. Create videos. Post them to YouTube and then embed them in a blog post. Check out this video I created on advertisements in ebooks:

Next week: Part 3 of 3.

Posted in Author Marketing, Authors, Encouragment | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Market Mondays: part 2 of 3 on how authors can blog effectively with John Kremer

Market Mondays: More tips on how to influence readers

Posted by Lisa Lickel on December 26, 2011

For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing tips from Marketing Mentor John Kremer. Please visit his web site and sign up for his awesome tips. He’s one of the nice guys who really wants to help us. These tips are taken from some of his free articles.

The following will fit handily into the “BOOK INFLUENCER” category. ~Lisa

The second half of 36 Ways to Help a Book Author You Love

19. Form a mastermind group. Create a group of five or so knowledgeable people who can help your friend with the writing, publishing, or marketing of his or her book. You can meet regularly (at least once a month) live, via phone calls, or via online webinars.

20. Write a testimonial. Or write an introduction to the book. Blurb it (give a great selling quote that can go on the back cover of the book).

21. Social network for your friend. Tweet about your friend’s book. Retweet his tweets. Engage in a conversation with her on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Write comments on your friend’s blog. Interaction and activity increase any person’s visibility on the Internet and the search engines.

22. Champion your friend’s book. When you visit bookstores, make sure they have your friend’s book in stock. If they do, then put the book face out on the bookshelf.

23. Seed your friend’s book. If you can afford to buy a few extra copies, start leaving them around town. Leave a copy on the bus. Donate a copy to the library. Leave a copy in a waiting room. Every additional book out in the world helps to generate exposure for your friend’s book while also increasing the word-of-mouth about the book.

24. Host your friend. If your friend wants to do a book tour and you live in a city he wants to visit, offer to put him up at your home. Drive her around town to her media appearances and book events. Pick him up at the airport. Take him back afterwards. Do whatever you can to make their book tour in your town the best ever. You can, of course, also help her set up a tour in your town, with media interviews and author events.

25. Recommend your friend’s book to your reading group. If you belong to a reading group, suggest your friend’s book as part of your reading program. Or at least tell your reading group about the book.

26. Sell their books at your events. If you speak, do seminars, or display at trade shows or fairs, offer to sell your friend’s book along with your book, crafts, tapes, or whatever you sell.

27. Reciprocal link. Set up links from your websites to your friend’s book or author website. Better yet, create a special page recommending your friend’s book or speeches and then link to his or her website.

28. Interview them. If you host an Internet radio show, podcast, or teleseminar series, interview your friend.

29. Create other products. Help your author friend generate other products to sell. Interview them for a CD or DVD product. Create a joint webinar. Compile a collection of articles written by your friend and other friends.

30. Add their blog to your blogroll. If you write a blog, add your friend’s blog to your blogroll. It’s a simple thing to do, but another link is added notice to the search engines that the writer’s blog is important.

31. Blog about your friend or her book. Post an article about the book, a review of the book, etc.

32. Interview your friend on your blog. An author interview is one of the best ways to introduce a new book author to a wider audience – even if your blog has a small audience. Every added audience provides impetus to growing awareness of the author’s website, book, and brand.

33. Host a blog tour visit from your friend. Volunteer to me one of the host blogs on your friend’s Mega Blog Tour.

34. Share their book in the literary social media such as Goodreads, Shelfari, and LibraryThing.

35. Help out on Amazon is the big kahuna of book sellers, especially when it comes to ebooks, so helping an author get found on there can give them a big boost.

You can certainly do these things on other bookstore sites as well (nothing against copying and pasting a review, for example), but Amazon tends to have more cool features to help an author get found.

Here’s the list (any one of these things can help):

  • Write a review on Amazon, even if the book already has quite a few and/or you’ve reviewed it elsewhere. There’s evidence that ratings and reviews factor into the Amazon algorithms that decide which books are promoted on the site (i.e. certain books are recommended to customers who bought books in similar genres). If reviewing isn’t your bag, don’t worry about writing paragraphs-long in-depth studies of the book; maybe you could just pen a few sentences with a couple of specifics about why you liked the book.
  • Tag the book with genre-appropriate labels (i.e. thriller, steampunk, paranormal romance). You don’t have to leave a review to do this; you just need an account at Amazon. A combination of the right tags and a good sales ranking can make a book come up when customers search for that type of story on Amazon.
  • Give the book a thumbs up. This takes less than a second and probably doesn’t do much, but it may play into Amazon’s algorithms to a lesser extent than reviews/ratings.
  • Make a Listmania List and add your favorite authors’ books to it. This creates another avenue  for new readers to find books. It’s better to create lists around similar types of books (i.e. genres or sub-genres) than to do a smorgasbord, and consider titling it something description so folks will be more inclined to check it out, ie. “Fun heroic fantasy ebooks for $5 or less.”
  • If you have a Kindle, highlight and share some wise or fun quotations from the boo. If  enough people share their highlights, they’ll show up at the bottom of a book’s page.

The above suggestions are excerpted from an original blog post by Lindsay Buroker.

36. Buy your friend a copy of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Okay, this is a little selfish on my part, but your friend will love the gift and gain incredible value from reading the book and acting on all the ideas in the book.

You can order the book at or via this website.


Starting in January through February: 31 ways to use your Facebook page and 101 ways to blog.:)

Posted in Author Marketing, Life Experiences | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Market Mondays: More tips on how to influence readers

Market Mondays: Sharing tips from guru John Kremer

Posted by Lisa Lickel on December 19, 2011

For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing tips from Marketing Mentor John Kremer. Please visit his web site and sign up for his awesome tips. He’s one of the nice guys who really wants to help us. These tips are taken from some of his free articles.

The following will fit handily into the “BOOK INFLUENCER” category. ~Lisa

The first half of 36 Ways to Help a Book Author You Love

Eileen Flanagan, author of The Wisdom to Know the Difference, wrote a blog post about a year ago telling friends of book authors how they could help the author sell more books. You can read her blog post here:

I thought I’d include some of the highlights of her help list, add my own comments, and provide many more ways that friends can help book authors to sell more books. ~John Kremer

If you have a friend who is a book author, please use these suggestions to help them out. If you are a book author, please share this page with your friends (so they can help you out).

1. Buy your friend’s book. Encourage other friends to buy the book. Go to your local library or bookstore and encourage them to buy the book. Buy books as gifts.

2. Don’t put off buying the book. Don’t wait for the holidays to buy the book as a gift. First, the sooner you buy, the more confidence you’ll inspire in your friend. Second, media and other decision makers pick up on a book based on the momentum the book inspires. The more sales at the beginning of the book’s life, the more attention it will get from key decision makers, the media, and consumers.

3. Where should you buy the book? First choice: the indie bookstore nearest you (that will help your friend get her book into that store on a regular basis). Second choice: a chain bookstore like Borders or Barnes & Noble (if they start selling the book locally, they might buy books for more stores in the chain). Third choice: the author’s website (the author makes the most money when selling direct). Fourth choice: buy direct from the author. Fifth choice: Buy from (preferably from the link on the author’s website).

4. Recommend your friend’s book. If you like the book, recommend it to friends. Blog about it. Tweet a review or mention. Share a note on Facebook. Recommend the book to your book group. Review her book on,, GoodReads, Library Thing, and other reader social networks.

5. Tell your friend what you like about the book. Provide your friend with support by telling him something you like about his book. Was it a good read? Did it move you to tears or laughter? Did you learn something new?

6. Help your friend get speaking engagements. If your friend is comfortable speaking, recommend your friend to your Rotary Club, Jaycees, church, Friends of the Library, bookseller, garden club, school, etc.

7. Recommend your friend’s website. Link to it from your website, blog, Facebook page, etc. Tweet about it. When your friend writes a blog post, link to it. If your friend tweets something great, retweet it. Feature a quote from your friend’s book on your website. Or tweet the quote.

8. Create a Wikipedia page for your friend. While authors can’t create their own Wikipedia page, other people can. Every book author deserves a Wikipedia page, since a published book grants the author at least a modicum of fame. On the Wikipedia page, feature a short bio, a bibliography, a link to the author’s website.

9. Help your friend with the media. If you know of any newspaper editors or reporters, magazine editors, radio producers or hosts, TV show hosts or producers, columnists, bloggers, etc., send them a copy of the book or a note about the author. Or tell your friend about your connection, and introduce her to your contacts.

10. Pray. Prayer always helps. Pray for your friend and his book. If you’re not into prayer, ask your favorite tree to help.

11. Ask. Ask your friend how you can help her. You may have some talent, connection, specialized knowledge, etc. that might be just the thing she needs. Or they might just need some of your time to help pack and ship some books or make a few phone calls.

12. Do a video review of the book and post it on YouTube and other video sharing websites.

13. Help your friend make some videos for the book. Every author needs a cameraperson, a scriptwriter, a producer. Again, share on YouTube and other video sharing websites.

14. Look for specialty retailers. As you drive around your own hometown or a nearby larger city, keep on the lookout for specialty retailers that might be interested in selling your friend’s books. Cookbooks in gourmet shows, do-it-yourself books in hardware stores, children’s books in toy stores, art or history books at museum shops. Make the contacts yourself or pass them on to your friend to follow up.

15. Look for other sales venues. If your friend’s book is about retirement, check out accountants, tax lawyers, etc. who might be interested in buying copies to give to their clients. Health books, children’s books, and cookbooks might interest doctor and dentist offices. Health clubs might be interested in exercise or diet books. Again, make the contacts yourself or pass them on to your friend to follow up.

16. Suggest catalogs, associations, and other special sales opportunities. If you receive mail order catalogs that feature books like your friend’s book, tell her abour the catalog. The same with associations, groups, corporations, etc. that might be interested in buying bulk copies of your friend’s book.

17. Help them sell rights. If your friend’s novel would make a great movie and you have a connection to an A-list actor or producer who might be interested in making the movie, introduce your friend to your connection. The same with TV producers, audio publishers, agents, etc.

18. Be a mentor. Provide feedback on your friend’s marketing ideas, book proposals, news releases, book covers, etc. Share your experience, if you have any, on marketing, writing, publishing, printing, design, etc.


Come back next week for the other half of the list.

Posted in Author Marketing, Encouragment, Friendship | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Market Mondays: Sharing tips from guru John Kremer

More on Marketing

Posted by Lisa Lickel on October 5, 2010

I am born anew. Really! So many ways….we hooked up to broadband yesterday. I feel like the Engergizer Bunny! How much can I get done in a hour? I don’t know what to do with myself. I might have to start writing again on my long-forgotten mystery. It’ll be like a whole new book.

Before I say anything else, I have to give a huge shout of glory, thanks and the biggest cyber-hug ever to Karin Beery. I asked a favor of her that was so brash, so self-serving, so huge that I am ashamed of myself. I’m embarrassed to even mention it. I was nervous to ask…but I did it anyway. I asked to carry one of my books around with her at the ACFW conference. And beautiful lady that she is, she didn’t even hesitate before agreeing. She let me know today how it went, and I have to give her the public thanks she deserves.

And that’s a strange marketing tip I came up all by myself. Even before Mr. Rubart agreed to come on the show.

As part of my new Internet upgrade, I went back a few days and listened to a Terry Whalin webinar with marketing pro Raleigh R Pinskey. I’m not going to repeat everything she said, but I am going to paraphrase her ten talking points for you about book promotion strategy.

Why do book promotions fail? Here are Raleigh’s ten reasons.

1. We authors think tooting our own horn is wrong. (guilty!)

2. We think that just because we write a book it’ll sell itself. (uh huh)

3. We don’t set up a good marketing plan and budget.

4. We wait for the release before we begin to promote (she even said that authors should begin promotion before we write the book. hmmm….maybe on facebook)

5. The cover, the title and the chapter headings are not promotion-friendly.

6. We have not a clue how much work is involved in promotion, even if we pay a publicist.

7. We don’t know how book stores work.

8. Authors don’t do effective media outreach and follow up. (gulp! follow up?)

9. We don’t learn how to or use the Internet effectively in promotion. (learning)

10. We give up too soon.

S0–in a nutshell, no matter who you are, if you want to succeed in the business, you have to learn to put on your promotion hat.

Recommended resources:

Terry Burns’s new book (from Port Yonder Press and slightly edited by moi), A Writer’s Survival Guide to Getting Published

Carolyn Howard Johnson, The Frugal Book Promoter

Raleigh R Pinskey, 101 Ways to Promote Yourself

Posted in Authors, Book Reviews, Encouragment, Life Experiences, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Best selling author Jim Rubart talks about Rooms

Posted by Lisa Lickel on October 4, 2010

Welcome, Jim Rubart, author of Rooms, the best seller that’s taking the CBA by storm. Jim is a marketing professional, speaker, family man, and outdoor enthusiast.

 The blurb for Rooms: A young Seattle software tycoon inherits a home on the Oregon coast that turns out to be a physical manifestation of his soul.

 Jim, what did you do before publication to give yourself the best platform from which to jump – or, what are the most essential five things authors need to do to prepare for launch?

 If Donald Maas is right, and eighty percent of a novel sales come from word of mouth, then a successful novel starts with a gripping premise. Given the description of my story people will either say, “Ooo, sounds intriguing,” or “Uh, too many Twilight Zone episodes as a kid, Jim?”

 In other words people will love this book or hate it. If you look at my Amazon reviews I have close to 100 five-star reviews and close to 90 one-star reviews. A small percentage are in the middle. Do I like the one-star reviews. No. (And most of them are from atheists who don’t like the God thing happening in the book.) But as marketer I realize that ROOMS has created a great deal of passion on both sides of the fence. This is good. As I tell my clients, “Love me, hate me, just don’t ignore me.”

 So the first step in developing a strong platform is to write a book people either can’t put down, or want to toss in the fire. Or put another way, time spent on developing your craft, coming up with a high concept story, and telling it in a compelling manner has more to do with sales (80%!) than anything else.

 The second step is to find people who will go to the wall for you. Friends who believe in you and are willing to promote your book to everyone they meet. People who pray for you, who encourage you, who brainstorm marketing ideas with you, who take it on as their personal cause to see you succeed.

 The third step is to affect the 20% of sales (advertising and PR) to as great a degree as you can. This can be paid ads, radio and TV interviews, blogs (yes, there might be some people that pick up ROOMS because of your posting this, Lisa. Thank you!). And one size doesn’t fit all. If you’re great on the radio, then do all the interviews you can. If you’re boring on-air, radio and TV will hurt sales, not improve them. Find out what you’re good at and concentrate on that.

 Fourth and fifth: Pray. A lot.

 How much of the success of Rooms is due to your know-how in your profession of marketing, having a top agent, being published by a well-known company, and/or having that company putting out for you?

 Great question with no definitive answer. All of the above? It’s such a combination of things. It’s timing, it’s the story, it’s getting on the right radio show, it’s having a publishing house that believes in you and your book. It’s God’s favor, it’s having your tribe promote you to all their friends, it’s visiting book stores and getting the people in the store to like you, and a million other things.

 One other thing to keep in mind: You need to market to more than readers. Before a book can get in a consumer’s hands you have to sell an agent, then an editor, then the pub board, then your publisher’s sales team, then the buyer at the store level, THEN the consumer. We don’t have time now to discuss specifics on how to do the above, but every step is essential.

 Please share your top five marketing tips with our readers. 

  1. Don’t be boring. Be fascinating. I’m serious. Most authors spend years perfecting their craft, learning from editors, agents, critique partners on how to be stellar at writing. But they spend little time on learning how to present themselves, brand themselves, etc. It’s why authors hire me. I teach them how to be interesting. If you are intrigued by someone’s personality it’s more likely you’ll pick up a copy of their book.
  2. Learn marketing. I know, you’re a writer, not a marketer. But it’s not an option any more. Understanding the basic principles of marketing are essential to establishing a brand in today’s one million books a year market.
  3. Use the power of Social Media and the Web. But don’t just become friends with other authors. That helps, but reach out beyond the writing world. For example, I had a client who wrote a coming of age baseball novel. We did two minutes of research and found a Web site that specific to Little League. They have a newsletter (which are always hungry for great content). I suggested he write an article (on spec) that would run in their newsletter and of course he gets by-line that talks about his novel. He should facebook baseball communities, not just his author buds.
  4. Talk to everyone. Remember, Word of Mouth is power. Whenever a stranger asks me, “How are you doing?” I respond, “Well, the biggest dream of my life came true.” Everyone says, “What’s that?” I tell them my novel ROOMS hit the bestseller list. They smile, congratulate me, ask me what it’s about, I hand them a card and within minutes I have a potential new reader. And it costs nothing.
  5. Pray. Pray a lot.

 Where do you go from here?

 My second novel, BOOK OF DAYS, releases in January. My third, THE CHAIR, hits shelves in November of 2011, and BACKSPACE will be launched in July of 2012.

 In between I’ll continue to work with authors and publishers with their marketing.

Thank you for your time and wisdom, Jim.

 Thanks so much for having me, Lisa!

Here are the blursb for Book of Days and for The Chair:


“…  in Your book all my days were recorded, even those which were purposed before they had come into being.”  Psalm 139:16

Young Cameron Vaux’s mind is slipping. Memories of his wife, killed two years earlier in a car accident, are vanishing just as his dad predicted they would. Memories he knows he has to remember.

His dad claimed Cameron’s only hope was to find God’s book of days–described in Psalm 139, that records the past, present, and future of every soul on earth.

Cameron follows a lead to Three Peaks, Oregon, where New Age guru Jason Judah is the only one talking, but Cameron’s gut says stay away.

If only he could crack enigmatic ex-newspaper man, Taylor Stone, who Cameron is convinced knows all about the book’s deep secrets.

When Ann Bannister, hotshot host of the TV show Adventure Northwest, arrives in town Cameron wants nothing to do with her.

But while she believes the book is as likely to be found as Bigfoot, she ends up becoming his strongest ally in his quest to restore his memories, and discover if the Book of Days exists on earth.   

BOOK OF DAYS will release in January 2011 from B&H Fiction.


When an elderly lady shows up in Lee Roscoe’s antique furniture store claiming to have a chair made by Jesus Christ, he laughs her off. But after she delivers an ancient looking chair made of olive wood three days later—with a cryptic message attached to it—he begins to wonder.

Lee’s world shatters as he searches for the truth about the artifact, and the unexplained phenomena that seems to come from it. And he’s not the only one who will do almost anything to possess the power that appears to surround the chair.

THE CHAIR will be published in October 2011 from B&H Fiction.

Posted in Authors, Encouragment, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Writing | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Promotion Monday – John 3:16 Marketing

Posted by Lisa Lickel on September 20, 2010

It’s my joy to introduce Lorilyn Roberts, a lovely gal with a big dream – one we can all participate in! 


The John 3:16 Marketing Network is designed for Christian authors to get more exposure for their book launches. It is an exciting time to publish a new book. I have published two, and there is nothing more rewarding than to “see” our brand-new book in print, whether it’s the first time, the second, or the fifth. When we go to Amazon, Barnes, & Noble, and other book sites, we want to see our rankings validate the long hours we’ve put into writing our book.

As difficult and challenging as the writing process, marketing is even harder. The John 3:16 Network does exactly as the name implies:  It networks Christian authors so they can promote each others’ book launches on social networking sites, via email, and any other means possible.

(I can think of any number of possibilities-how about an ap for iphones for new books).

To motivate people to buy on the launch date, usually a 24-hour period, we encourage authors to provide a landing page where upon purchasing a book from the designated website, the buyer can receive free e-gifts. The gifts can be e-books, audio books, webcasts, podcasts, articles-anything that has value and that a person would want to receive and probably would not be able to receive “free” in any other way.

My hope is to encourage all Christian authors, whether published traditionally, POD. or self-published, to help one another through announcing upcoming books on launch dates. The volume of books bought at one time drives up sales rankings. These rankings get posted in categories and subcategories on websites, increasing exposure of the book. I hope someday to see many Christian books on the best-seller lists for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the New York Times.

The John 3:16 Marketing Network is free to anyone who joins. The only requirements are you believe in John 3:16 and have a website or blog. For more information, visit Please check us out and spread the word. We are now on Facebook, have a blog, private forum, and Youtube channel. The more writers who are involved, the more impact we can have on the world with Christian literature.

I have also found since I started the John 3:16 Marketing Network, I have “met” many wonderful Christian authors whom I would not have known otherwise, and those friendships and relationships are priceless. You never know who will end up where down the road, and if love is the motivating factor, I believe we can become a dynamic force and new model for Christian publishing.

Lorilyn Roberts, Author

Children of Dreams
The Donkey and the King
To connect with Lorilyn by phone, please send her a message.
“writing to inspire”
Media Professional
     –    Broadcast Captioner
     –    Register Merit Reporter
     –    Certified Realtime Reporter

Posted in Authors, Book Reviews, Encouragment, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Writing | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »


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