The Author’s Guide To Marketing: Make A Plan That Attracts More Readers And Sells More Books (You May Even Enjoy It), by Beth Jusino
This book is aimed at serious writers who either are committed to getting their books published conventionally or (even more likely) are looking to self-publish. While striving to avoid insults based on which decisions for publishing that one makes, the author assumes that the writer in mind has careerist ambitions and likely a substantial amount of money to use for marketing efforts. Her advice is not aimed at the casual or occasional writer, but rather the one who wants to make a big difference and has it in mind to sell at least thousands of books. I am not sure if the author succeeds in her ambition of having the reader enjoy marketing, but one thing she does particularly well is to demonstrate that marketing must be authentic and that it must be across several channels based on what one can afford, what one is comfortable with, and the intended audience or genre of the work. One markets a book about the apostolic fathers a lot differently than the way one markets a romance novel, for example.
As far as books go, this one is short and to the point. At less than 150 pages of material, the book is divided into three parts and eleven chapters. The author begins with a discussion of the author and their goals and struggles to publish and market books so that one can make some money off of them. After this the author has written four chapters in part one where she, in her own words, uses the metaphor of diving in the pool to discuss author-driven marketing efforts (I), including the question of the size of one’s intended audience (2), how ready one is to deal with the sharks of fierce reviewers and the struggle to be noticed (positively) in the marketplace (3), the need to develop a platform long before one tries to market a book (4), and choosing one’s style and means of marketing based on what one is comfortable with (5). The next four chapters use a familiar acronym to discuss book marketing (II), including helping the book to market itself (6), attracting readers (7), converting sales (8), and transforming readers into assistants in book marketing through reviews (9). The final two chapters of the book help writers put all of the previous advice together (III) through developing a personal marketing plan (10) and giving some final questions and answers to help with the process (11) after which the author discusses suggestions for further reading, gives some information about herself, and includes some acknowledgements.
In some ways I found this book to be very practical, but admittedly the book was probably not as enjoyable as the author thinks it is. While the author gives some very good reasons as to why it is so difficult to find a book agent–and in all of my years of writing, I have never come across anyone in that profession–she does not give tips to how one may better find one. Rather, the author’s attention is focused on making the author do as much work as possible–and to encourage the author to spend hundreds of dollars on editing the work as well as possibly thousands to market it. The book is certainly realistic, in other words, and suggested ways to further bog down reviewers of books with one’s prized personal manuscripts so as to achieve word of mouth advertising through readers, but it is practical only if one is a self-published author who has saved some money to spend on marketing efforts or who is willing to make content as a blogger or vlogger in order to develop a loyal reading audience. And if you are already doing those things, you may not need a work like this one to begin with, except to convince you to do more and not put all your marketing eggs in one effort at blasting advertisements on Twitter or Facebook.