Even the best books may never make it to bookstore shelves, and if they do, they may never sell more than a few thousand copies. The reason has nothing to do with the size of the publisher or content of the book. The culprit is strategic marketing or lack thereof.
Bona fide book marketing maverick and certified Georgia teacher, Danny Kofke, author of “How to Survive on a Teacher’s Salary,” shares his insight on how to successfully market your book. Kofke has appeared on most every major network and cable news show, along with USA Today, since the release of his book. He’ll explain what no longer works, what is working and what could work if you think like your target market.
Which of the publisher’s marketing efforts has been most effective?
I really don’t know what my first publisher has done to help me with this. I think they got me a book signing or two, but that was it. All of the print, TV and radio exposure I received was through my own work. I have a different publisher for my second book coming out this fall. They have already helped me create a Facebook page and sent me various people to reach out to. I think I have realized that unless I am a celebrity or have my own TV show, I will have to do most of the marketing myself and not depend on my publisher to do it for me.
Beyond the publisher’s efforts, what are some strategies that have worked best for you in marketing your book?
I try and time my message with a topic that is in the news and pitch this to producers. I have started to see things through a producer’s eyes and realized that they are not going to have me on their show to just talk about my book. I need to offer them information that will either entertain and/or help their viewers/listeners. Once I realized this, I began pitching on what I could provide for their audience. For example, there was a recent study that showed that 50% of Americans could not come up with $2,000 in 30 days. I used this in my pitch and gave information on how I could help people come up with this money – even on a small salary.
What should authors spend much of their time doing to make their books successful?
I would focus on your niche audience. I have received some positive media exposure, but the best way to almost guarantee sales is to reach out to a group of people who are most likely to buy your book. With my book (and being a teacher), I have been invited to present to various school districts to discuss living well on a teacher’s salary. After my presentation, I have my book for sale. This is a good way to sell books. After listening to me present, many people are eager to learn more and, thus, buy my book. You may not sell hundreds of copies at a time, but if you do this enough, you can do better than most authors.
Here is his interview on CNN’s Newsroom: