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Six Keys to Exposure That Spurs Sales

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When you want publicity but
you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a publicity campaign, targeted
creativity is your best strategy. Keeping this phrase front and center in your
mind yields results. At least, that’s what I have found over and over again
during my 18 months in publishing. Here are the tactics that help me get
publicity for my books:

 

1.
Pitch the niches.
Once you have
brainstormed a list of niche audiences who care about your topic or product,
aim for inclusion in their venues. For example, my children’s book <span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Look Who’s Moving to a New
Home
is especially relevant to real estate agents, escrow agents,
and loan officers, and it also appeals to parents who are concerned about
transitioning their children through relocation. These groups have company
newsletters, Web sites, and organized parenting networks that love to share new
information and resources.

 

2.
Barter for free advertising.
Offer
your book as a prize or giveaway in exchange for exposure. For my keepsake
books Look Who’s
Going to Be a Big Sister
and <span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>Look Who’s Going to Be a Big Brother
, I
contacted www.mybabyconnection.com
and was able to arrange a free 12-month listing and a month-long product
feature on its home page in exchange for providing the books as a prize in its
quarterly drawing. I had simply studied the Web site’s home page, seen other
giveaway promotions, and pitched the idea to the head honcho in a brief email.

 

Another idea is to pitch your book
to a local merchant as the centerpiece of an event. A local children’s boutique
in my hometown threw a Siblings-to-Be party, featuring a decorated work table
with art supplies, a clown, face painting, balloons, and treats on a Saturday
afternoon. The boutique advertised the event in the paper and with a mailing
mentioning me and my books, and asked me to bring two boxes of copies along in
case its inventory sold out. I delighted in helping people create their own Big
Sister and Big Brother albums on the big day, and at the end of the party, the
store bought another box full.

 

3.
Offer free display samples.
My <span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Big Sis
and <span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Big Bro
titles are in the waiting rooms of OB/GYN offices across the United States,
where second- and third-time expectant moms can peruse them while waiting to be
called in for their appointments. In some cases, I called OBs I know personally
and asked if they would display them. In other cases, my boutique customers
placed them locally in OBs’ offices with a sticker saying copies were available
at their stores.

 

As a result, I get many retail
sales at my site, and I also got offers to include a flyer about my keepsake
albums in Mom Packets given out by OB/GYN practices-free advertising to my
specific target audience!

 

4. Be
available as a speaker.
I have been
invited to many Realtor staff meetings to do a short presentation on my
relocation book for children. I also attend the Saturday morning sibling
classes at our local hospital, interacting with siblings-to-be and their
parents. These opportunities come from positioning myself as a resource to
professionals and their clients. Because I’m a phone person, I do my research
and then call whoever makes the decisions to give my elevator speech. If people
want more information after they’ve looked at my Web site, I always offer to
send a sample copy. And since many of my customers are hospital gift shops, I
always offer my services and extra handout flyers to the sibling educators at
their events when I am processing their orders.

 

From those experiences come invitations
for inclusion in wide-reaching newsletters, additional invitations for
presentations, and, best of all, back of the room sales.

 

5.
Approach media people with a specific idea.
<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’> Last year, I called the editor of <span
class=95StoneSerifIt>ePregnancy-yes,
a cold call-and asked her if the magazine would be focusing on sibling-to-be
issues in the next three to six months. She said they were highlighting a
sibling backpack for gift pick-of-the-month in the summer, and I mentioned that
I might have a perfect companion product. One week-and a sample-later, she
agreed, and Look
Who’s Going to Be a Big Sister
was featured as Editor’s Book of
the Month last July next to the backpack.

 

Not only did retail sales spike
during that month, but my wholesale orders poured in as well.

 

6.
Send books to relevant professionals.

Yes, muster the courage to pick up the phone and call high-profile people who
you are 200 percent sure would be interested in your book. After I sent <span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Look Who’s Going to Be a
Big Sister
to a Canadian psychologist specializing in family
issues, she included my keepsakes in a review for Nickelodeon on Best
Children’s Titles. Another recent experience involved networking with a New
York-based psychologist who loved <span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>Look Who’s Moving to a New Home
so much
that she raved about it during an interview she was doing for <span
class=95StoneSerifIt>The Wall Street Journal.
A mention in the Journal
would have been the ultimate prize, but the fact that she called to say she
liked my book enough to praise it to the reporter is more than I would have
hoped for.

 

My experience tells me that it
always pays to be as generous as you can be with absolutely everyone who needs
your help or expertise. Donate your titles to charity events, schools, people
in need. Help fellow authors and publishers who approach you. Network wherever
you go, and always offer to do more than your fair share. Be straightforward
and positive and passionate, and you will be amazed at how it all comes back to
you.

 

Renee Raab Whitcombe is the
author of Look Who’s
Moving to a New Home
and the award-winning <span
class=8StoneSans>Look Who’s Going to Be a Big
Sister
and Look
Who’s Going to Be a Big Brother
. Visit www.buddingfamily.com for
more information.

 

 

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