13 ways to promote and market your book on a budget

online marketingIn today’s publishing environment, author involvement in the promotion and marketing of a book is critical to the success of a title. This June, John Bond, Riverwinds Consulting; Kathleen Reid, VP and Commerical Lender for Medical Learning, Elsevier; and Diane Harnish, Head of Primal Pictures, Global Director of Academic and Government Markets, Informa Group shared their combined marketing experience with authors who are both budget-conscious and market-minded.  

These experienced marketing professionals from academic publishers focused on low to no cost ideas for how authors can become a partner in the marketing efforts of the publisher. After all, who knows the book better than the author? Below are some highlights from the 2019 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference session, “Promoting and Marketing Your Book on a Budget”. [Read more…]

Success, secrets, and finding our way! The inside story of TAA authors’ development

TAA authors' development processHow do TAA authors find their way through a complex and ever-changing maze of writing and publishing? In April 2018, we asked TAA authors, via an online survey and follow-up interviews, to share their experiences in writing and publishing. From 139 survey responses and 12 interviews, we gained rich and insightful descriptions of TAA authors’ writing and publishing journey. We learned about: pitfalls and challenges that can be avoided as authors write and publish books, what authors wish they had known before beginning the book-writing process, and the top three strategies TAA authors leveraged to improve their skills.

To share TAA authors’ experiences and wisdom with you, this blog post reveals some of their pitfalls, lessons, and strategies for writing and publishing textbooks and academic books. [Read more…]

A public relations timeline to secure more media for your book

marketingIn a recent TAA webinar, “How to Secure More Media for Your Book and Brand”, Brian Feinblum shared his experience and expertise in public relations, especially as it relates to authors, their books, and their personal brand.

In addition to useful tips for how to approach and get media coverage (and some common mistakes authors make in trying to do so), Feinblum shared a timeline for successful execution of a publicity plan. The plan outlined below begins six months in advance of publication and continues 90-120 days after release. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: August 10, 2018

"Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer." ~Barbara KingsolverAs evidenced by our collection of articles this week, there is no single way to do things in this field of academic writing.

For all of us, even the word summer is associated with different definitions and results – as comically represented in the first post this week. Some of us are finding new methods to enhance their research, shifting gears, overcoming challenges, or just trying to define how writing best fits in their schedule. For others, they’re examining the industry opportunities, differences, threats, and changes to see how they fit best in the environment.

This week’s collection of articles includes all of these topics important to the field of academic writing, but wherever your personal writing journey takes you this week, be true to yourself. Barbara Kingsolver advises us, “Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” [Read more…]

Schedule time to market your work or pay the consequences

MarketingCommitting to writing involves more than just working away at a new Word file. It also requires the commitment to promote and market the eventual work as well. This does not come naturally to everyone, but this dedication to help spread the word about the work is equally important as the content itself.

Whether it is a journal article, a monograph, a textbook, or some other form of academic communication, marketing is essential to the success of the material. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 29, 2017

"Writing is a gift to both the writer and the reader." ~Cheryl AllewayIn this final week of 2017, few creatures were stirring with new articles and content between the holidays, but we were able to locate a few gems for consideration as you reflect on this year and prepare for the next. For starters, looking back, 2017 was a breakthrough year for OER and a time of textbook pricing discussion impacted by continued changes in available purchasing options. In contrast, looking forward, we found articles on book marketing traps to avoid, how to maintain a healthy competitive nature, and self-care practices you may want to consider adopting in 2018.

In this season of giving and in preparation for the gift of a new year on the way, keep in mind the words of Cheryl Alleway, “Writing is a gift to both the writer and the reader”, and keep writing. [Read more…]

How to leverage a TAA textbook award

Challenging Behavior in Elementary and Middle SchoolReceiving a textbook award from TAA is not only a great honor, it can also be used to increase book sales and advance your writing career.

Judy Rasminsky, coauthor of Challenging Behavior in Young Children and Challenging Behavior in Elementary and Middle School, both of which have received TAA Textbook Excellence (Texty) Awards, said she and her coauthor Barbara Kaiser have leveraged the award in several ways, including:

  • Posting the Texty logo in several places on their challenging behavior websites.
  • Sending a press release announcing the award to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The NAEYC included information about the award in its catalog, newsletter, and journal, and also purchased Texty seals to put on the books they sell.
  • Asking their editors to notify sales reps about the award.

Chuck Corbin, whose physical fitness textbooks have won both TAA Textbook Excellence Awards and a McGuffey Longevity Award, added the awards to his curriculum vitae. He also included the award in his website bio and plans to mention it in the prefaces of future editions of each book. Corbin also notified his university and local newspapers in order to publicize the award to students, faculty, and the community.

Both Rasminsky and Corbin also recommend including information about the award on conference presentation slides and handouts.

Eric Schulz, coauthor of Calculus, which won a 2011 TAA Textbook Excellence Award, encouraged his publisher to promote the award as much as possible. Pearson posted an announcement about the award on Facebook and included information about it in their literature. Schulz also let Wolfram, the technology company that makes the unique software used to create the e-book version of Calculus, know about the award. Wolfram published a press release on their blog. Like Corbin, Schulz also worked with his university to spread the word to his local academic community.

5 Tips for Kickstarter success for writers

Earth Joy WritingI recently completed my third successful Kickstarter campaign to help promote my new book, Earth Joy Writing: Creating Harmony through Journaling and Nature, which will be released on Earth Day, April 22nd.

In all three cases, my books were published by small, independent presses that didn’t have funds for promotional campaigns, publicity, or book tours. So I used the Kickstarter funds to promote my books in these ways.

Often people shy away from Kickstarter and prefer to use other crowdfunding programs because of the requirement that the funding goal be met in order to get any funds at all. In my experience (and we know this as writers), having the goal of completion can spur us to take bolder action. A half-written book isn’t really a book, is it? [Read more…]

Use YouTube videos to promote your textbook

Textbook videosLydia Cline, a drafting professor at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and the author of five text and trade books, said she has found that posting short videos on her books’ topics to YouTube can be an effective way to promote them.

She originally created her channel, ProfDrafting, to post classroom topics for her students. “They enjoy the videos as a supplement to their text,” said Cline. On the advice of her TAB/McGraw-Hll editor, she added book content videos. In less than a year she collected 137 subscribers and over 31,000 views, even though she does no promotion beyond telling her students about it. “The channel has returned benefits in ways I didn’t anticipate. With YouTube’s amazing analytics, I can see how long viewers watch the videos, which videos are popular, and which are ignored. My observation is that once a channel starts attracting views–mine were initially from my students–YouTube starts promoting it via the Suggested Videos sidebar and the videos also appear in a Google search. I can see who the subscribers are, and most are NOT my students. They’re from all over the world. I knew YouTube had a global audience, but wow, my subscriber list really hammers that home to me.” [Read more…]

How to maximize the traffic on your blog

Joel Friedlander

Joel Friedlander

A Self Publisher's ToolkitPublishers are increasingly expecting authors to blog in connection with their books. These blogs can be a highly effective marketing tool—if you can successfully attract readers. In order for your blog to thrive, you need large numbers of engaged readers who follow, comment on, and repost your content, which means you need to know how to maximize your traffic.

In a recent TAA audio conference entitled “Author Blogging: How to Attract Readers”, Joel Friedlander, author of the highly successful blog, The Book Designer.com, and an expert in maximizing blog traffic, shared the following advice: [Read more…]