RESOURCES for Creating Your Platform:
Building a Brand for You and Your Book 
a presentation by Barbara Florio Graham for Ottawa Independent Writers

Much of the advice in this document was gathered from expert sources, including Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound, Denny Hatch (direct mail and marketing expert), Patricia Fry (the co-founder of SPAWN, the Small Publishers and Writers Network, and the author of several books on promotion) and several excellent marketers from the Cat Writers' Association.

Many of the resources here are also on the various Resources pages on this website. You will also find specific information on creating an effective marketing campaign in my award-winning book.

by Barbara Florio Graham
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Called the best p.r. primer we've ever seen by the Editor of Writing for Money,
and not only informative but practically indispensable by Canadian Fund Raiser,
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Click on title for full description.

Check out books I recommend on the Books for Authors & Entrepreneurs page on this website as well, and be sure to check the following links from that page:,,, and the special links for The Savvy Book Marketer HERE.

Always sign your posts (email, Facebook, etc.) with your name, book title and website URL. Including your book’s title will give your posts credibility; you wrote the book on the subject. Listing your URL will drive eyeballs to your website. After a few posts, blog readers will be impressed with your credibility.

Photos should reflect your brand. Do smile and appear approachable, but avoid glamor shots. You also don't want to look like a stuffy professor unless you are, and the book you're promoting is a heavy textbook! Candid shots work better than those posed by professional photographers. You can use different ones on different sites, but they should all be similar. Don't post photos with different hair styles, with glasses and without, bare-faced and in full make-up. Be as consistent about your image as you are about how you describe yourself.

Sign up for Google Alerts at This is a free clipping service. Put in your key words. Whenever one of those keywords shows up online you will get an instant notification from Google. The premium version is worth the price.

When you prepare your LinkedIn profile, ask yourself:
           What am I good at? What do I enjoy doing? What experience do I bring to these tasks? Who is willing/able to buy what I'm selling? Which of my current contacts can connect me to them?
           LinkedIn hosts many special-interest groups, including ones for people interested in self-publishing. For example, check out Book Writing, Self Publishing, and Marketing for Business People. Discussions in this group focus on advice from writers to other writers about the entire process of writing, publishing, and marketing.

On Google+ if you click on "Explore" in the menu bar, you'll see what topics are hot like #Photography, #Science, etc. Or, you can type your own topic into the search box, like this: #dogtraining. It will return to you content that includes those hashtags. And you'll also get another list of related hashtags so you can probe even further and find the people who are discussing those topics.

Basic marketing rules:
1. Always make it easy to order.
2. Always ask for an order.
3. Always make an offer (i.e. a discount, bonus, etc.)

When you upload your book to Kindle: Put your first and last name in "first name" and your website in "last name".

The five most persuasive words in the English language: 
1. You   2. Free   3. Because   4. Instantly   5. New.

Create slightly different descriptions of your book for various social media. The most complete description should be on your website, with smaller teasers or different angles on social media sites.

Free book publicity newsletter, Build Book Buzz:  Also download a free special report, "Beyond the Press Release: 10 Exciting Book Buzz Ideas That Will Take You to the Top," at: There are also free book publicity tips on the site:

Book bloggers are valuable book reviewers. They are as dedicated to your book’s subject as you are and their readers/subscribers want more information on the subject. Those readers are all over the world and you are reaching them individually. Subscribe to the blog and comment from time to time. The owners of the blogs will love you because you are a celebrity, you have written a book on their favorite subject. Blog subscribers want more information on the subject and are prime candidates to purchase your book.

There are several good companies who will help you register a domain name and even help you create your own website. I use Easy Hosting and pay $160 a year to renew my registration. In addition, my local ISP charges me $20 a month to host my website and provide email aliases. These can be useful if you need to sort incoming email. But there are a number of free or inexpensive sites that offer webhosting with a domain name included, as well as web creation tools. The top-rated ones are:,,, and Check to see if the host you're considering limits the number of web pages or the size of your site. Other free website programs include and

You'll have to check each of these out carefully, decide if they offer a genuine website with your own domain name, and not a "satellite" on their website, if there are any hidden charges, how much flexibility they allow, how many email addresses you can have with your own domain, etc.

How to Successfully Launch a New Website & Refresh Your Brand:

Once you own a domain name, you control all the email addresses on that domain. You can create:,,, etc.

Some domain registrars or hosts have a limit, of 5 email addresses, while others will have no limit at all. But you shouldn't need more than five.

Unicode your email address so it isn't “clickable: or do what so many of us do, list your email address with spaces. Here's an example: BFG (at) Anyone reading that will realize that the actual email is:

Make sure your bio page contains a couple of short tags anyone can pick up to describe you. You can even label these with word counts, so anyone who wants a 50-word description of you will find it there, along with longer descriptions and your full bio.

If you have extensive credits, list them on a separate page. Whether or not you include your full resume or work history depends on how relevant it is to your writing. If you're a former teacher who is marketing a book about education, or even one aimed at children, visitors to your website may be interested to know where and when you taught. That lends credibility. 

Before you upload your website, have a colleague check mistakes in spelling, grammar, missing words, etc. as well as to ensure that all links work.

Make sure your site has been listed on the major search engines: Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. To locate industry-specific search engines and directories, check out Internet Sleuth (

You must add meta-tags to every page on your website. This is the way the search engines find you. Write a brief description of the page, and add many keywords.
Advice on writing for the web, from Denny Hatch, author of Write It Right!
       A display subhead of two or three lines between your headline and your body copy will heighten the reader's appetite for the feast to come.
       After two or three inches of copy, insert your first crosshead, and thereafter pepper crossheads throughout. They keep the reader marching forward. Make some of them interrogative, to excite curiosity in the next run of copy.
       An ingenious sequence of boldly displayed crossheads can deliver the substance of your entire pitch to glancers who are too lazy to wade through the text.
       Skip a space between the crosshead and preceding paragraph.
       Use decks, subheads, call-outs, illustrations and boxed insets or sidebars?nd any other bells and whistles to break up the monotony of words, words, words.

A blog is your own property. No one can take it away from you as long as it isn't hosted on Blogger's or WordPress's servers. Your content on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and other platforms can disappear in an instant. Remember when LinkedIn removed all the "products and services" from people's company pages, causing an uproar? A blog is an ideal place to discuss your products and show people how to use them--something you shouldn't do on other social media sites. But blogging takes time, energy and patience.

An out-of-date blog is worse than no blog at all. 

WordPress hosts 60 million blogs, with 100,000 added every day! That mean the likelihood your blog (or WordPress website) is going to attract any traffic is really rare.

Blogster has 364,642 posts. Many of the blogsters on this site, and on are looking for social/sexual connections. It's not the best place to promote books!

Consider creating a profile on Brand Yourself (  and Google.

With all social media, don't be lured into upgrading to “premium” services. This is the way these sites make money, and what they offer isn't always worth the cost. Basic levels of LinkedIn, Facebook, Brand Yourself, etc. work very well.

Manipulate photos to then paste on your website pages, post to Facebook, Pinterest, or other social media, or to send to others. A free program that can crop, highlight, re-size, etc. is

Blog advice: 
• basic content: What will you be writing about? Your book, product or service? Your thoughts and findings? Latest news on the subjects of your profession?
• list of resources: begin gathering your own resources to follow and gather information from to blog about. Believe me, this is an indispensable part of blogging.
• interviews to post on your site: These interviews are great if they come from you, but remember, these can be videos of people who you feel represent a way of thinking you feel would benefit your readers. These can be written, audio or video.
• News-worthy: can you tie your subject into the news?
• free or fee reports and ebooks: blog about products you’ve created or ones you found your readers would benefit from. Some might have an affiliate program for you to sign up for and received a percentage of the purchase.
• update your content regularly: this is a very important part of blogging that you might not get right away. You might feel it’s a waste of time or that you don’t have enough time. But this is a very important step in getting noticed and improving your page ranking.

More advice about blogs:  A few key characteristics of the successful ones are:
          Blog about something people are actually looking for. That means determining whom you are writing for, what they're likely to be using search engines to find, and then finding out where they hang out and publicizing the blog in those places by putting its URL in your e-mail signature, posting on social media when a new article will interest your followers, etc.
         Make sure your blog lets people sign up for updates by e-mail - more convenient for them than expecting them to visit the blog to see if you posted anything and then posting frequently enough that they don't forget you.
         Be clear about what kind of return you want the blog to yield. That means deciding on your priority goals. Are you selling one or more existing products, or selling one-time or ongoing services, or providing credibility so people buy things you recommend on which you can get a commission? Or are you providing a venue for automatic third-party ads (e.g., Google Adsense, etc.), or selling ad space yourself.
        Consider persuading people to toss something into your "tip jar" if they find your advice useful.
        Build an e-mail list (with an autoresponder service or within your own control) people will subscribe to so you can send them a newsletter (with which to do any or all of the above)
        Develop a reputation as an expert so people will hire you to give speeches and write articles. 
        Connect your blog to your Facebook page:

Consider carefully before you post comments to someone else's blog. First, whatever you write does not belong to you once it's published. So don't waste your best writing on something owned by someone else. But it can be useful to comment on a popular blog if you have helpful information to offer. Scan through comments already posted, find the ones that pose a question that hasn't been addressed by anyone else that you think you can answer. Respond to that question/comment with an in-depth answer that promotes your expertise. Make just a glancing reference to your book and website, so it doesn't appear as if you're just there to promote yourself. Here's an example of how you might do this. If I'm commenting on a blog where there's a discussion about how to boost your creativity, I might give a few tips from my online creativity course, saying that visitors can find out more about that at my website. I would then give the specific URL: 

Involve the original blogger in your comments. Ask him/her for further information or an opinion on your comment.

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Look for sites you can join with just a name and password, and begin to review favorite books.  GoodReads and Library Thing are very influential and if you include your URL after your name, you'll drive traffic to your website.

Consider: creating a Google Hangout on YouTube. Use the subject of your book, not you or the book itself.
Consider: creating a hashtag for the book launch.

If you're marketing a new book, prepare your marketing plan well in advance of your book launch. Research reviewers on Amazon and other sites. Submit your book (as a PDF file) to review sites BEFORE it's launched. lets you publish letters online and create a discussion around it. You can also include photos, video and PDF documents, but be careful because you don't want to lose control of your material by having it published initially on a site like this. Instead, use it to market your book or sound off on a local subject (with a reference to your expertise and/or your book, along with a photo of the book cover).

Apt613 is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting community engagement in Canada’s National Capital Region. Their main activity is a blog that covers city life and urban affairs in Ottawa and the surrounding area. They also have a weekly radio show on CHUO and host live events such as lectures, election debates and parties. Consider participating by getting the word out about the people, events and issues shaping the community.

If you are too shy to mention your book to others, promote your book by wearing a pin that reads "Ask me about my book." Others will ask you, and you can give a brief pitch and offer to sell them a copy. For pins that say "Ask me about my book" and other great gifts for writers, check Zazzle:

TWITTER  can be addictive and time-consuming. So define your goals before you embark. What Twitter is really good at:
a) Spreading news, which is why so many news organizations use it to pick up on stories worth pursuing and to publicize new articles as soon as they're posted. (Many journos have their own accounts aside from the ones belonging to their employers.)
b) Developing an "online presence" people can easily look up to see whether you are capable, credible, etc. (Especially useful when you're not within interview distance of potential clients.)
c) Building a following: it takes time and some effort but as you "follow" interesting people or tweet using suitable hashtags, new people who share your interests will start following you. Over time, especially if you follow back and engage in occasional direct-message conversations, a degree of community develops and the outfits that measure such things (Klout, Kred, etc.) start considering you significant, if only as a medium-sized fish in a small pond. You may develope a  group of people who might click on a link to your articles or blog posts, if not necessarily buy your books or hire you to write for them.
Twitter is NOT particularly useful for most authors.

For fiction: Create a board for the characters in your book. Choose attributes that compliment your characters. You can create fashions, clothes, or accessories that your character would likely wear. You can create an entire world for your character with a board. Another great tip: Add your readers and fans to the board as contributors and have them come up with images they think represent the character. It's a great way to get your readers involved and stay connected.
For non-fiction: create a board for the characters in your book. Choose attributes that compliment your characters. You can create fashions, clothes, or accessories that your character would likely wear. You can create an entire world for your character with a board. Another great tip: Add your readers and fans to the board as contributors and have them come up with images they think represent the character. It's a great way to get your readers involved and stay connected.

You can add your website URL to your Pinterest profile but only if you change to a business account. That's free, but you may not want to identify yourself as a business on Pinterest. Instead, add your website URL to descriptions of your books on your Pinterest boards. See how I use my Pinterest account at:

To create a newsletter: Constant Contact offers a 60 day free trial: But before you start a newsletter, you have to figure out if there's really an audience out there who will read it!

MORE WEBSITE TIPS from Joan Stewart (the Publicity Hound):
The perfect "About" page--whether it's for your website or blog--promotes you and your expertise in subtle ways when it:
--Introduces you to visitors.  --Helps them understand what's there and why they should stay. 
--Highlights your best work. You can link to your most popular blog posts, articles and social media profiles.  --Tells your story.  --Links to a Contact page.

Joan says you shouldn't hide behind a "Contact Us" form on your website. Give actual contact information, and if you don't want to put your address and phone number on your site, provide an email address.

She also points out that Kindle accounts for nine out of 10 ebook sales, so promoting on Amazon is a no-brainer, but you can squeeze more sales out of four other sites: --Nook, owned by Barnes & Noble. 
--Kobo, which sells books to millions of people in 190 countries.  --iBooks, where you can reach out to millions of potential customers by distributing your content in the iBooks Store.
--Googlebooks, which offers ebooks in 29 genres, plus textbooks. 

A tip for Kindle: Put your first and last name in "first name" and your website in "last name".

Also from Joan: Host a drawing contest and tell your fans to draw a character from your book using It's a free and easy app you can download from the iTunes store. People can draw right on their iPads or iPhones, and publish their work of art or save it. They can post their drawing to your Facebook page, and you can ask your fans to choose a winner.

Subscribe to Joan's free weekly newsletter: Look for Barbara Florio Graham on the Publicity Hound site. I've become one of her regular contributors.

Facebook: You can now tag your friends in your status or post. Type @ and then type the friend's name. For example: "Had lunch with @John Smith."
Give valuable tips freely that come from your non-fiction or how-to book.
Share some scenes and your main character's conflicts.
Find and join interest FB groups and like expert FB pages that relate to your writing project.

A cautionary tale about Facebook:
One author reports that for the first year of her promotional efforts, she posted often on Facebook and managed to amass approximately one thousand friends whom she felt would find her books interesting. All of her posts were about her books, including  book teaser videos, fun photos, bios of fictional characters, five-star reviews, links to interviews, links to blog posts, whimsical and witty excerpts from her novels, and links to her website.  But she only received occasional comments, and even though lots of people hit the like button, she didn't sell a single book!  So don't think that social media is going to actually sell many books for you.

Colleen Hoover, a New York Times bestselling author who self-published her series Slammed on Amazon (she’s since signed a contract with Atria Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint), hosts videos on Instagram, which is easier for her to upload to than Facebook or Twitter. “People really like the videos, I think because I’m kind of ridiculous in them,” she says. “But I basically just use that as my main form of social media because it’s so easy to hit the button, and it shares.”

More from Joan: When you're planning a publicity campaign and want to target influential people, think far beyond journalists and bloggers. Here are eight types of influencers and where to find them:--Ezine editors. Try Best Ezines, the The Ezine Directory and New-List.
--LinkedIn group moderators. Log into your account and use the search box at the top to search for groups. Look for large, active groups with content-rich discussions. Many moderators blog and have their own email lists. --Google+ Community moderators. Same as above.--Podcasters. Rather than slogging through zillions of podcast directories, one of the easiest ways to find influential podcasters in your niche is with a simple Google search "top 10 christian podcasts" or "best parenting podcasts."--Moderators of message boards and forums. A fabulous way to target very narrow niches. Search for "crohn's disease message board".--Authors. Go to Amazon and use the search box to look for authors in your niche. Follow them on social media and at their blogs. --Celebrities. Even though you probably won't be able to reach A-list celebs, target less famous stars from TV and movies.  Some might give  you a book blurb if your topic is close to their heart. See These include anyone who reviews books or products.Many of these will lead to even more influencers. Just follow the trail of breadcrumbs.

Free clip art:

Stock photos, reasonably priced, for book covers:

iTools: translation, dictionaries, images, and much more that can be found on the web

Documenting webpages for research purposes is as easy as clicking File>Print>Save as PDF, or taking a screenshot. turns any ordinary texts into a beautiful typography art picture for use on Facebook, Twitter header, Google Plus, E-Cards, Wallpapers, and Prints.

Using color in your promotions:
     The brain is most triggered by red, then green, then blue.
     Blue logos invoked feelings of confidence, success and reliability.
     Green logos invoked perceptions of environmental friendliness, toughness, durability, masculinity and sustainability.
     Purple logos invoked femininity, glamor and charm.
     Pink logos gave the perception of youth, imagination and fashion.
     Yellow logos invoked perceptions of fun and modernity.
     Red logos brought feelings of expertise and self-assurance.
BUT,  across cultures, red represents "no." It's a common emotional association that is innate. A study involving monkeys (who don't process the meaning of a red stop sign) found that the animals avoided humans who wore red.

PRWeb Direct service. For $119 you get inclusion in Google News, Yahoo News and MSN News, a page one link on the PRWeb home page, targeted pay per click ads, and RSS distribution.

Free publicity services: or

Make sure your site has been listed on the major search engines: Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, etc. To locate industry-specific search engines and directories, check out Internet Sleuth (
To create a newsletter: Constant Contact offers a 60 day free trial:

Don't forget about your alumni magazine. Let them know about your new book, awards won, major speaking gigs, etc.

Approach school boards if your book might fit a particular curriculum.  Randy Ray offers an email list of contacts at all major school boards in eastern Ontario, including the Ottawa public and separate boards. It costs just $25.

Free book publicity newsletter, Build Book Buzz:
Also download a free special report, "Beyond the Press Release: 10 Exciting Book Buzz Ideas That Will Take You to the Top," at:
And few free book publicity tips on the site:

RESEARCH TOOLS from A computational knowledge engine Wolfram Research, which offers access to the world's facts and data and calculates answers across a range of topics, including science, nutrition, history, geography, engineering, mathematics, linguistics, sports, finance, music, etc.

Find out if newspapers, magazines or website are planning a Holiday Gift Guide that ties into the topic of your book. Just search for "holiday gift guide CEOs" to find gift guides that might welcome a photo and press release about a book that would be perfect for top executives.

       Over 80% of people plan to write a book and more than six million of them have already written a manuscript. Admittedly there are dozens of companies who will take your money and publish your book. How do you get a book publisher to pay you for your book?
       Terry Whalin says editors and publishers don't read manuscripts. They read proposals. In BOOK PROPOSALS THAT SELL, 21 SECRETS TO SPEED YOUR SUCCESS, you learn the inside scoop to achieve your dreams.
       The author of more than 60 books from traditional publishers, a former literary agent and still working as an acquisitions editor, Whalin has a unique perspective on the publishing world.
       Use this link to order the updated ebook directly from Terry:

The advantages of a radio interview: (from Joan Stewart)
        Guests get unedited access, meaning their conversation is not edited down to a 30-second sound bite (like TV) or a quote or two in an article (print).
        Dedicated listeners are big fans of their favorite show hosts, which means they take the hosts' implied endorsement of guests seriously. Simply said: If their favorite talk show host finds you credible, they will, too.
        An mp3 file of your interview posted on your website will continue to bolster your credibility for months or years to come. Your mp3 can be posted as a video to YouTube for more visibility. Give it the right name, and it will help boost your website's ranking in Google searches. Transcribe the interview and then break it up into a few blog posts and you've got fresh content for your website.
       Give a great interview and the station may turn it into a podcast, which makes it easy to share on social media.

LISTEN to my interview with Rabbi Reuven Bulka at:

BUT Mark Levine warns

When that publicist lands you a radio interview, the nexus between the interview and a listener actually buying your book is a chasm. Not everyone listening to that radio program is going to be interested in your book. If some are, you need to depend on them writing down and/or remembering your name or the title of your book, and then actually going to a bookstore or online retailer to look up the book and buy it. The longer the interval of time between the radio appearance and the potential reader taking any steps to buy your book, the more the chances diminish.

Best times to contact the media:  via email: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Lead times for daily newspapers, radio & TV: 7-10 days
Weekly newspapers: 4-6 weeks
Magazines: 4-6 months

When you email the media:
1. Start with the text from your back cover. This is your standard blurb, and should tell the reader what your book offers. Does it inform, entertain, surprise, frighten, delight, amuse?
2. Keep your message brief and personalize it to the individual. Find a common interest if you can. 
3. Craft a short but informative signature file, with your name, your website URL, and any other contact info.

from PR Newswire’s Small Business Toolkit. This ran in the Aug. 20 issue of The Wall Street Journal: 
1.   Don’t be generic by offering stories or advice that is widely available or common. Do tell a unique story that is memorable and difficult for competing brands to duplicate.
2.   Don’t ramble on and risk losing the journalist’s interest in what you are saying. Do offer short sound bites that tell your story or helpful tips in easily digestible pieces.
3.   Don’t waste time by neglecting to prepare a press kit. Do provide everything the journalist needs to cover your story including headshots, photos and video clips of other interview or speaking engagements that prove your credibility.
4.   Don’t be too self-serving by blatantly pitching your products. Do be a thought-leader and incorporate your offerings into a story or lesson that the audience will gain value from.
5.   Don’t provide expertise outside of your professional interests that doesn’t make sense for your brand. Do be genuine to who you are and your beliefs.

P.R. specialist Marsha Friedman quotes  Jennifer Santoro, a young integrative marketing specialist, offers the following suggestions for YouTube (or other) videos:
1. Get to the point very quickly: In the age of the "tweet," marketers have only a few seconds to capture a viewer's attention. The marketer must put serious thought into what the main point of the video is, and then clearly communicate that message as quickly as possible. The attention span for video watching seems to be about 60 seconds, so every word counts! Don't use five words when three will do.
2. Create authentic content: Today's consumers value authenticity and they can smell B.S. a mile away. Never try to portray yourself or your company as something you're not. Embrace who you are and what you actually offer; people will relate to and engage with that content. As soon as viewers suspect pretense, their trust will be gone. Take some time for self-reflection about what you offer potential customers and authentically communicate that message.
3. Make sure there are no distracting noises: The visual can stink but the audio can't! Visually, the video can be very simple, but distracting noises in the audio will kill it every time. If you're on a budget, put your money towards a decent microphone as opposed to a fancy camera. It's amazing what you can do visually with an iPhone! However, without a proper microphone, the recording will pick up too many distracting noises. Try the Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone to get started. It's affordable and compatible with an iPhone; you just need the adapter.
4. Make the intention of the video crystal clear: This goes back to No. 1 and the importance of putting serious thought into the point of the video. Too often we get distracted by special effects and features and forget that the video needs to have a clear, concise message. Before you ever pick up your audio equipment and camera, spend significant time clarifying the intention of the video and composing your script around that intention.
5. Include a way for viewers to take immediate action: Internet video marketing technology has advanced significantly with the dawn of the smart video, which allows viewers to take immediate action directly from the video itself. We all know the power of the impulse buy! Consumers are much more likely to follow through on a decision if they can act upon it instantly. Therefore, smart videos are a marketing video's best friend. has made the process extremely easy and affordable. It even offers a free membership to get you started.
6. Just like so much in life, it's quality over quantity. One extremely effective video is better than 10 that don't work.

Co-operate with fellow authors by arranging for joint readings and signings. You'll all get more exposure that you would individually.

Consider all the places where you can arrange to read and sell books: service clubs, schools, libraries, 
Scout/Girl Guide/Brownie/Cub Scout meetings, book clubs, churches, retirement homes, community events.  

Your elevator pitch: by Steve Slaunwhite, Copywriting Trainer - Author of The Everything Guide to Writing Copy (Adams Media) – 
An elevator pitch is simply a clear statement that describes: What you do, Who you help, What makes you different or better. An example:  “I’m a copywriter specializing in white papers. I work mainly with marketing managers of healthcare IT companies.” Short and sweet. Very simple. It’s also effective because it communicates – with brevity, in this case – what this professional does, who he helps, and what makes him unique. Of course, you can – and should – have a more expansive version of your elevator pitch. For example: “You know how difficult it can be to create a good white paper for marketing campaigns, right? Well, that’s what I do. I’m a copywriter. I work with marketing managers in healthcare IT and help them plan and write white papers that establish thought leadership, generate leads, and move the sales process along more quickly.”

Order free PDF reports on writing-related subjects, including correct manuscript format, how to form and run a critique circle, how to identify weak writing and repair it, self-publishing versus traditional publishing, and much more. Go to

Donate books to a charity you support, and then publicize this on social media. 

If your book is young adult or history, whether fiction or non-fiction, consider asking your local high school newspaper to interview you. Offer to speak to an English or history class, and give a book to the library. Bring bookmarks to give the kids.

Prepare a Media Kit:
--A "Sell Sheet" or order form with an image of the book cover, the description, and ordering information, including any discounts you offer on bulk orders. Include full contact info at the bottom, including phone numbers where you can be reached during business hours.
--A list of suggested interview questions for radio and TV hosts. 
--A photo of you along with your full contact info. Provide bios of different lengths, to make it easier for interviewers to cut and paste a short one for intros, and for print journalists to describe you in 100 words or 400 to 600 words. This ensures that they impart accurate information. Also include a two-line bio of 140 characters, perfect for a tweet.
Joan Stewart also suggests you include high-resolution photos, so newspaper and magazine editors don't have to email you to say "the photo you provided won't reproduce well in print."

Consider a virtual book tour: There's lots of advice from authors who have done this. Google the term to find out what they suggest.

Find 5-10 blogs in your area of expertise, and follow them. When you read a post you can comment on, write a comment offline first, so you can check your wording, grammar, spelling, etc. and then copy it into a comment. When you sign into the blog, include you website URL.

Google Plus has 540 million monthly users. But things can change quickly. Google Authorship offered a way to link content you create with your Google+ profile. But Google has discontinued Authorship, primarily because it diverted attention from pay-per-click ads on the right side of the search results. Google decided displaying the authorship information wasn't as useful as the company had originally thought.

Reddit is primarily an entertainment and social networking service. Because posts can be “voted” up or down, it's not a very reliable means of promoting books.

Another thing you can do is to collect email addresses for a permission-based mailing list. (Do not just add every email you come across to your own lists as the fines for sending spam are enormous.) You can then create an entertaining eNewsletter and sent it out once a month.

If you're involved in any kind of fund-raising effort, write a 700-word story for the weekly UpBeat column in the Ottawa Citizen. E-mail to:, with Up Beat in the subject line, and include your phone number. Be sure to put the URL for your website in the article.

The Savvy Book Marketer, Dana Lynn Smith, offers guidebooks and courses for authors and independent publishers. Check the URLs below for her guides, which are available in  PDF format. Most cost under $20. 
How to Get Your Book Reviewed
How to Sell More Books on Amazon 
Virtual Book Tour Magic
Dana also offers AUDIO/VIDEO training programs, see these on my publishing resources page

Patricia Fry has written several books about publicity and promotion. Go to to see her books, and to to read about her consulting services.

Advice on writing for the web, from marketing expert Denny Hatch, author of Write It Right!
        A display subhead of two or three lines between your headline and your body copy will heighten the reader's appetite for the feast to come.
        After two or three inches of copy, insert your first crosshead, and thereafter pepper crossheads throughout. They keep the reader marching forward. Make some of them interrogative, to excite curiosity in the next run of copy. 
        An ingenious sequence of boldly displayed crossheads can deliver the substance of your entire pitch to glancers who are too lazy to wade through the text.
        Skip a space between the crosshead and preceding paragraph.
        Use decks, subheads, call-outs, illustrations and boxed insets or sidebars and any other bells and whistles to break up the monotony of words, words, words.

Check Denny Hatch's other books and marketing materials on the non-fiction books page.

A WRITER'S YEAR is the ONLY 365-day planner designed specifically for writers! Plan your schedule,         track billable hours, organize tasks, and track your progress and achievements.  Each week brings you an inspirational writing quote.  Best of all, it's F*R*E*E! Download an electronic version in PDF or Excel, or access the print edition:

HIRE Bobbi as a MENTOR
MENTORING is a short-term commitment to help you obtain answers to specific questions about  marketing, handling the media, preparing a specific publicity strategy, or even for a long-range marketing strategy before you embark on a new venture. Cost ranges from $180. - $300 per month 
(which can be extended by mutual agreement)  payable in advance.