Book promotion can be an intimidating concept. So intimidating that some authors decide to hire experts to handle the task for them. That can be an expensive and unsuccessful route to take. Here are three tools to promote a book successfully, all by yourself!

# 1 Promote a book with a Press release.

Press releases are a very inexpensive way to get the word out about your book. You can send your release to media contacts and post it on the web. This makes it available to resources all over the world to reprint.

When planning your press release, make sure that you are constructing something that is new, different, exciting and interesting. It has to be news or it won’t get picked up by the media. These are all good characteristics of a press release and will attract various forms of media. Newspaper and magazine editors may choose to publish a story based solely on your press release, but may reword the content for editorial and space restrictions. A television or radio station, however, will use your press release differently in that you may be invited to participate in a live, on-air interview. In this instance, the subject of your press release will likely be discussed, along with other aspects of your book project.

# 2 Promote a book by getting it listed in book catalogs.

Book catalogs are what book stores and libraries use to choose which books they are going to sell in their stores or provide in their libraries. Book stores and libraries utilize different catalogs so it is important to get listed in both if you want exposure in both locations. The best way to get listed in a book catalog is to contact a book distributor. They will ask for a percentage of each sale that is made but it can be worth it in total volume and exposure.

The following are just some of the many bookstore distributors, for self-publishers:

  • Baker and Taylor
  • AMS
  • Austin & Company
  • Biblio Distribution
  • Client Distribution Services
  • National Book Network
  • Publisher's Marketing Association
  • Rights & Distribution, Inc
  • SCB Distributors

# 3 Promote a book by using direct mail and targeted mailing lists

Niche marketing lends itself quite well to direct mail marketing. If, for example, you have written a small business book you can contact your local small business association, purchase a mailing list and send a postcard or high level direct marketing package to members. Additionally, to save money on printing costs, you can purchase email lists and send members that have agreed to receive information, marketing messages. It is important to remember when purchasing lists to always make sure that the lists were obtained legally and that members on the list agree to have information sent to them. Otherwise your well thought out marketing message will be considered spam or merely junk mail and can offend rather than engage and inform.

There are many creative and successful tools you can use to promote a book, the key is to add select tools slowly and test each method. Direct mail may work very well for some self publishers and not too well for others. Start small, test, and don’t be afraid to step out of the box to promote a book.

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