Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers
By Shel Horowitz
AWM Books, 2007
290-pages, $24.95, paperback
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Review by Patricia Fry
Shel Horowitz has been advising business owners in the art of frugal and effective marketing for nearly thirty years. He has also been involved in publishing for several years, having already produced three books on marketing topics. This time, he brings his know-how and personal book promotion experience together in an informative book specifically for authors and publishers.
Of course, first on his agenda is the issue of creating a marketable book—so important in today’s highly competitive publishing climate. Horowitz includes chapters on how to get the interest of traditional media, speaking to sell and the value of trade shows and book fairs. And he discusses some less common promotional practices—turning your competitors into affiliates or marketing partners, for example and creating a brand.
He helps the reader understand the bookstore system—finally and he tells your how to get big name blurbs for your book. Horowitz says, for example, about competition, "Bookstore sales are a primary reason to put up with the shenanigans of a big publisher. The publisher will get you into stores. But then you have to get the book back out again, through the front door, in customers’ hands—or they’ll exit through the back door, cases at a time, back to the publisher for a refund." He goes on to explain, "Even if you’ve landed a major publisher, the bookstore system may or may not work for you. The big companies put their marketing resources into a few books they’ve designated, rightly or wrongly, for greatness."
But never fear, Horowitz says that he knows plenty of authors who do quite well in bookstores and some of them are small independent publishers or self publishers. He says you can succeed if you "make bookstore sales a priority and spend several hours each week fueling that engine through media publicity, in-store appearances and advertising and by carefully building relationships with booksellers to build a powerful support base for your books."
Whether you are just starting out with a book to promote or you’ve been in promotion mode for quite a while, let Horowitz’s book show you a wider view of the whole marketing situation in an organized, friendly way. And, to my delight, the book has a nice index. Thank you, Shel.
–Patricia Fry is President of SPAWN and author of The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell your Book and How to Write a Successful Book Proposal in 8 Days or Less. Her web site is http://www.matilijapress.com/.