Book Marketing Basics: Applying the Fundamentals to Your Book Paperback – January 28, 2019
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Book Marketing Basics: The 5 Ps; Applying the Fundamentals to your Book is Toohey’s latest book. I was thrilled to receive a free early copy so I could provide a review. I have watched Toohey hone her approach to marketing by leading traditional classes, holding multi-day workshops, and experimenting with online avenues for instruction. She’s always made her educational tools interactive and relevant.
My favorite chapters from Book Marketing Basics:
Developmental Editing—a great money saving idea that’s easy to implement.
Line or Copy Editing—offers solid examples to help your writing.
Copyright—or now not to stress out about protection.
What To Charge? & Discounts—numbers are always important for the bottom line.
There are too many chapters on where to sell and how to promote to list them all separately.
I found things I knew and needed to be reminded of, plus new things I’d like to try out. There are tips for saving money and advise on spending your money wisely. Throughout is the mantra of knowing your readers and connecting with them either in person or online. The list of resources at the end of Book Marketing Basics is a gem all by itself.
As a writer, I started out at the lowest level and I sure wish this practical resource book had been there for me.
I begin my review with this comment: "I received a free early review copy of this book so I could provide an honest review."
The thesis of Jodie Toohey’s forthcoming book, Book Marketing Basics: The 5 Ps; Applying the Fundamentals to Your Book, is embodied within the dedication on page 4: “… dedicated to all authors … with a story to tell and words to share.” The techniques she offers in the book are clearly stated, easy to follow, and germane to reluctant, as well as to the more experienced writer.
She provides a simple framework for authors to follow in marketing contained in five principals: Product, Price, Place, Promotion, and People. Jodie’s style is always encouraging, which appeals to the Walter Mitty in new authors in the attempt to foster a sense of security and an urge to go forth and conquer. She smartly focuses first on the 5th P – People, and then folds this factor into every aspect of the other 4 Ps. This clever approach subliminally reinforces the importance of the author/marketer knowing themselves, as well as their target reader and ultimately, purchaser. Hers is not a Pollyanna approach or fortune cookie blurb; it is a concept well developed by her thesis.
Jodie allows that luck may have something to do with the success of a book, but marketing a would-be-best-seller requires use of the old state lottery promoter’s maxim: you gotta play to win. Her message is: this means you, the author. To aid in this endeavor, she offers ‘tools’ for a writer’s toolbox, encouraging the author to determine who her reader is and then to pluck the tools she needs from her book’s toolbox to satisfy the identified reader. Jodie encourages writers to challenge themselves, keep the logistics of writing convenient, and live abundantly. Writing habits should fit the author’s lifestyle, embrace her efforts, and not fear the necessity to tweak her routine for better results.
Her methodology is all about framing a mindset. This approach is friendly and woos the reader with a goal of confidence to be bounded by the caveat: you don’t have to try everything. The writer should identify hurdles and then develop methods to overcome them with the tools the book offers. To that effort, do not allow self-limiting beliefs to overcome ambition.
Each section of her book not only provides useful tools for preparation of a manuscript for publishing and marketing, but augments these with expert references, practical exercises to strengthen the product, and tips on valuable lessons learned from someone who has done this before. She constantly brings action requirements back to the reader, mostly with a subtle, “now let’s get started”. She lays out the methods and lends the encouragement, but places the onus squarely on the writer to determine what she is willing to do to meet her stated goals. To this end, her message is for the writer is: “establish her own brand” and sell herself to her self-identified target audience.
In the all-important chapter on the first P – Product, she goes to great length to impress on the author that before any attempt at marketing, the manuscript should be “the best it can be”. She breaks this into three detailed sections: big picture revisions, copy/line editing, and proofreading, covering time-tested do’s and don’t’s of polishing manuscripts and pointing out pitfalls to avoid. At times Jodie strays from her marketing theme with pointed details on how to write (style and composition). But these side streets are not off ramps, but provide scenic detours to be welcomed by all but the most experienced authors.
She gives solid, useful tips on editing; sheds light on the ins-and-outs of formatting, publishing, and pricing (discounts, sales tax); what to expect from the “big boys” when trying to display your book (returns, placement fees); and offers pragmatic ways to reach your reader and have her reach you, the author.
The information Jodie provides in the Price, Place, and Promotion chapters are lessons learned from a professional in how to get your book “out there”. At first, these tips don’t seem nearly as important as worrying about split infinitives, punctuation, or dangling participles. But, they are crucial to building success in an author’s marketing effort. A writer can have the “perfect” book, but where and how she sells it (and this is the pointy end of Jodie’s thesis) is just as important.
Jodie Toohey’s Book Marketing Basics: The 5 Ps; Applying the Fundamentals to Your Book, is a valuable, contemporary addition to any writer’s bookshelf, or in her terms, toolbox. It is concise, easy to ready, and well worth becoming a page-worn, well-thumbed reference.