My Best Book Marketing Tip for Creating Maximum Buzz

Getting help climbing mountainI recently put out a traditionally published print book — The Pocket Small Business Owner’s Guide to Starting Your Business on a Shoestring.

I did a lot of things to promote the book. I had a launch party. I wrote guest posts. I spoke at conferences and on podcasts. I had 50 early readers and got day-of-publication Amazon reviews.

All good stuff, and all things I recommend doing.

But there was one thing I did a bit late in the game that blew all my other strategies out of the water. It led to by far the most opportunities for exposure, helped me form great new relationships, and even seems to have raised the traffic here on this blog!

It’s something I did on LinkedIn, and I sure wish I had done it three months sooner. I got so many ideas and leads on how to spread the word about the book, it was astounding. If I’d started sooner, I could have executed many more marketing activities in launch month.

What I did is a bit technical, so I’m going to show you some screen shots on how this works.

Sending “personal” messages on LinkedIn 

The thumbnail version: I sent nearly all of my 800+ LinkedIn connections a personal-looking email asking if they would brainstorm with me about ways to promote the book.

Before I talk about the results of this request, let me show you how you can do that on LinkedIn. First, go to your contacts page and hit “Select All.” Then, you can choose “Send a message.”

Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 4.38.09 PM

The system will then let you select up to 50 people at a time that you can send the same message. Here’s what the top of mine looked like:

LinkedIn marketing message

Obviously, taking the time to really send these individually might have been even more effective, where you could use a “Dear Joe” form of address instead of my generic “Hi there.” But time constraints being what they are, this allowed me to send about 700 of these in less than an hour.

I could have exported the list to Mailchimp and sent it all at once from there using the Firstname tag, but then it wouldn’t have been InMail, inside of LinkedIn.

And the thing about InMail is LinkedIn has reported it gets as much as a 30 percent response rate. Where in traditional marketing, people get excited about topping 3 percent response.

So sending InMail hopefully got the message more attention.

The magic of asking for help

As far as the content, you’ll notice I didn’t ask my contacts to review my book. I didn’t ask them to post or tweet about the book or let me do a guest post.

I just wanted their input on what I should do. That’s important. I think directly asking your connections, “Hey, plug my book please!” would be obnoxious and inappropriate.

As it happens, just asking for people’s thoughts works out great. People really love to help out and connect people on LinkedIn! It’s like a big online networking party.

Through my email request, I got introduced to dozens of new people, some of them very influential. One added me to her huge Skype-based blogger’s mastermind group, through which I met many great bloggers I hadn’t known before.

Another asked me to speak at a citywide summit on the state of book and ebook publishing! I made many additional connections at the event, including hearing about another podcast I could guest on.

I got so many suggestions of blogs I could reach out to — some of which I knew well, but still had not considered for marketing this book! It’s hard to remember every appropriate place to pitch you might ever have seen. Others were brand-new to me.

This month, I’m still fulfilling requests for guest posts and taking Skype calls with new connections.

Tapping the wisdom of my network helped me create my marketing plan and took it in great directions I wouldn’t have imagined otherwise.

To sum up, if you have a book or ebook you’re getting ready to sell, ask your network for ideas before you launch.

You’ll get a bigger group of people on the inside track of knowing about your book — and a million suggestions that will help you sell it.

Have you asked your network for help? Leave a comment and tell us what happened.

 

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48 comments on “My Best Book Marketing Tip for Creating Maximum Buzz
  1. Carol,

    Your idea is great! I would love to know exactly what you said in your InMail message. Maybe I’m being picky, but the wording seems to help keep it from being viewed as spammy.

  2. Jawad says:

    Hi Carol,
    I am not sure if you actually read comments of your older blog posts, but I thought I should come back and fulfill the promise I made to you some time ago.
    Well, I did tried your tip in this blog post (using LinkedIn)! I have a professional network of over 4,000 persons, but I took time and carefully selected the relevant persons I wanted help or guidance from, for my book’s promotion and marketing.
    To make the long story short, I am completely overwhelmed with the enormity of the positive responses I have received so far to help and support me! More than anything else, I am highly delighted that a LARGE majority in my network has made personal and professional efforts to promote my book and to spread the words around! I can safely say that these combined efforts has resulted in my book publication’s message reaching over 500,000 readers globally!
    Here’s the best of the best: I have been approached by several of the websites’ editors with offers to write blog posts, create one-page advertisements in their publications, and share excerpts from my book to increase my book exposure! Here’s some more: The Manufacturing Director of SAP America (SAP, a business software, is the subject of my book) sent me a personal email to assure his all-out help!
    Carol, I cannot THANK YOU enough for helping me with your blog post! By the way, NO ONE ever came back to tell me that my email was a spam! 🙂

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Jawad —

      THRILLED to hear you were able to implement the tips here and have your own success with it. And that you also did not get negative feedback for doing it.

      I think the key is culling through your list and only sending the request to those who would find it relevant.

      It is truly mind-blowing what can happen when you simply ask your network to help you think about how to spread the word on something. People love to help on LinkedIn!

  3. Jawad says:

    Carol,
    I’d been waiting for my book to go live on the Publisher’s website. Fortunately, it now is (sap-press.com/H3302)!
    I will certainly be following your tip above, and will come back to report my findings/outcome.
    Also, I also completely disagree with the person who mentioned what you did was a spam! But, then don’t you think that we will ALWAYS find a few people who will disagree with anything and everything that we do? So, why should this be an exception? I think your approach to handle this situation was completely perfect, by agreeing to disagree, and move on! 🙂

  4. Heidi Thorne says:

    Hi Carol,

    Just wanted to let you know that I actually tried this strategy yesterday and have already unearthed 4 promotion opportunities for my re-launch of Business Competitive Advantage book. Keep the good stuff coming!
    Heidi Thorne recently posted…Heidi Thorne Writes New Edition of Business Competitive AdvantageMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Awesome Heidi! So…did you get any negative feedback for doing it? Don’t know if you saw the thread above about whether this is spamming your connections or not.

  5. MJ Gottlieb says:

    Great post Carol-

    I think it was a great guerrilla marketing tactic from you, so I disagree with the gentleman above that perceived it as spam. Spam (to me at least) would be if you were selling something. Here, you encouraged interaction and feedback which I think is very smart and insightful.

    As you know, today’s publishing is quite different than it used to be as Publishers are not allocating the marketing dollars anymore and are leaving things more up to the writer and his or her own platform and connections to promote their works.

    As writers we have to ‘bootstrap’ just like any entrepreneur does to get their company off the ground. Though writing is not my exclusive focus, I do have a book coming out in November and my publisher is looking for my blog and network as the platform to promote it so that is what I will do!

    Have a great weekend and keep doing what you are doing as I very much reading your content. Best-MJ

  6. Carol, you are a freaking marketing genius. I love this post. You gave me an idea that I actually haven’t heard before. And thanks to your advice in the past, I grew significantly in my career. You are awesome. Thanks for this and for everything.

    You’re the real deal, lady.
    Angie Atkinson recently posted…BlissFire Media opens the web for businessesMy Profile

  7. Dawn Witzke says:

    Carol – I think this is an excellent networking idea (Although not one you’d want to use often via InMail). If you weren’t targeting a specific set of contacts, this could also be done in one of the many groups or a shorter version through a profile “update.”

    I totally disagree with Chip. This was not spam. These aren’t random strangers that you’re blasting with a tacky sales pitch. These are business connections. They expect collegues to contact them for help, on the assumption that those asking for assistance will recipricate when they need something.

  8. Genius! Love this idea. I never would’ve thought of this, so thanks a bunch for pointing it out!
    Jessica Flory recently posted…Is this Agent Reputable? Do I Really Need an Agent?My Profile

  9. Chip says:

    So you are using linked in to Spam people? This is like the driver who sees a merge arrow on the freeway then drives all the way to the final merge point before cutting in at the last moment passing all the other people who merged in a reasonable manner. Doing something no one else is doing doesn’t necessary mean you are clever, sometimes you are just being a jerk.

    You put a lot of great content on this blog and on the den, but you are off base here. If you really want to “brainstorm” then send a real mail to the people who you truly value. If you have to put quotes around “personal” it isn’t personal, it’s spam.

    Using your list is fine, reaching out to specific people for specific feedback is fine, sending the same mail to seven hundred people is spam. I know that as a marketer you have to do what it takes to get your book in frot of eyes, andit sounds like you got some great opportunities to do more marketing through your efforts. Good for you, but spam is still spam, even when it works.

    And now, posting this tip on your high readership blog, will only encourage other people to follow your lead, and usually the people most confident in following advice like this are the least qualified to be writing anything. So, When thousands of bad writers spam their lists to ask for brainstorming session on their self-published memoir of living with an alcohlic cat, you will have indirectly created a situation in which real writers will no longer be able toget a response to personal messages sent to people on their lists because “everyone knows the inmail is just a bunch of spam”

    Do not spam.

    • Carol Tice says:

      You think it’s spam for me to ask my network for ideas? I don’t, and neither did my network.

      Realize this technique may push a boundary for some people…but maybe it depends on how you formed your network.

      A lot of people connect on LinkedIn with random people who invite them to…and I don’t.

      My network is about 95% people I know quite well and mostly they are huge fans of what I’m doing.

      Otherwise, this technique would probably create a LOT of problems and get you reported.

      But if your network is people who are REALLY in your network, you can do this.

      Even as is, note that I did NOT send to everyone in my network…I did hand-pick the list and leave out about 100 people I thought weren’t appropriate for this request.

      I think if LI didn’t want you to be able to mass-mail your connections, they wouldn’t have a feature that lets you do it.

      • chip says:

        Thanks for the reply. As I said, I have a great deal of respect for you and your work but I disagree in this case both with what you did, and with what this post teaches your readers to do.

        Spam is sending bulk unsolicited emails for your own benefit.

        Asking for feedback from people who have a good reciprocal working relationship with is networking. In your reply to me, you make your group mail appear to be networking, in your post, you are teaching people to spam. Nowhere in your post do you mention what value you left the people who were taking time out of their day to help you.

        In your OP, you talk about sending 700 form mails in less than an hour, filtering out the hundred or so people who would not benefit you. (my inference from your reply to another comment) The reason Linked in limits you to fifty is probably to allow people to communicate to a wide audience while still trying to prevent spam. The reason linked in gets a high response rate (as mentioned in your OP) is because they do not allow spam. If everyone starts sending out batch mails asking for marketing help, that response rate will fall through the floor faster than you could click the unsub button.

        Maybe you really do know 800 people very well and have a good working relationship with them, (numerous studies cast doubt on your claim but that is a conversation to be had over beers on a patio somewhere) but think of the lowest common denominator reading this. They see Carol Tice – a respected author – telling them that it is ok, and good to circumvent the TOS, and ask everyone on their list for help marketing their project.

        I think it was either you or Linda who recently sent out a mail to their list asking for feedback on the contents of an upcoming book. I didn’t feel that mail was spam because I signed up for the list, and because the sender was asking for help with a project that would ultimately benefit me. If they just sent a link to their book and asked me to forward it to all my contacts I would have been mildly irritated – though I did sign up for the list so I get what I get.

        Everything you said in your reply to me belongs in the OP. You are an important teacher, but showing people how to send bulk mails without mentioning the ethics of it is teaching only half the lesson.

        1. Do not spam
        2. Only send the request to people you have a good working relationship with and whom you have helped in the past (obviously, someone has to start the help chain, so some of the people could be those you intend to help in the future
        3. Offer the helpers some benefit – this gets to why I doubt that you really know 700 people all that well. Do you know enough about their lives and careers to have some thing to offer in return? I have a very small list, but in the past year I have sent mails to nearly every person on it with ideas I have seen in the news, people I have met, or situations that could be beneficial to them. I don’t look for these things, but because I know my list very well, when something of interest to my friends pops up, it immediately trips a switch in my brain – “Hey, John would like this” or “Mary has been looking for a new prop stylist, that person sounds perfect for her.”
        4. Do not spam.

        I am not opposed to marketing. I love surveys, discount clubs, and tracking cookies – someone wants to see what I like so that they can find other products I could benefit from and tell me about them? sign me up! Still, markers in general are smarmy enough without the good people teaching bad practices. I appreciate your work, and learn a great deal from you, and I stand by my assertion that this is not good advice or a good practice.

        • Carol Tice says:

          Obviously, we’re going to agree to disagree here, Chip.

          But I don’t believe #3 is a rule of email marketing — every reach-out you ever do has to include a benefit to the recipient? You can never just ask anyone for help, even just for a chance to pick their brain? I don’t agree. I see top blog-based business people do that all the time, sometimes just reach out to their list and ask for help. I think there isn’t a darn thing wrong with it.

          It’s not like I do this a lot, which I think is also an important thing to bring forward. You can’t be all take-take-take, and you should be out helping your network most days.

          I don’t think I violated any of the other rules, and the fact that it pissed off no one I think backs that up.

          If I thought it was gray hat or something that would get people in trouble I obviously wouldn’t recommend it! I don’t think I did violated LinkedIn’s policies.

          But you do raise an important point, as many people have sorta bogus networks of people they don’t really know on LinkedIn…and you certainly should NOT do this technique with a list like that.

          Now, if I just knew what an OP is. 😉

          • chip says:

            OP=original post.

            you are correct, we will agree to disagree on this, and I do still like most of your work.

          • Carol, I am SO anti-spam that in the late 90s I belonged to an anti-spam organization and received death threats from spammers I turned in. I even wrote on spam for Wired and Wired news.

            So, that said: If I had received your InMail, I would definitely not have considered it spam. I often get those “Hey, buy my book” InMails sent indiscriminately to every contact the person has, and THOSE I find annoying. But if you InMailed me because I looked like someone who would know what’s what in your industry and you asked me for help in something I’m interested in/connected with…not spam.

            People on LinkedIn can very easily report your InMails for spam, and if they do that you’ll lose your InMail privileges. If that didn’t happen to you, I think you’re in the clear.

            After all, why belong to a networking group if you can’t actually network?
            Linda Formichelli recently posted…Are You Ignoring These Lucrative Article Markets That Are Right in Front of Your Face?My Profile

  10. I like linkedin but don’t use it the way it ought to be used. This is a great use. I feel like Terri about coming across as a spammer, but linkedin usually means a serious group who want to help.

    Thanks Carol

    PS: I was inside Powells looking for the 2014 Writers Market and found a 2013 edition with you on the front. That was a nice surprise.
    David Gillaspie recently posted…USA Football Month For BoomersMy Profile

    • Chip says:

      Spamming a group of people who want to help is still spam. Its just spamming a target audience, which will make them less likely to want to help in the future.

      • Carol Tice says:

        Why is it spam to ask my network to give me ideas on book marketing? I think the point of LI is to refer each other…it’s a legitimate, inoffensive request that my network was happy to help on.

        A spam request — and I get them on LI — is “My book just came out — please go buy it right now!” Or “My new website just launched — sign up for my paid service!”

        Obnoxiously hard-selling your connections is definitely spam.

        I don’t think what I did is, but I’d love to hear more feedback on it.

        • chip says:

          I think my biggest issues are the bulk mail, the tips on how to get around linked-ins limits, (as you said, you could use your regular list server for this instead, but lists tend to have low response rates – because of spam), and the self-serving nature or the mail.

          Your second sentence is, “I did a lot of things to promote the book.” In your eighth sentence you begin to talk about your bulk mail idea referring back to your marketing statement saying, “But there was one thing I did a bit late in the game that blew all my other strategies out of the water.” You then tell your readers that you sent unsolicited bulk emails to 700 linkedin contacts for the purpose of marketing your book. and further tell them how to get around the networks bulk mail limits, while acknowledging that you did not use your regular email marketing program because linkedin has a better response rate.

          That is spam.

          I do see your point in letting people know what you are up to – with a list of 700+ most people are not thinking of you unless they hear from you. As I mention below, the problem is that you don’t tell the readers how or when to ethically employ the tool.

          You promoted your book under the guise of asking for help promoting your book. If you were really looking for help you would have visited those contact’s sites, or remembered that they were hosting a conference you would be a good speaker for, or sent specific mails to the contacts who you knew had recently released their own products asking them about specific techniques they used, or sent specific mails to marketing professionals in your group asking for their rates or tips they might have.

          Granted,you said this idea came to you late in the game so you had to use a quick and dirty approach rather than networking by using your personal connections with the people on your list to find resources while you were putting together your marketing plan. But why not teach the right way to do it – personal emails to specific people for specific reasons – rather than teaching people to use the results of your last minute experiment as a regular business practice.

          Bulk mails for personal gain are spam. Email marketing that the recipient did not opt-in to is spam. marketing disguised as networking is still marketing. When you use quotes around the word personal or describe the mail you sent as “personal looking,” you are using deceit to get people to open your message that they would otherwise toss.

          I don’t think either of us will convince the other or the rightness or wrongness of our position here, but with all of the people leaving glowing comments about using this to market their own books, I feel that at least one person should call a spade a spade. Hundreds of people using linkedin to trick people into reading their marketing campaigns will hurt linkedin, the same as it damages pintrest, tumbler, twitter or any other social network. The reason linkedin works is because it is (relatively) free of marketing. You just told people to go fish in the pond with the sign that says “no fishing” because all the really big fish are there and they bite on anything.

          • Carol Tice says:

            Don’t agree with that analogy. And I still don’t feel like a spammer.

            I get InMails like this myself, and don’t feel spammed.

            But appreciate your passion for marketing here and doing it right. We all have to be guided by our sense of what feels ethical to do.

            For instance, I know a ton of marketers who will send me emails 3x a day when they’re hard-selling something, and that to me feels wrong. So I don’t do it.

            I see what I did as a very far cry from that, and I wasn’t truly marketing at my connections…just asking for their advice, which they were happy to give. It’s interesting how upsetting you find an interaction that 700 others found OK.

  11. Nice idea. BUT… I’d sent the 50-at-a-time from my free (personal) LinkedIn account at one point, simply announcing the launch of my new book a year ago. I sent about five such messages to reach all my contacts at the time. But then LinkedIn blocked me and sent me a note that in order to be reinstated, I had to reread the terms of use and send them an email swearing never to do this again. I did. Now I guess if I’d had a paid LinkedIn account they’d have been more forgiving.

    • Terri says:

      Hi Lynette, my comment is unrelated to this blog post. However, you mentioned that you haven’t paid for a premium account. I’m not sure if you are aware but there is a group called Linkedin for Journalists that gives you a free premium account. Once a month, the group leader offers free calls showing journalists how Linkedin can beneficial to them. At the end of the call, she gives directions on how to claim your free year of a premium account. You just need to be a member of the Linkedin for Journalists group and sign-up for the call. It’s how I got my free premium account.
      Terri recently posted…Don’t Trust the Statistics. They’re Lying to YouMy Profile

  12. Carol, you can see from all the previous comments that this idea is a great one that anyone about to launch can use.

    Like Terri, I’m a little uneasy about sending out a mass request, but I have reached out to selected contacts taking time to personalize each one. Now I’m encouraged by your success to try it with all my contacts next time.

    Thanks for sharing this idea, especially with the specific directions on how to implement it. With my own book launch coming up next month, this is right on time.
    Flora Morris Brown recently posted…Want Success? Decide the What, Let the How Take Care of ItselfMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Seems like quite a few of my readers are planning books — glad I’ve got good timing!

      I didn’t send to ALL my LI contacts…I did still sift through the list.

      Use the “Categories” area for that or “Industries” — I found sorting it for people in related topics to the book — entrepreneurship, startup, consulting — gave me a great list to reach out to. Others I skipped.

  13. Tom Bentley says:

    Bright idea, Carol. And as you say, if the request is phrased properly, it won’t look like some desperate plea, but as a collaborative thing among peers. Thanks for the tip!
    Tom Bentley recently posted…Slashed by the Editor’s PenMy Profile

  14. Great post, Carol. LinkedIn is an excellent tool to keep in touch with your connections, and you’re absolutely right. People do love to help when you ask them for something specific that is within their ability to do. Wishing you every success! ~Carol

    • Carol Tice says:

      Right on, Carol — I wish everyone would try this with a project, even if it’s not a book. It’s just great to see LinkedIn really work for you!

    • chip says:

      No. They don’t. or at least not all of them. Some people like it because it makes them feel important, other people – like Carol – have their own reasons for wanting to help (like building a good sustainable business out of it) but most people do not get great joy out of responding to random requests for help.

      I work for a well-established long time writer. She gets 700-1000 hits a day on her site, and hundreds of e-mails. One of my primary jobs is to reply to people and say, “no.”

      No the person who wants help getting their book published (it doesn’t work that way,) no to the person who wants an endorsement of their badly written self-published tome that desperately needs an editor and five more rewrites before it will even be presentable as a query. No to the person who wants “just a few free signed copies” to sell at their new bookstore. o to free speaking engagements for people who stand to profit from the authors name value, No to the cleaning lady who says her television “got stolen” and do we have any extras (as she looks at the flatscreen in the guest room with hungry eyes.) No to the plumber who hands me a ten-thousand dollar estimate instead of just fixing the pipe that is leaking. Sorry, the rant ran away from there for a minute.

      But no, people do not want to do your work for you for free. If carol approached each of those 700 hundred people that she spammed in less than an hour with a personal note offering her help or a contact for one of their projects before asking for help on her won then it would not be spam. Asking seven hundred people for help – and filtering out those who you don’t stand to benefit from – while offering nothing in return, is spam.

      Please, DO NOT send random emails to people you don’t really know in the hope that they will help you market your work – unless your work is truly groundbreaking and will make the person helping you’s life better.(HINT: it probably isn’t) If they really have the resources you want, they likely have better things to do than answer one more request or fill one more outstretched hand.

      • Carol Tice says:

        I didn’t send to any people I don’t really know, Chip. I’ve built my network the way LI recommends — only connecting with people I know and want to network with.

        And of course, I didn’t get 700 responses. Many people didn’t want to help out in this or didn’t have time, so they didn’t respond. I certainly didn’t expect a 100% response rate! Totally appreciate that we’re all busy people and can’t always help everyone with everything. I’m assuming if people had no ideas on marketing a business book, they also did not reply. Which is just fine.

        People ask for referrals from their connections on LinkedIn all the time through their tool for that, and for recommendations, neither of which benefit the other party. I think the request I made was in line with that and is in keeping with the culture of LinkedIn, and the response — many, many helpful and positive, and basically zero negative reactions — bears that out.

        I’d love to have time to send 700 individual emails, but that just is not physically possible given my other commitments, especially to serving 1000+ Den members. Don’t think I know many book marketers who would have that kind of time, anyway.

        • I got that InMail and thought I’d share my initial thoughts. Of course I knew it was not a personal one, but I did not consider it spammy. First, because it’s not something I’ve ever seen from Carol do before (create anything even remotely spammy). And second, because it was worded in such a way that it made me feel that I was someone whose opinion she values.
          Angie Atkinson recently posted…BlissFire Media opens the web for businessesMy Profile

          • Carol Tice says:

            And you know you are, Angie! 😉

            Thanks for sharing a recipient’s eye view.

            And you raise a good point — you wouldn’t want to do something like this a lot. But I’d never done it before. Definitely save your powder on this for when you have an important project!

  15. Jawad says:

    Hi Carol,
    Great post, as always!
    My book is also slated for publication next month, and I’d been looking for ideas and tips on how to market it. Although this book is through traditional publisher and they do the bulk of marketing to promote, I still wanted to do my share to create the buzz!
    Ever since you first mentioned about your book and how you plan to promote/market it, I’d been anxiously looking to read everything about it.
    Fortunately, my LinkedIn network consists of almost 5,000 connections and most of them are highly relevant to my area of working (or related to my book), so this idea (LinkedIn) will do quite well for me too.
    Thank you once again.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Wow, 5000 connections — I’m impressed! Definitely make use of that. You could probably assemble an epic launch team/brain trust and get terrific suggestions from such a big network.

      But really want to correct your thinking when you say “they will do the bulk of the marketing”…I hate to burst your bubble, but it’s highly likely that they will do next to nothing. You’d do well to start asking questions and finding out exactly what they plan to do. Brace yourself for disappointment there.

      In general, it’s on the author to promote the book.

      • Jawad says:

        Carol,
        I certainly remember your tip/advice, when you mentioned that despite working for traditional publishing house, the author STILL has to do the bulk/major part of book promotion and marketing. To ensure I get it all right, I have scheduled a detailed call early next week with the Marketing Head of the publisher to see how we can collaborate on this. At the same time, Also, I will certainly be leveraging my biggest writing asset to-date: Updating my author’s byline for each article/column published on various websites, to say something like “… author of the published book…”. I am told that my articles/columns are read by over 100K industry professionals, so this will go a LONG way to promote the book! 🙂
        It’s good to have folks like you for constant advises and encouragement!

  16. Erica says:

    I’ve often asked one or two people for their thoughts and recommendations for books. The one time I reached out to my network for help (asked if anyone knew of a guide or resource for writing a business plan for my freelance business), I found out that yes, people are wonderfully willing to help. To the point of information overload.

    No matter how much I tried, my business plan went unwritten until you recommended bplans.com in a comment in one of your previous posts. So, thank you for that. 🙂
    Erica recently posted…What do you feed your Cowardly Lion?My Profile

    • Thanks Carol. This post is so relevant to my experience as a recent author. I did a ton of marketing – much of what you give as examples. But I didn’t do that idea with linkedin that you describe. I really like it. It makes sense logically that it would really spread interest in the book by getting like-minded people involved in the process. Thanks for the great post. (and your book is on my night-table for reading at night. 🙂
      Miriam Hendeles recently posted…A New FaceliftMy Profile

      • Carol Tice says:

        Enjoy the book, Miriam!

        What I didn’t do that would have been great was a “launch team” of related bloggers who would plug it…I’ve seen Jeff Goins do that to tremendous effect.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Yeah, bplans is great! Their founder is super-smart.

      And I’m with you — it was totally an info overload, all the ideas and suggestions I got! I had to prioritize, and plugged the best ones into my Excel to act on.

  17. Terri says:

    This is a great idea and I’m glad it worked out for you. However, I’m wondering if you had a fear of coming of as “spammy” when sending these out. I once sent Inmail to someone who looked at my profile and asked if she needed help with writing as I noticed she peeked at my page. Instead of an accepted Inmail, she marked the content as inappropriate and proceeded to send me an email saying I spammed her and that she will report me if I continue doing such things.

    Ever since that incident I’ve been extremely wary of sending Inmail such as the one you did or any other type of Inmail for that matter.
    Terri recently posted…Don’t Trust the Statistics. They’re Lying to YouMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Terri, I send a lot of those “You viewed my profile” InMails and have never been reported.

      If you’re going to market yourself — either as an author or a freelance writer — you have to have a little bit of a thick skin. Not every person will be thrilled to be contacted. You can’t get all a-scared after one negative experience and stop marketing. There’s always the odd crank in the bunch somewhere. You can’t let them stop you.

      I did get a couple people who ribbed me for the “Hey there –” salutation instead of an individual name. But the dozens of people who were happy to help me really made it worth it. I didn’t get any truly negative feedback in 700 requests.

      I did pick through my list and it didn’t go to every single person on there — think I excluded about 100 people who I felt I didn’t know well enough to make the offer to, or felt they just weren’t appropriate for this request.

      • Terri says:

        Thanks for the feedback. For me, the problem isn’t about not having a thick skin. After years auditioning for musicals, dance productions, and model assignments and have people criticize to my face, I’ve definitely developed a thick skin for being scrutinized. I’m just scared that my LinkedIn privileges will be revoked. I really don’t care if someone doesn’t like what I wrote. It’s when you threaten to get me in trouble that I get worried about it. Before I got one disgruntled note, I never thought about those messages resembling spam. Yet, once I was called on it, I realized that it very well could be likened to spam. However, I suppose I can try it again and see what happens.
        Terri recently posted…Don’t Trust the Statistics. They’re Lying to YouMy Profile

  18. Elke Feuer says:

    What a great idea, Carol! I’m compiling a list of things to make my next book launch a success and will add this to the list.

    For my first book I posted notices on my personal and author Facebook pages, and sent out emails to friends/family. Because I live in a small community I was able to get a great spread in the newspaper.

    I’m working on TV and radio for my next release and coordinating it with my release date and book signing. My next book is self-published, and I’m looking forward to controlling the coordination of the launch.
    Elke Feuer recently posted…Bad Guys, Villains, and Deadly BloodlinesMy Profile

  19. Daryl says:

    Wow Carol, that sounds like a great idea! Currently, I only reach out to one or two of my really close friends to get feedback on ideas for my blog writing and proofreading, which has definitely had a positive impact on my writing.

    What i’d love to know is this: have you tried the same strategies reaching out to your network on other social media sites, such as Facebook, twitter etc? Why/why not?
    If you did, what do you think the results would be like?
    Daryl recently posted…Freelance Writing Income Reports: The Importance of Being EarnestMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Daryl — I didn’t do it other places.

      Facebook and Twitter, most of your connections don’t necessarily see your request. But with LinkedIn most will get an email or see it in their LinkedIn inbox when they’re on LI — it persists, it doesn’t vanish down a roll of other messages. So to me it’s the best place for it.

      Also, LI is all about business. Everyone is on there to do business and help others build their business. So to me the climate of LI is right for this method. And the results truly blew me away.

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