Well, today’s the day! My first solo-byline print book, The Pocket Small Business Owner’s Guide to Starting Your Business on a Shoestring, is out.
With a traditional print book, it’s a long road to this day.
This particular trail started about 18 months ago, when I got an email from a publisher looking for a new title in their “Dummies”-type small business guidebook series.
In April 2012, I turned in my draft. It’s definitely hard to wait such a long time to see 200+ pages of my writing see the light of day.
The past month, I’ve been devoting all the time I can to promoting the book. The book site is up. There’s a Twitter handle. I’ve got business cards, and a conference I’m just back from where I had a chance to talk it up.
Last week, books arrived in the warehouse. And today, the book is officially on sale.
As a busy mom of a couple of tweens with a freelance career and a blog and writer community to run…I’m as ready as I was able to get.
What I’ve learned about book marketing
I learned some hard lessons on my first print book, How They Started. I counted on my publisher to plug the book way too much, and the result was that sales were disappointing.
This time, I dove in and started cranking. One book review is already up, thanks to my efforts.
What are my takeaways from this round of book marketing? Here are the three highlights:
I’d say my big lesson is to subscribe to some book-marketing blogs, take trainings, and ask around my network for what to do. I got great referrals for guest post sites as well as new marketing tips I hadn’t thought of, like building a Wikipedia page.
And I only have those business cards because of an in-person training I took two weeks ago (had to order them on a rush!). Some book-marketing activities only take a minute or two to do, so the more techniques you know, the better your options.
After writing madly for weeks, a blogstorm of at least a dozen guest posts should go down today, some of them on widely popular blogs, with more posts and podcasts going up through the rest of this week.
More requests for guest posts are still rolling in and I still have a list of a few big business sites that are wide-open for contributions that I plan to hit, so I expect there will be a steady stream of additional posts for the rest of this month.
I’m holding a launch party at the co-working place where I spend much of my summers. Making a cake that looks like my book cover! Just because I can, and it’ll be funny.
Also, I discovered that if we take some high-res pictures of the launch party, my local city lifestyle magazine will print them in the fall issue. Documenting the event gives you another marketing opportunity, so that’s just another good reason to have a launch party.
Instead of a boring book talk, I’ll be offering free business coaching on how to save money to attendees, in keeping with the book’s theme. I’m excited to break from the usual format and do something more freewheeling and hopefully useful to participants.
Most of all, I think it’s just time to take a day to let it sink in. I wrote a traditional book. All by myself. No one can ever take that away.
Tomorrow, I can start thinking about what’s next. Where does this new milestone lead me? What other marketing activities could I do in the coming weeks to keep momentum going?
Today, though, my whole plan is to smile and enjoy — and respond to commenters on guest posts.
How have you celebrated publication days? Leave a comment and share.