Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How Much Time Does It Take to Successfully Market a Book?

After putting 600 hours into the actual research and writing of my book, Right to Recover Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America, I did not expect to turn around and spend nearly that many hours promoting it.

I was spending a lot of time trying to arrange appearances, giving lectures, setting up book signings, doing a virtual blog tour, writing and sending media releases, and writing articles about the topic and posting them on free article directories where other people would pick up stuff. Additionally, I was querying medical magazines hoping to get an article published there. There was constantly something to do every day to promote that book.

I spent close to $4,000 on traditional marketing because I hired a publicist to help me. To spend that much time and money on it, I needed the sales from the book to cover at least my investment in order to say that it was worth the time and effort. When that first royalty check came, I was not impressed enough to continue promoting the book. Maybe if I had continued it would have sold enough copies to even things out, but I had to go back to trying to make a living to pay for what I had already invested.

Maybe I didn’t get a financial return on my investment, but what I did get from the experience is an education. I learned so much from writing and publishing that book—not just about stem cell research but also about the publishing industry, how a book goes through the process at a publishing house, and what BEA and other books trade shows are all about. I also learned a lot about how to market a book. I’ve learned that the best way to market a book is online. When I started utilizing the Internet for book marketing, the sales increased because I could reach more people in less time and spend less money doing it—a lot less!

I have shared the knowledge I gained from marketing my book in hopes of saving someone the frustration and disappointment I faced. I’m now offering my knowledge and information in Book Marketing in the Digital Age: Online Promotion Made Easy available at

Yvonne Perry, is the owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services—a team of highly qualified writers and editors with many years of experience in writing for articles, books, ad copy, media releases, PR kits, Web text, biographical sketches, and newsletters. Editing, proofreading, book review, and book evaluation services offered individually and as packages. Find us online at

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ssmall said...

I am working on marketing an online web series at the moment, and I've found it difficult to get a lot of traffic to the website for the book:

Even though the book is really interesting and easy to listen to on audio, it's still taking time to get people there! Still, I couldn't agree more about online marketing beating out the traditional publicist...

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Online is certainly cheaper but I think it often requires more time.

If writers really understood what was involved to promote a book, they'd never finish what they were writing!

L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”