Nonfiction book review: Get Your Book Seen and Sold
by Claudine Wolk & Julie Murkette
122 pages, Lost Valley Press, 2023
book review by William J. Grote
It’s easier than ever before to get your book into the market, but getting the word out about your newly published tome and directing them to where it’s available for sale is much more complex. With today’s Internet and social media, there are so many online possibilities it’s hard for authors to know where to start or how to effectively spend their time and money.
Many writers are not born extroverts and book marketing often requires a certain amount of “tooting your own horn” that some writers find awkward or even frightening – especially when they don’t know how to start. How do you find which marketing methods work and which don’t? How do you establish a plan? Fortunately, here you’ll find a plan and a timetable for carrying it out.
Having worked for traditional publishers, I expected the marketing process would be easy when I wrote and self-published my first book. I was wrong. I wish I’d had the knowledge available in Get Your Book Seen and Sold at the time. This book covers “how-to” advice on strategizing and setting up a marketing plan on a shoestring. Which is something every author and new book publisher can use.
Get Your Book Seen and Sold starts out with the basics: the different methods of publishing – traditional, hybrid, and self-publishing with the pros and cons of each. Each option is detailed and the pages include informative specifics for each method. For example, if your aim is garnering representation and pitching to a traditional publisher, it covers exactly what to include in your query. Book distributors, retailers, and publishing options are included to help you figure out what might be the best option for publishing your book and getting it distributed.
The remaining two-thirds of Get Your Book Seen and Sold is dedicated to methods of promotion and marketing, starting with easy-to-understand exercises for developing a message, an audience, and an advertising “hook” that will help you more easily explain what makes your book unique. The authors go to great pains to make these “how-to” exercises easy to understand. For instance, one exercise helps you consider how you’d explain your book to a total stranger by forcing you to distill your “message” into the most basic ingredients. The authors include examples of distilled messaging so you can understand how to refine your own. That way you’ll be ready to answer the “What do you write?” question in social settings – even in an elevator when you have little time.
To present your book you need to follow proven industry protocols that many writers may be unaware of. Get Your Book Seen and Sold explains how to create a media kit and exactly what ingredients should be included to best promote the benefits that your book offers. You’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to write an industry-standard press release. A sample press release is provided so you can see how to format it. You’ll be shown how to write a sample author interview with questions and answers that make you actually seem interesting enough to interview and make your book sparkle.
Don’t have a million-dollar marketing budget? Don’t fret. Wolk and Murkette show you how to set up a realistic marketing plan for next to nothing.
You’ll learn how to:
- create a media contact list
- find and approach book reviewers
- use social media effectively
Get Your Book Seen and Sold is filled with worksheets, checklists, sample press releases, marketing plans, and plenty of unique and efficient ideas most of us authors have never thought of before. Wolk and Murkette share their own marketing secrets in simple, easy-to-follow methods to help any potential author get the word out about a new book in an organized, effective method to the largest audience possible. Don’t make the same mistake I made. Read this book before you publish your own.