Category Archives: Book Marketing

Book Marketing Flyer for Dummies

Our Romantic Getaway Book Flyer Ad Final
Anyone with Word can create this easy do-it-yourself sell sheet.

As a member of the National Association of Book Entrepreneurs (NABE), my novel Our Romantic Getaway was recently included in their marketing efforts at the 2015 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Show in Portland, Oregon.

As a follow-up, I wanted to send a marketing flyer to all of the potential buyers who visited their booth and/or had expressed interest in my book.

I went online and researched how to put together an effective sell sheet, but was unable to find anything that I could tailor for my personal use. I am a fan of for printing postcards, business cards, and other marketing materials, but they had no templates available that appropriately fit my book selling sheet needs.

So I did a little cut and paste job in Word and voila, I came up with an attractive, cogent marketing tool.

I purchased white 8.5 x 11 card stock (65 lb) and fed the paper through my printer feeder—the front page first, and then placed the completed front page back into the feeder for the back section.

You can download this PDF to see the final product. Our Romantic Getaway Book Flyer

If you need assistance putting a sell sheet together, contact me at and I would be happy to quote you an extremely reasonable price to do it for you!

Below is a quick and easy guide to a DIY marketing flyer:

Keep your sell sheet clean and simple. It’s better to include detailed information about a couple of things than to have bits of partial information about a lot of things.

Include a quote, excerpt of a review, blurb, or endorsement from a well-known person or well-respected authority. Including any awards your book has received will give you credibility as an author.

Flyers with color will almost always stand out from plain black and white flyers. You don’t have to spend a lot of money for the flyer, and if you have a color printer you can print them yourself. If you don’t have a color printer and don’t want to spend the money to have your flyer professionally printed, you can use brightly colored printing paper with bold black text to make sure your flyer stands out.

You don’t want to risk producing a flyer with sub-standard print quality, so while it may be cost effective to use your own printer, Kinkos, Staples, Office Max, or any similar retail
printing establishment can provide affordable flyer printing services. You want your final product to look as professional as possible, so make sure your printer can provide the quality you need.

And don’t forget to make sure your contact information is easy to locate. Offer clear instructions on how to reach you or how to take advantage of your promotion.

If you set up your flyer in Word, your first side should highlight your book cover only. That’s what you’re trying to sell right? The second side of the flyer will include all the other information.

Here is what I included on my flyer:

    • A photo of the book cover (I copied a jpg of my cover and pasted it into Word)
    • Title of the book (I also placed an award sticker on my front page)
    • Author name
    • Brief description (See my article Write the Perfect Book Blurb for tips)
    • Publisher
    • Category
    • Format
    • ISBN#
    • Pages
    • Retail Price 
    • Contact Information (Mailing address, e-mail, website, blog, telephone)
    • Author Photo (I printed out a photo, using double-sided tape to add it to flyer)
    • About the Author
    • If you are available for book signing events, add a line saying so
    • A quote, excerpt of a review, blurb, or endorsement from a well-known person or well-respected authority.
    • Relevant PR or marketing plans) (only if you have room)

If you are mailing the flyer, try to call ahead and get the name of the manager. If you don’t know the name of the manager you can address it as “Attention: Book Buyer.”

If you are visiting the local bookstores in your surrounding area, ask to speak to the manager of the store. If the manager is not available, leave the flyer anyway. But make sure to ask for the manager’s name so you can contact or mail them at a later date.

Introduce yourself as a local author, and encourage them to order your book and stock it in their store. Emphasize the fact that you plan on promoting your book extensively in the area and would like to tell people where they can find it for purchase, i.e. recommending their store. You may also decide to leave a copy of your book for their review.

If the bookstore enjoys lots of traffic, etc. and you wish to conduct a book signing there, ask the manager if he or she is interested in hosting a book signing. Most bookstore managers love hosting events, particularly with a local author that will encourage patrons to buy books from their store.

If your flyer is more of a marketing tool for readers, let them know where to purchase your book. If the book is carried by only one or two wholesalers, list them. If handled by a distributor, include the distributor’s name and 800#.

Sometimes it takes more than one mailing to interest a potential buyer so don’t give up too quickly.  And don’t expect miracles. Marketing is a process. It takes time. Look how long it took you to write your book!

Writing the Perfect Book Blurb in 25 Words

Marketing books

I was recently asked to provide a book blurb for my novel Our Romantic Getaway  in 25 words or less—including the title. As the queen of verbiage, this was no easy task.

I started out with 375 words, and then cut it back to 180. That was the easy breezy part. Then I copied and pasted, added and deleted for a while, and whittled it down to 100. How was I going to shave off another 75 words?

Try as I could, the 25 word blurb was not progressing well at all.

I applied my old grade school lesson of who what when why where. This was actually quite helpful.

With some major who what when why and whereing, I was finally able to get to 25 words exactly! It was a time consuming and laborious exercise, but the creation of a succinct 25 word pitch was eventually accomplished as follows:

Our Romantic Getaway:  A couple’s vacation goes awry when they are bumped to a risqué nude resort. Can their marriage survive the bizarre, eye-opening experience?

My 25 word accomplishment got me thinking of all kinds of things I could narrow down.


A bathroom reminder for my husband:  Roll toothpaste from bottom, toilet seat down, wipe sink, use your towel, toilet paper goes over, clean toothpaste off mirror, change light bulb if dark.

(I was so proud of this one that I wrote it on a post it and stuck it on the bathroom mirror.)

Important kitchen reminders: Garbage pickup Tuesday and Friday, no dirty dishes in sink, write grocery list legibly, do not overflow trash can, dining room table not for storage.

(I was getting pretty good at this 25 word blurb thing so I really went on a roll.)

Thirteen major no no’s: Don’t gossip, spit in public, be greedy, curse, lecture, slouch, be cheap, crack knuckles, blow nose in restaurants, bite nails, talk with mouth full, procrastinate.

Life lessons for my kids Yoda style: Text and drive do not. Seek advice you must. Your mother and father honor. Your best try. Fair life is not. To dope say nope.


How to Market Your Book

Marketing your book

I get hundreds of e-mails asking me how my book is selling and what kind of effort I have been putting into getting it out there.

Here is my partial answer:

As a recent novelist, I can tell you that the marketing and selling of Our Romantic Getaway  has been grueling. The payoff has been worth it, although it has been slow going and ridiculously time-consuming.  Bottom line: It’s all about the buzz.

Okay, so you wrote a book and it’s finally out there. Congratulations! The feeling of holding a copy of your published work is indescribable. But once the euphoria wears off it’s time to sell and market.

You thought writing the book was exhausting? Writing it was the opening act. Now it’s time for the featured presentation.

It takes a village to be a successful writer. And writers need readers—a village of them. Focus on readers and you’ll get sales.

You may not think of yourself as a salesperson, but you better start thinking like one if you want your book to be successful.

First and foremost, you need to create and build a large and loyal fan base. It’s all about branding. You need to brand yourself as an author, editor, publisher, blogger, marketer, and anything else worth branding.  It’s all about creating your authorial image and persona.

The most successful selling tool available to you is word of mouth. Don’t be afraid to cultivate readers—one reader at a time.

Make sure to give away books. If you hand out your book for free to one person, they may tell two, and those two may tell four. When people talk positively about your book, the word will spread fast, and your book will sell.  The more people read it (and presumably like it), the quicker the word will spread, and with enough people spreading the word, you’ve finally got buzz.

But if no one knows your book is out there, no one will buy it, which equals zero buzz.  And zero sales.

Start compiling a list of magazines, websites, blogs and organizations you think are in sync with your book genre. Then send out a review request in the hopes of getting reviewed.

Here is an example of a review request:

I’ve recently published a book and would appreciate your considering reading it for possible review.  My book is entitled [Book title here]; see the short synopsis below.

[Synopsis here.]

If you are interested in reading my book, I’ll gladly send a complimentary copy. If you would like additional information about me or my book, please go to [Website here].

Thank you in advance for your time, and I hope to hear from you.  

Create an author website. Create a Facebook page (book title or author). Create a blog. Create a Twitter account.  Blog, tweet and Facebook often, and build a solid base of followers and friends.  Social media is the only way to build an audience, and eventually you’ll find your subset. Or more accurately, your subset will find you.

Offer to speak at workshops for free, and donate books to appropriate organizations.

Send any reader who contacts you a request for a short review on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, etc. Here is an example of a reader review request:

Thanks so much for your kind words about my book! If you have a spare moment, it would be a great help if you could post a review of it on Amazon, Goodreads or Barnes and Noble. Letting other potential readers know why you liked the book would help increase interest in it. It’s not necessary to write a lengthy, formal review—a quick summary is perfect. Here are the links should you be so kind as to write a review: [Insert links here].

Create quality promotional business cards and postcards and have them available at all times. Remember that you are never off marketing duty.

And don’t be discouraged if months later your book is still unknown. Your marketing can take years. And try to publish a book every year. No, I’m not kidding. But only if you can crank out a quality book. Quality is critical.

Don’t expect best seller status overnight—if at all. But never stop marketing your name and your books.  And never stop building a loyal readership and fan base.

Good luck!