Introduction to Marketing

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In this section:

    How we market your book

    When we publish your book, you receive:

    • A publicist assigned to your book.
    • Our Standard publicity campaign (six hours), delivered by your publicist.
    • Additional publicity for every 500 copies you sell.
    • A review three months after your book is published, evaluating what worked and what didn’t and refining our approach.
    • The option of EXTRA PR packages for authors who would like more time, and a more involved relationship with their publicist.

    The Standard publicity campaign

    For Standard PR, you won’t have email contact with your publicist, but they will add their plan to your Promotional Plans box one to two months before your book comes out. They will:

    All publicity approaches are recorded on your Marketing page as Marketing Activities. This initial push is recorded as Email/Press Release Arranged. The initial campaign is not, in itself, likely to generate substantial sales. A proper campaign takes months. The purpose is more to get an indication of travel, of directions to follow.

    How can I order Extra PR?

    When should I begin my marketing?

    Start thinking about it once your final, copyedited manuscript has been approved by you and uploaded back to us, when we send out our Starting to Market (Key Points) notification.

    Marketing your book in earnest can wait until the book is at least available for pre-order, and we recommend six months before publication.

    4 things every author should do when they begin their marketing

    • When you submitted your proposal you will have offered us a Marketing Plan. Now write the latest, final version of your plan on Promotional Plans on your Marketing page. Outline in bullets what you will do to promote your book.
    • As you execute your plan, write each completed activity in your Marketing Page as Marketing Activities.
    • Under a separate title add Priorities for in-house PR. Detail the most important activities you think your in-house publicist should do to promote your book.
    • Check your Keywords are the best they can be. The right words and phrases in your title, subtitle, blurb and Keyword box (on your Marketing page) greatly increase your visibility on search engines such as Google, Amazon, Apple and LibraryThing. As most people “shop” for books on line, this is crucial to your book’s success. If you’ve written a book that teaches reiki and someone searches for “book on how to do reiki” and your book does not show up on the first 1-3 pages of results, potential readers are not going to find it.
    • Write down 8-10 interview talking points for your publicist to use in the promotion of your book. Interview talking points focus on the most interesting content in your book that you can share in an interview. Each point should only be a few sentences long. This list is used to “hook” the interviewer to having you as a guest. Upload your interview talking points as a Microsoft Word doc to the Articles section of the Publicity box on your Marketing page.

    Tips on writing interview talking points

    Don't talk about:

    • Your writing process.
    • Anything dull.

    Do talk about:

    • What’s interesting about you?
    • What motivated you to write the book?
    • What’s the story behind your book?
    • What were your challenges writing the book?
    • Human interest and layered talking points.

    What else can I do?

    Take the Marketing 365 Challenge! We have a whole chapter dedicated to ideas, advice, and marketing inspiration.

    Case Study, Kill All Normies, 2017

    Kill All Normies – A Marketing Success Story

    Kill All Normies by Angela Nagle was launched in June 2017 to a huge wave of interest, online and off. Many reviews were written, and a lot of people discussed the book passionately over social media. At the time of writing, August 2017, there are over 80 reviews on

    As a result of this, sales started at several thousand a month. Here, Zero Books publisher Doug Lain talks about the key elements that made this book successful and offers his top tips for authors (especially non-fiction writers) preparing to publish a book:

    Tip #1. Build A Strong Author Platform

    The marketing of Kill All Normies came together organically. Angela Nagle is a talented writer, well positioned, with a solid network of allies at various publications, and her book emerged out of her success writing about the neo-fascist right.

    Angela had spent a lot of time building her platform, publishing articles and essays specifically on the topic of her book (she writes for The Baffler, The Irish Times, Jacobin and Current Affairs Magazine), before it was published. People already knew about who she was and were interested in what she had to say.

    Tip #2. Start Pre-Publicity Six Months or More in Advance

    Before the book was published, Angela promoted herself as an expert on the subject of the book, without necessary directly promoting the book, including multiple appearances on podcasts and radio programs, as well as many written articles for online media.

    Tip #3. Don’t Stop Promoting Once Your Book is Released

    Often, authors put in a huge amount of energy promoting themselves up until their launch, and then stop once their book is out there.

    Crucially, Angela continued this work after the Kill All Normies launch, and will continue to do so.

    This is important advice for new authors, especially non-fiction ones. This kind of publicity should be an all-year-round effort, and will pay off in the long-term.

    Keep promoting the book, keep producing new essays on the topic, and keep the interviews coming. The goal should be to get to a point where you have to start turning down interview requests.

    Tip #4. Secure Reviews

    We were lucky in that Angela’s author platform was strong and that many people wanted to review Kill All Normies. With a sufficient amount of pre-publicity, and if you hit the right topical subject, you should be able to get at least a few people coming to you asking for reviews rather than the other way around.

    The importance of securing reviews, both in print and online, especially on Amazon and Goodreads, cannot be overstated.

    Tip #5. Hit The Zeitgeist

    Easier said than done. Kill All Normies was the right book at the right time, addressing a raw issue in the public consciousness. Obviously, not every book will hit the zeitgeist as Nagle’s book did.

    However, if you do the things that Nagle did and fail, you’ll still have sold more copies than otherwise.

    A good comparison would be Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism. There was maybe 1/100th the amount of interest in that book as there was in Nagle’s, however, the book sold a few hundred copies at the outset due to Alfie Bown’s hustle and the way he kept on publishing on his topic.

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