BOOKS TO WATCH OUT FOR!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Janet Elaine Smith's "Personal Marketing Plan"

I usually don't post this sort of thing, but the opportunity came up to where I see the advantage - not to mention the low price - of something of value to the published author. It's Janet Elaine Smith's "Personal Marketing Plan" for authors who need that push to get out there and sell books.

Years ago, I met Janet in an online writing group and found her inspirational. She would tell us how she went about getting her POD books into brick-and-mortar chain stores. I couldn't believe that someone had found a way to do it and was successful at it.

Janet is a powerhouse of information that she was willing to share with her online friends and now she would like to give that opportunity to those published authors who would like to know the "secret" to getting into the bookstores when all they've heard was, "Sorry, your book is a POD and we don't stock them."

About a year ago, I received a phone call from a top-notch publicist who was willing to help promote my book for the sum of $3,000. I politely turned them down because I felt the price quite extravagant.

Janet charges only $400 for the same exposure. A good deal, in my book!

Read on and you decide...

Your Personal Marketing Plan

Author Janet Elaine Smith came on the book publishing scene in June, 2000, with the release of her historical novel, Dunnottar. Within the next six weeks, Dunnottar had soared to the No. 1 best-selling spot of all Scottish books (over 8,000 titles at the time) on amazon.com—a position it held for almost three months.

What was her secret? She credits her success to God watching out for her and dumb beginner’s luck. She didn’t even know that she would have to market her books when they came out, much less know how to market them.

Janet’s success could perhaps best be described by that old song that says, “Anyone knows an ant can’t…Oops! There goes another rubber tree plant.” Nobody told her that the things she tried—first on the Internet and then in the non-virtual world—probably wouldn’t work. So, she tried them, and they did work! It’s like author Kristie Leigh Maguire says about Janet’s PromoPaks: “They were so simple, I could have thought of any of them. But I didn’t!”

Janet’s marketing efforts began on the Internet, then moved to getting her books onto the shelves at many brick and mortar bookstores nationwide. Now they are found in hundreds of bookstores nationwide, sometimes even on endcaps or in front displays. When store managers would tell her that “Your books are print-on-demand and non-returnable. We can’t put them in here,” she would move on, undaunted, to the next store. Today, just 5 years later, she gets 30-50 emails a day from people worldwide who are reading—and enjoying—her books. You can do the same thing!

Janet has shared marketing tips with thousands of fellow authors. She writes a regular column on marketing in Writer’s Journal magazine. Many authors have asked her to take them on as their publicist. Janet has a full-time job (she and her husband have run a charitable “Helps” organization for over 30 years, giving assistance to families in crisis) and she was not willing to give that up, nor to sacrifice her own writing time or marketing efforts for her own books. She knows that she must continue with that for her success to maintain itself. However, she feels that by sharing the secrets she has learned by trial and error with other authors, each time another author succeeds, the entire publishing industry makes a few steps forward.

Now, in response to these requests from authors, she is announcing the launch of her Personal Marketing Plan. She will work with authors to design a “Personal Marketing Plan” for their specific book. She will provide the brain power and ideas, while the author will be responsible for applying the “leg work” to see that the program will succeed. Nobody can sell a book like the author; it is their pride and joy. If the author is enthusiastic, the customer will be enthusiastic.

One word of warning: if an author signs up for Janet’s Personal Marketing Plan, it will work only under one condition—the author him/herself must put them into practice. If they are not willing to do the work, they will never work. If they will do the work, they will bring the desired results. Also, authors are traditionally used to rejection. If they send out 12 emails and 4 of them bounce back, they must send out 12 more. The law of averages says that eventually they will bear fruit. If you call 3 bookstores and they say “No” to stocking your book, they cannot give up. The 4th one might be the first one to say “Yes,” and that makes it that much easier to call the next 4 stores.Your Personal Marketing Plan will follows in natural steps that, by building them in order, will make your books available first through online sources, then through small and independent brick and mortar stores, then to the major chains. You will also get tips on a lot of great outside-the-box places to sell your books.

Here is what you will get if you sign up for your own Personal Marketing Plan:
¨ A customized email message for your book to use for Internet marketing.
¨ Tips for how to locate your online targeted audience.
¨ Ways to avoid having your emails discarded as Spam.
¨ Creating a specialized mailing list for future books and mailings.
¨ A very successful online “plan of attack” to get your books into independent bookstores (both online and brick and mortar).
¨ A customized press release, which can be modified to suit various regions and places that will have a high interest in the book
¨ A list of newspapers to submit the press release to
¨ Help in creating an effective press kit, and how to make it easily accessible
¨ A personalized “test script” for cold-calling bookstores
¨ A phone consultation with Janet to test the waters of the phone call before you dial that first number
¨ A sample radio script (this will vary, of course, depending on the radio host) to make the author feel at ease with the type of questions often asked by radio hosts
¨ A copy of Janet’s tested-and-proven PromoPaks (originally sold for $60)
¨ E-mail support from Janet as you move through the plan.

Now, what Janet needs from you to implement the program:
¨ A brief bio of the author
¨ A 1-page synopsis of the book you want included in the plan
¨ The first chapter of the book, or a place online where it can be accessed
¨ The url to the author’s website (if they have one)
¨ Why you feel the Personal Marketing Program will benefit you
¨ A statement of how much time you plan to devote to your promotion efforts
¨ What distribution does your publisher have in place? (Ingram, Baker & Taylor, etc.)
¨ A check for $400, the address and instructions available from janetelainesmith@yahoo.com . Similar programs from many publicists run $1,500-20,000. Janet is trying to keep this affordable, as she knows firsthand that most authors are on a very tight budget.

1 comment:

  1. I can vouch for the energy and charisma of this woman. Janet is a power house of information and she backs that up with how to get it done. If you aren't out there with her plan - you are the one to blame not her. She is delightful to work with - and she never says can't - I have learned more from her in a few short (way toooo short) days than I have in the years I've been trying to do this myself. You will not spend better money - but you better be willing to strap on your roller blades cause you'll need them to keep up with her energy.
    I can't thank her enough for all that she has already done for me.
    Billie A Williams

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