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Category: Book Marketing

Ideas and Information on Marketing Your Book

Kindle Instant Preview on Your Website

Most of us know about Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature (below), but until recently, potential purchasers of your book needed to leave your website and go to Amazon’s website to view a preview of the contents of your book.

What if there was a way for customers to preview, share and purchase your book from Amazon without leaving YOUR website…

Introducing Kindle Instant Preview

Rather than sending people to Amazon, now they can preview your book on YOUR site – and there are links to share and buy as well!  Here is what it looks like on my Quantum Lace series…


How do you add a Kindle Instant Preview to your website?

You will need to know some very basic HTML coding – but only so much that you know where to paste the embed code.

Here are basic instructions from Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Instant-Preview/b/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&node=13489836011&linkCode=sl2&tag=artch-20&linkId=bf744cb3e48b81bbe898c380d6203142

…and for those who are not familiar with HTML but you can at least get that far, you might also want to centre the image.  To do that, insert <center> at the beginning of the embed code Amazon gives you, and </center> at the end of the embed code.

Once you are able to get people to your website in the first place, this will then make it far easier for them to actually buy your book!

Have fun!

~ Bella

What is your Expertise?

In addition to often receiving requests for referrals for different purposes, I regularly receive various media calls requesting expert comment on a variety of topics for a variety of publications and radio shows.  These requests I forward on to the relevant clients who have expertise in the area in question…


Upon looking through the extensive list of clients’ areas of interest and speciality, what struck me this morning was that a vast proportion of them have a focus that is so broad or vague, it is difficult to recommend them.

For instance, while books on the general topic of ‘Law of Attraction’ (LOA) may be popular, unless that book is then specifically focused on using the law to heal, or to build wealth, etc, it is almost impossible to find a media call that I could forward to an author of such a book.

The same applies to coaching.  There are a number of coaches in the area of LOA, but without a focus or expertise in one area, it is difficult to recommend them as a referral.

Here is a list of the types of expert-comment and/or referral requests that have come across my desk in the past 24hrs:

  • Healthcare professionals specifically in the area of diet
  • Retail expert
  • Entrepreneur parent re work-baby balance
  • Metrics expert
  • Instagram influencer
  • Mompreneur
  • Career coach
  • Relationship expert
  • Asset manager re Bitcoin
  • Customer experience expert
  • Online marketing expert
  • Restaurant expert
  • Criminal lawyer
  • Vintage wedding specialist
  • Mortgage broker
  • Content marketer
  • ePub expert
  • Pet expert
  • Travel insurance expert

So, ask yourself – “What is my area of expertise?” – and make sure your brand represents the answer to that question!

~ Bella

Speaking and Book Signing Tour

I am about to start a speaking and book signing tour across England’s south-west for my historical fiction series, ‘Quantum Lace’, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to not only suggest you might like to consider doing something similar, but also to give you some suggestions as to how you might put together your own such tour.

Why do a book signing tour?

P.T. Barnum (of Barnum Bailey Circus fame) once said, “without publicity, a terrible thing happens – nothing!”

It is one thing to have written your book, but you need to let people know about it, and to experience it and you as the author – that’s where book speaking, Q&A, and book signing tours come in.

They are an opportunity for you to share your book with your audience, and to interact with them, getting to know them and what they think of your work.

How to get speaking and signing engagements

There are a multitude of places you could approach to do a book signing, from bookstores to libraries to professional associations in the genre of your book, to hospitals, to tertiary institutions, to retirement villages…  The list is extensive.

Once you have decided on your targets, it is not simply a matter of emailing them and asking if they will host you.

First impressions matter…

For this tour promoting Bridgit’s books (Bridgit is my protagonist, and I usually refer to the series as Bridgit’s books), I include enough information for the venue to make a decision about not only the book, but also about my experience and ability to be professional, as well as help them promote the event.

…and it is all packaged up in my usual style, and one befitting Bridgit.

Below, you will see the letter itself is wrapped in red satin ribbon and sealed with my personal wax seal.

Also in the letter I advise them that full details of the book are available at the book’s website www.QuantumLace.com, as well as the complete first chapter.  This is important to include if you are not sending them the actual book to review.

Included in the package is a folded A5 leaflet on premium thick quality gloss paper giving details of the book and the author; reviews and awards… as well as an enticing review on the front…

…a postcard of the book…

…and my business card…

However you package up your request, make sure it is in line with your brand and that of your book – and that it is memorable!

…and remember to have your other promotional and marketing collateral ready, such as a poster:

Best wishes with setting up your own tour and as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me…

~ Bella



How to get people to review your book

It’s an age-old problem for authors – how do you get people to review your book?

Once you have exhausted your mother, father, brother, sister, wife/husband, and pet rabbit, how do you get others to actually read and write a review for your book on Amazon?

What if you could connect with people who already reviewed books similar to yours?

Seriously – that was what I was thinking yesterday as I started to reflect on what else we could do to support our authors.

…and it occurred to me, that there is a way you can connect with people who have reviewed books similar to yours!  

Here’s how…

If you look at any book on Amazon that has reviews, one by one you are able to search the profile of that reviewer and see if they have published their email address for public access.

So, if you look up a book that has a similar audience to your book, it makes sense that if a person has taken the time to read that book and write a review, that they may well be interested in doing the same for yours!

But the problem is…

Think about it – how long would it take you to research just one reviewer, let alone a book that might have several thousand reviews?

Who has the time to go through all those reviewers and research to see if they have an email address publicly listed, and then copy that email address into spreadsheets for use when reaching out to them?

The answer is…

My Elves!  (aka my team of virtual assistants)

We can do that work for you and simply email you spreadsheets with the publicly listed emails of people who have reviewed books similar to yours.

Are you legally allowed to email them?

At the time of writing this post, it is perfectly legal and legit for you to use those email addresses in a non-commercial manner to request a review, provided you give them a review copy for free.  It is against the spam laws for you to request they first buy the book – but giving them a review copy is perfectly within the law.

What is the turnaround time?

You will usually receive the email addresses in approximately 7-10 days (sometimes less) from the time you submit your URLs.

As you will understand, there is a limit to how many books we can research in one week however, if there are already more searches scheduled in front of yours that it will take more than 10 days to process, we will let you know within 1-2 business days (or less) of you placing your order.

So, what’s next?

You know your book better than anyone, so you will know which books are similar to yours.

  1. Find 5 books that have a similar audience to your book that also have a large number of reviews
  2. Copy the URL links from Amazon.com (please note, we focus on the Amazon.com site so please do your search there and not on another Amazon country site) as well as the names of the books ready for providing to us
  3. Click the “Buy Now” button below (the fee is $297 USD for my Elves to gather all the email addresses for you) and once you submit your payment, you will be redirected to a webpage with instructions for forwarding your links and book names to us (and if for any reason you are not redirected, please email me personally at leighstjohn@leighstjohn.com and I will make sure you are looked after)
  4. We go to work pretty much immediately obtaining the email addresses for you
  5. Once we are done, you receive spreadsheets containing the email addresses as well as the reviews that were posted, and are then free to start contacting them and asking if they would review your book!

Please bear in mind that even if a book has 1000 reviews, there may be as few as 25 reviewers who have listed their email address – but also, there are some with only 500 reviews and over 300 of those have emails that are listed.  As such, please note we cannot guarantee how many emails will be publicly listed but it is usual out of 5 books with sufficient reviews to get 100 or more emails for you to contact.

Also, if your five books deliver less than 25 emails in total, we will run another three book searches for you free of charge.

Please note:  If you are already one of my coaching clients and/or a best-seller program client, we will process an additional 3 book URLs for you at the same time for no extra fee.

To proceed, click here:

…and as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!

~ Bella

Leigh (Bella) St John

How to sell more books


I am often asked, “how can I sell more books?”  

There are more answers to that question than one could possibly provide in a year or more of talking and explaining, so rather than re-invent the wheel, I recommend the following three books as the best I have come across that give step-by-step, practical, straight-forward, cost-effective marketing strategies and ideas to market, promote and SELL your book.

Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book

By Tim Grahl




How I Sold 80,000 Books: Book Marketing for Authors (Self Publishing through Amazon and Other Retailers)

By Alinka Rutkowska



How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months

By John Locke





As always, if we can be of assistance with anything or support you in any way, please feel free to reach out.

~ Bella

How to Create Your Amazon Author Profile Page

amazon-author-profile-pageDo you have an Amazon Author Profile Page?

I know first-hand how frustrating it is when I want to find other books by an author I really like, only to find their author page doesn’t exist, or that it only contains a couple of their published works and I need to go hunting to find others…

Help existing and potential readers get to know you by bringing everything into the one place on your Amazon Author Profile Page, listing everything you have published (with direct links to be able to buy them), showing them your photos, telling them who you are, providing them with feeds to your blogs, videos, and even a calendar of your events.

Your Amazon Author Page is your opportunity for your readers to get to know you, so make sure you include any details about your background, any awards or competitions you have won, other books you have written, and personal details you want to share.

You will need an author photo and while it doesn’t need to be professionally created, it should be recent and of a high-enough resolution quality display.

Adding Your Book to Your Amazon Author Profile Page

Make sure every book you have written appears in your bibliography.  To add books:

  1. Go to the Author Central Books tab and click Add more books.
  2. In the Search field, enter the book title, ISBN, or author name and click Go.

Once you’ve found the missing book, click This is my book below that book.

Adding and Changing Information on Your Amazon Author Profile Page

Adding or changing the information is easy. Below is a list from the Amazon site – if you would like more information, click here to go direct to their help page:  https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help?topicID=200649520

  • Biography
    • Adding or Editing a Biography
    • Deleting a Biography
  • Photos
    • Adding Photos
    • Moving or Removing a Photo
  • Blog Feeds
    • Adding a Blog Feed
    • Removing a Blog Feed
  • Events
    • Adding Events
    • Editing Event Information
    • Removing an Event
  • Videos
    • Adding Videos
    • Moving or Removing a Video
  • Twitter Feeds
    • Adding your Twitter Feed
    • Editing your Twitter Name
    • Removing your Twitter Feed
  • Author Page URL
    • Creating your Author Page URL
    • Share your Author Page URL on Twitter & Facebook
    • Use your Author Page URL in your Email Signature

As always, if you need any support or assistance, please reach out!

By Leigh St John

How to write and use a press release to promote your book and your business

how to write and use a press releaseAlmost every one of the clients who goes through our Best-Seller Program asks for assistance with writing and using press releases to promote their book and their business.

So, I’ve written this post not only for them but also for anyone who is seeking assistance with this most important topic.

Sending press releases to alert the media to your newsworthy event is essential, however as Inc Magazine commented,

“An easy way to ruin your relationship with the news media is to send a bad press release.”

…but as PT Barnum, of Barnum and Bailey Circus fame, once said…

“Without promotion, something terrible happens…  nothing!”

So, how do you write a good press release?

I could write for pages and pages on this topic, but here is a checklist that will help:

  • At the top, make sure you put when it is to be released, for example FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  • Come up with a headline that ‘hooks’.  Think about the audience who will read this article, your headline needs to grab their attention immediately and make them want to read more.  (here is an excellent article about writing catchy headlines and first paragraphs)
  • Many journalists and editors do not skim past the first paragraph when deciding whether or not to use a release so make sure that all-important paragraph has enough hook and ooooomph to get their attention
  • Having been a journalist myself, I know it’s actually quite common for the press release to be used almost exactly as is – so write your press release with this in mind
  • DO NOT use ‘marketing language’ – in other words, this is a TOTALLY FACTUAL piece, not hype and not opinion – just stick to the facts!
  • Use at least one or two quotes from someone connected to the story to provide context, insight and heart
  • Include biographical information on your and/or your business including how long you have been doing this, your mission and/or vision statement, where you are based, any awards or recognition you have received
  • Contact information – At the end VERY CLEARLY state your name, company (if relevant), your position (eg Author of the Best-Selling Book, “name of book”), address, email, website and cell phone number.  The reason the cell phone is important is that major publications will often not run a story unless they can confirm in person (in this case, on the phone) the contents of the release
  • Include a link to your EPK (electronic press kit) if you have one (http://leighstjohn.com/epk-electronic-press-kit/)
  • Double and triple check your grammar and spelling!
  • Format your press release to be double-spaced and preferably one-page (two at the very most!)

OK, so now you’ve written your press release, what do you do with it?

How do you use a press release?

Know Your Audience – the fastest way to get blacklisted is to blast your press release to outlets whose readers have nothing in common with you or the subject of your release.  Make sure you target appropriate media outlets.

Set Up a Google Alert – create a Google alert for your name, your book’s name (https://www.google.com/alerts) so you can keep track of who is mentioning you and creating articles based on your release.

Syndicate Your Release – once your press release is published, make sure you get it as much visibility as possible by cross-promoting the release and any articles in which you are mentioned on your own social media channels.

Add to Your EPK – mention in your EPK that you were covered by XYZ Publication and provide a link to that article, thereby giving you additional credibility.

Consider Timing – when you send a release is important.  If you are doing a book signing and speaking event to raise money for charity, you want that release to go out anywhere from 3-10 days before the event.  Other events such as you becoming a best-seller are obviously sent after the event, but as close as possible to the actual date it occurred.

Don’t be shy!

Reporters rely on press releases to give them the stories they need to fill their publications – so make yourself visible!  Just ensure that you follow the suggestions above.

If you have any questions about creating a press release for your book and becoming a best-seller, feel free to reach out!

I look forward to hearing from you…

What is an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) and how do I create one?

epk - elecrtonic press kitEssentially an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) contains all the information someone would want if they were considering booking you to speak or writing an article about you.

While mostly used by performance artists (bands, dancers etc) it is becoming more and more common to see speakers and authors creating and using EPKs to great benefit.

While you can search online for examples and templates of EPKs (electronic press kits) for you to use as inspiration, essentially you should consider including the following:

  • Short, one paragraph biography
  • Long, detailed biography
  • Embedded videos and/or links to videos that highlight you speaking and presenting, preferably in a range of different environments and to differing sized audiences
  • Embedded videos of any television coverage
  • Embedded show-reel/demo-reel (compilation of your speaking and presenting engagements)
  • Sample chapter of your book
  • List of all your published works with short summaries
  • High-resolution photos of you – both with and without your book
  • High-resolution cover image for each of your books
  • Testimonials – both written and video
  • Statistics on your following, including social media
  • Links to any press coverage (http://leighstjohn.com/how-to-write-a-press-release/)
  • Any relevant awards or recognition
  • List of any up-coming speaking engagements
  • Contact information for the speaking agency that represents you (if you have one)
  • Your contact information including email, website, address and phone

What format should the EPK take?

Preferably, it should be compiled into a PDF (make sure all links in the PDF are live!) that a potential client or reporter can download, as well as being a page on your site through which an interested party can scroll.

Where do you put your EPK?

Suggest you create a separate link on your website that goes direct to your EPK page and downloadable PDF.

How do I promote my EPK?

Suggest putting the link to your EPK in the signature of your emails, even on your business cards!  After all, this is the place where all your major achievements have been compiled.

Make it easy for people to book you!

Book Fairs 2014

Book_Fair_StandsBook Fair – Get Involved!

Being involved in a Book Fair is a fabulous way to get known, generate buzz for your work and sales for your book.

If you need any help getting ready for any of these events, just reach out.  I coach people all the time on how to maximize their opportunities at events just like these…

You can email me at info@writingandpublishingmybook.com.

September 2014











October 2014

















November 2014












Marketing My Book: Attract More Readers than Most Best Selling Authors

Attract More Readers than Most Best Selling Authors

Many people dream of writing a best-selling business book. Surely, the world is waiting for their unique wisdom . . . or so they think. The reality is far different. The average business book offered by a major publisher sells about 5,000 copies. Even if everyone who gets a copy reads it, that’s not a lot of influence.

By comparison, a best selling business book typically sells 50,000 to 100,000 copies. Of those copies, about 10 percent will ever be opened . . . and less than 5 percent will be read cover to cover. Reach 10,000 readers. Big deal.

Let’s look at how creating breakthrough solutions (ways of accomplishing 20 times as much with the same time, effort, and resources) can change the result.

When both usage and delivery effectiveness improve, stakeholders can gain 20 times more benefits than from either improvement alone. When that combination happens, these two complementary breakthrough solutions acquire the power of 20 or more individual breakthrough solutions. That’s what I mean by a breakthrough squared solution. You can also think of this concept as developing a 40,000 percent improvement, or a 400 times increase in benefits.

To some, that goal may seem remote. Keep an open mind while I share an example of creating breakthrough squared solutions for inexpensively attracting more readers to my books.

In 1998, a best-selling author friend told us that it was important to distribute tens of thousands of free copies of business books either just before the book is published or right after publication. Tom Peters, coauthor of In Search of Excellence (reissue edition, Warner Books, 1988), tells the same story about one aspect of how that book became a blockbuster.

When I was writing my first book, I heeded that advice. Before publication, I sent out thousands of draft copies for advance reading. After publication, I sent out thousands more free copies of the completed book to influential readers. In addition, I created a Web site for the book and put all but two chapters online there for free reader access. The cost to do this sampling was over $40,000.

I estimate that these activities have directly yielded 20,000 people who have read some part of that book. That means our cost per reader for just this activity was about $2.00.

Since royalties on books like ours are usually around $2.00, this was a money-losing proposition unless this distribution yielded sales of at least 20,000 additional books. In the case of our friend, this was no concern because his company had paid this sampling expense.

My costs, however, came out of my personal pocket. I needed to do better.

For my third book, I decided to create a breakthrough squared solution for advance distribution. For that book, I only provided free advance copies to those who helped us create the book. The cost for those copies was about $1,200. I then wrote brief articles based on the book and arranged to have them published in prestigious journals and magazines.

I next condensed the articles and turned them into brief guides that the online bookseller Amazon publishes for free. In the first four years, I estimate that over 50,000 people read some part of that book through these efforts. I estimate that total readership through this approach will swell to 100,000 people by the time the third book has been in print as long as the first book has been. If that occurs, I will have produced 100,000 readers at a cost of $1,200. That means the cost per reader will be $0.012.

The first book’s campaign cost 166 times as much per reader as what the latter campaign did, and I will actually draw more readers with the new, less expensive effort. These estimated results will provide me with a 66,000 percent solution compared to our first approach (16,500 percent lower cost per reader multiplied by 400 percent more readers).

For a forthcoming book I am developing, that sampling solution has been further enhanced. The pre-launch involves a blog in which the material is tested for reader reaction. I estimate that more than 200,000 people will have read some part of the book through the blog before the book is published, and the cost is only the electricity to post the blog entries.

I will also reuse the Amazon guides that worked well for the third book to add another 100,000 readers at limited cost. Publication publicity will probably draw another few hundred thousand people to the blog samples.

I also plan to send millions of excerpts for free by e-mail to people who subscribe to various complementary newsletters. We should be able to increase our total readers by several hundred more percent. Since I carry advertising on the blog, I have a revenue offset to our costs. If enough clicks occur from the blog to advertisers’ sites, this sampling program may well turn out to be free. As you can see, repeating such a process on the same or a similar problem can be profoundly valuable in making further improvements.

Now you know how you can reach best-selling reader levels for your next business book. What are you waiting for?

About the Author

Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage.

Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail
by registering for free at http://www.2000percentsolution.com .