You would think that once you have the concept, and have wrestled the bear to the ground with your bare hands, the rest would be a walk in the park. Alas, that is not the case. You may have a glossy cover and 269 pages of funny material, but you have to persuade people to buy it. That much used phrase "If you build it, they will come" is a lie! It takes time, tenacity, and an iron will.
In this third and final part of our series, Ian Coburn explains the wonderful world of marketing the book.
We Have A Book, Now Where Are We Going To Sell It?
To get the book into stores, I needed to market. We released the book in November ’06 to get some response and send it to some national reviewers. We wanted to sell it while we gathered quotes for a new back cover, as well as get it on Amazon. We quickly learned that Valentine’s Day was the best day to officially release the book; we could really play up that angle in the media.
The publisher sent out a press release in mid-January, which yet another person, a public relations consultant I met at another party, wrote. That’s where Simon heard of me and requested a copy of the book for review. Living in Chicago, I have some large resources available. I hit all the local newspapers and television media. Two news stations put me on air in early February, some suburban newspapers covered me, and one of the anchors from a news show I did used the book in his weekly newspaper column, which appears in a popular Chicago paper. The attention brought in orders from Barnes and Noble, who ordered a few hundred books to stock in stores. Airport bookstores and specialty shops, like Spencer Gifts, ordered copies through the standard wholesalers Ingram and Baker & Taylor. The publishing company and the book were on their way.
Soon I started to get radio, where I had more time to discuss the book than on TV. I was brought in by a smaller monthly Chicago news magazine, WASSUP!, to write a dating advice column I named “Lunch is Not a Date,” to which I hold all rights. I’ve now written three very well-received columns for them. The paper has a circulation of 95,000 monthly throughout Northern Illinois and Chicago. Real Chicago, with a monthly circulation of 15,000 in Chicago, brought me in to write “Lunch is Not a Date – The Q&A.” My first column with them debuted last month.