How We Promote Books

How will Bell Bridge promote your book?

1. Our website -- your book will have its own sales page, and you'll have an author's page complete with your photo and author note/bio. Your book will be featured on the home page during its release month.

2. Email promotions -- we announce new books to our established email list and also through the use of email lists from other online communities, reaching thousands of readers

3. Free excerpts of your book made available online to all interested readers and industry professionals. We are also experimenting with password-protected manuscript files to reviewers to read the entire book online.

4. Print advertisement -- while we won't be doing print ads for individual books in Bell Bridge, we will be doing related groups of books in ads placed in affordable industry magazines such as Romantic Times, which reaches a diverse array of readers, booksellers and librarians in the general "women's fiction" market. (And also has quite a following among women fantasy readers.) We'll also utilize genre specific materials like ads in the DragonCon Program Book.

5. Print mailings -- we will be doing occasional full-color flyers to libraries and selected bookstore markets.

6. Catalog/brochure -- your book will be listed, with cover art and blurb, in our newest full-color company catalog. You'll receive a supply of these for your own promotions.

7. Support for author booksignings and other events. If you need books on hand, we'll make sure they get there.

8. Video book trailers . We'll produce short videos telling people about your book. These will be shown on YouTube, our website, our MySpace page and our Facebook page. A video can be used by you anyway you want to -- you can put the video on your own website, tell booksellers, friends, etc. where to view it online, or even burn your own inexpensive DVDs with the video on them to hand out at bookstores and libraries.

9. Audio books . We can't guarantee that all titles will be produced in audio but we do hope to produce most of our list in that format.


Do I have to do Self-promotion as the author?

How much you do to promote your Bell Bridge title is up to you. We don't require authors to do anything at all. However, smart self-promotion sells a significant number of books, and for a small press, that makes a difference. Remember -- every sale puts money in your pocket as well as ours.

In today's crowded marketplace even many of the authors published by the big New York houses invest a significant amount of money and time in promoting their books.

Inexpensive self-promotion

1. A simple, chatty website about you and your book. Your website address should be included in your published book and on all materials related to your book. We can advise on website design. Nancy Viau (http://www.nancyviau.com/) , who is not an author of ours, has a great website which is simple and yet rich in content for her children's book audience.

2. A simple, chatty blog -- like a website, only more basic, and it's free! Again, we can advise on setting this up.

3. An Amazon author blog -- another freebie. Every time people look up your book on Amazon.com they'll see your latest friendly note about your book, your career, even your pets and family. Readers love this personal touch. There are other ways to maximize your exposure on Amazon.com, the largest on-line retailer of books. For one thing, get your friends and family to post glowing reviews of your book. We can walk you through the process if you need help.

4. Develop your own email list. Email is a fraction of the cost of snail mail when it comes to promotions. Gather up addies of all friends, families, bookstores, libraries, and anyone and anywhere else you think your book might be of interest. drop a note about your book, your local booksignings, etc. You can also share the list with us and we'll include it in our master email list.

5. Booksignings . If you're sociable and comfortable playing salesman, approach local bookstores about hosting you.

6. Newspaper, radio and TV. Drop an email or letter to all local media telling them why you and your book would make a fascinating feature story.

If you want to spend a little money on promotion, here are some

Wise ways to spend a little money

1. If you're doing snail mail announcements to your personal mailing list, have an inexpensive postcard made with your book cover in full color. You can do this cheapest through online printers. We can advise on this and, depending on our schedule, even design it for you. You can also use the postcards in place of handing out bookmarks.

2. Buy inexpensive on-line ads at sites related to your book -- this can include sites for readers but also sites for people who might be interested in the subject. For example, if your novel is about the Civil War you might want to place an ad on a site for Civil War buffs. We can help with free ad design for any online advertising.

3. Buy one or two cases of the book (available at an author discount) and give copies away to key people -- the head of acquisitions for your local library system, local booksellers, newspaper reviewers. Nothing sells the book like a free sample copy. You want people to read the book, love it and talk it up.

4. Print advertising -- for major industry magazines such as Publishers Weekly and Library Journal you'll spend at least $600 for a 1/6 page ad. That's bargain basement pricing compared to most they offer and you'll reach a huge majority of the bookselling industry. For $1,000 to $2,000 you can make a big splash with a full-page color ad in smaller industry magazines such as Romantic Times (for all types of women's fiction, romance novels, and others.) We can advise on print advertising and, usually, handle the ad design for you.