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Start Marketing Even Before Publishing Your Book!


by Denise Thomas

I decided to pre-sell enough books to pay my expenses, so I could start making a profit sooner. I needed to sell 100 books to cover the set up fee, cost of books, giveaway books, envelopes, and postage.

I began with my Christmas list. I knew that my friends and family were eagerly anticipating my first book, but the truth was that with so many in other states, I wasn’t in regular communication with many of them. They wouldn’t know when the book was ready for sale.

I started with a Valentine’s Day special. I wrote a letter and offered to pay the postage on any book ordered before February 14th. (This saved each mailed order the $3.50 I charge for postage and handling and encouraged them to buy immediately.) Naturally, I offered to autograph the books, too.

I couldn’t believe the response!

I confess, I felt awkward trying to sell to my friends and family. What I discovered, however, is that they really wanted to be part of my success and were glad to buy one or more copies and encourage their friends to buy, too. They also thought it was cool to know a published author personally.

Yes, I easily made my goal, but the best part was receiving so many notes of encouragement with the checks. I felt humbled, loved, and energized to sell even more books.

By the time the book was ready, some were ready to buy more. I published my first book without debt, and I had a head start getting the word out.

I’d like to thank my family and friends for making my dreams come true!


Denis’ Thomas is the author of Newly Wed and Newly Cooking (published by Infinity), a guidance counselor, a local DJ and a freelance writer, visit her website at:


Hi Denise! 
Since I just sent my fourth novel to Infinity, I was looking for a nice trick to jump start the marketing. Your idea might work, but probably not, for the following reason: As a non-fiction author, you had a pre-defined niche (in your case, I suppose it's brides-to-be who don't know how to cook?). I've said it before (probably here and in other places), we fiction writers have a more difficult problem. Our audience is not well defined--or, to say the same thing, a reader of our books could be anyone. In my case, readers' ages could run from precocious tweenies to the elderly. Likes and dislikes for fiction reading are so subjective that I have no reasonably finite list of people to approach, not even relatives. My only tactic (unless someone has a better idea) is to get the word out the best I can. (By the way, the title of my new book is Survivors of the Chaos--it is a sci-fi thriller.) 
Posted @ Thursday, March 24, 2011 8:11 AM by Steven M Moore
Denis, I've just finished digesting your tips on pre-publication method of marketing one's book. Thank you. I wish I had heard about INFINITY earlier. At the moment, a publishing outfit(as good as INFINITY) is about to get my un-authorised biography on one of Africa's music legend(Fela), out in July 2011.
Posted @ Saturday, March 26, 2011 2:50 PM by Prophet ade osijo
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