Marketing and Publicity FAQ

  1. How can I help promote my book in my local area?
  2. My book has been successful in my local market. How do I expand my sales nationally?
  3. How do I set up booksignings?
  4. Can my local bookstores order copies from White Mane?
  5. How long will it take for stores to stock my book?
  6. Why does Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, etc. still list my book as "on order" or "special order"?
  7. What publications receive review copies of my book?
  8. When will I see my first review?

1. How can I help promote my book in my local area?

Local publicity can be a valuable tool in promoting your book and increasing sales. Furthermore, lots of local publicity can be a stepping stone for regional or national publicity. To help get the word out that a new book by a local author is now available, attempt the following resources.

  • Stop in and visit local bookstores, both chain stores and independently owned. Introduce yourself, provide them with some information about your new title, and let them know you will be available for booksignings if they are interested. A friendly introduction by the author may sway stores to stock the book.
  • Visit local libraries as well. If your book is geared towards children, ask about the children's programs that they offer. Find out if you can host a program and read excepts to the children. The same is true for local schools. Ask about visiting classrooms and holding a reading for the students as well.
  • Compile a list of local media contacts—newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations—that may be contacted once a booksigning or speaking engagement is arranged. Find out if any local morning or afternoon shows would be willing to have you as a guest to help publicize the event or discuss your topic.
  • Find out if there are any book fairs or community events coming up in your local area that you could participate in. Some sponsors may love to have a local author present and available to sign books. You may also want to check out the Library of Congress listing of book fairs where you can search by state at http://www.read.gov/resources.

Lastly, remember that the impression you make is important. Being friendly, upbeat, and positive about your book can go a long way.

2. My book has been successful in my local market. How do I expand my sales nationally?

If you received several positive reviews from local newspapers or smaller publications, pull review excerpt together and send White Mane copies. We can then compile a flyer for your book to accompany a review copy to a national newspaper or journal. Positive reviews and publicity from other sources may help grab the reviewer's attention. It's not unusual for national media to watch local media for an up-and-coming story.

You may also consider promoting your book on the web. Research organizations on the web that may be interested in your book and drop them an email about it. Or, visit Amazon.com and BN.com and find out how you can submit your author comments about your book. There is a wealth of contacts available on the web. Try searching for sites that match authors with interviewers or forums for book discussions. Good luck and happy web surfing!

3. How do I set up booksignings?

By completing the section on booksignings on your marketing form, we will automatically send your requests to the stores listed, upon publication of your book. We also understand that some authors have hectic schedules; therefore, you are free to schedule events on your own. However, please let us know that you are scheduling events yourself and notify us of the confirmed dates. If you have any questions or concerns about a store stocking your book for a signing please contact our office before the signing is confirmed. If you would like your signing to coincide with a particular holiday or mall event, please keep in mind that many stores schedule a minimum of 2 months in advance. Therefore, contact the events coordinator well in advance to ensure that there is a date and time available and adequate time to publicize the signing. (For more information, see "Book Signing & Interviews")

4. Can my local bookstores order copies from White Mane?

For stores to purchase directly from White Mane, they must either have an established account or prepay. Chain stores such as Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, etc. typically order through their corporate office who in turn order through a distributor. If any stores have questions about purchasing copies of your book, they are welcome to contact us at 1-888-948-6263 for additional ordering information.

5. How long will it take for stores to stock my book?

Distributors and stores that have pre-ordered your book through us will receive shipment upon your book's publication. Other orders will ship out as we receive them. Please understand that because many stores purchase through a distributor the shipping process is prolonged. (For more information, see the diagrams on distribution below.) Upon request, we can provide information for you on how many books have been ordered and shipped through us. However, we do not have any way of knowing the stock status for a particular store.

6. Why does Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, etc. still list my book as "on order" or "special order"?

We submit new title information to buyers such as Amazon approximately 6 months prior to publication. However, availability status does not automatically update on their sites. Amazon and others base their availability status on their distributor's stock status. In most instances, they do not order directly from us. Therefore, when they see that your book is available in their distributor's warehouse, their availability status updates. We periodically troubleshoot on-line sites to make sure title information is listed; however, we cannot control their availability listings.

7. What publications receive review copies of my book?

We submit review copies to reviewers in our database that are relevant to the topic of the book. You may also send us a suggested list of magazines, journals, or newspapers that you feel may be interested in your book. In order to avoid duplication please submit this list with your marketing form. Please remember to include the complete name of the publication and current address. It is also helpful to have the correct review editor's name. Therefore, if you are hoping that a particular publication will review your book, call the publication and verify to whom books to be considered for review should be addressed. Many times, knowing the right contact can make a difference in getting your title reviewed.

8. When will I see my first review?

Although reviews or features in local papers should appear soon after publication, as a general rule, most publications take anywhere from 3-12 months. Please note that this time may be longer for journals or magazines that are published quarterly. Although, we do request that they forward us copies of reviews so that we may forward you a copy as well, many do not always respond. If there is a particular review that you are interested in seeing, we recommend that you check that publication regularly or search their on-line site (if one is available) to see if any reviews have been done.


Distribution

We get asked a lot by authors how the buy-and-sell process of book distribution and availability of books in online or retail stores works....

How stores typically order books

How books are typically distributed


Book Signing and Interview Tips

Make a Book Signing More Successful

  • Upon confirmation of the signing, contact the Events Coordinator and inquire about their typical protocol for signings. Ask if they would like you to also give a short talk about your book, and if so, how long they prefer presentations to be.
  • As customers walk past your table, greet them and introduce yourself. Hand them a book to page through or offer them a flyer.
  • If you have a personal web page that features your book and/or topic, make business cards with your name and web site to hand out.
  • Before leaving, always thank the coordinator and ask if he/she would like you to sign a few extra books for the store to have on hand.

Tips for Interviews

  • Contact the interviewer and ask if they are willing to provide an advance list of the questions or topics planned for discussion. Review the questions and come prepared.
  • Interviewers are looking for interviewees that can inform and/or entertain the audience. Provide listeners with solid information that will entice them to read your book, but avoid statements like "to find out more, buy the book." You want them to be interested enough to purchase the book but you don't want them to feel like they are listening to a sales pitch.
  • Close the interview by reminding listeners that your book is now available. If you know a local store has copies on hand, refer readers there or let them know that they may order toll free at 1-888-WHT-MANE. You may also want to provide them with a way to contact you and offer to sign a copy of the book.

If you're an author or would like to offer any additional tips or helpful information for others, please contact us.