Bob Baker's Full-Time Author Blog

The Slow Build Approach to Book Marketing

Every author and publisher wants to make a big splash. Especially with the "launch" of a new book.

Note the use of the word "launch" -- it's not called a book trot or a book flutter, or even a book sashay. It's a LAUNCH! So macho. So full of vim and vigor -- and testosterone.

There's nothing wrong with that. Making a big splash can be a wonderful thing. But many authors and publishers make the big splash the basis of their entire marketing plan. And that's a big mistake.

As Seth Godin wrote the other day on his blog:

"Great publicity is a treasured gift. But it's hardly necessary, and the search for it is often a significant distraction."

The surest path to book marketing success -- especially for independent authors/publishers with a limited budget -- is the long-term layered approach. Getting your message in front of your target audience repeatedly, little by little, over a long period of time.

Of course, this path isn't nearly as sexy. It may not have you yucking it up on the set with John Stewart or Larry King next week. But I guarantee this ...

If you have a message that's worth spreading, this slow-build, layered strategy works. It's what has allowed me to make a living as an author.

So, what is this approach?

It involves little by little, time after time, getting multiple exposures to the people who fit the profile of your ideal reader.

Each impression you make probably won't reach millions, or even thousands, of people. But that's okay.

One week you might reach 75 people on someone's blog, 250 people on a book review site, and another 50 people on Facebook.

The following week you might be interviewed on a podcast heard by 400 people and covered in your local community paper with a circulation of 5,000. And on and on it goes.

Every day you seek out more exposure opportunities and celebrate whatever coverage you get -- no matter how small. You keep seeking, keep celebrating, and keep spreading what you have to share.

Before long, the multiple exposures build on top of one another and gain momentum. It may be slow at first, and it may have stops and starts along the way, but it grows as you continue to share your message.

So what would you rather have? A big book launch that may or may not last?

Or a slow book promotion build that grows into something meaningful and long-lasting?


P.S. Get FREE access to my Self-Publishing Confidential report filled with my best book publishing advice. Go grab your free report now.


  • The metaphor of a launch is so useful here.

    Getting a rocket off the ground and into space take precise planning and a lot of money. Once it is up there, it take very little energy to keep it in space.

    Your approach is like ground based transportation. A lot of that happens, and many good things are delivered without a rocket.

    Sound advice.

    Some have tried to launch a rocket by flying low and building up speed, and someday we may have a low cost, easy approach to space.

    Until then, most should not try to get into space on a shoestring seat of the pants plan, leaving it for the few that have the money and manpower for space flight.

    By Anonymous Warren Whitlock, At Saturday, September 06, 2008  

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