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The Magic of Cross-Promotion How To Do It Frugally Style

A Retrospective of the Doings at the LA Times Festival of Books

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Q&A: What If Your Book Won't Be Ready?



I thought I'd seek your guidance on this. My next book, Months and Seasons, will be published on June 14, 2008 in a special presentation at the Beverly Hills library. Hence, I won't have books to sell in April. Still, I'll be promoting it at that point. I'll have sent galleys out to reviewers before that date. How might I use what you offer?

Chris Meeks, author of The Middle-Aged Man and Sea and other books


Very good question, Chris.

I would do the catalog that goes out to booksellers and press. You have access to it to print up your own and repeat that later. You benefit from doing it this way because:

1. It is less expensive than sending out a mailing on your own.
2. Your book is associated with an organization rather than looking like only one of the hundreds of thousands of subsidy-published books.
3. The cross promotional aspect of many authors using the catalog afterward (in media kits, to follow-up with the same or other booksellers, to give out at events, etc.) can also be useful if we have an active group participating.
4. Because participants give us the names and addresses of bookstores in their area and bookstores they work with (including contact names and e-mail addresses), this becomes a targeted list. If they follow up with a phone call to the 25 or more bookstores they submit, that gives them a chance to do that frequency thing I always suggest. (-:

I also like both the CD and the slide show for both of the above reasons. If you do the CD, you get the slide show for only $30 more dollars. I don't believe you are a member of AC, but with that fee comes some other perks and associations that can't hurt either. Check out the membership page at

Having said that, here's another idea. You could also do a "meet and greet." Send invitations to press and contacts. Promise them excerpts (of course, if you do the CD that would have an excerpt on it, too!) and sign them. We give away books with any sale and we could do the same with people who came by for your white paper/booklet/handout--whatever format you wanted. You would be a test on this. We have nevery done anything like it. But with your contacts at UCLA, etc., I should think it could be very successful.

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