Meet Max!: Marketing My Book

This blog is by Archway authors for fellow authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Elizabeth Rosso, author of “Meet Max”. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

Welcome back!  So far you’ve stuck with me (thanks!) through coming up with the idea for “Meet Max!,” shaping that idea into a manuscript, editing my bookfinding illustrations, and deciding to self-publish.  Success!  Right?  Well, not so fast… I mean, yes, I have a book, and yes, I love Max, but I’m just one person.  Now it’s time to tell the world about Max and his adventures!  Which led me back to my recurring question: how do I do that?

Through pure dumb luck, I started out by identifying my audience.  At its most basic, my audience is children.  But it’s also adults with children in their lives, and children with dogs, and people of all ages who love dogs, and people who love reading.

SKU-001051763Next I started to think about ways to reach those audiences.  Bookstores seemed to be the most obvious choice, but I also thought that any store with a connection to any of my audience segments, or with a focus on local products, might be a good target.  So, I started cold-calling all those types of places.  One of my sales calls took me to a national retailer with fairly detailed requirements for requesting that they carry my book.  One of those requirements was to submit a marketing plan.

I hadn’t realized it (I don’t have any business training or experience), but building my marketing plan was exactly what I had been doing.  I sat down to write out a more formal plan, and it became obvious that bookstores needed to be my primary target.  All those other outlets were fine if an opportunity presented itself, but they wouldn’t give me the kind of return on my effort that I had been looking for.

Okay, lesson learned the hard way!  But while I had been expending a lot of effort for small (but exciting!) returns, I was also using some of the marketing services available through Archway.  Currently I’m at the beginning of my social media campaign, setting up a web site, a Twitter account , and a Facebook page.  Some of that technology is new to me, so there’s a bit of a learning curve, but I recently doubled my Twitter followers, and am working to get the web site and Facebook page to take off as well.

It’s been a lot of work and I’m still hoping for my “big breakthrough,” but the small successes have been energizing and I’m definitely learning a lot along the way.  I hope that you’ve been able to learn something from my experiences too.  And if you need a great children’s book about a curious dog with a bushy tail, I know just the one!

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

Publishing Expert Tips

Choosing a Book Title


Think of choosing a book title like creating an elevator speech. It’s a brief pitch to customers about the value of your book.

Sometimes choosing a book title is easy.  Some authors know the perfect title for their work before they even start writing their books.  Others spend years and years poring over their novel or documenting their carefully-compiled research only to reach the end have no idea what to name their literary offspring.  It may seem like choosing the perfect title is the easiest part of the writing and publishing process. Turns out that’s not always true.

As a team who’s collectively worked on thousands of self-published titles, we’ve seen all kinds of title for all types of books. There are those that the author has over thought. Those that don’t focus on their audience. Those that are just too indecisive.

If you’ve had an idea from the beginning of the work, use it!  Don’t over-think it!  Use the title was in your mind before you began the writing process, the title you’ve been thinking about has been a driving force throughout the entire process.  Or take the key topics from your book and transform it for a working title to the final title.  Make sure it is clear and concise.

Would “War and Peace” have reached the legendary literary status with the title “War, What Is It Good For?

Seinfeld-driven levity aside, the title is the first piece of building your book’stypewriter platform.  Consider:

  • Does your title help increase the brand that you are trying to create with your book?
  • When people hear the title, does it stick with them?
  • What keywords would someone search for in order to find your book?
  • Is the title clear and concise or would it confuse potential readers?
  • Is the title too long and “clunky” or  is it catchy and relevant to your audience?
  • Is your title unique?

Still can’t decide on a title? Why not ask your potential readers?

Sometimes self-published authors take to social media posting their ideas on Twitter or Facebook, asking their audience for feedback.  We’ve seen this method work for a number of Archway Publishing authors, after all, who knows what your target audience wants to hear more?  It’s a quick easy way to do market research.

Need more guidance? Keith Ogorek offers up seven things authors need to consider when choosing a book title on the Indie Book Writers blog. Whatever path you take; do your book justice and give careful consideration to finalizing your book’s title. After all “War What is it Good For?” might have sunk Tolstoy’s career…