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Promote Your Book Through Spin Offs

By Patricia Fry

What’s a spin off? It’s a by-product or a follow-up to the original. Within the context of a book, it might be a sequel or any number of other writings related to the theme of your book.

The point of a spin off is to generate more sales. Not only will you have additional items to sell, but each book, pamphlet, guide, article or list that you produce is a marketing tool for the original book. Here are some ideas:

Follow up your novel with a book featuring bed and breakfast inns in the area where your story takes place.

Create a mystery for readers to solve based on some of the characters in your original book.

Enhance a book of poetry by producing a pocket calendar or greeting cards highlighting some of the lines from your best poems.

Write a companion book for your historical novel, profiling real people from the period.

Create a walking tour map for the area where your story is set.

Design a quaint book of quotes from the time period of your historical novel.

Produce a sequel to your original story and promote it to your entire mailing list—especially those folks who purchased your first book.

Compile a pamphlet of additional resources related to the subject of your nonfiction book. For a medical, fitness, diet, health, finance or real estate book, for example, produce a booklet with updates in this field.

Write articles and short stories to bring attention to the theme of your book. Submit them to appropriate magazines, newsletters and Web sites.

Publish a monthly newsletter related to the subject of your original book.

Package something with your book—an Indian dream catcher with a book profiling an American native tribe, a magnifying glass for a mystery novel or a package of sunflower seeds for a book of poetry that’s related to flowers and gardening, for example.

Plan carefully before launching your spin off. Ask yourself:

  • Who is my audience?
  • What have my readers asked for?
  • Is there something I should have included in my original book?
  • How will I distribute the spin off item?
  • Is it cost effective to produce another book/pamphlet or other items?

Give your customers more than they expected. For example, think about how you feel when you go to the store to buy an avocado, and discover that you can get two for the price of one. Delight your customers by giving them something extra.

Create handouts to package with your book shipments and to give at book signings, book festivals and presentations. Several authors I know hand out well-crafted bookmarks or tiny charms depicting an aspect of their story—an animal or a famous landmark, for example. I offer my meditation walking article to folks interested in my metaphysical book, Quest for Truth (Matilija Press). And I love handing out copies of some of my writing articles when promoting my writing books. I came up with a great pork roast recipe that mimics kalua cooked pork and I give away with copies of my Hawaiian luau book

Before thinking about your next book, consider writing a spin off to promote your original book. Sometimes it pays to keep all of your eggs in one basket.

—Patricia L. Fry is the author of 25 books including Over 75 Good Ideas for Promoting Your Book, A Writer’s Guide to Magazine Articles and her newest one, The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book, http://www.matilijapress.com/rightway.html

Follow her publishing blog at http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog.

 

 

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