I am finding that writing the cover letter to send with my Galley Proofs and early release books is a delicate yet very important task in pushing the marketing of my new Civil and Indian War book, “Rough Enough.” Putting down the facts: title, author, ISBN#, release date, size, pages, etc. about the book is not a problem. Neither is slipping a short couple of blurbs from early endorsements, or a short synopsis.
The real problem and is to transmit an image on that one sheet of paper so that at first glance the reader will be drawn into taking a second look at the cover letter and will actually pick up on key points such as: sales distributors, bulk offers and the depth of the book. My hope is, that the recipient of the letter and complimentary book will then actually write some kind of endorsement on their blog, or for their newspaper, or for Amazon.com. etc… I want to make sure they know that I am seeking assistance in marketing my product while also making a sales pitch that will convince them to recommend the book to others.
If the letter succeeds with this objective, then I can hope that the endorsements will flow in and that sections of these reviews will be publishable both on my blog and on the cover and inner pages of my book. It is the cumulative effect of these small endorsements, associated with well known names that will help to build interest and market for my book and keep the momentum running long after the first IPO frenzy of opening bell buyers.
So what am I planning to do? Well, in addition to putting all of the items I’ve mentioned above onto the cover letter, I’ll also add at least one photo on the cover letter, use a font that perhaps gives the impression of 19th century writing and some colored items to attract the eye to key phrases. In addition, I’ll try to distribute key points on the page in a three point artistic manner so that the reader’s eye is pulled to key items. Hopefully this will act much in the same way that an artistic painting draws the eye to key sites.
Of course I’m keeping my fingers crossed as I do all of this in hope that I don’t just end up with one big muddled jumble. Fortunately my wife has a keep eye for this kind of thing and I will probably run two or three drafts by her before we get it “right”!>)
If you haven’t already checked out my book, make sure you stop by the Publisher Direct Bookstore at: http://www.pdbookstore.com/comfiles/pages/RichardMcBee.shtml .
One of the big things we all talk about on the book market groups is the question of how to improve the market for your book in advance of it’s release date. Here’s how I plan to do it!
With my new non-fiction Civil War book, “Rough Enough” covering almost 20 years of Richard Clow’s life during and after the Civil War, I have decided to send out a number of Galley Proof copies (in the neighborhood of 300) to magazine and newspaper journalists, college professors, other CW authors, Amazon.com reviewers, CW parks and museums and persons who already have a high profile in the Civil War and early frontier book writing community. My hope is that these persons will review the book in their particular fashion in the months after the actual official release date on March 1, 2013. These comments and articles will then generate blurbs for the cover of the book and further media coverage such as speaking engagements, radio interviews and TV appearances…. The sky’s the limit!
In addition to these initial Galley Proof copies, in the next 2 – 3 months I will also be giving away a few signed copies of the book to persons who have already assisted me in my writing endeavor, editors with whom I have already corresponded and several famous persons who have shown a special interest in the Civil War and the post CW era. The interest generated by these persons will act to build more force to my release date.
Finally, following the release date of the book, I will be mailing other copies of the book to specific other persons who will then hopefully help keep the book moving by their input on into the future.
It would be very interesting to know how other authors have done their planning on this important portion of the book marketing process. Take a look at my link to the book cover synopsis at the Publisher Direct Bookstore under “Coming Books”. The link is:
In my book, “Rough Enough”, Richard Clow at seventeen years of age seems to have been eager to head off to fight in the Civil War in 1864 with his 100 day enlistment followed by a three year reenlistment in the early weeks of 1865. In his case, statements from his letters would indicate that as a young man he was drawn by such ideas as: patriotism, serving one’s country, getting to where the action is, being with a rough tough fighting unit and being in a combat unit rather than one that functions as support.
Veterans know that there were a variety of reasons why they ended up in the military. Some may have been drawn to the military for the same reasons that Richard Clow was. Others may have been involuntarily drafted and were not willing to take the step of leaving their country in order to escape that drafting. Many other military personnel joined in order to learn a trade or skill which would serve them well both in the military and upon return their to civilian life. Others wished to serve while going to school, or even have their schooling paid for because of their military service.
As we look at veteran’s day it is good to look back on those original reasons for being in the military and reflect on how that decision, whether mature or immature, self-serving or giving has affected our lives today.
For myself as a Vietnam era veteran, I know that enlisting allowed me to complete some schooling that would otherwise have been cut short by being drafted, while at the same time cutting off a career path that I had hoped to follow. I now know that some of the skills I learned during my first year had very little use or application in civilian life other than giving me bad dreams. Other portions of my training and experience are still with me today as positive ways of facing the trials of this world directly and confidence, directness and flexibility.
With Veteran’s day upon us, I hope that you as a veteran or a person who knows a veteran will also reflect on the positives and negatives of how your own personal military experience has affected your life and the lives of others. I hope you will share both sides of your story with your friends, children and grandchildren so that they may better understand the importance of military service to our nation and also the hard cost of that service to those who serve and those near them.
Blessings to you all on this important remembrance day.
See and order my new Civil War Book at this site!
“Rough Enough: Including Richard H. Clow’s Letters and Diary from the Civil and Indian Wars, 1865 – 1875.”
At the tender age of 17, Richard Clow leaves to fight in the
Civil War. In Rough Enough, read his actual letters home as
Clow tells of the bloody battles of Petersburg and Lee’s retreat
to Appomattox Court House. Upon returning home, Clow is
unable to readjust to civilian life, reenlists and ultimately fights
against Sitting Bull’s Sioux.
But the stress of war and life as a soldier are almost too much for
him to handle. Clow struggles with battles and constant death.
He begins to show symptoms of the frontier disorder known as
Is he tough enough for war? Can he handle going back to civilian
life after the fighting when he leaves the army? His personal diary
describes travel with trader Charles Larpenteur. He befriends the
influential Deadwood miner, William Story. Can he find love and
success on the frontier?
Let’s see you pragmatists and probability analysts out there – stock market up, jobs up , housing starts up, real estate market up, wars down…. I could go on.
Do we switch horses in the middle of things getting better? I think not. Any administrator can tell you it takes three to five years to really turn a big company around. Now if Mitt isn’t telling us that, then either he’s pretty vague on an plans for our future (which I think he is based on his speeches) or he is planning to follow in Obama’s path and is really a liberal in disguise saying anything to get into the White House (not a good reason), or he’s planning to make some really great big changes that are a bit tricky and he doesn’t want you to know how he’s going to gamble with your future.
Based on probability, I’m not sure Mitt can promise me that his program won’t reverse the current positive upswing that we’re in. The odds are greater that he’ll do something to screw up the jobs, housing, stock market, war situation … and we all know where we’ll be when that happens again, having just climbed out of the pickle barrel after four years.
Thus, given the options of continuing to slowly improve the economy etc. or take some unspecified changes that could mess up , I’m advising us to stick with the trusty tried and true three year horse that we’re currently riding. Slow and steady wins the race!
Stick with old Dobbin and you’ll get there!
I just got the email that the completed manuscript for “Rough Enough: Richard Clow’s letters and Diary from the Civil and Indian Wars, 1865-1885” has gone to press. Now I can get those contact lists out and begin to work on the publicity and marketing!
It’s a long road to get a non-fiction book published in proper format and style but it’s worth it and certainly worth having an excellent editor to work with. In collaborating with American Book Publishers for the past 18 months, I have found them to be extremely helpful, patient and thorough in the editing of my manuscript for my Civil and Indian War book, Rough Enough. Now that we have reached the point of me signing off on my book cover and all manuscript corrections, I expect that they will be as efficient and thorough in the marketing and publicity of the book. A lot of the work will fall on my shoulders because I don’t have a best-seller already under my belt to bring out the big guns for support, but I am sure they will guide me along the path if I do my part.
If you are in the business of selling books, or for that matter just about anything else, you need people to recommend your product. After sending out some fifty queries with a synopsis and sample sections of chapters to prospective endorsers for my new Civil and Indian War book “Rough Enough”, I have gotten back six really professional pieces that will look great on the back cover of the book when the galley proofs come out in the next month or so. At that point I’ll start searching for reviews in newspapers and magazines as well as prospective buyers from universities that have history departments seeking additional reading materials for their CW , IW or 19th Century history classes. The research never ends and the minor corrections never seem to end on the book itself. I can remember my dad actually paying microbiology students a dollar an error after his book “Microbiology in Relation to Man” came out in the 60’s. Gosh that was a long time ago! Hang in there, the book is coming!
Today is the big day for me to get out letters to a goodly number of important newspapers, TV hosts, Magazine Editors, Best Selling Civil War Authors and Celebrities in order to get endorsements to go onto the cover of my book, “Rough Enough” or onto my web links. Keeping my fingers crossed than the big names come through and then I can mail out the pre-release galley proofs and get back some really top notch statements that will go into pushing the marketing of the book in the fall just before the big sales push for Christmas, New Years and the holidays!
Finally! Spring has come to Hood River. The main indicator is my strawberry patch. There isn’t much better in life than sitting in a patch of strawberries and just popping the berries off the plant and popping them straight in the mouth, cottonwood fluff, ants and all. It’s a very different taste to those cardboard Californian and Mexican strawberries that arrive in the supermarket this time of the year. These will actually squish in your mouth and the flavor is a mixture of that acidic taste of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), sugar and whatever the ester is that gives strawberries their distinctive smell and taste. The crop this year is fabulous, a testament to the effects of global warming on the local climate of Oregon. It seems to have pulled in more Pacific moisture which makes the local weather actually cooler and wetter for spring while the South burns up. Strawberries just love that cool weather for setting a big crop of berries. Now that it has started into the warm weather I’ll take a big bowl every other day off the bushes until the heat drives them into dormancy for another year. Strawberries and cream! I think the good of the one counteracts the bad of the other! Yum, Yum.
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