Periodically I call one of our authors with a better-selling book and chat with them about their book marketing efforts, and what they believe is responsible for their sales success. I had one such conversation recently with Janet Marthers (janetmarthers. com), the lead author of Follow Your Interests to Find the Right College (ISBN: 9781627872621). The book is different from other college guides in that it uses students’ interests, both academic and non-academics, as the primary tool to help them navigate the college selection process, and discover colleges and opportunities that they might otherwise overlook. If you or someone you know is evaluating colleges, I highly recommend that you check out this unique book.
Follow Your Interests to Find the Right College was published in December of 2015. In March 2016 Forbes interviewed Marthers about the book, and she noticed an immediate spike in sales on Amazon. Shortly thereafter Library Journal published a positive review of the book in its March 2016 issue (to be followed in July 2016 by a review in School Library Journal.) Sales have been consistently higher for the many months since. Marthers believes that the Library Journal review played the critical role in the success of her subsequent sales and marketing efforts. These efforts primarily focused on libraries, whose buyers rely, perhaps more than on any other source, on the reviews in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. One frustration Marthers did have was that many prominent publications that review books, like Kirkus Reviews, would not consider the book for review after it had been out a few months. This is something for authors and publishers to keep in mind. It’s often a good idea to submit a book for review well before it is published, even if that means delaying its release. In the best case a book receives a review from a prominent reviewer or publication prior to its release date and the review can be incorporated into the book’s design.