Tag Archives: book publishing

Self-Publishing

2 Feb

I spent much of the Fall and busy holiday season assisting local Philadelphia legend Steve Poses with marketing and selling his self-published cookbook and website, At Home.

Steve had sold more than 100,000 copies of his first publication, The Frog Commissary Cookbook, which has been in print for 25 years, through a local publisher. Steve is also a renowned restaurateur and caterer in the Philadelphia area. So there is already a group of loyal fans ready and waiting to read At Home.

With the help of a local public relations guru, Steve was successful in landing several high-profile publicity opportunities including radio, TV, newspaper and magazine spots. He also did a ton of blogging, built up an e-mail newsletter list of hundreds of subscribers and did e-mail marketing, direct mail and search optimization for his website.

But the sticking-points in making book sales were the low return on e-mail marketing (a 1 percent return is stellar) and the decision to use an online-only distribution channel.  The original At Home marketing plan relied heavily on e-mail marketing, but the channel delivered very little return.  Steve also wanted to sell the books via his online store only, to provide a direct, no-middleman transaction for customers. The problem is, that folks still want to touch and flip-through a book before making a purchase. Especially if it’s a new publication and they’ve never seen a copy before.

In the end we got through the holiday rush by partnering with several independent businesses including food co-ops, markets and an exclusive independent bookstore to provide some brick and mortar retail opportunities. We also used these retail locations as venues for book-signings, which gave customers a chance to meet Steve, get a signed copy of the book and hear about the publication directly from the author.

Marketing a self-published book is an uphill battle. There’s a related article in the Denver Post that really hits on the difficulty that authors face when they decide to self-publish. It sounds like these authors found that face-to-face events like readings and book signings, as well as building an online presence in a blog format, or e-mail newsletter, are two key strategies to self-publishing success.

It will be interesting to see how Steve alters his strategy in 2010 and how all kinds of authors, fiction, non-fiction, self-help, cookbook, etc. tackle self-published projects in the future.

At Home By Steve Poses- Affordable, Easy Dinner Party!

3 Dec

This is a Daily News video showing how a regular woman cooks a gourmet meal for her friends using Steve’s book. Here’s a link to the full article: http://tinyurl.com/yhw4ctt

At Home By Steve Poses

10 Nov

I recently began working with Steve Poses, a local celebrity chef and caterer who ran Frog and Commissary- two famous Philadelphia restaurants that launched the foodie revolution in Philly in the 70s and 80s.

Steve authored The Frog Commissary Cookbook– which sold 100,000 copies and has run Frog Commissary Catering – one of the most sought after event caterers in Philadelphia. Recently Frog Commissary took up residence in the Franklin Institute and is providing a unique dining experience there.

Steve also recently self-published a cookbook and companion website: At Home
Check out the book and website here– and also Steve’s blog here– which has great recipes and tips for entertaining at home for Thanksgiving, the holidays and beyond.

More to come on the marketing of this exciting new book and revolutionary publishing model- which offers book owners a companion Website, with live content, recipe updates and many features to come.

Steve signing books, and me and another helper selling books to his left.

Bibliophiles – Check Out TheSecondPass.com

20 Apr

The Second Pass is a new site devoted to books which combines the best of print literary magazines with the peer-to-peer, conversational aspects of a blog. It features reviews, essays, and links to lots of other online resources.

The Second Pass is updated daily  and features a slew of writers, not just one blogger. Each time I visit I inevitably find one of those inspiring posts that you MUST reblog or forward to a friend.

The best part about the site is it reviews both new and old books. There is even a feature called the Shelf, were readers can submit short (125 words) reviews of what they’re reading now whether its a new release or an out-of-print title.