A review of How To Make Your Book Stand Out in a Crowd by Dave and Lillian Brummet

Reviewed by Magdalena Ball
How To Make Your Book Stand Out in a Crowd
By Dave and Lillian Brummet
Purple Snowflake Marketing
ISBN#: 193335304X, Format: e-book, 151 pages, June 15, 2007, $6.50usd

By now it’s becoming almost universally known that publishers are not going to market books by their authors. It doesn’t matter whether you’re with one of the big five or a small house, whether you’re on your fourth book or your first – marketing is now a critical skill for any author. And this is becoming increasingly important as more and more books flood an already saturated market. Just why should a potential reader choose your book over another? Why would they even think of your book when they decide that a book is what they’re going to buy? The answer is all about how effectively you’ve marketed yourself and your book. So easy to read, reference books like Purple Snowflake Marketing’s How to Make Your Book Stand Out in a Crowd (and it really is a crowd, and becoming more crowded all the time) are very important for authors.

The book is a fairly simple one, and for those experienced at marketing it may be too simple, but simplicity is not necessarily a bad thing. First time marketers will find the information clearly presented in an easy to follow, undaunting way. There are chapters on how to obtain (and for publicity purposes, write) reviews, genres, creating a website, building an audience, buying advertising and how to choose the most cost effective venue, using promotional materials like bookmarks and tchatchkes or cute little knickknacks (I love the idea of designing double bookmarks on postcards as Vistaprint do lots of freebies on postcards and don’t carry bookmarks), using the media (this chapter is really brief and could be very usefully expanded!), producing “filler” articles and reviews for exposure, press releases, managing your books, managing bookstores, getting your books into libraries and schools, interviews, royalties, tracking marketing results,

There are a number of innovative ideas that you won’t come across anywhere else. The chapter titled “Purple Snowflake Techniques” is particularly valuable, and includes suggestions like putting book labels on every envelope that leaves the house – a kind of snail mail variation on the signature. Other excellent suggestions include enlisting the services of a friendly cab driver, or getting your family and friends to become your promotional army. There is also unique and not readily available advice in the “Managing Your Books” and “Book Events” sections. The latter contains some excellent tips on how to make a book signing event successful, clearly utilizing the Brummet’s experience in this area.

Throughout the book are personal anecdotes and examples, frequently asked questions, links and references. The extensive clickable links at the back aren’t all still current, but most are and represent what is obviously a lot of legwork. It’s worth the small price of the book for these alone. There are sample releases, sample letters, sample interview questions, and even samples of bookmarks and business cards. All in all, How To Make Your Book Stand Out in a Crowd is a valuable, easy to follow and very inexpensive resource for authors wanting to pull together an effective book marketing plan. That is, all authors.

About the reviewer: Magdalena Ball is the author of Sleep Before Evening. “It is moving and harsh and every word seemed true.” Book Divas