Designing A Digital & Print Marketing Catalog.

Purpose: A Tool to use in eMail campaigns, Newsletters and Blogs.
Prep Work: for digital and print.
Sizes: Print…51/2 X 8 ½ to fit in a standard envelope of the same size.
Digital: Full page
Color: Color throughout

# of Books: All in print books

Elements per book:

Print…Book Cover, Synopsis, Table of Contents, Preface, Introduction, about the author & Contact info.

Digital: Book Cover, Synopsis, About the Author, Table of contents, Introduction & Contact Info.

Links: Add “Where to Buy” and “website” links

A Check List of Things To Know & Do

If you are a serious author, you will plan for the future. Failing to plan is actually planning to fail. You will need a check list of ideas so you can stay on track.

The secret to authoring a book and marketing it is to allow God to be your co-author. The Holy Spirit is given to all of God’s children. That means he is available to guide us into doing the will of our Heavenly Father. This applies to every aspect of our daily lives, even writing and publishing.

Guess what? It’s not all about you. It is about using your gifting as a writer to the glory of God and to accomplish his divine will. This mindset is essential to being a success. It will determine what you write about and how you relate to those that follow you.

The Christian author uses his or her gifting as a ministry to be a blessing to others. We all want to make sales but ministry is more important. If we look for ways to invest into the lives of those around us, God will take care of the sales. That being said, let’s look at some ways to increase book sales and minister at the same time.

I have established a, “Tool Kit” of ideas for my own use and am glad to share it now with you. If I missed any ideas, feel free to drop me an eMail and I will add it to my list.

Here are ways that I have identified. I have not tried all of them. It is my list of opportunities.

1. Direct Mail: This requires buying a list, doing a graphic presentation, printing, using a mail house to mail your book offer. It is best used to promote multiple books.

2. eMail Blast: This can be accomplished through CIPA or by list rental and self-blasting. I use CIPA for eBlast to retailers and consumers. It’s a lot less expensive than doing it myself.

3. Give-A-Ways: I like to give away some of my books. I see it as an investment into the lives of others. I always ask first if they will read my book if I give it to them. I am just starting to add an insert that requests a book review on Amazon. This is my ministry effort and also a way to create word of mouth promotions.

4. Local Press Releases: I got on the phone and called every newspaper within a 50-mile radius and asked for the book review person, the feature article writer, and the product news release coordinator. I sought to get a name and eMail with phone and extensions. This became my press/media list. Now, I send a press release or book review request every quarter.

5. Fundraising Promotions: I am in the 1st stages of seeking out churches that agree with my Christian viewpoint in hopes that I can offer them one or more books to use as a fundraiser for youth activities, or other ministry outreaches. It is important to have the pastor on board and offer the books at cost + (whatever you want as a royalty.) The beauty of this idea is that all the sales are in advance. No front money is required by the church or organization. They pay when you place the order…and the church deducts their share right away.

6. Seminars: I am planning a free seminar on the end of the world. I will promote it through fliers and press releases and hold it in a local library. It will be in an effort to sell my book, “The End of the World, From The Beginning.” I’ll give away one free book and offer more at a reduced price like 50%. My objective is, of course, to sell books but also to present the gospel message and lead folks to Jesus.

7. Tabletop Presentations: Setting up a presentation table can be done most anywhere. Ask your pastor if you can set up a table for “Show & Tell” before and after the Sunday service. Check with the local library for a table in their lobby. Sometimes, grocery stores will let you set up a table as well as at Walmart. Just tell them that a portion of the proceeds will go to support??? Look at fairs, festivals and other outdoor events for a table presentation opportunity.

8. Telemarketing: You can get on the phone and call churches to see if they have a bookstore. If they do, send them a comp. copy of your book with a flier on other books and where to order. This would be a great time to investigate the possibility of a church fundraiser among those that do not have a bookstore.

9. Free eBook Promo: This is a great way to capture names and eMails for your on-going eMail efforts. You can offer it on all social media as well as your author’s page or website.

10. Newsletters: Newsletters are great to stay in touch with your friends, book buyers and family. I use it to share info on various topics related to my happenings as well as introducing new books and offers.

11. Blogs: A Blog is nothing more than an article. It expressed how you think and feel about a certain thing. It is perfect for ministering the gospel and sharing the message of redemption. It does not have to be about selling books. Your newsletter and other special eBlast are a better use of time and effort.

12. List Building: As an author, you will need to build various lists for p/r and sales promos. I am in the process of building a Christian Book Reader list, A Local Media list, An Independent Retail Bookstore List, A Church Bookstore List, Customer List and some others that I haven’t thought of as yet. Data Mining can be done to locate the type of reader emails you want.

13. Bookmarks: Bookmarks are great for trade shows, tabletop displays and just individual pass-a-longs. I use them all the time everywhere I can.

14. Business Cards: A good 4/color glossy business card is a must. I give them to strangers I meet as well as others I know. It helps to build branding and added exposure.

15. T-Shirts: A good T-Shirt can draw attention to your books and you as an author. You can make up a few for you and close friends to wear around town.

16. Website: I use my website to push free eBook offers, all book titles that click through to where they can be purchased and general overall ministry. I have some podcasts, poetry and other stuff that can minister.

17. Social Media: “Social Media” is the perfect choice for periodic promos that push list building. A free eBook offer is a great way to do that. Blogs are also good for publication on Facebook, Instagram and all the other platforms. Realize that it is not a focused list of book readers or buyers but they are still people and could be open to following you and receiving the gospel through what you write. The best part is that it is free.

18. Holiday Promotions: Design your book offer around a special holiday and offer it as a gift for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and all the other special days. You can tie your offer to a free eBook with the discounted rate for a paperback or hardcover.

19. Special Reports: Maybe you have a short report or Bible expose that can be offered with no strings attached. It is a good way to build branding and customer loyalty.

20. Logo Items: Another great branding effort is to purchase “Ad Specialty” logo items like pens, cups, key chains, tote bags and other items that display your logo and website. They even have logo watches. Some can be used for repeat customers and others are perfect for trade show hand-outs and general face to face marketing.

21. Radio/TV Interviews: These may be hard to get but there is no harm in trying. You could get an interview and become recognized as a local author.

22. Word of Mouth: Selling yourself is the beginning to the path to success. You must speak up and not be shy. I spoke up at the dentist office recently and discovered a potential customer. I gave my business card and hoped for the best.

I am sure you can find more ways but these 22 will get you started. The key is to look closely at each one and if it fits, cost it out so you know how much to add to your overall budget.

Now let’s look at some other things you will need:

You will need to write your manuscript.
You will need to have it proofed and edited.
You will need to format the interior of your book to the size you desire.
You will need a glossy color cover designed.
You will need a means of distribution.
You will need ISBN numbers for both print and eBook publishing.

We can do all of that for you except write the manuscript, proof and edit. That’s up to you. Check out our website for more info.

Finally, if you have a yearn to write, know that God has given you a gift and wants you to rely on him to make it happen. He is your co-author, inspiration, guide, source of funding and the only one that has your best interest at heart.

Be sensitive to God’s voice and do what he directs you to do. I gave away a book just the other day because I heard the Lord say, “That person could benefit from what your book focuses on.” It was better to give than receive.

John Marinelli, Author & Publisher
[email protected]

Using Social Media

Using social media is a good way to advertise. You can use it for lead generation, Introduction of a new book or even direct sales. There are some negatives that you should know about. They are:

1.There is no target audience. Your message is seen by thousands but do any of them buy books and if they do, do they purchase the type of book that you authored? There is no way of knowing.

2.There is no “reader profile” available. Posting can be a shot in the dark.

3.Your post does not stay visible for long. Other post flood the space, pushing you post down and down until it is no longer seen.

4.Your title (product) in competing with many other viewing opportunities like multiple post, ads, video watch, and other social media offerings. How do you know that they are looking at you?

Here is a way to change all these negatives into positives. It is to sign up for a “Pay Per Click” program. It will cost but you pay only for the click that goes to your website or author’s page and you can set the parameters as to what qualifies as a click. You can even set a top count so you don’t get lost in too many clicks and spend a lot of money.

Note: A click coming to your website or author’s page does not mean you will sell anything. It just means that they came, looked around and either bought or left without buying.

It is advisable to set up an account with Facebook, Twitter and the other social media platforms. It is still a good publicity channel.

I joined over 60 Christian writers’ groups on Facebook and am slowly offering or just showing my books. Not sure what it will produce but it’s a good pastime activity.

Until next time
John Marinelli, Author & Publisher
[email protected]

Test Marketing

Marketing is a continual effort. It will take up a lot of time and even more money if you ae not careful. Here are a few tips on testing markets to gain knowledge and experience:

1.The purpose of doing a test in a certain market is obviously to see if it can become a steady source of income. Smart marketers refer to it as creating a revenue stream.

2.The goal of testing various markets is to establish multiple revenue streams that can provide a steady source of income while at the same time increase your reader base.

3.The challenge of testing is to identify the markets that you want to test. This can be really difficult. Is your market book buyers, romance readers, history buffs, Bible truth seekers or what? Each one can be a market in itself with many variables.

4.The results of testing various markets will determine where you allocate your marketing dollars.

5.The process of testing will identify top markets opposed to others that are less important. This is really important when creating a marketing budget.

Research is the key to real success. Developing a market profile is really important. Is the market leaning more towards female readers or what? Is the market strictly Christian or can it be a mix of various faiths? Is the market mostly protestant of can Catholic also benefit from your title?

If you advertise and get no response or very little, you’ll want to know why. Maybe the audience profile is off and doesn’t fit your desired reader.

Testing can be made easy if you do not ignore the key factors; Research, Profiling and Evaluating. All this has to be done before you activate your first test. When you do, sample the audience with at least 1,000 names. Keep good records of the testing results. Evaluate your ROI (Return on Investment.)

Good luck
John Marinelli, Author & Publisher
[email protected]

How To Use eBooks In Your Marketing Efforts

Once you publish, you will get files for Print and eBook. Both versions go into worldwide distribution. The print is mostly for retail bookstores. However, the eBook can be sold there as well. But a better way to use your eBook is in your marketing efforts. Here are a few ideas:

1. Establish an online sign-up for receiving your monthly newsletter and offer a free eBook as a blessing to those who sign up.

2. Once you have an eMail mailing list, offer a free eBook to your readers as a way of familiarizing them with your style. It is best to attach it to your eBlast to those on your list. Your eMail content should let them know why they are getting it and why they should buy the print version. It is best used when you have multiple books. You can discuss the ones you didn’t attach.

3. Do a sales promo where you control the shipping and they buy direct from you, using the eBook as a free gift when they buy two or more books.

4. Offer a free eBook of the print version when they buy the print version. Again, they will have to buy direct from you.

5. Offer a “Buy One Get One” special offer on eBooks.

Note: #3 & 4 & 5 are used for retail sales from individual readers, not book stores.

Good luck on all that you do.

Until next time
John Marinelli, Author & Publisher
[email protected]

How To Develop A Marketing Budget

Having a book in print does not guarantee sales. Everybody knows that you must figure out how to market your book. Maybe if you looked at it as if your book is just another product like a radio or table, it would be easier to see what is needed to develop at meaningful budget.

Budgets are formed by identifying possible markets. Breaking your market down into segments is the best way to not waste money. This process will help you discover best, and least segments as well as marginal segments that may yield a source of steady income. See the following as market segments:

Genres (meaning type of book) …romance, historic, fiction, true to life, children, Bible teaching etc. Age of the Reader: Male or Female: Income Level: Education Level:

Other segments could be denomination, church affiliation, reader hobbies, interest in Biblical teachings.

There could be other segments that you see that I didn’t mention. However, each is a separate market and can be explored for harvesting readers.

The next step is to prioritize the segments. This will determine how much money you allot to each segment. Then there is determining a marketing campaign for the 3-top segments. After that is to move ahead with graphics and your message and offer. Then execute the plan to the top segment, analyze results and determine if a repeat performance is warranted or a move to segment #2.

It is understood that you have a certain amount of money set aside for marketing. The above process is meant to determine how to spend that money.

If you have no money for marketing, you can use social media but that is a shot in the dark. Posting your book in hopes that someone will see it and buy it is a longshot. I do that anyway as another means of exposure and collecting newsletter names but very few sales come from that source unless you give it away.

Until Next Time
John Marinelli, Author & Publisher
[email protected]

eMail And Direct Mail Marketing

A good marketing plan will have both eMail and Direct Mail campaigns. Some marketers do a direct mailing to potential buyers and follow it up three days after it hits with an eMail reminder.

The success of any program depends on several factors: Timing, Offer, Graphic Design, List Rental Quality, Book Title and Ease of Response.

If you are looking at direct mail with an eMail follow-up, you will need to buy a list that is guaranteed to be at least 90% deliverable. Be sure to select a list broker that can provide the list, clean it and mail your marketing piece and blast your follow-up offer. You don’t want to use 2 or 3 providers to accomplish your goals. There is too much possibility for things to go wrong.

Some folks want to test direct mail against eMail to see which is better. eMail over the length of any campaign is more cost effective but usually yields a lower return on investment. eMail can average 1% ROI and direct mail, an average of 3%. However, returns cam mean different things to different folks depending on the message you send.

If you offer a free “Sample Read” of your eBook (1st three chapters) you may get lots of returns, but sales are another matter. If you just use your message to push readers to your “Author’s Page” of “Website”, with no specific offer, you may not get a lot of sales.

Timings is everything. When is the right time? Don’t set delivery of your direct mail to bookstores for a weekend. Don’t set an eMail blast to go out on a Monday or Friday.

Your list rental is about the most important factor of them all. Are you renting book buyers? Are they all Christians? What brand of Christianity are you focused to? Does the theme of your book fit into the profile of the audience you desire? What are they currently reading? The more detailed you make your list rental, the better chance of success.

A black and white graphic is far less appealing that full color. Your graphic presentation will be a big help because it will grab the reader’s attention and spark an interest to continue to look it over.

Finally, you need to provide an easy way to response. Don’t make the reader jump through hoops to get information or even buy your book. A simple “Click Here” will do for free downloads or a link to more info and purchasing.

If you cannot set all this in motion, seek out an advertising agency or graphic designer that can. I can offer one to you that I use. Ask me for it by email at [email protected].

Until Next Time
John Marinelli, Author & Publisher

Advertising And Publicity

As you may know, Advertising is different than Publicity. Here are some examples of Publicity:

1. Newsletters.
2. Blogs.
3. Press Releases.
4. Seminars.
5. ” Meet The Author” showcase in a bookstore, Local library, church,
restaurant or grocery store entrance.
6. Pass-A- Long literature like brochures and business cards.
7. Billboards, social media and Posters.
8. T-shirts and logo items.
9. Mini-disc with a free eBook used as a give-a-way.
10. There must be more. If you can think of them, let me know.

Advertising is another ballgame. It cost money and requires graphic art design to meet certain sizes depending on where you advertise. You have several possible ad channels. They are:

Direct Mail to retail bookstores.
Newspaper display ad or classified ad sections.
Magazines that service your target audience.
Social Media like Facebook.
Key websites that have high traffic counts.
Radio & T. V.
Any other channel that accepts paid advertising.

You should be careful about selecting an advertising channel as it can get very expensive. Each channel must be analyzed to be sure it is working. Take your time and use the one-by-one approach.

Until next time
John Marinelli, Author & Publisher
[email protected]

Author Website Verses Author Page

As an independent author, you will need an on-line location to host your book or books for viewing by potential buyers. Some authors use websites while others get along with a simple “Author’s Page” A website can cost anywhere from $600 to $3,000 to construct.

As you may know, a website is far more extensive and costly to maintain. I have a website, but I use it in many different ways. I post newsletters and blogs. I have poetry, 3-minute sermons, Info about us, and lots more. It is a multi-use presentation.

Websites are very good when the author has many books in print and does engage in on-going Christian ministry.

On the other hand, some authors like a simple “Author’s Page” where they can show the cover of their book, a synopsis overview and a buyer’s link where they can sell it on line. This page will be offered as part of our publishing program. It will be hosted on our website and a special link will be provided to each participating author that can be added to author eMails. This will cost the author $10 per book with no additional fees and will stay in place as long as the publisher’s website is active, or the author’s books are still in print.

Another way is to use, “” It is a global link that you can use in all of your emails and other communications. It is free and works for just one book or multiple books. My link is

You can visit and scroll down to, “Available Books” and click on one of the book covers. This will give you an idea of what your page will be like.

Until next time

John Marinelli, Author & Publisher

[email protected]


Author’s Mindset

Most authors enter the marketing arena with big expectations, thinking that they will sell lots of books and everyone will just love their creative ability and story content. But being an overnight success is not reality. It takes time and lots of effort. Why? Because you are an “Independent Author” with no big publisher to promote you. You have to do it all: Branding, Publicity, Marketing, Advertising, Reader Acquisition and so forth.

Most authors are happy to have a book in print but never realize that they are one in a million floating in the worldwide market of book buyers, all of which have different interest and needs.

If you are in the book writing business to make money, you may be very disappointed. I have several book titles that sold less than 10 copies. I have also had titles that did way better but still did not pay out.

Nevertheless, my calling and gifting drives me to write, publish and minister through the revelations given to me by the Holy Spirit. My mindset is to press on and move towards the destiny that God has for me.

The Christian author’s mindset is to express all that God has deposited in his or her spirit. They will not give in and will not give up because of hindrances. They will stand in faith and walk by faith, knowing that God will open doors that are now closed and forge paths where there are no paths. Their motivation is purpose driven to meet the challenges set before them and to overcome the obstacles that get in their way.

They move when the Spirit calls and waits when the road ahead is blocked, ever being led by truth, righteousness and holiness. They do not listen to critics that try to discourage them. Their eyes are upon the Lord and their trust is in God.

This is the Author’s mindset. It is a perspective, a way of thinking and a lifestyle to live in this world. Guess what? It’s not all about you. It is about using your gifting as a writer to the glory of God and to accomplish his divine will. This mindset is essential to being a success. It will determine what you write about and how you relate to those that follow you.

Until Next Time
John Marinelli, Author & Publisher
[email protected]