Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Unexpected Marketing Venue of a Montana Trilogy ~ Behind These Mountains, Vols. I, II, III


I'm delighted to share with those of you who publish non-fiction books a way of marketing and publicity: Be prepared when a reader contacts you.

When I published Kindle editions of my Montana trilogy, Behind These Mountains, Vols. I, II and III, I hadn't anticipated this type of opportunity.

I happened this way: While researching the Internet to find nuggets of information for her genealogy, Karen Drain, a stranger who'd never heard of me or my books, discovered members of her family tree mentioned in Volume I of Behind These Mountains.

She contacted me by email, reinforcing my belief in the value of maintaining a website and/or blog that can be found using a search engine.

Subsequently, Karen purchased a DVD of the three books in .pdf format which I sell for $50. I include permission to print  [or have printed and bound] a peronal copy of the books.

Karen wrote,
"I received my DVD today and I cannot wait to begin reading [on her large screen computer]! My hope is to print out a chapter at a time and send it to my great Uncle Jack. We will not be printing it out except for personal use for Jack. My thought is that he will have something to look forward to every week as I send him one or two chapters at a time. I believe I mentioned that Jack is 91 and he doesn't even have a working television, let alone a computer. His phone is not a fancy one either so hard copy is the only way for him to read your book. I want to send a few chapters at a time so he has something to look forward to and he will check his mail more often than he does! Thank you so much for sharing all of your research with me!"
My publisher told me at the time my books were released, in 1986 and 1991, that requests for the out-of-print original editions would continue years after copies became rare collectibles. Selling .pdf editions seemed a better option than print-on-demand. A single DVD holds the entire trilogy, which includes close to 1,000 pictures.

I burned a half dozen DVDs, created an attractive label, and bought inexpensive cardboard mailers at the post office ~ and waited for requests for the 1st editions.

When they arrive, I'm ready. My reply offers the .pdf edition on DVD, explaining that permission to print a personal copy of each book is included. I also  caution that the .pdf books are around 1,200 pages each due to the pictures, and that the page size is much smaller than the original editions, and prints in 12 point. I suggest that before printing an entire book they first print a few pages to see if the size and type is suitable.

The .pdf editions on DVD are selling as fast or faster than the Kindle editions ~ at almost double the profit.


Kindle editions generate less than $7 per book; under $20 for the trilogy. Compared with $50 minus less than $1 [for DVD, label and postage] it's easy to  see the small amount of time involved is well worth it.

To promote the .pdf editions on North Palouse Washington e-newscast , and my 21st Century Old Folks Home blogspot, I'll write human interest stories quoting Karen about the joy of connecting with an author and discovering your ancestors.


I'll also maximize publicity by publishing the family information Karen shared on my Bygone Montanans blogspot, and include excerpts from Volume I,about her Honeberger and Dingley family members. I expect another surge in book sales, both Kindle and .pdf copies.

You, too, can maximize exposure through blogs and websites. Adapt this strategy in your marketing and publicity and enjoy your profits, too.

I also highly recommend joining Internet Writing Workshop. Enjoy the benefits of membership in this exceptionally helpful group of writers, editors, agents, and publishers online... and it's free!