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Before you market, you need to set your retail price and make shipping and handling decisions - click here for more information and suggestions.

Inexpensive Marketing
Online and Digital
(see also general marketing)

Book/Author Advertising | Online Ordering | Marketing of Websites

Author and/or Book Advertising
When publishing any book, the author should look to all available sources as means of marketing his/her book. The Internet is a very versatile marketing tool that can be utilized fairly quickly and inexpensively. Social networking, blogs, dedicated page or whole website may draw people, for different reasons, with hyperlinks, freebies and other goodies. Even a simple PDF flyer that has phone and mail contact information that can be shared, emailed, or printed. We can help with your web design, preparation/design and strategy. A new Internet "surfer" may also receive several alternate ideas on how to promote their printed book electronically during this process.

Click here for links of example web page/site work already completed by Gregath Company, Inc.'s web staff

Prepare your press release/informational flyer (or at very least a fact sheet - type of book, purchase price, author, etc.) and check online for the following places to market:

  • Book web site or web page (don't forget a way for browsers to sign up for direct mail/email)

  • Usenet (newsgroups)

  • E-lists*

  • E-magazines (ezines) or E-newsletters

  • Blogs

  • Bulletin boards*

  • Web Rings (if you have built an informational web page)

  • Subject and author forums

  • Book Review or Video Trailer areas

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Don't forget to think about your genealogy subject, remember it is a new book/publication and what geographical areas it covers!

  • If there are none of the above, consider starting them!

  • Send everyone in your email address book a notice about the book - and ask them to share it.

  • If you social network or blog, don't forget to include information in each of your online "streams".

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Email - One of the easiest ways to spread the word if you email folks is to add a signature (or a line to your signature) to all your outgoing email that says you are the author of your book.  See our Computer aid section of our e-zine for more help doing this.

If you choose to use your email address list or book, be careful.  The Internet is still not very old and many people are overly-sensitive of privacy issues.  Either write a letter that you can send to everyone individually, or look into a email-merge add-on program.  It is suggested you don't write one email and list everyone's address in the "To:" line where all recipients can see the addresses.  Another way to this, without adding new software, is to send it to yourself with everyone else in "Bcc:".  Regardless of what you choose to do, if you are sending the same email to more than a dozen people, check with your server to see if they need to adjust for the extra traffic you will be producing.  Some do, some don't, and some even require you to send to no more than 10 recipients at a time. Likewise, "form letters" may be intercepted by your server as SPAM - they can explain how not to get filtered before your email goes out.  Once you've conformed to the servers requests, you may also need to consider the fact that many incoming mail filters look unkindly at an email that goes to too many people.

*Join email lists that have the same subject matter as your book.  After getting an idea of the type of information that is posted and the rules, send an email to the list(s) about your new publication.  You might start at or 

As with email lists, check online for bulletin boards or discussion groups having to do with your subject matter.  After getting an idea of how information flows, post information about your book.

Further online PR possibilities include working with your ISP to search newsgroups/usenet through your email program.  Once you find lists about your subject matter and review them, post information about your book.

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Use a virtual book tour to assist in setting and keeping PR goals

A lot of authors that don't live off their writing may let leave their own promotional needs unfulfilled. It's easy to promise yourself to get that press release done by next week, but sometimes easier to choose to do something else instead. By setting up a virtual book tour, you are out little to no expense, but have set dates that you will generate material that can be used for other promotional work.

Virtual book tours are no great mystery - they are actual tours that you can conduct from anywhere that go anywhere. To set up a tour, find places online that have guests, or may be interested in "hosting" a guest that seem to have traffic that are people who would be interested in your book/subject(s). While it would be great if they are all buyers, someone who doesn't buy, but shares with all their friends may net you more than a single original order! Also, if you discover places that would like to host you, but the dates will not match your tour, consider a stand alone virtual event.

Typically tours run a certain number of consecutive days (no "dark" travel dates needed). While the virtual nature may tempt you to have more than one stop per day, it's best to average just one a day to make sure you don't divide your focus, and to keep each stop special and individual. Most virtual tours last from 5 to 10 days in length, and may cross a variety of online service types (chat rooms, blogs, bulletin boards, elists, etc.).

Your virtual tour can be as little as just increased interaction from a different address, at a given time. However, any tour (real or virtual) is what you make of it. Offering special discounts, individualized signings, goodies (stickers, book marks, art postcards, etc.) and/or even drawing for a free book, are add-ons that may easily be included.

If you plan a virtual tour, don't forget to market it! Just like having a book store signing, it can't be a success if people don't know it's happening. Please, plan to do something different with every stop - even if it is just shifting the focus of Q&A topics (one stop, research, another history, another writing, another family, another future work, etc.). If visitors find themselves presented with the same things, they will be more hesitant to follow you.

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Marketing of Websites or other online presences

The best website in the world won't do much good without traffic. The days of "if you build it they will come" are over - the web is just too big now. That said, you can use many of the same easy marketing ideas listed for your book to get your website out there. In addition, make it a destination, be sure there are extras on the site that make people interested in spreading your address through word of mouth. Even if it is just copies of all current family vacation photos or links to electronic versions of specific actual documents (even on premium services) - it's extra free content someone will enjoy.

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Book Ordering
If the author wishes, setting up to take orders online is fairly simple to those who do online banking, etc. GCI can provide as much or as little assistance as needed. Not all items sell  best this way. In a limited genealogical book market study several years ago, it was found that only a small percentage of book buyers were interested in ordering online via secure server (information protected against theft), but others were ready to send the same information out through non-secured internet connections. As the public uses the internet more, the number of internet orders is increasing.  Whatever the author chooses, Gregath Company, Inc. can help.

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For more suggestions on this subject and more, order our book:
wholesale price eligible G550-$20.00 WRITING Family History Or Genealogy For Pleasure and Profit Complete Edition, by Gregath Company, Inc., *updated* 2011. ISBN: 0-944619-00-2, 8½x11", softbound book, 126 pages, suggestions & examples of all facets of your project for the typist and/or computer user.
Also available on disk.
Also we suggest:
Guerrilla Marketing for Writers - 100 Weapons for Selling Your Work

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