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Civil / Structural PE
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Discussion Starter #1
I just finished writing and self-publishing a book on a construction-related topic. The question is how best to market it?

Here are a few ideas I'm fiddling with. Please let me know what you think.

A. Send a free copy to targeted builders with the hope they'll buy a few more. (If you were the recipient, how would you react?)

B. Send a free copy to building supply companies with the same hope.

C. Send an email announcement to the people on my list.

D. ?

What I'm after with this post is to find out what you respond to and what turns you off. And also any other ideas you may have.

Thanks!
 

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I just finished writing and self-publishing a book on a construction-related topic. The question is how best to market it?

Here are a few ideas I'm fiddling with. Please let me know what you think.

A. Send a free copy to targeted builders with the hope they'll buy a few more. (If you were the recipient, how would you react?)

B. Send a free copy to building supply companies with the same hope.

C. Send an email announcement to the people on my list.

D. ?

What I'm after with this post is to find out what you respond to and what turns you off. And also any other ideas you may have.

Thanks!
You could send one to me, but I doubt that my review is worth much.>G<:eek:
 

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how about a small pdf sample to get the reader interested. Something easily sent by email at no cost to you or the recipient but is powerful enough to make the reader want more. An email list of contractors can't be that hard to find.

Set up a website for the book and promote it with ppc, adwords etc.
 

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General Contractor
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Yes, a PDF sample of the book would be nice and please include some pictures, I love pictures :thumbsup:
 

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Banned
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The topics may depend on how you market the book.

What is the book about? What is the cost? I think you can advertise the book on Contractor Talk for a fee. If so, the best way may be to do what a lot of writers are doing and that is you tease contractors by giving away the first few chapters for free.

Unfortunately, for a lot of writers who give away free chapters, they don't put the good stuff in the free chapters and I don't buy the book. If I were to try to sell the book I would put my best stuff in the free chapters.

I know a few people who published fairly popular books about stock and option trading and these books are sold in major bookstores. These writes always said they never made money from the books. They said they wrote the books because it made them appear to be experts in their fields and they used this to gain credibility when charging up to $18,000 per person for their seminars.

You could try using bulk email to contractors and there are several ways to create a list of contractor email addresses. You can get contractor email addresses from yellow pages, business cards, publications, and home and garden shows. I will show you a program that cost about $39 that will retrieve thousands of passwords even from passworded web sites and forums.

In California and many other states it is legal to send bulk email when you insert your company name, address, and give the person a way to opt out of the mailing list. A lot of people misunderstand bulk email and think the person must be opted in to the mailing list first. A lawsuit was settled in California regarding this issue last week and the person sending the bulk email was fined thousands of dollars only because he failed to remove a person from a list and sent many more emails.

You live in the worst state for bulk email. I heard Washington has the toughest laws.
 

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I'd suggest you read a few books on the publishing industry. In general, it's difficult to make money self-publishing. It can be done, but there are also a number of drawbacks. Without knowing the details on your book, it's difficult to give specific advice. However, one thing you should do right away is a competitive analysis of similar titles; and examine their marketing strategies and results.
 

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Roofing sales pro
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101 Posts
I think IMO i book can be useful, by the end of the week you will all get a link of my latest creation built by a marketing wiz with 20 years exp. now i have learned alot from this woman. but alot of what is part of my site. well let me ask a question i have put some things here and here is a GOOD part of my stuff.


Mr. Mitchell, thank you for the opportunity to help you with your biggest investment. Understanding that your home is your biggest investment taking care of it by picking the right contractor is the smartest decision that can be made. If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call to further educate you on your homes needs
Respectfully owners name
What this is a follow up cards wording that is sent out the day you see the customer, i have not put the card up since is the meat and potatos oif it.
Here is another one
Win lose or draw


This is answers to objections. Hope this can help you make more money. Here is a trick I learned. Ok regardless if you get ink on paper or not. As you are packing up have 5 business cards in your pocket with the number $100.00 on it. This can be used 2 ways. Scenario 1. You were too high or whatever they did not like you and you know this before you leave, Say Mr. Jones im sorry we were not the company for your project but as we believe in xyz roofing (your company name) that we strive for our best. I am going to give you a chance to make 500 dollars off of us. Why they ask. Well since we were not the company for you, maybe someone that you may know will be a fit for us. 500 is a lot of money. Pause wait for response. Now you continue They will agree. So they will take the cards and say to neighbors whomever, and they give the card that you gave them, now naturally the 100 is put into the referred lead. Hence you don’t pay for the 100 bucks. 80% of the time you will get at least 2 or 3 new leads out of it unless they hate you. Now you explain to them it must be a sold job that they referred us to. So they will try and sell your product while buying someone else’s.

Scenario 2. You have called back and they said they went with another company. Say im sorry to hear that, but as a gesture of allowing us to bid on your project im going to send you five business cards with $100.00 on them not money just the numbers. Let him know same as above. This works rather well. The one above you have to know you have lost the job before hand or you screw yourself. You can be safe and use number 2. You will get some business out of just business cards. You just have to remember to write them a check so you can write it off at the end of the year as advertising, and since you have already recouped the 100 bucks from the other leads you have just now doubled your money!

If you need anything just let me know. If you like the stuff I have sent or this email please let me know. Just don’t put everything out on the table for everyone to download at nrg, to many people we don’t know on there if you get my point the never post.

This works win lose or draw, also it give you more leads without working them it’s a referral program that makes your phone ring for you not the company.

Now if you lose, 5 business cards again with a 25 dollar gift for dinner on you with the same thing. TAX DEDUCTION

This is a trick in the first part many of you know, but the second few have thought about or implmented. It works since you have inticed them to pass along the cards heck whats 25 dollars when we are talking 5k. its a write off anyway so whats the problem, hope this helps someone. Asdie from that my site will be online by thursday if the last code can be completed its messed up. ANd i will be willing to help anyone that would like some advice. Now i know alot of you dont like me and well i have tougher skin than titanium oh yea thats in my back, So keep the beating up it amuses me really. Its funny to me. Shows me me alot about whom i am dealing with, now stating that if everyone knows everything, hey there is a hot dog stand waiting for you in new york, in other words fos. I do not know everything and nor do you. so since that is cleared up what i can help with might not help with plumbers but with the closings i have i can replicate them just with different wording to help anyone out and im will to help ZERO cost. No selling just trying to be help rather than harmful. if no one on this site has the want of help help me help you understand wtf your asking questions for. hence you need some sort of help. Let the bashing begin i could give two turtles poo. but i will say this, at this point there is nothing that can be said that will bother me. I am here to help others in a professional manor and i have not seen much of that around here unless you and 2 thousand posts. Look at it this way, out of the box is where your unfourtunitly have to think. what was 2005 is not the same as today and i think we can all agree that simply adjustments must be made as time goes on, everything changes and consumers are smarted than 5 years ago and to make reality real what worked last year in certain business in the contractor group in a whole is not working due to the economy and well the fact is blut and simple customers use the internet ti find thier own answers to combat sales people. as the marines say adapt and overcome. if you dont you will be left behind. All i am asking to ask your self HONESTLY the numbers are down in many ofhter trades period. some no, alot yes, outside the box is you answer simply put. If you dont agree with the staments above well im sorry to say personally since i have spoken to 12 states in the last month and i get the same answer, lower profit margins, less leads and closing issues. Peronally i could care less but i have done my homework have you?
God bless each of you, your familys and you business and the fella's that make your bread.

Thank you for reading and really looking for a bunch of i know better im full if. 411.com search your trade and call a minimum od 50 people in yourade in at a minimum of 12 sates and it will rpve like robert shaperio, ojs lawyer within a reasonable doubt i am right and just trying to help. if you dont want thats fine but slaming me im ready for it. But it shows pure immaturitty at levels to the extreme. so bring it on and i will give staticits to back my research. that are well pure proof with numbers names and well names if needed and owners not useless nobdy that really knows bottom line. This little post after my small marketing tips. have a great day.​

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Civil / Structural PE
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88 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, everyone for your excellent input. That's the kind of intel that marketing companies work very hard to acquire.

Since a few of you asked, the book is about green framing and discusses how to use less concrete, wood, and steel, and still build code-compliant, strong structures.

It is surprisingly hard to get contractor's email addresses. I've purchased lists before and gotten in hot water doing it; and the exercise yielded very little fruit. If anyone has a different experience, please share.

Since I'm in the software business, I have a website, and of course will announce the book there. The hard part is getting people to the site, and then actually shelling out $10 or $18 on a book (electronic or print version costs.) I've tried pay per click and don't think it's worthwhile.

What about this: I could easily give away a download version of my stair calculator or timecard software ($96 retail cost) with each book sold. Is that too cheesy? Too unrelated? If you were on the fence about the book would that be enought to move you to purchase?

Thanks again, all.
 

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The Duke
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14,746 Posts
This is a trick in the first part many of you know, but the second few have thought about or implmented. It works since you have inticed them to pass along the cards heck whats 25 dollars when we are talking 5k. its a write off anyway so whats the problem, hope this helps someone. Asdie from that my site will be online by thursday if the last code can be completed its messed up. ANd i will be willing to help anyone that would like some advice. Now i know alot of you dont like me and well i have tougher skin than titanium oh yea thats in my back, So keep the beating up it amuses me really. Its funny to me. Shows me me alot about whom i am dealing with, now stating that if everyone knows everything, hey there is a hot dog stand waiting for you in new york, in other words fos. I do not know everything and nor do you. so since that is cleared up what i can help with might not help with plumbers but with the closings i have i can replicate them just with different wording to help anyone out and im will to help ZERO cost. No selling just trying to be help rather than harmful. if no one on this site has the want of help help me help you understand wtf your asking questions for. hence you need some sort of help. Let the bashing begin i could give two turtles poo. but i will say this, at this point there is nothing that can be said that will bother me. I am here to help others in a professional manor and i have not seen much of that around here unless you and 2 thousand posts. Look at it this way, out of the box is where your unfourtunitly have to think. what was 2005 is not the same as today and i think we can all agree that simply adjustments must be made as time goes on, everything changes and consumers are smarted than 5 years ago and to make reality real what worked last year in certain business in the contractor group in a whole is not working due to the economy and well the fact is blut and simple customers use the internet ti find thier own answers to combat sales people. as the marines say adapt and overcome. if you dont you will be left behind. All i am asking to ask your self HONESTLY the numbers are down in many ofhter trades period. some no, alot yes, outside the box is you answer simply put. If you dont agree with the staments above well im sorry to say personally since i have spoken to 12 states in the last month and i get the same answer, lower profit margins, less leads and closing issues. Peronally i could care less but i have done my homework have you?
God bless each of you, your familys and you business and the fella's that make your bread.

Thank you for reading and really looking for a bunch of i know better im full if. 411.com search your trade and call a minimum od 50 people in yourade in at a minimum of 12 sates and it will rpve like robert shaperio, ojs lawyer within a reasonable doubt i am right and just trying to help. if you dont want thats fine but slaming me im ready for it. But it shows pure immaturitty at levels to the extreme. so bring it on and i will give staticits to back my research. that are well pure proof with numbers names and well names if needed and owners not useless nobdy that really knows bottom line. This little post after my small marketing tips. have a great day.
Honestly, nothing in this thread has provoked anyone. Many of the things you say in this part of the quote are only feeding the wolves. The more you say things you assume people are thinking, the more you bring attention to it and open it up for the exact thing you do not want to happen.
 

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Since a few of you asked, the book is about green framing and discusses how to use less concrete, wood, and steel, and still build code-compliant, strong structures.
I think you are missing the boat on this one. Just the word "green" gets the attention of a lot of people, contractor or otherwise. Your main reader may be the guy who is using it as an instruction manual (contractors), but what about the people who want to build green (homeowners). If you target the tree hugging home owner who wants to save the planet he will insist that the contactor/architect use your design model. So instead of recruiting builders as your voice why not make the public the ones to inform the builder on which way they want to construct? Think outside the box and don't limit yourself to a tiny market, let the masses get the info. Your target market now becomes above average income, middle aged and well educated. I am sure there will be people who buy your product that don't fit these parameters but your main client should fall into one or more of those categories. I know for a fact you can obtain a mailing list, email, and phone numbers for that target market.

I think a professionally designed website chock full of SEO will be your best investment.

I still want to see the sample in pdf.
 

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Curmudgeon
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11,706 Posts
Well maturity level is still the same i wish you fella's would just grow up and act like men rather than shoe sizes.
Perhaps, if you learned to write,
spell, punctuate, use the return key,
and find a legible type face, the valuable
nuggets of wisdom you wish to impart
might be discovered.
I am not able to sort anything out of
that mess of a post that is in any way
relevant to this thread.
 

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I also think $10-$18 is too cheap. Your book is full of very helpful information right? Your price point, to me, makes me wonder why so cheap? If the information is extremely helpful the price tag should suggest that. At $10 I would think it is just a run of the mill thrown together book, if it were priceless information it would definitely cost more ...right?

Quick story:
A developer in my area had one bastard lot left in a development that he put a mcmansion house on. The drive way was very steep and not car friendly and he priced it accordingly, about $75k less than the other houses. No bites, so he threw in a new SUV to eliminate the drive objection. Still no bites. It was not until he raised the price that the house saw some interest. It sold at the same price as the comparable model with a nice flat yard. It could have been coincidence but I think the price point sent a red flag and dissolved any interest because the "perceived value" seemed to be less. Just my .02
 

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285 Posts
Tim your topic is interesting and relevant to me for reasons which would involve me hijacking your thread if I went into details here. As a rule, as far as I can see from the experience of others, self-published books are challenging to sell in their own right, but the sales you can achieve may be useful in promoting other aspects of your practice and market.

I visited your site and read some of your blog entries, especially reporting on your frustration with the lack of effectiveness of the latest Internet trends.

The suggestions by others about raising your book price and providing some sample free chapters may prove worthwhile (I've observed these suggestions in my own marketing). I don't know how much you have paid to print/publish your book but hope you've got those costs as low as possible (you can pay retail-type prices for printing or go wholesale if you know where to go.)

One distribution channel you may consider could be relevant associations/groups and organizations where the book topic could be relevant. If your retail price point is high enough, you could give the association a significant commission/cut of the revenues -- and of course the right associations may lead to speaking engagements, networking, and other marketing opportunities.

I sense your website could benefit from an update and redesign. You don't need to spend much on this -- between $100 and $500 should get you a reallly professional site/template.

My advice, if successful, might be much more meaningful in six months to a year. Will anyone here bookmark this post and lead me to either the joy or embarassment of being proven right or wrong?
 

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General Contractor
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Well maturity level is still the same i wish you fella's would just grow up and act like men rather than shoe sizes.
Sorry, I intend on staying young as long as possible :thumbsup: and as the shoe size goes
 

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Roofing sales pro
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101 Posts
Well if the return(enter) key is used or correct english is needed well to me that is just silly if you can not make anything out of it well 2 things come to mind. glasses and an open mind. other than that i can not help that you can not read a post or atleast follow it.

A website professionally built with as much gas as the builder has will help.

I will say this if using the engilish launguage to perfection is your thing why are you here. go become an english teacher. since i have been here eveyone knows eveything unless you have less than 1000 post.

Matbe this one will be more to your liking, the construction business in a whole has to change with the times and get ahead of it before you are left behind. Make no mistake this is real and is happening. For those that had things work 5 years ago are having problems in 2010. a website will only get the guy so far. word of mouth travels much faster since there is not a search for it. Hence my win lose oe draw and yes has worked even today. I will say this if ya want to defame crash bash whatever me, thats cool it will prove maturity levels not wisdom. I have sat back and notice and felt this, is it right does not matter. what i do know is a fact there is no such thing as a stupid question the only one thats is stupid is the one not asked.
 

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Civil / Structural PE
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88 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Okay, I took your advice and posted several "Look Inside" excerpts on my company's website. I'm glad I did because in the process I discovered a couple niggling problems with the site that were undoubtedly frustrating visitors. It's amazing how much time and $ you can dump into a web site and still not have it perfect.

If anyone is willing, I would appreciate any feedback on the book and / or the website.

Please start with the home page and navigate from there: www.constructioncalc.com Getting to the "Green Framing" book page should be obvious but if not please let me know.

Thanks, and I'll be happy to return the favor if anyone has something on line I can throw my eyes on and give an opinon. :)
 

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Tim:

Go to builderradio.com
Call Jerry - he is a great guy
Knows his stuff. He came to Denver on business and made a point to have dinner with me.

He could interview you on his program and I bet he would help you promote your book.
Put a deal together with him.

I listen to his program every week.

[email protected]
 
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