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Suggestions on How to Promote a Book?

Hi all,

Any suggestions how best market book without annoying everyone? As you might know I'm promoting my upcoming book "The End of Cheap China".

During this process, I've learned authors are supposed to market themselves. I did not realize the full extent of this as I always assumed the publisher would do most of the marketing. But that does not seem to be the case unless you are already a famous author and a lock to make money. From a #s sense it makes sense -- why push a specific book because it costs a lot and most books don't sell more than 500 copies?

I have also learned that pre-orders are critical because if pre-orders are strong, then retailers will give it good shelf space, book reviewers will review it, and you have a shot at making best seller lists and then a snowball effect occurs.  

If pre-orders are weak, then frankly no one cares about your book and you'll be out of book stores within a month or two. So far I have been lucky w pre-orders, and for the last month the book has hovered around #3 on Amazon's best seller list for new releases in international economics books, but I am trying to keep up the momentum.

I am looking for suggestions on how to market without annoying everyone, wasting money (I have an extremely limited budget to market... think shoe string, start-up budget working out of the garage like budget). I only make about a buck a book, so I will make virtually no money from writing this.  I probably spent more money holing up in hotels while writing but am doing this for fun, for the outside shot at hitting a dream goal of mine of getting on a WSJ or NYT best seller list, and to help get exposure for my firm where I make my real living.

Here is what I have done so far:

1) email friends directly. I emailed 15,000 friends individually( took me over 3 1/2 weeks) , asking for help in spreading the word. Some people went above and beyond in helping me ,and I really appreciate their help. By far, this has been the most useful initiative so far, but I cannot keep going back to people to ask for help.

2) put blurb at the bottom of all my columns in CNBC.  Hard for me to know if this works but whenever a column goes out I do see a spike in sales on

3) book reviews will be out in Feb. Am still interested in more book reviews, so if you are interested, please let me know and I will arrange.

4) give speeches for free if organizer buys bulk orders. For instance, I usually charge $15,000-$18,000 USD for a speech but I am waiving my fees for this group because they have pre-ordered a significant amount of books. I will give a webinar for free, attendees will get a free copy of my book. I just sold 1000 copies to another firm, and will give a series of interviews/ workships for them.

Arguably the most successful IT entrepreneurs (cannot mention his name yet) kindly has offered to host a book party launch for me in Silicon Valley in May so I will do that and he will pass out copies of the book to invited guests and I will give a speech.

If you are interested in having me give a speech in return for you buying bulk orders of the book, I am willing to do so at far better terms for you than normal as my goal is promoting the book.

5) Lined up CNBC, radio other interviews though I am not convinced this will directly translate to sales. How often to you hear/see a book mentioned on TV/radio and then go out to buy? This is actually a significant time initiative to arrange media hits and then get to studios so I am wondering if this is useful.

Since I am in China and there are so many media restrictsions here, I frankly barely watch TV, listen to radio so I am not sure what most people are like. 

6) Blogger interviews. I have done some interviews with people like David Jackson, founder of Seeking Alpha, and this seems to work very well. This is part 1 of interview with David as an example

I am very interested in doing more 1-1 interviews with bloggers, media folks, so if you are interested in doing one, please contact me and I would gladly chat about China in general and the book in parts.  

So far, I have found that help from friends have been the absolute biggest help. They have pre-ordered the book far more than I expected and posting on social media sites.  I am so appreciative and inspired by the help people have given me.  I want to make sure, however, that I don't annoy everyone by posting constantly about the book, or new endorsement or new initiatives, or whatever. It is a fine line. 

Since I live in China but the book is coming out in the US first, I am a little hampered by what I can do. The second most successful initiative has been the free speech for bulk ordering.

Do you have suggestions on what I can do? I would appreciate you letting me know.  

Some questions/ initiatives I am thinking about....

1) does a book website really help? I am not an author, I am run a company, so I worry people will see me self-promoting a book and equate me with that rather than my firm. Again, writing makes virtually no money but my firm does.

2) book signings/ free speeches/ parties seem like a lot of time and travel costs without a guaranteed return if books are not bought in bulk by organizers.

Thanks for any help and suggestions! Shaun