Author to outline ways to publish, promote your book at a Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association meeting

Groton - If you're thinking about writing a business book, think marketing first.

That's one of the pieces of advice Tara R. Alemany of Sherman, owner of Emerald Lake Books, will offer during the next meeting of the Southeast Chapter of the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association.

Alemany, owner of Emerald Lake Books in Sherman, will give a talk titled "The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books," loosely based on her book of the same name. The award-winning author will run through a wide variety of marketing strategies to get a book and business noticed.

"A lot of people are taking the approach of self publishing," Alemany said in a phone interview. "But the hard work starts after the book is published."

For many business people, she said, publishing a book helps their brand, spreads their name, adds to their credentials and, with luck, helps their bottom line.

Books can help business people educate clients about what they do. They also often form the basis for a client-consultant relationship because anyone who has read your book feels they know you, she said.

Books can have a payoff for business people who are looking for speaking engagements as well, Alemany said, but the book itself probably will not make money.

"People need to reframe their expectations for a book," Alemany said. "Most sell far less than 200 books."

And that's OK for business people, she said, so long as the books pay off in other ways - through publicity, speaking engagements and new clients, for instance.

She suggested, though, that the traditional author book signing or talk is overrated as a marketing tool. Many of these events have not been well attended in recent years, Alemany said, though group book signing and author talks in which a wide variety of authors make appearance all at once are becoming more popular.

To give your book the best chance for success, Alemany suggested focusing on social media, a website and contact lists.

"It's never too early to start your marking list," she said.

The list can include people who attended speaking engagements, author talks and other events, but it is important to start early in gathering names and emails of people who have taken the time to make a connection to you, she said.

She also strongly suggests spending money to develop an eye-catching book cover and website, and she believes that information on your book belongs on your company site if it furthers an author's goals of having enhanced credentials but that a separate book site is a good idea as well.

"Make sure whatever you have as your central place online is under your control," Alemany added.

Facebook is fine, but it is somewhat restrictive in what can be posted, so having your own site is important, she said. Starting out with a simple site might save money in the short run, she added, but won't do any good if you outgrow it in a year and have to start over.

Tom Santos, chairman of the authors group that invited Alemany, said he saw the author at a meeting in Avon and thought she could help educate members about book marketing.

"We are always looking for ways to promote our books," he said in an email.

l.howard@theday.com

Twitter: @KingstonLeeHow

IF YOU GO

What: Tara E. Alemany will present "The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books"

When: 6:30 p.m. March 16

Where: Groton Inn & Suites.

Contact: Tom Santos: 860-599-5067 or santostom@comcast.net

More information: www.secapa.org, www.aboutcapa.com

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