Interview with marketing expert Penny Sansevieri

As author of 5 books including 'Book to Bestseller' which has been called "the road map to publishing success", what do you think is the first step an author should take to market their book?

***I believe they should know their audience, this is so important. You need to know who you’re marketing to before you step out onto the marketing super-highway. Also, the biggest mistake authors make is marketing their book, no one except for mom cares that you wrote a book – lead with the benefits. People care about what the book can do for them!

You are CEO of Author Marketing Experts (AME). What made you start AME?

***Well I’ve loved this industry all my life and always wanted to get out of corporate America so one day I did – but I was an accidental entrepreneur. A company I was with shut it’s doors so instead of listening to my gut and going off on my own I sought out another job, that company shut down and I *finally* got the hint and went out on my own. I realized that I wanted to start a company that catered to what authors needed, not what the industry or the media wanted. Yes, it’s important to adhere to media guidelines and industry standards but my service is always to the author first, that’s important. Authors need to feel like they aren’t a number, I felt that was missing in the industry….

Please tell us a bit about the company.

Well what started out as a one-woman show is now (ten years later) a thriving business with offices in San Diego, Seattle, New York and Chicago… but we *still* retain that personalized hands-on service, I’m a stickler about that. We focus on all types of authors but really cut our teeth on small press, boutique publishers and self-published authors. Consequently we’re an extremely creative bunch of people. I began to develop our Internet marketing department about 6 years ago and we’re not the leader in Internet marketing. This year alone we’ve had 8 books on the New York Times bestseller list! (yeah, we’re pretty excited about that!)

What services does AME offer to authors?

**Well we can get involved very early on in the career of an author. We can help with everything from manuscript coaching, ghost-writing, editing, helping find a publisher, creating a web site and, of course, our specialty, marketing and publicity. We work in both traditional marketing and publicity but also specialize in Internet marketing and publicity as I mentioned above.

You also have a project called 'one minute marketing' where you give tips to help those short of time. What is the one thing you'd say authors who lack time should do to market their book?

Well you know the Internet is the new “black” so my recommendations will always go to marketing themselves online first. I think it’s very important to make sure an author has an online presence. Here are a few things an author can do to get themselves noticed online:

¢ Start a blog: –

¢ Start posting comments on blogs: find these through

¢ Start a social networking page (FaceBook or Squidoo)

¢ Guest blogging: pitch yourself as a guest blogger

AME also offers AME University. Tell us a bit about the idea and how people can take part in the courses.

Yes, we’re really excited about this! These are free courses that we’re offering with industry experts. All an author needs to do is sign up at – they will be added to our email notification list and get notices of classes and how to sign up for them….

Anything else you'd like to add?

**Yes, I think it’s important for an author to have an Internet presence as I mention above. Get a web site and make sure that your site is doing an effective job of promoting your book. Here is a short check list of what should be on your home page:

1)The upper left quadrant of your site is the “power place” that’s where the eye goes to when someone surfs on your site – if the goal of your site is to sell your book then make sure that your book is in that left corner…

2)And speaking of goals…. What’s the goal of your home page? Your home page should have one goal. If you want to sell your business and your book is your business card then that’s the message your home page should promote, but if you want to sell your book then that’s what you should be promoting…

3)Make sure your home page has a call to action or a “buy now” button – surfers need to be promoted to buy your book!

4)Blog, blog, blog – a blog is a great way to create content on your site… update your blog at least once a week….

5)Go to a site called and find other blogs in your market/genre then network with them: contact them and offer a copy of your book or comment on blog postings they’ve done --- this is a great way to spread the message about your book on the ‘Net!


  1. Wonderful article, and right on time. I need all the advice I can get. Thanks Penny.


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