How to Build a Prospect Database to Market a Book

By Henry DeVries, CEO of Indie Books Intl.


Before you can leverage a database you need to build a database. Think about the kinds of prospective clients you want to attract — the people who are good potential high-paying clients. What is their industry, position, company size, and geographic location?

Obtain a list of these people. Load it into a robust contact management system. Get ready to roll.

Here are some places to look for client suspects.

  • Trade show directories —Spend some time researching on the Internet trade shows that serve the industries you target. Once you’ve identified trade shows, visit the event sponsor website. The website should have a listing of past and planned exhibitors.
  • Association websites and online membership directories — One of the better places to find a listing of associations (sorted by state or industry) is the American Society of Association Executives (yes, the association for association managers). Visit their website ( for more information.
  • Sales lead database and directory companies— This is a quick way to obtain a list of prospects that you can either mail or call. These companies compile large databases of companies from a variety of sources. Some of the companies that sell lists and information include Dun & Bradstreet and InfoUSA.
  • Press releases about contracts recently won — Two widely used press release sites are Businesswire ( and PR Newswire (
  • Employment ads —For instance, if the company is recruiting a senior specialist, then it’s logical that the company is prepared to make further investments in tat specialty area.
  • New executives hired — New executives hired by companies create tremendous sales opportunities within that functional area. A new executive hire is a threat to the current service provider and an opportunity for new providers.
  • Venture capital firm’s websites — Venture capital (VC) firms make investments in growing companies. To find VC firms on the Internet go to

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