Blogger: Mary Keeley
Our office is closed for the holidays so we can spend the holidays with our families. This post is from our archives, and is one of our “Best of.” We’ll return with new posts when the office reopens on January 5, 2015. Happy New Year!
Several authors have commented recently that they wish they could just write and leave the marketing and promotion of their book to the publisher. It’s with gentle understanding that I repeat the reality: those days are gone. But there are ways to make that other half of your writing career less daunting if you think ahead. Today, I’ll give three tips that will help you develop ideas and organize them into a strategic plan.
Tip #1: Begin to develop your plan at concept stage of your book.
The ideal time is at the beginning when you’re forming the concept for your book. The best place to start is a quick analysis of your idea. Keep your target reader in focus as you develop the concept.
Tip #2: Plan your marketing campaign specific to you and your book.
It would save a lot of confusion if there were a standard formula to follow, but there isn’t and for good reason. It wouldn’t work. If all authors used the same template, none would stand out from the crowd. Each author and each book or series are unique. That’s why you need to personalize a plan that is most appropriate for you and your book with the best potential return on your investment. I’m going to give you several ideas to get your creative marketing thoughts started:
- Social media is the best way to get the word out about your book online. Like it or not, it’s your social media numbers that editors use to judge your book’s potential for sales when they discuss your proposal in their editorial board meetings. On which platforms are you most comfortable and successful in gaining followers? Concentrate your efforts on these. No one has time to do them all well. Buy ads close to your book’s release.
- Connect with people who live in the setting of your novel or who are closely involved or interested in the topic of your book. The earlier you begin , the more you’ll acquire. Identify potential influencers among those who are most enthusiastic about your book. Ask them to talk about your book within their spheres of influence, and show your gratitude with a small gift card from time to time, especially when your book is about to release. Aren’t we all motivated when we know we’re appreciated?
- Submit articles surrounding the topic of your book to appropriate magazines. It will not only grow interest in the topic or setting or characters in your book, but you’ll also increase your name recognition. And you may earn a little income in the process, which you can reinvest in your campaign.
- Join an online community of readers like Goodreads, LibraryThing, Shelfari, and BookLikes. Goodreads has the largest community. Each one has its unique advantages. Explore them and get involved. Some of them have sub-communities specific to a favorite genre. Join the one in which you write; get to know the members; and let them get to know you. They will enjoy hearing about your book in that friendly atmosphere.
- Start an in-person, word-of-mouth campaign. Word-of-mouth buzz continues to be the most effective marketing tool. Make in-person contacts with local groups, churches, and media early in the process of writing your book. When you tell them about your book, get them involved by asking for their reactions to a portion of your topic or what they would like to see your protagonist do in a given scene. Show your appreciation for their thoughts and discuss how you might or might not be able to use their idea. They’re bound to feel a personal connection to you and your book. When it’s close to your book’s release date, your personal connections ware established and ready for you to prime the pump for word-of-mouth buzz.
Tip #3: Identify your brand and know the difference between it and your product.
You have your product, which is your book, and your brand, which is you, the author. The concept of an author’s brand is often unfamiliar to new writers, but it is one of the first questions I ask writers about when I meet with them at conferences. Their answers tell me much about their readiness for representation. Brand is more than the genre you’ve chosen. It’s a combination of elements that are unique to you—your personality, your voice, your passions, and your style—those unique characteristics your readers will come to expect when they read your books. Assuming you will have written a compelling page-turner, your brand provides natural guidelines when talking about your book.
These 3 tips for your marketing campaign are starters to get your creative ideas flowing. How are you doing on developing your personalized plan? In what areas are you having the greatest success? The greatest struggle?
Three tips to get you started on your personalized marketing plan for your book. Click to Tweet.
Do you feel overwhelmed when it comes to marketing your book? Here are three helpful tips. Click to Tweet.