Blogger: Kathleen Y’Barbo, Publicist
Location: The Woodlands, TX Publicity Office
Weather: Sunny and 75 degrees
Maybe you love doing publicity, speaking, book signings, and the like. Great! Publicists like me love you! But what if you’re like the majority of authors who would prefer to write books and leave the selling of them to others? Take heart! Today I’m going to go over the basics to help you tame the marketing monster.
Before any successful marketing plan can be implemented, the author needs to decide a few key things.
1. Amount of time available. Whether you’re an author juggling multiple contracts or newly published, your time is precious. Finding the hours to market your book will require careful planning. Do you have a day you can set aside to deal only with interviews, press releases, etc.? Many authors find this segregation of writing days and marketing days works well for them. Don’t have a full day to give to the effort? What portion of the week could you devote to marketing?
2. Personal skills. Be honest with yourself. Yes, you can write, but can you write a press release? If so, how long does it take? Are you an organized person, or is finding the phone number of the reporter you’re to call tomorrow a nightmare that repeats itself regularly? If organization isn’t your forte, consider hiring an assistant so you can carve out a few extra hours every week for marketing efforts. Not a natural-born publicist? Then leave the work to the experts and write your next book! If you’re willing to work at developing a marketing mindset, then decide on how to hone those skills–by reading books on marketing, talking to other authors about what works for them, and just imagining some inventive ideas to explore.
3. Budget. Spending money to sell books is a concept that some might find difficult. After all, you finally just received an advance check! Why give the money away the money on marketing? The truth is, no matter how good a book, no one can buy it if he or she doesn’t know about it. Setting up a marketing budget–which might be a percentage of your advance–enables you to establish some parameters and keep the marketing monster from overtaking your finances.
Next week I will discuss in depth ways you can find the time to market. In future weeks, I’ll cover the topics of developing marketing skills and finding a marketing budget you can live with.
For now, however, I’d like to know how you tame your marketing monster. Do you schedule time to take on the tasks, or perhaps seek out experts? Have you attended a conference to bone up on your marketing skills? Maybe you’ve found a great way to tell the world about your books at a fraction of the cost.
I can’t wait to hear what you’re doing!