A peek behind the curtain at the book marketer’s marketing plan
For the next 10 days, we’ll be taking a little detour from the traditional marketing posts you’ve come to know and love on the Marcie Brock blog as I lead by example and follow my own writing prompts for the Author Blog Challenge.
Day 19 writing prompt:
What are the three most important things you are doing to grow your platform?
Book marketing isn’t rocket science, and I’m not special. What that means is that I must implement all of the same strategies and planning that I share with you through this blog if I intend to build a big platform and take my book to as wide an audience as it has the potential to reach. The interesting bit is that I’ve been doing these things for my clients for years. It’s not a lack of knowing what to do; the issue is DOING it. Why does human nature so often tend to allow us to do much more for others than we do for ourselves?
Part of it is that a book is a business – and a business requires the constant feeding of time and energy if it is to succeed. If you’re self-publishing, you know this already, don’t you? Especially if you’re working full-time, raising kids, going to school, trying to make time for your partner, and juggling all the other things a 21st century woman (or man) tends to have to juggle. I’m not raising kids – but I have 5 pets. I won’t pretend they’re as needy as children, but they all have their own special issues which do take time and mental energy.
And I’m running my own business – which, if you’ve ever done it, you know requires far more than a 40-hour-per-week commitment. Throw in a blog challenge and a political volunteer stint, and you’re lucky you can type words that make any kind of sense at all.
When it really gets down to it, I have to admit I go back and forth about how important my book is, in the large scheme of things. I think it’s like anything: once I begin to get some momentum behind it, it starts to reenergize me and I’m enthusiastic for a while – but then a hiccup occurs and I lose momentum … and focus … and it slowly slides down the priority list until I realize I haven’t touched it for a month or two. Accckkkk!!! See? I’m not special. I’m just like you! (Or – hopefully not like you anymore, because Marcie’s been motivating you to take all the right steps and your book marketing campaign is rocking and rolling right now!)
So what’s my plan to grow my platform?
Well, I always have to thank my mentors. In this case, it’s my former personal trainer Scott White who gets the biggest shout-out, as he was the one who gave me the foundation for my social media prowess. He introduced me to Facebook, got me started on Twitter, told me I had to blog, taught me everything he knew about SEO (which is considerable). Now, I’ve got a really good handle on all of the above – and it’s just a matter of focusing these strategies on my book.
Having been at it for quite some time, I’ve created a fairly sizeable following on Facebook (2,427 friends). The challenge here is that I got really involved way before business and fan pages existed, so I used my personal wall as a catch-all for everything. My business page is doing pretty well with 433 “likes” – but I haven’t really done anything about creating a new 1001RLQFW page or group since the changeover to the new format. Ah … work still ahead of me.
It’s more or less the same story on Twitter – except at least I have a Twitter presence for 1001RLQFW.
Click the image twice (not a double-click) to enlarge.
Then hit the back button to return.
I do plan to create a 1001RLQFW Pinterest board that will include photos accompanied by specific questions from the book. The nice thing is that those sizeable followings on Facebook and Twitter make any new forays into social media easier, because I’m already something of a known quantity.
I’m also working on SlideShare presentations that illustrate three or four questions at a time, with a musical background. Of course, these may overlap with YouTube – it depends on how they turn out in the final mix.
Then, of course, there is the blog, where I write in general terms about the issue the question addresses and NING, the place where I offer my personal responses to the same questions the blog addresses. BIG DISCLAIMER: It’s been a looooooonnng time since I posted on the blog. I know that. I don’t suggest you follow my lead there. Follow Marcie’s lead. We’re at something like 80 posts in the last 81 days.
I’ve been compiling a list of women’s groups for a while now. Next up – reaching out to them to offer the book as a fundraiser – or simply to ask how we can partner for a promotion. Within my own network are quite a few women who run a myriad of groups and organizations, but Meetup is also a great place to reach out to similar groups in other parts of the country.
This one is the furthest out, as it’s also my biggest goal. I plan to create a radio show that in some way ties all my myriad interests together – but which will, first and foremost, promote the book. While terrestrial radio is struggling, like so many formats of old media, Internet radio is really starting to catch on. I’m not sure which way I’ll go yet, so I actually have more questions than answers at this point – but this is definitely on my two-year plan.
That’s it for me and 1001RLQFW. How about you? What three things are you doing to grow YOUR platform?
We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.
In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out!