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Posts Tagged ‘marketing plan’

On baby blankets and book marketing plans

When you publish your book, you welcome it like the treasure it is. You cradle the new baby, maybe send out announcements about its arrival. You may plan a party to officially launch your marketing campaign.

But what comes next? Do you know? Do you have a plan?

Starting a marketing campaign without a plan is like trying to monogram a baby blanket before you know the child’s baby blanketname. It doesn’t make sense because it defies logical order.

Never fear if you don’t yet have a plan – many new authors find themselves in this position. But, if you intend to sell books to anyone besides your mom and your best friend, you’re going to need to make a plan – PRONTO!

The challenge is that there’s no one-size-fits-all book marketing plan – and anyone who tells you there is, is more than likely trying to con you … into buying their program, hiring them to help you out, listing with their service, etc. The reason is that pretty much every book is different – so in order to sell yours, you need to know who your readers are and how to get in touch with them.

BUT … there’s one other thing you need to know: YOUR END GOAL. What do you want to achieve with your book? The answer to this question will determine where you start and how you pursue those readers, now that you know who they are. You really can’t develop a book marketing plan until you know why you’re marketing your book.

QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ANSWER

  • What’s your genre – beyond just fiction/nonfiction?
  • Who is your primary audience? Be as specific as you can.
  • What do you want your book to do for your readers? Entertain them, inform them, challenge them?
  • What do you want your readers to do after they’ve finished reading your book? The answer to this could run the gamut…
    • Write you a review on Goodreads.
    • Visit your website to sign up for your coaching program.
    • Buy your next book.
    • Book you to speak at their company’s annual meeting.
    • Recommend your book to their Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
    • Call you to schedule a personal consultation.
    • Choose your book for their book club and invite you to attend via Skype.
  • Where/how will you connect with your audience?

book marketing plan

Once you know what you want your book to do for you – as much as you know what you want it to do for your readers – you can begin crafting your marketing plan. But not a second before that. Why? Well, if your ultimate goal is to create a membership site that brings your readers together in a supportive community, it probably isn’t in your best interest to spend a whole lot of time, energy, and money booking in-person signings. But wait – couldn’t live events help me meet that goal? Sure – but on a much smaller scale than focusing on an effective website that converts visitors into subscribers.

What do you want your book to do for your readers – and what action do you want your readers to take once they are finished reading it?

The answers to these questions will lead you to the natural next step in building your book marketing plan.

Here’s to the research that will lead you to the perfect plan!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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What are 3 biggest new author mistakes?

Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.

(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE REPORT NOW!

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Planning a short-term launch or a long-term book marketing campaign?

There’s definitely something to be said for celebrating the publication of your book – especially your FIRST book – with a big gala launch party to-do celebration. If … you have the time, budget, energy, skills, and/or team to put it together. And celebrate you should! A book is still a big deal. You took the time to write it, design it, create an attractive cover. You paid to have it edited, typeset, proofread, and perhaps printed. You want to share your success with your friends, family, clients, neighbors – pretty much everyone you know.

To do a launch up right takes an investment of time and, depending on your goals, probably some money. The amount can be large or small, depending on whether you charter a yacht, as one of my prospective clients was thinking about doing, or hold it at a local coffeehouse where the shop owner agrees to give everyone who buys a book a free cuppa joe, as another pair of clients did.

evergreen sapling and tree

The thing about putting an enormous amount of effort into planning a launch is that it’s usually short-term thinking. For a book with an evergreen subject matter or theme, a single launch event should be the first item on the list of a long-term marketing campaign. To be clear, your brand new book about the latest wedding fashion trends is not timeless – so this idea may not apply. A job search book you wrote 10 years ago needs updating to include LinkedIn and online apps to become relevant – and it likely will need updating again in the next couple years, so it’s not evergreen, either. A YA coming-of-age novel? More timeless, unless it’s weighted down by too many references to modern details like Snapchat and Dylan O’Brien.

The point is, if your book will remain relevant past its first six months in print (or you can routinely update it to keep it relevant), you want to plan a long-term marketing campaign that includes building a decent social media following; securing reviews; participating in local, regional, and national book events; blogging; writing news releases; and keeping in regular touch with your most loyal readers.

Remember, dear author, that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing a book. It’s up to you to know who your reader is, where he/she spends time on and offline, and how you can begin to interact with him/her. Word of mouth is important, so who are the most influential of your ideal readers? Focus on them, engage them, and tempt them to get the buzz rolling. This is a delicate balance that first recognizes the social aspect of engagement; secondly acknowledges that this person is likely busy; and thirdly offers something of value (e.g., copies of your book, access to your mailing list, the possibility of partnership) in exchange for their assistance, as opposed to coming at them with your hand out.

Other ideas include creating an inner circle for superfans and building a membership site that offers more tools, grander insights, or deeper access to you and your creative well.

The most important aspect of a long-term campaign is the plan.

  • What are the tasks?
  • Who will perform them?
  • When will they perform them?
  • Who will manage quality control to be sure all the tasks are completed on time?
  • What is your plan for amending the plan when it’s not working for any reason?
  • Who will hold you accountable if you fall into analysis paralysis or procrastination?

GS - pencil ruler book

Clever launches occasionally catapult authors to bigger successes. More often, they’re just short-lived photo ops. Long-term plans with consistent application is where the true success thrives. Hold the launch. Celebrate your book’s first bloom. Then, nurture it and cultivate it so it can keep on growing and thriving.

Here’s to planning for the short AND long term!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

What are 3 biggest new author mistakes?

Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.

(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE REPORT NOW!

__________________

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Planning to sell books during the holidays? Better start thinking like a sales superstar!

Yes, we often talk about this concept here at the Marcie Brock blog. The reason is that for quite a few authors – and holiday booksother professionals and business owners – marketing is the most difficult part of doing business. My friend Connie Kadansky is an international sales coach and trainer. I recently asked her to come speak to the Phoenix Publishing and Book Promotion Meetup, which I organize. The topic I asked her to speak on? How to Ask for What You Want and Get It.

There are two people in my life who get what they want just about every time an idea comes to them: Connie, and my 22-year-old niece, Samantha. What makes them so special? Do they know some secret? Do they have magic powers? Would you believe me if I told you that the answer to both questions is YES!

Both Connie and Samantha have an uncanny ability to get very, very clear about what they want. Then, they visualize the end result they are trying to achieve as already complete. And the last magic steps are accepting that it’s done and being grateful for the outcome. After that, they just sit back and watch the Universe conspire to support them in achieving their goals – whatever they may be. Whether it’s traveling around the world or landing a coveted speaking gig at a rock-star event, both Connie and Sam ask for what they want and get it nearly every time. I am personally getting much, much better at this, but I’ve got a way to go before I become the master of manifestation that they are.

So what does this have to do with sales? Absolutely everything, because your success as a salesperson is directly related to your mindset. You’ve got to see yourself achieving the results you want before you even pick up the phone, walk into that bookstore, send that email, or begin that conversation with someone at a book signing. And the only way you can see yourself as successful at sales is if you admit that you’re actually in sales.

It was a relatively small group that Connie spoke to for the Publishing Meetup, but it should surprise no one to hear that at least half of those in attendance were incredibly resistant to her message. Why? They don’t see themselves as salespeople. They are authors and writers (and perhaps other professions, too), but they are most definitely not in sales. Is it any wonder, then, that they struggle with selling books?

Connie shared a great story with us. A recent survey of plastic surgeons found that those who are willing to embrace sales PSP-Magazine2and marketing have 6-month waiting lists. On the other hand, those who insist that they are Board Certified Doctors who wouldn’t dare to stoop to the indignity of becoming salespeople are closing their second offices and working only three days a week. Of all the medical disciplines, plastic surgery is the one most reliant on marketing, because it is largely an elective procedure. People don’t generally flip through Physicians Monthly making note of cardiologists or oncologists, in case they should ever have a need. But if plastic surgeons are unwilling to do what it takes to get in front of prospective patients, common sense tells us that those prospective patients are going to use the doctors who are willing to market their services.

It’s a mindset thing. Are you a lead generation specialist first, or are you an author first? Seems to come back to that chicken-and-egg question from our last post, doesn’t it? Except that the answer is clear. If selling our books is important to us – that is, if we wrote them with the intention of finding readers for them – we have to embrace the sales and marketing side, adjusting our mindsets and making time for it.

There are just 115 days till Christmas. What are your sales outlook and marketing plans for those 3-1/2 months? If you don’t have any, sit down right now and sketch it out. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. In fact, the simpler, the better. Just make sure you do have a plan. And that you take action every day to implement it.

Want help creating a holiday marketing plan? Email me at holidaymarketing@writemarketdesign.com to book your complimentary half-hour consultation.

Wishing you great success in mastering your sales mindset!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below."Practical Philanthropy" book cover

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Check out Laura’s newest book, Practical Philanthropy: How ‘Giving Back’ Helps You, Your Business, and the World Around You. A percentage of all book sales is donated to Art4TheHomeless.org and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

 

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january tip of day

January 1 Book Marketing Tip: Plan your writing and marketing!

More important than resolutions to achieving success are intentions. But intentions without a roadmap, plan, or schedule are likely to remain in thought form, without ever manifesting in the real world where we live.

You’ve heard it a thousand times, but I’m going to repeat it again here:

Create a plan for your writing and book marketing!

Below are two pyramid charts for ways to set goals.

writing goal pyramid

* * *

book marketing goal pyramid

We’ve published these before — and the feedback about the marketing goal pyramid was that if any author committed to it, they’d never have time to write. I will not deny that the platform-building steps and marketing efforts required to achieve successful sales — however you define success — take time and energy. Yes, you may initially have less time to write. But IF you want to SELL your books, you’ll find time to market them. You’ll MAKE time to market them. You will commit to the process and you will make even a small effort every day. When you fall down, get discouraged, or hear “no” — you’ll pick yourself back up and keep making those efforts.

Start your new year well by creating a realistic writing and book marketing plan. And then stick with it. Come back and tell us how it’s going. If you need support, we’re here! Just let us know how we can help.

And if you’d like to see a sample of a fleshed-out (4 pages) writing/marketing calendar and plan, just drop an email with SAMPLE MARKETING PLAN in the subject line.

Happy planning!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

 

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What’s the NEXT step in your book-marketing campaign?

So you’ve been at your book marketing campaign for a while now. What’s next? This is the very question recently posed to book marketer extraordinaire, Jonathan Kremer. His answer no doubt left the question-asker – and me – a bit wanting. Granted, the question was not as well-formed as it might have been. Nevertheless, besides taking the opportunity to promote his fantastic book, 1,001 Ways to Market Your Books*, Kremer might also have given the guy a little more guidance, if only to say, “It depends on the following…”

Back in the early days of Marcie’s blog, we recommended that you begin with one marketing strategy, and then build on it. So the first question I would ask is: What have you done so far?

Remember, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to market your book. There is only the BEST way for you and your book. Marketing is no longer a linear process. Each reader can come to you from one of  many channels, and every stop on your marketing plan should feed all the others.

Questions to help determine YOUR next step

  • Who is your audience?
  • Where and how do they buy books?
  • How long ago was your book released?
  • How big is your platform?
  • Are you blogging?
  • How big are your social media followings?
  • How much have you done with video?
  • Is a physical book tour a realistic option for you?
  • Is a virtual book tour a better option?
  • How many media releases have you distributed?
  • How many media appearances have you had?
  • How many articles have you written?
  • How well-stocked is your media room?
  • How is your website’s SEO?

The list certainly could be longer, but you get the idea. What have you done already, and what makes sense as YOUR next step?

The one thing that every author who wants to boost sales must do is HAVE A PLAN. Winging it is a lot like taking these torn bits of paper and trying to hit your target with them: they’re sure to scatter everywhere. But ball up that single sheet of paper and focus it – you’re much more likely to hit your mark. Remember…

What gets measured gets done.

Happy prioritizing!

Laura

*I strongly recommend this book. Attempting to formulate a book-marketing campaign without it is like trying to bake a cake from scratch without a recipe.

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine how close you are to SBM status, and where you may need a little extra boost.

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A book is a BUSINESS.

If you're serious about selling books, you've got to think of your book as a business.(Please click on image to enlarge.)

Well, we’re just underway, and after only two posts, we’re already approaching 300 hits to our little blog … so it seems we’re onto a topic of interest to many of you!

Here’s the thing – once you have made the decision to write a book you intend to SELL, you must make the mental shift to treating your book as a business unto itself. Altering your paradigm in this way will allow you to begin creating the space to pursue the publication and marketing of your book as diligently as you would a business – with a strategy, budget, marketing plan, metrics, deadlines, etc. – rather than as a hobby, where you work on it here and there … and perhaps … one day … finish it. This is true whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction.

You may already have a full-time job, or other projects that consume many of your waking hours. Nevertheless, if you are strategic and determined, you will make time, if necessary, to focus on your book so that you can treat it as a business. Watch for future posts where we talk about scheduling time and creating a marketing strategy!

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Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation.

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PREVIOUS POSTS

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