Sunday, April 22, 2012
Having a Marketing/Promo Plan on a Budget by: Stephanie Burkhart
These are a "must" for authors:
I must have a marketing plan.
I must have a marketing budget.
I must have patience.
It takes 3-5 years for a new author to really establish themselves as a presence. Some like Amanda Hocking get lucky, and while I do think a little "luck" plays into selling books, most everyone's luck has a solid marketing plan behind them.
What's a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is what you, the author, is willing to do to get your name out there. I've lumped marketing into two separate categories: Social Media and Personal Contact.
Here are some things you can ad as an author to your marketing plan:
1 Join Twitter
2 Join Facebook, make a fan page, and join book groups on FB
3. Join Goodreads
4. Talk on the Amazon Message boards
5. Join Yahoo Groups that are targeted toward your writing audience
6. Send out press releases
7. Organize a blog tour
8. Solicit book reviews
9. Pay for an ad on a web related site.
10. Join writing organizations. For example, EPIC, RWA and SCBWI.
11. Enter book contests
12. Join Pinterest
13. Get involved with your local library
14. Go to a conference
15. Organize a book signing – this doesn't necessarily have to be at the local bookstore. You can organize one at your local coffee house or a local festival
There are probably a couple of other items you can include in your marketing plan that I might have missed, but this is a pretty comprehensive list. A good marketing plan incorporates the above items. Think long term – 6-12 months after your book is released and be patient.
Also realize that a marketing plan requires a marketing budget. That might be challenging in today's encomy. Me? I try to budget between $50-$100 a month. That's not a lot so I have to stretch my budget as best I can.
Things that cost:
Blog Tour giveaways
Ads on web related sites
Joining a writing organization
You have to take a look at what you can realistically do timewise and budgetwise.
Remember to designate time for certain things and stick to it. For example:
1 hour for writing, 30 mins for editing, and 1 hour for marketing/social media. That's 2 ½ hours. Modify it to fit your schedule.
Have patience with your plan. Remember your sphere of influence: you, your family, your friends, your acquaintances, the rest of the world. The goal of your marketing plan is to reach out to the rest of the world.
Over the next couple of months I'll take a detailed look at the pros and cons of the 15 aspects of marketing that I mentioned. It's going to be a fun ride.
Comments, suggestions, and feedback welcome.
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. She's also a romance and children author. Her books, The Giving Meadow and First Flag of New Hampshire are published with 4RV Publishing.
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