California Dreamin’ Writers Conference 2017 Part Four

The 3 Stages of Book Marketing presented by Maria Connor of

As promised on Thursday, here’s some information on marketing your book. At least with an indy published book, you know you need to do the promotion and marketing, unlike traditional publishing where you learn down the road that you need to do that. And I am totally going to hire MyAuthorConcierge when I get rich and famous-ish.

Marketing for authors rolls out in three phases: Pre-release, release, and post-release. Remember the Four Ps: Product/services, Placement, Price, Promotion. Now, here’s what you do with them.

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Stand out

You are marketing yourself to publishers, editors, agents, other authors, and readers. It’s a long-term process, focused on building and maintaining customer relationships. Unlike other sales/selling that focuses on the narrow, short-term goal of generating interest.

Marketing research is a tool you need to use. Look at niches, trends, resources. Her readers like the longer books. Use the knowledge to get competitive advantages. Romance authors are some of the smartest people around. Their readers are also pretty smart.

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Promotion uses bloggers, social media, and other channels of advertising. Branding can and should be on your business card, webpage, and social media. The same graphic should be used in all areas.

There’s a difference in marketing your product than marketing you, the author. Understand co-branding if working with other authors or groups. Like an author who has been selling self as Box sets, anthologies.

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Find the right market

Marketing communication is both a singular and two-way (inward and outward) process of exchanging information with customers. This is a key goal for sending Newsletters. You can buy a list of email addresses of 200 or more of readers to send newsletters to, but that’s really not a good use of your money or time. Readers get burned out with too many newsletters. You want to reach fans who already know and like you.

Last year, you could have run a drip campaign. An author sends a note to people who signed up for their newsletter. “Thanks for signing up, here’s a free book.” Then a week or so later, another email. “Hey, did you get the chance to download the book? What did you think?” The author would keep nudging. But readers were burned out on that six months ago.

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Keep these subjects in front of you while you advertise: Requirements, Reciprocity, Diversity, Consistency, Authenticity, Timeliness, Integrity, Persistence, Intentionality, Realistic Expectations, and Inventory.

Keep Writing Books! Don’t put aside a project while you advertise the release. You want to have the next one ready to go. Your fans want the next one! Don’t let them down.

Put together a Media Press Kit. I’ve heard this before and written about it. Have I done it yet? No, of course not. But do it and update it regularly. Tell who you are, your background as a writer, awards, affiliations, where to find you, backlist of books, current release, future books. Include your photo and something that pulls in your brand.

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Just replace “band” with “book”.

Research your resources, find the bloggers who promote your genre. Get reviews. Do a business to business promotion, such as a book release at a bakery if your book hero is a baker.

A good plan would be to start your pre-release promotions 3 to 12 months before release. Also if you have a release party on the 15th but have the book available on 10th.

Do a blog tour or Facebook hop, and make sure you stop by to acknowledge other bloggers. Be sure to “like” their Facebook pages, and follow on other media.

Post-release promotion will be on-going. Think about a Thank You email to all who open your newsletters. “You made the release a great event.” ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies}are good marketing tools. Send them out with a schedule to readers who volunteer. Make sure they finish reading by a certain date and will post a review for you on release day. And if you have a high concept to use, sell it big! “Wedding of the Season!” “Local boy makes good!” “She’s a hero, he’s a skeptic!”

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Be the Best in Show.

Check out Freebooksy and BargainBooksy for promotions. If you have a box set, put it up for a limited time. Readers don’t want to miss out. Check local book club opportunities, find speaking engagements. Your local Romance Writers of America often hold reader events for book signings. Get involved.

To keep interest between books, write a short story about secondary characters. A flirt. A roller derby queen. A single dad. Make it Free to your mailing list, and 99 cents to buy.

Do cross promotions with other writers, put their releases in your newsletter. Take over their Facebook page, retweet all their promos.

You must have a Marketing Plan. It doesn’t have to be super formal or big. Work with your budget. You don’t know what you can do until you know what you can afford.

Do a niche search on Amazon. Figure out which ones fit your book, use those as keywords.

Avoid negativity in partner authors. Arrange a guest takeover in reader groups.

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And as always, figure out what you can have done for you so you can write more. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.



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