Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Happy Marketing!

What do you do for marketing? Do you have a strategy? Or is it a hit or miss kind of deal? After getting my bachelor’s degree in business and working in management where numbers matter, I don’t rely on the hit or miss strategy. I need a plan. I need a solid plan.

So for the past year I have been implementing that plan but have come to realize that I am missing some key points. After some brainstorming and talking with others in the author community – new and seasoned – I came up with a list of items useful for an author.

I will be interested to hear your comments on these so please post below.

1.)    Establish an online presence (platforms)
a.      Facebook – author fan page
b.      Twitter
c.       Linked in
d.      Goodreads
e.      Pinerest
f.        Google plus
g.      Blog
h.      Website
i.        Amazon Central page
j.        Library Thing
k.       Smashwords
l.        Red room
m.    About me
n.      Stumble Upon
o.      Amazon
p.      Barnes and Nobles
q.      And the list goes on.

2.)    Use Multiple Automated Platforms
a.      For example: when you post on linked in, it can post to twitter, which can post to your facebook page. You can also link your Amazon Central page to your blog and to twitter.
b.      Use some kind of buffering tool so you can schedule your posts where you are not spamming your followers. ( is cheap and easy to use) (another is hootsuite)

3.)    Produce a Quality Product
a.      Professional book cover
b.      Professional editing
                                                              i.      Using friends are okay but nothing beats a professional edit job – and you will have to pay for it. Put that expense in your budget. It is non-negotiable.
c.       Professional book trailers

4.)    Have a web site
a.      Web sites are a passive way of driving people to your books; however, websites make you look more professional and instead of having twenty links to give to someone you can put them all on your website. Mine is if you would like to take a look at it. It cost me 5$ a month to have this website. I have heard of people using word press or blogger to create their website for free.

5.)    Establish relationships through networking and actually spending time getting to know others.
a.      This is important as other authors will help you market your book as you release them. And you do so for them as well. A win-win proposition.
b.      Collaborate with other local authors to do book signings together.
c.       Attend local events that allow you to set up booths and sell books! If you do this with other authors then split the booth costs. Another win-win proposition.
d.      Attend Book Club meetings in your local area.

6.)    Learn how to write a press release
b.      Send press release to:
                                                              i.      Local newspapers
                                                            ii.      Radio station
                                                          iii.      Television stations
                                                           iv.      National author/book programs
c.       Offer to be interviewed by them by phone or by Skype. Be prepared – ask in advance what questions will be asked. Ask to read a portion of your book on air.
d.      Keep track of who and when you have been interviewed and build your author resume.

7.)    You Tube
a.      Make book trailers of your books
                                                              i.      Don’t know how? Here is a site that charges reasonable prices for book trailers

8.)    Local newspapers
a.      Take an ad out
b.      Ask to be interviewed by smaller newspapers

9.)    Know Your Market
a.      How old are they?
b.      What gender?
c.       What age group?
d.      Are they married, single?
e.      Where do they live?
f.        How are they employed?
g.      What do they read?
h.      What else do they read?
i.        What do they watch?
j.        What do they listen to?
k.       What groups do they belong to?
l.        What do they talk about?
m.    Where do they go to pursue their interests?
n.      Who buys their books?
o.      How many books do they read in a year?
p.      Where do they get ideas of what to read next?
q.      What sways them to decide to read one book and not another?
r.       Where do they buy books?
s.       When do they buy books?
t.        What makes them decide to buy a particular book now?
u.      Do they buy collectibles from a website?
v.       Do they attend genre centered talks/seminars?
w.     Do they go to museums?

10.)                        Target your market audience.
a.      Ads on facebook
                                                              i.      Facebook gathers information and collects them into databases with information about each and every person so they have a pretty good idea of who to target.
b.      Make yourself a budget and stick to it.  With whatever form of advertising you choose.
c.       Choose people who will talk about you. J

11.)                        Write about your genre (in general on your blog)
a.      Imagine you are a public speaker at a convention – what would you say? What questions would be asked of you? That is your topics for your blog.
b.      There are all kinds of tricks to writing good articles, study up on it a bit, but they're a snap to write (400-600 words).  And you can take one article, vary it some, and publish again (it has to be different enough to be different, but much can be the same).
c.       Hint:  You must TELL people exactly what you want them to do (and articles CAN'T be sales pitches, so you have to be clever.)    You can't put your website or link on until the end, in the "About the Author" box.  In that space, DON'T put info about you.  On the article, it follows exactly as another paragraph, so say something like, "One historical fiction novel that (does whatever your article is about like: illustrates the manners of the era) is Rosemary Delores's Betsy and the Civil War.  You can learn more about this book and others at _______. 
d.      Article writing does not generate instant sales, it's a slow thing.  But once out there, the article stays virtually forever.  And if you can get links to it, better yet (I don't bother with that). 
12.)           Track your sales
a.      Figure out which month’s sales are better and why; what did you do differently that month?
b.      If you are on Amazon, KDP helps you track sales.
c.       Use Google Analytics to track your visitors to your blog and website.
d.      When doing physical author book signings, keep a sign in book for your visitors, and know the book count you brought and keep tabs on the sales.
13.)           Consider writing a short story or anthology about your full version book and offer it at a reduced cost or free. Advertise your full length novel that it is associated with at the back of the book. If the reader likes your short story/anthology then they will most likely buy your full length novel.
14.)           Some Don’ts
a.      Don’t market to bookstores who no longer buy books from authors.
b.      Don’t forget to look for media in other English-speaking countries.
c.       Don’t forget to network in your local area in addition to your internet social sites you choose.
d.      Don’t get overwhelmed by social media.

I hope these marketing ideas help with making your way in the sea of books that are out there. I know not everyone will agree with all of these ideas and that is okay too. J And if you would like to contribute to these ideas please comment below.
For quick reference:
Affordable Book covers/Book Trailers:

Hope this helps! Happy Marketing! 

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K-Trina Meador, aka K. Meador