I’ve been debating whether to offer one of my books for free on Kindle, temporarily, as a promotion. I know other authors have used the tactic successfully. And I’ve given away hundreds of print books and done so happily.But I keep talking myself out of doing a free Kindle e-book. Why? Read more →
- Call one bookstore every single day. The idea is to introduce myself and my series and to encourage the store to stock some copies. It should only take five minutes. The rule is: I can’t eat lunch until I’ve done it.
- Write another novel before the year is over. I’ve written three in the last two years (Jan. 08 to Dec. 09), so I should be able to do this. I think I’ll write something completely different, maybe a futuristic thriller.
- Start teaching. Read more →
My internal promotional plan for each release is organized by timetable because that’s the only way I can get it all done and stay on schedule. For a late September release (Secrets to Die For), it looks like this (which includes some things my publisher will do).
1. Plan blog tour (make list of blogs to visit, map out content) Read more →
A year and half ago when I first developed a marketing plan for my novel, I made a list of websites to check out. In time, the sites ended up in categories: places to send my novel for review, places to list my novel in their database, places with general information, and social networking sites.
The social networking sites I put off until last because they take time. I started with MySpace but never got into it. Eventually I created a Facebook page, then let it sit for months until I called in my niece to help me get going on it. Now I have 1200 friends and enjoy the time I spend there. In between those events, I created a CrimeSpace page and spent enough time there to develop a presence and to introduce myself to hundreds of authors. I’ve also been active on Twitter, which doesn’t require a lot of time.
But the networking opportunities keep coming. I’ve since joined LinkedIn, BookPlace, and recently Multiply. And I notice other Twitterers talking about Squidoo and other sites. But my memberships in the last three are just sitting there un-nurtured, and Squidoo is not even on my list. I also belong to six list servs, so the e-mails keep coming too.
I’ve decided that I’m maxed out and will not develop my new memberships. I only have so much time each day to spend on promotion/networking. For me, fewer venues with quality time spent on each one is more productive than a minimum amount of time spent on a multitude of sites. But I may be wrong about this. What do you think is more effective marketing? Quality time in fewer networking sites or a minimal presence in as many sites as possible?
I’m headed for Portland today for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association tradeshow. I’m still surprised they chose me for an author signing (50 authors were turned away). I almost passed on this event because the fee is $125, I have to give away 50 fifty books, and drive two hours in each direction for a 30-minute signing session.
Why am I going? Because it’s an opportunity to meet bookstore owners/managers from all over the Pacific Northwest. It’s an opportunity to hand them my novel and my promotional flyer with all the rave reviews. Even if they don’t order my book, they will hear my name, see my story and series character, and file it away somewhere in their brain. And someday soon, they will order and stock my books.
In real estate, it’s location, location, location. In book marketing, it’s exposure, exposure, exposure. You can’t buy better (or cheaper) advertising than this event.
I made a list of promotional efforts that I want to be more consistent about and decided to share my new goals.
Give out more bookmarks! I read about people who say they do this everywhere and with everyone, and I must get into the habit. Goal: Give out 3 bookmarks a day. And I intend to start ordering them in large quantities from online printers. (Nothing like having 2000 bookmarks sitting around to motivate you to give them away.)
Send out one e-mail a day to writer/mystery/review blogs offering to guest blog or participate in a Q&A.
Send out two e-mails a week to writers I know online offering a free copy of my novel. If they like it, they’ll probably say so. Free promotion from other writers is as good as it gets.
Spend 10 minutes a day on Goodreads in discussion forums and adding books to my list. This is a direct connection to readers.
Spend 10 minutes a day on CrimeSpace. I used to do this everyday, then got out of the habit when I started spending more time on Facebook and Twitter (and blogging everyday). As a result, I’ve noticed a drop off in the number of books I sell on Amazon.
Comment on two other blogs everyday. This one is easy, and I’d like to do more of it, but I have to leave some time for writing novels.
Write one article a month and offer it online magazines—even for no pay—just for exposure. (This will be the hardest one to keep up. I hate writing for free…except for blogging!)
Get all of this into an Excel spreadsheet so I can track it and not get sloppy.
Get up earlier to get it all done!