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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Writing Tip Wednesday--Marketing & Promotion Strategies

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! Self-publishing offers writers another choice on the road to publication, whether they’re already traditionally published and/or e-press published, or unpublished. Although the author maintains control of the process, she also has a lot of hard work ahead of her. Education about self-publishing and the publishing industry is vital to a good product and creating a professional image.

Preparing Marketing & Promotion Strategies is an important step for each new book. The amount of time and effort put into those strategies will vary from author to author. What works for one may not work for another. Authors can choose marketing and promotion avenues that fit with their schedules and personalities.

Some options include...
Facebook release day parties/events
Twitter parties
Blog tours
Book signings and personal appearances
Announcements/posts on social media
Online advertising
Goodreads giveaways
Special pricing
Thunderclap
Promo posts in Facebook and Google + groups

The list could go on and on. Although marketing and promotion can lead to sales and discoverability, balance is essential. Too much promo in one venue can backfire by turning off potential buyers. All those repetitive Facebook, G+, and Twitter promotional posts eventually become white noise if they aren’t combined with a good dose of the social element of social media. Hourly promo posts for weeks on end can result in lost followers, likes, and friends.

Giveaways and signings are a great opportunity to create swag for marketing purposes. Use book themes and metadata to brainstorm unique ideas for swag items. If wine plays a role in the story, bottle stoppers could form a connection between the item and the book. Use dog tags for military-themed stories or flashlights for scary tales. Pens are popular for author recognition, but paper products, such as postcards and bookmarks, are often discarded. Useful swag items will allow multiple exposures to book and author information, making a positive and memorable impression.

Some promotional strategies can be implemented weeks or months after the book release. Conferences and conventions often have signings as part of the event. Library and bookstore signings can occur at any time. Local and regional self-published author group signings are becoming more common as well. Plan ahead for ways to spark new interest later.

Whatever the methods, think about marketing and promotion from a potential reader perspective. Does the promo come across as a hard sell or spam? Will friends, followers, and group members feel inundated by advertising? Is promo preventing writing time?

If the answer is yes, dial back on the promotion. The next book is the best sales tool!

Don’t check off #10 just yet. Book Pricing is part of selling strategy too!

The To-Do List
1) Finish the book. 
2) Polish and edit the book. 
3) Write taglines and blurbs. 
4) Create or purchase cover art. 
5) Purchase ISBNs, if using a single ISBN for all retailers using the same book format (print or e-book). 
6) Create front and back matter. 
7) Format for e-book and/or print. 
7.a.) Add images. 
7.b.) Create audio book. 
8) Update website, blog, and social media. 
9) Create metadata list. 
10) Plan a marketing and promotion strategy.
11) Publish the book.
12) File copyright paperwork, if registering.
13) Add buy links to websites, blogs, and social media.
14) Implement marketing and promotion strategies.
15) Write the next book!


Be sure to check out the writing craft series, Writing Tip Wednesday: The Writing Craft Handbook, in e-book at Amazon and B&N and in print at Amazon and CreateSpace, and the writing career series, Writing Tip Wednesday: The Writing Career Handbook, in e-book at Amazon and B&N and in print at Amazon and CreateSpace.

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

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