Marketing, Writing and Editing

Book Promotion 101, part three

Over the course of the last two posts, I’ve explained the need for all authors, both traditionally and independently published, to promote their books and some of the techniques and outlets we can use to do that promotion. This week, I will put it to practical use by showing you a preliminary promotion schedule I plan to use for my upcoming novel.

But first, a truth that affects the schedule:

Most published books are available at online retailers weeks before copies are available in brick and mortar bookstores. Or before the author receives their copies.

Also, keep in mind that when I refer to “memes” I’m referring to short promotional videos as much as the static images we’re familiar with. In much the same way, “poster” is either a glossy, full color commercially printed piece, or one printed up on my own printer, more like a flier. I use the term for both.

Before the campaign actually begins, I will have some items created, revised, and ready to go when the time comes:

Memes 16
Posters 8
Direct mail letters 2
Press release 2
Ad copy 4
Bookmarks, post cards, etc.

The Campaign

8 weeks before the book goes live
Post meme # 1 web sites and social media
7 weeks
Post poster # 1
6 weeks
Post meme # 2
5 weeks

4 weeks
Post meme # 3
Cover reveal
3 weeks
Post meme # 4
Post poster # 2
2 weeks
Post meme # 5
Promote at Writer’s Conference
1 week
Post meme # 6

Book goes live online
Post meme # 7
Post poster # 3
Issue press release
Issue direct mailings
Begin online ads
Schedule blog tour
2 week
Post meme # 8
3 week
Post meme # 9
4 week

Book goes live on the ground
Post meme # 10
Post poster # 4
Issue press release
Issue direct mailings
Run blog tour
Run print ad in local paper
Continue online ads
2 week
Post meme # 11
Promote at local writer’s/poet’s event
3 week
Consider re-running local print ad
Post meme # 12
4 week
Post meme # 13

5 week
6 week
Post poster # 5
7 week
Post meme # 14
8 week

Continue running new memes approximately every two weeks and new posters every month for six months.

Attend all book fairs and writer’s conferences in the area to promote the work.

Consider running print ad in story’s location local newspapers (weeks 5-8) As opposed to the original ad run in my physical neighborhood.

Notice that the most intense promotion is during the eight weeks immediately after publication. It is then that I hope to take advantage of the word “new” that seems to attract so many people. Not listed, but an integral part of the campaign, will be social media blurbs about good reviews and other campaign highlights, as well as periodic road trips to distribute posters and talk to bookstore managers.

Also, when I say “Post meme # 1” it doesn’t mean that it is the only time I plan on posting it. The notation is merely the first time I plan on introducing it. In other words, I will post a new meme seventeen times. (At this point, I haven’t really decided how many times I will run each.)

Have “elevator pitch” ready for anyone who asks me about the book. Talk about it to everyone.

Finally, find a way to measure the results. The ultimate tool, obviously, is that quarterly royalty check, but there are other ways that don’t involve waiting three months. One of them is “Google alerts” which notify you every time a particular phrase (such as a book title) is used as a search term. Another is Amazon rankings.

That’s it. That’s my current plan for promoting my new novel. We shall see how well it works.

I also reserve the right to change it at any time.


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