By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine
Are you currently writing a book? Do you have a marketing plan/strategy for your book release?
I know what you're thinking and want to say through the internet waves; “Annette, who has time to plan, when I’m writing?”
Well, you don’t write all the time, so you need to plan. Southern Writers Magazine publishes 6 times a year with a lead time, as do most publications. As soon as you have your cover art finalized, do a book blurb and contact publications in which you want to advertise your book release. Publications have limited advertising space within each issue, so you need to make sure you don’t get left out. Here is the link to advertise in Southern Writers Magazine.
Then, look around for opportunities to do guest blog posts for various writing blogs to coincide with your book release. Obviously, you would link your appearances to your various social media sites and your website. Southern Writers Magazine’s blog, Suite T offers an opportunity to promote you for free as a guest author on Suite T on Monday, Wednesday or Friday. Here is the link to the blog guidelines.
You can appear on SWM’s Suite T twice a year. If you have a book releasing you may want to appear on the blog before your book releases to introduce yourself to blog readers. Then, prepare another blog post to appear again closer to your book release. If you let me know when your book is releasing, I’ll try and schedule close to your book release date to help create buzz about your book release. Keep in mind most blog sites have lead time. SWM’s Suite T has a 45-65 day timeline from receipt of a guest author blog post and its appearance on Suite T.
Of course, there are the traditional appearances in newspapers, at libraries, churches, assisted living homes, book clubs and any number of organizations that are always looking for speakers which gives you an opportunity to tell about your book and even sell some signed books.
I recently received an advanced reader’s copy (ARC) of the book, The Girl He Used To Know, by Tracey Garcia Graves, a unique love story. The marketing plan from Macmillan Publishers is really brilliant. Those who received ARCs also received a two-sided sheet with instructions for helping further promote the book by using a #TGHUTKheartbreakers. I received the book in late January. The publishers requested to use the hashtag each month leading up to the book release in April on all social media links. See the pictures of the instruction sheet. Others, like me are creating book buzz using the special hashtags on social media. Invaluable promotion. The publisher can tell who is using the hashtags quite easily. It’s just like hashtags you use to help brides and grooms get copies of all photos taken in their big day. This idea is such a smart marketing plan.
You can also keep a book marketing binder of promotional ideas, contacts, scheduled appearances, etc. You can print a free calendar and write in all the dates of your appearances. It’s a virtual log of dates to submit blog posts, follow up on blog posts, and keeping track of who and when you will appear to market your book.
If you get stuck when writing your book, work on your book marketing binder. You’re using a different part of your brain to plan a strategy for your book release than you do to create and write. It’s the perfect “writers block buster.” Just give it a whirl.
To quote Frankenstein’s author, Mary Shelley, “The beginning is always today.” Do something, either write or plan your book’s marketing plan every day.
So I ask, “What’s your book release marketing plan/strategy?