by Janet Fogg
Two weeks ago I mentioned some of the basics, including social networking, your bio, and a one-page book summary, and last week we began to consider what information will help you market your book. By having research well underway and an inventory of text and documents on hand before your book is released, your marketing process will be streamlined and you’ll be able to enjoy book signings and celebrations instead of fretting about sales.
We’ll now continue the Q&A exercise for your book marketing inventory with these questions:
1. Why did you write this book?
2. How does your book stand out from similar books? List those books and compare.
3. What is it about your life experiences that led you to this book?
4. What are some of the highlights you enjoyed while writing it?
5. When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?
6. What is it about writing that appealed to you?
7. Do you have any advice for budding authors wanting to get published?
8. How much research did you do for the book? Can you give us some tips on this?
9. How long did it take you to write it?
10. What do you like most about your book? Why should we read it?
11. Where and when do you usually write?
12. Who are your favorite authors, fiction and non-fiction, and why?
13. How do you relax? Do you have any hobbies or interests?
14. Have you read anything lately that you'd like to recommend?
15. What are you working on at the moment?
By answering Questions 1 through 15, you’ll essentially have an interview ready, one that could be sent to blogs, newsletters, etc. You’ll also find yourself cutting and pasting portions of your responses to re-use in query letters and to post on FB, etc.
16. Make a list of key blogs, websites, twitterers, Facebook profiles, forums, and any other online communities you or your publisher should be contacting.
This could be a very long list, so get started! And then make a plan for contacting them. (Yes, this is part of your marketing plan!) If you’re doing it all yourself, decide how many you’ll contact each week. Pace yourself!
17. Do you have a personal mailing list of friends, relatives and work colleagues, etc. who would be interested in purchasing a copy of the book?
Your publisher might offer to do a mailing, but if they don’t, shouldn’t you? So get to work on that list, including mailing addresses and email addresses. Then you should prepare a postcard and email version of that card so you can begin a mailing campaign. You can post announcements on FB and in other venues, but having at least a few physical postcards will be handy, as you can use them at book signings and as leave-behinds at speaking events.
Now would be a good time to think about what other leave-behinds you might want or need. Bookmarks? Business cards? Press-release kits? Posters for signings?
That's enough for today! Next week I'll conclude the Q&A inventory exercise and run through some odds and ends for you to consider as you begin to implement your marketing plan.
See you bright and early, Monday morning!