By Janet Fogg
Today is the fourth and final installment of developing your book marketing inventory (let’s say it together – “Thank goodness!”) We’ve looked at the basics, such as social networking, your bio, website, and a one-page book summary, and then we started to review questions you could answer to develop your text and document inventory, which, along with all of the research we’ve discussed, will translate directly into a solid start for your marketing plan. But first we need to review a few more questions and then consider some odds and ends.
1. Do you know of any facts or unique selling points for your book which could be used to demonstrate its importance and relevance to the present time, i.e. anniversaries, celebrations, topical news related stories?
What’s in the news and does it happen to be a part of your book? A Presidential campaign? Fracking? Earthquakes? What’s relevant? If you do have something timely, use that information when you query newspapers or magazines about writing an article. Think about whether you would you be willing to discuss your research on the radio.
2. Prepare a list of organizations for potential speaking events, signings, etc., including book clubs.
Again, think outside that dratted square box. For example, our neighbor invited us to speak at the local Experimental Aircraft Association meeting, but we were skeptical - our book is about WWII. Yet pilots love to hear about and discuss flying, and we had a rapt crowd who enjoyed our presentation. (Thank you again, Paul.)
By the way, if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of actually speaking in front of an audience, now would also be the time to sign up for a public-speaking course! Don’t shudder, it will serve you well.
3. Create a list of nearby towns and then a sub-list of local papers, bookstores, radio and TV stations, libraries & Friends of the Library, and library associations.
You’ll probably be sending press releases to some or all of these folks, so get organized. As for radio and TV, can you say, “public speaking is my friend?” If not, as I mentioned above, get signed up for that class!
4. List any interviews (television, radio, print) you’ve done in the past two years and have copies of those interviews on hand. Include dates and contact details.
These are handy as you might mention a previous interview in a new query, and you could also contact the person who interviewed you to see if they might be interested in your new book and a new interview.
5. Prepare a short 300–500 word “article” about your new book. If you’ve been published before, include your other books. Local papers will often pick up these articles as might a number of ezines. Make sure to sign all your articles with your name, website and publisher contact info.
6. Odds and Ends (Other items to consider or research):
a. Do you want a book trailer? Or video interview?
b. How about a PowerPoint presentation so you’re ready for future speaking engagements?
c. Webwork: There are numerous sites where your bio and/or book or book trailer may be posted along with a link to your website or blog. (In some cases your book has to be traditionally published.) Here are just a few examples – you can find more!
And don’t forget your author page on Amazon!
d. Should you develop a Facebook fan page for yourself? How about a page for your book?
e. Are you considering a blog tour? If so, start a list of pertinent sites and contact the blog owners so you can schedule your tour.
f. Awards: There are a number of awards for recently published books, and having your writing honored not only feels great it creates extra publicity. The awards I’m aware of are annual events and your book has to have been published within that calendar year to be eligible. A few examples include the Rita and Golden Heart Awards, HOLT Medallion, Edgar, and the Colorado Book Awards. There are many, many more for various genres, and you'll need to research submittal criteria and deadlines.
And now to summarize, over the past four weeks we’ve looked at everything from the basics, such as social networking, your bio, website, and a one-page book summary, to questions you can answer to develop your text and document inventory, which, along with all of the research, translates directly into your marketing plan.
A marketing plan!
Just think, your text will have been massaged and spiffed, you’ll know who you want to contact and how to contact them so those press releases and interview queries will simply fly off your computer. Plus, when you are interviewed, by having already drafted answers to questions similar to those you’ll be asked, your responses will have been embedded in your brain. You’ll appear cool, calm, and collected. Okay, maybe you’ll be nervous but you’ll also be prepared – and able to speak confidently about yourself and your book.
Oh, and a couple of final thoughts… Remember to plan your book signings and launch party! Celebrate!