Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Marketing Savvy and The Modern Writer: Big Ideas, Small Budget - DIY Marketing Tips for Writers

You are a writer. And you are the champion of your own career. Even on a low budget you can build buzz for your work. Let’s take that Marketing Plan and put it in motion.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

BE AN EXPERT: You wrote your manuscript for a reason. You’re passionate about your subject. You invested the time and energy to make it a reality. That makes you an expert. Parlay your book research into platform. Your work centers around topics, and that makes it topical. Do your themes include pop-culture, local history, folklore, relationships, art, crafts, cooking, or anything relatable? Join a Speaker’s Bureau, and offer talks and contributions on the subject.

LOCAL AND REGIONAL EVENTS: Now that you’re an expert, find venues. Explore Books Clubs, Conferences, Learning Centers, Panels, Seminars, Charities, Fundraisers and anything that can be a possible venue for your book via platform. Use your expert status to gain exposure and readers.

LIBRARIES: Libraries are great resources. Most Libraries offer learning opportunities to their patrons and a great publicity venue. As patrons learn about you and your work, their requests can get your book in the libraries and in front of more eyes, plus many libraries are now getting in on digital book options. Keep in mind, schools have libraries and learning centers at all levels of education, so find the best fit for you.

DONATIONS: Donate a book, get positive publicity. Offering a book as a prize to events and fundraisers is a way to give back and brand yourself. Many fundraisers have silent auctions, and door prizes that are in need of donations. Find an organization that fits your market, and make your giveaway count.

PRESS RELEASES: Become a master at writing press releases for your book. It is the best way to get your information out to the media, and then in the public eye. You can gear your releases specifically to get reviews, announce a book tour, event appearances, speaking engagements and more. Remember to keep your releases targeted and timely.

INTERVIEWS: Make yourself available to be interviewed by the media outlets where you’ve sent your press releases. It is also a good idea to follow up a release with an email offering your expertise for a future interview opportunity.

ONLINE: Social Networking is a great free way to get your message out into the world. Create a fan page on Facebook, or tweet as an author, even a character in your book. Blogging is another free online opportunity. Blogging is a commitment, so make sure you can schedule the time to keep yours current and updated with fresh content. Also, offer to guest blog on a site that fits your target market to gain more audience for your book and your brand.

The ideas covered here are well within your reach as a writer, and only cost you time and energy. You can build buzz on a small budget and sell your book. Channel some of your writing passion into a passion for publicizing yourself, and you’ll get results. Remember, you write the story of your career. Choose your words wisely. Your success story is waiting to be told.

Susan Mitchell has a degree in English from Northern Arizona University. Her work has appeared in literary magazines including George and Mertie’s Place, Poetry Motel and Wordwrights. She writes and produces local television commercials, promotions and programs. She has written and produced projects for TLC, regional ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates. She is a frequent speaker at writer’s conferences and enjoys helping writers grow their marketing arsenal. Susan is currently completing work on a darkly humorous horror series.


j.a. kazimer said...

Love you, Sue. Great tips.

Patricia Stoltey said...

This is an excellent list, Susan. Since most of us would rather have our toenails pulled out than put together a plan for promoting our books, all help is appreciated.