Diary of a Book Marketing Plan–Entry 4-Newsletter & More


image by geralt

This is the fourth entry in the series in which I share the tasks and progress on my book-marketing experience for my second book. Gift of the Magpie came out August 15, but this and all my diary posts share my activities from two weeks in the past.

My last three posts, among other activities, talked about my setup, recruiting influencers, guest posting, and a book launch party.

Sometimes Things Don’t Go as Planned

I wrote and sent a guest post early for a blog. The host had double-booked the spot by accident and had to go with the other post because it was part of a series. This’s why I try to send guest posts early and ask for confirmations of receipt. Knowing the situation early, I was able to use the post for a blog I’m a regular on.

I’m still waiting on the final proof from the publisher. Of course, I’m a little nervous about being able to order and receive books in time for my book launch party.

Tasks Performed This Past Week


I wrote and formatted the content for my newsletter to publish on my book’s release date. In my previous newsletter, I announced signing three book contracts in quick succession and told a little about each contracted book. For my newsletter going out on my book’s release date, I’m focusing on that book, presenting:

  • the book cover,
  • the back-cover blurb,
  • what people are saying about my book,
  • a story about how I used an event from my childhood in the book, and
  • upcoming events I’m involved in that subscribers might enjoy.

Tip: See my January blog post, “50 Ideas for Author Newsletter Content.


image by mohamed1982eg

Guest Interviews

I provided—early—my responses to questions for a blog interview.

Tip: The work you put into responses to interview questions provides content for talks you’ll book at libraries, bookstores, and other speaking events. Hosts ask questions they think will interest their subscribers. Your audiences probably have similar questions. I combine my answers from a few blog interviews and quickly rewrite them into a hopefully interesting talk.


I wrote several tweets and Facebook announcement blurbs that my influencers can easily post to their Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Tip: In the brief tweets, I include a book quote, two good readers’ hashtags, and the shortened buy link. I use the Hootsuite’s “Add a link…” box, which shortens my link and puts it in my tweet. If I have room, I include the title.

Book Launch Party

I’ve adhered stamps and address labels to the 120 postcard invitations.

Two 5-minute talks are written. I’ll give them at the party just before two of the three giveaway drawings.

I’ve started packaging the prizes to look pretty for the drawings.

Online Promotion

My Goodreads author page: I’ve added my book.

Facebook author page: I shared my book cover with my followers and boosted it for $3.

Keeping Me Straight

I updated my Excel Marketing spreadsheet noting what I’ve done and what I still need to do. Completed items are in blue; still to do are in red.

Book Marketing Diary – Entry 4: newsletter & other actual promotion activities. Click to tweet.

How have you used the boost option on Facebook?

Amazon Link

Amanda Larrowe’s lack of trust sabotages her relationships. The English teacher and award-winning author of middle-grade adventure books for boys has shut off communication with friends and family to meet her January 2 book deadline. Now, in the deepest snow accumulation Richmond, Virginia has experienced in years, Camden Lancaster moves in across the street. After ten years, her heart still smarts from the humiliating aftermath of their perfect high school Valentine’s Day date. He may have transformed into a handsome, amiable man, but his likeability doesn’t instill trust in Amanda’s heart. When Cam doesn’t recognize her on their first two encounters, she thinks it’s safe to be his fair-weather neighbor. Boy is she wrong.

How You Can Conduct an Author Interview Like a Pro

“Remember, you are not the focus of the interview. Your only job is to make the interviewee look like a hero.“  —Carlos Cooper

cover1My guest today is Amy L. Sullivan, author of When More Is Not Enough. Amy graciously agreed to share steps to conduct out-of-the-ordinary interviews, whether for blog posts, audios, or videos. Her book is for “families who are ready to move beyond seeing generosity as a series of tasks and instead, turn it into a way of life.”

Author interviews are a great way to highlight authors and establish connections. Follow these easy steps to look like an interviewing pro.

Prepare. Walk into the interview knowing something about the author: where they live, the name of the last book they wrote, a funny post they recently shared. Preparing ahead of time allows you to connect with the author immediately. 

Pay attention to time zones. Make certain you confirm time zones. I learned this when I thought an author was in the Eastern time zone, but she was in the Pacific, and I agreed to a 9:00 pm interview.

Set a clear expectation regarding time. Let your interviewee know upfront exactly how much time the interview will take and then, stick to the time period given.

by jppi
by jppi

Ask a variety of interesting questions and have more questions than you will need. I promise you every single person who interviews an author asks, “Where did you get the idea for your book?”

Be different. Come up with unique and well-thought-out  questions and always have more questions then you need.

Along the same lines, if you are emailing questions to an author, don’t overload them with twenty questions. Send the author between five and eight questions and allow them to choose the questions they would like to answer. 

In this interview with Jessie Benkert six questions was the perfect amount for my readers to get to know her.

Be fun. Forget ho-hum. Think of a way to add something unique to the interview.

by monosodium
by monosodium

In an interview I did last summer with Jeff Goins I asked Jeff to play the game Instant Answer.

This is how I found out he preferred U2 over Michael Jackson, chess over checkers, Downton Abby over Scrubs, and flying over driving. Interesting, right?

Ask the author ahead of time if there is anything specific he or she would like you to share with your readers. The author may want you to run a book trailer or include specific social media links. Ask and then follow through.

Make some noise. Once your interview is printed, yell about it on social media.

Be gracious. I know you know this, but drop the author an email thanking them for their time. It’s just nice.

Do you have any tips you can add to the list? Do you have a favorite author interview you have conducted? Leave the link in the comment section.


Be fun. Forget ho-hum. Make some noise. Conduct an author interview like a pro. Click to tweet.

amy2Bio: Amy L. Sullivan is author of When More is Not Enough (Amazon link). Amy also writes for oodles of print and online publications and loves speaking with groups of any size. Connect with her online at AmyLSullivan.com