Diary of a Book Marketing Plan-Final Entry-Reviews & More

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

Among other activities, my prior posts covered my setup, recruiting influencers, guest posting, a book launch party, a newsletter, blog interviews, Facebook parties, Ask David Tweets and a Goodreads Ad.

Today, I share all my promotion activities and my evaluation of each thus far.

Influencers

image by skeeze

Two thirds of my fifteen influencers posted reviews so far. I’m told I need 100 influencers to “gain any traction.” Wow. I’m still asking my faithful few to promote events, such as the multi-author Facebook party. About 25% of my influencers have been super active.

Announcements

Newsletter: A better than average rate of subscribers opened my email (52.5% mine vs. 23.6% industry average). Clicks for the industry average is 2.6% clicks; mine were 4.9%. Hard to track sales.

Email list: I’m working on growing my 280 with people I know are readers. 

Authors Cross Promotion/Reviews

I’ve received requests from 17 readers/reviewers for my book through this service. I sent preliminary emails to make sure the people wanted the Kindle e-book version, and 53% responded. So far, 5 wrote reviews. I’m confident I’ll receive a few more reviews. I like this service; I’m building my email list and relationships with these readers.

Vessel Project

I purchased this service, which keeps my book in front of readers in my genre for a year. Hard to track sales.

Ads

Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon ads are exposing my book to many people. I don’t know how effective they are for sales, though. My ten-day-old Goodreads ad has had 36 views but 0 clicks. Not so good. But I only pay for clicks, and readers are viewing my book. My publisher has placed an Amazon ad, but results aren’t in.

Ask David Tweets

I’ve published half my 60 tweets. On my evening tweets, I’ve received 0 – 7 retweets and 0 – 2 likes. Ask David suggests I retweet and like my tweets after they post them. Using good hashtags for my audience is important. Hard to track sales.

Guest Blogs/Interviews

Five blogs have hosted me, and two more are scheduled. I enjoyed interaction with commenters. Hard to track, but one sale was verified. My influencers promoting these posts helped me reach more people. Choose blogs that have high traffic. I prefer to do interviews because they better expose the book.

Giveaways

I signed up for the October giveaway for Sweet Romances with Authors Cross Promotion. This will significantly grow my email list with more readers. I’ll give away three e-books. 

Facebook Party

I’ll host a half-hour slot on a multiple-author Facebook party. So far, 48 people are going and 39 are interested. Although its hard to track sales, this gives me an opportunity to build relationships with readers.

Book Signing

After concentrating on online promotions, I’ve now scheduled a book signing at the local bookstore. I sold 11 copies of my first book there, which is around average. My basket giveaway signup grew my email list. I’ve also scheduled a spot at a retirement center’s craft fair.

Book Launch Party

I mailed 120 invitations to my book launch party this week. I’m looking forward to sharing my talks and visiting with my friends and acquaintances.

Conferences

I’ll lead a workshop at the Virginia chapter’s American Christian Fiction Writers Annual Conference – another opportunity to pay forward the help I’ve received, meet people, and expose my book.

Talks

I plan to schedule talks with women’s groups. I’ve scheduled a library workshop for 2018 to promote my non-fiction book on writing, but I’ll also offer this book.

Book Marketing Diary–Final Entry: Reviews & other actual promotion activities. Click to tweet.

Authors, how do you encourage reviews?

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.

32 Marketing Ideas to Promote Your Book

“People are in such a hurry to launch their product or business that they seldom look at marketing from a bird’s eye view and they don’t create a systematic plan.” —Dave Ramsey

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve pursued many of these marketing activities for Calculated Risk. Decide which you have time for, would enjoy, and can afford.

For any of these ideas, search online for help on how to do the activities well and for testimonies on their effectiveness.

Marketing Ideas

 

1.  “About Content” – Update the content about you on all your social networks. Include interesting tidbits about your book.

2.  ACFW Fiction Finder – Check requirements to add your title to this American Christian Fiction Writers listing for people looking for fiction.

3.  Ads – Join multiple authors in magazine ads. Newspaper ads for author events. Some blogs will display your cover in sidebars.

4.  Amazon Author Central – Set up an account and author page.

Image courtesy of bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5.  Announcements – Build email lists now. Send your promotion postcards to readers and libraries.

6.  Audience Analysis – Define your audience and where members gather. Join their online groups and build relationships.

7.  Blog – Post regularly. Display your book cover on the sidebar. Publish book-related posts around your release date. Guest-blog on others’ blogs.

8.  Blog Tours – Find bloggers willing to host you during a set period.

9.  Book Clubs – Include a website tab. Offer free bookplates to groups that discuss your book. Offer to attend meetings through phone or Skype.

10.  Book Launch Party – Plan a celebration at a local bookstore or a community center.

11.  Book Signing – Hand out bookmarks. Join multi-author signings.

12.  Book Trailer – Put your trailer on your website and other sites, such as Amazon’s Author Central.

13.  Drawings – Hold drawings for a book or basket of book-related items at book signings and local businesses.

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

14.  Conferences – Offer books at the center’s bookstore. Leave book promotional materials on appropriate tables. Build relationships.

15.  Contests – Enter respected contests. Winners can add “award-winning author” to their bio. Runner-ups can mention that fact.

16.  Consignments – Approach local gift shops to sell your books on consignment.

17.  Email Addresses – Collect them on drawing entry forms or in your guestbook at author events. Ask participants to subscribe to your newsletter.

18.  Endorsements – Include them on your website’s Book Page, promotional materials, press releases, and author pages.

19.  Excerpts – Choose book excerpts for your website, interviews, and speaking events.

20.  Facebook Author Page – Post regularly. Share book news.

by MrMagic
by MrMagic

21.  Festivals, Fairs, and Craft Shows – Set up a book table and chat with people.

22. Goodreads – Hold book giveaways. Participate in Goodreads groups.

23.  Influencers – Gather people to read your advance reader copies, write honest reviews, and promote your book on their social networks.

24.  Interviews – Obtain interviews on blogs, websites, and other media.

Image courtesy of chanpipat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of chanpipat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

25. Library Events – Contact local libraries and plan fun meet-the-author events.

26.  Newsletter – Produce a newsletter periodically with content exclusively for subscribers.

27.  Press Release – Send releases to local newspapers and the content to library and bookstore coordinators for your events.

28.  Promotional Materials – Order bookmarks, business cards, postcards, posters, car magnets, banners, and book-related giveaways.

29.  Reviewers – Request book reviews from bloggers and professionals who write reviews.

30.  Speaking Engagements – Prepare talks to use for various types of events.

31.  Virtual Parties – Host an online party with book-related blurbs and giveaways.

32.  Website – Maintain a quality, updated website.

Peruse these marketing ideas & start promoting your upcoming book now. Click to tweet.

Add to the list. What are other marketing ideas?

Calculated Risk by Zoe M. McCarthyHere’s a plug for a marketing idea my publisher is doing: 

For the entire season of Lent, all e-books in the Pelican Book Group store are free. Yes, free–all e-books in the catalogue–from 18 Feb to 2 April. Calculated Risk is included in this promotion.

11 Tips for Ordering and Using Business Cards, Bookmarks, & Postcards

“Never forget that you only have one opportunity to make a first impression—with investors, with customers, with PR, and with marketing.”
— Natalie Massenet

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I purchased business cards, bookmarks, postcards, posters, car magnets, a banner, and book-related giveaways. In Part 1, I share general tips for all these materials and specific tips for business cards, bookmarks, and postcards. The rest I’ll cover in Part 2.

General Tips:

  1. Start saving for a marketing fund even before you sign a contract. You’ll be glad you did.
  1. Order your materials about 4 months before your book releases. First, set what part materials will be of your marketing budget. My materials were about 17%. The rest covered:
    • events
    • giveaways
    • ads
    • website design
    • a writers conference
    • travel
    • postage
  1. Join writer loops’ and save emails about good places to order materials. For Calculated Risk, I decided on one recommended vendor where I could design and order everything, except my book-related giveaways, online from one place.
  1. Purchase only business cards and bookmarks when your materials fund is small. 
  1. Order quality materials if possible. I have a cache of bookmarks and business cards. Most of the authors chose a decent level of quality. The low-quality materials standout among them. In a bad way.

Your low-quality business card will stick out in editors’ caches of quality cards. Click to tweet.

Your low-quality bookmark will stick out in readers’ caches of quality bookmarks. Click to tweet.

  1. Choose to print on only one side if you need to save on cost. In my cache, several authors chose quality, but the one-side option. If you can’t afford at least one-sided quality business cards and bookmarks, use tip 1 for your next book.

Specific Tips for Bookmarks, Business Cards, Postcards:

  1. photo
    Bookmark


    Choose a finish on which ink doesn’t smear. I chose 14 pt. gloss (AQ) coated paper. Sign your materials. Readers like signed things. Some authors in my cache did this.
  1. Buy a Sharpie Ultra Fine Point. Choose a color that fits you or is from your book cover. Make it your “signature” color. Then sign everything with that pen. While watching a Netflix movie, I could sign 100 items.

 

  1. Include only one link on your materials: your website (and maybe your email address). Make sure your website has:

1. social media buttons on every page

2. your embedded blog

3. a contact-you page

This removes clutter from your materials and drives people to your website, where your book page with buy buttons resides.

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Business Card

10. Put your book cover(s) on all these materials.

  • Also, a professionally taken headshot, especially on business cards, helps people remember you.
  • For your materials, use the same headshot as you use on your website, social media, blog, and author page banners. This consistency helps people feel like they know you.
  • Some conferences offer low-cost, professional photo sessions.
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Postcard

11. Include your book cover, endorsement, blurb, and all ordering information (especially ISBN and release date) on your postcards. Acquisition librarians and bookstore managers appreciate such post cards for ordering your books. I used my postcards also for my launch party invitations.

What tips do you have for acquiring and using these materials?