Diary of a Book Marketing Plan – Setup

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My second book is releasing soon. As I researched and promoted my first book, I wrote a blog post giving 32 marketing ideas. Now, with more experience as to what worked and didn’t work for me, I’ll share my marketing experience for my second book as it unfolds. I hope you’ll join me for the next several weeks.

For Book 1, Calculated Risk, I performed all 32 of my suggestions. For some, I could’ve done more and for others I should’ve done less. I still recommend reading the 32 marketing ideas, because many were valuable.

Benefits Gained from Promoting Book 1

• Through purchasing Facebook ads, I better defined my audience from the ages and sexes of the people who clicked on my ads. Knowing my audience will help for Book 2 ads.

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• I accomplished much promotion setup work. For example, I have a website; I’ve joined social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest; and I’ve set up my Amazon, Facebook, and Goodreads author pages. For Book 2, I will only need to update information at these places.

• I learned that romances don’t sell well at fairs and festivals, unless they are book fairs attended by readers. See my post on fairs and festivals.

• At bookstore signings and fairs, I learned it’s important not to sit behind a table, but to stand, pass out bookmarks, and engage people about what they like and need, and less about my books. For example, a woman interested in writing gave me her email address, and I sent her information on a local writers’ group. She’s on my list to email about Book 2.

• I discovered which promotion tasks were worthwhile, even if some were uncomfortable for this introvert.

Book 2 Tasks I’ve Done So Far

•I sent out PDF’s of the book to 6 possible endorsers and obtained 2 authors able to read the book and write endorsements. Many authors want to help, but they’re up against deadlines.

• I grabbed a fifteen-minute appointment with the CEO of a publishing company at a writer’s conference. Believing online promoting is more successful than traditional marketing efforts, he recommended I spend my time and money on online ads and getting Amazon reviews quickly.

• According to the CEO’s recommendations, I researched several online promotion options. My husband and I met and decided which I would invest money and time in. I’ll mention them in upcoming posts.

• I setup my marketing Excel spreadsheet to enter promotion tasks, deadlines, requirements, and progress.

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• For my local book launch party (it’s not all about online presence): I’ve enlisted helpers, set up a meeting with them, and reserved the party place.

• I signed up to write a guest post, do an interview, or be spotlighted on 6 blogs. I’ve drafted two.

• Drafted email content to recruit potential book influencers. I’ve listed 28 people.

• I received my book cover recently. This opens up my ability to start working on several promotion projects.

As I record my efforts and progress for Book 2, Gift of the Magpie, in upcoming posts, I’ll include tips and hope you’ll follow along and share your tips and thoughts too.

Diary of a book marketing experience: promotion activities and progress. Click to tweet.

What are the promotion activities you enjoy and which do you dread? Why?

3 Ways to Pay It Forward in Your Creative Career

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” —John Wooden

id-100172390.jpgReview your journey in your creative career. Haven’t you received valuable nuggets from others who made a difference in your creative work? You’re thankful, but often repaying your benefactors is nearly impossible.

Then pay forward the help you received. You can help another struggling artist.

3 Ways to Pay It Forward

1. Tweets, posts, and links

id-10074109.jpgThis era of social media helps us pay forward what we’ve received.

In a tweet, a blog post, or other social media, we can share with others the nuggets that were so helpful to us.

Example: In an online course, I received a better understanding of writing in deep point of view. So, I shared what I learned in a recent blog post by sharing several of my homework examples. I directed people to the instructor’s website, her book on the subject, and her online course. Hopefully, several of my readers learned from my examples and were encouraged to buy the book or sign up for the instructor’s next class.

2. Reviews

When we like others’ work, taking the time to write honest online reviews is one of the best things we can do to help others’ in our field.

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Example: An author invited others who enjoyed her book to join her promotion team. She said we could join her team for the purpose of learning how a promotion team works. I have a book coming out soon and wanted to learn how to implement such a team.

As I helped the author get the word out about her book, I learned much from her. She also took the time to promote several of my blog posts. On her team, I learned how to write reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Now when I like a book, I promote it through writing honest reviews. Paying forward what the author did for me.

3. Mentors and teachers

id-10034692.jpgWhile I’ve grown in the craft of writing, I’m amazed at how many people have stepped up to help me. Mentoring others pays forward the help we receive from our mentors. Teaching classes or workshops, or simply sharing what we’ve learned with our critique groups pays it forward also.

Example: I moved into a small rural community. A woman in my new church gave me a newspaper clipping about a local writers’ group.

The president of the writers’ group is an editor for a small publishing company. She took me under her wing. She encourages me, alerts me to valuable writing information, sends me links to opportunities, and invites me to teach elements of the craft in our local group.

I’m happy to lead workshops to pay forward her help. I believe God used the woman in my church to provide me with this wonderful mentor.

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  • You can pay forward the help you’ve received from others in your creative craft.
    click to tweet

How have you paid forward help you’ve received?

8 Ways You Can Grow Your Creative Work While Helping Others

“Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” — Les Brown

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You want to help others, but you’re drowning in getting everything done for your own creative work.

I experienced this early in my writing career. Then one day, I knew the answer to an author’s research question she’d asked on an author email loop. I answered her, and from her gracious thanks, I realized when my research failed, I could ask authors on the loop to help me.

Here are 8 ways helping others boosted my creative work. I hope you can adapt them to your creative work.

8 Ways I Helped Others and Grew My Creative WorkBusiness Discussion

1. I joined critique groups. Thinking critically about another’s writing and story teaches me what works and what doesn’t. I can heed these things in my work. Also, I want to give others correct suggestions. So, I look up what I question in their work, and learn. As I mature in critiquing, I discern what’s important to suggest and what’s better left alone. I’ve developed lasting relationships.

2. I accepted an author’s search for “influencers,” people who help spread the word about an author’s upcoming novel. Although a novice then, I interested some people in her book. I read several of her novels and kept in touch with her. Now years later, she’s agreed to read my upcoming book as a potential endorser.

bookstore3. I volunteered at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference bookstore a few times. Working among a well-populated cross section of Christian fiction, I discovered the many genres, which helped me select a genre that fit me. This year I’ve volunteered to be a reporter for the ACFW publication. I’ll report on one conference workshop. Another skill I’ll learn.

4. I joined local writers groups and have given presentations and worked on their boards. Besides absorbing much while developing the content of presentations, I’ve honed the skill of speaking. This will help in promoting my novel. Working on the boards has provided me closer relationships with other authors. And I’ve picked up much about the business of being an author.

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

5. I created a blog to help others use their creativity and perform the tasks related to their creative work. Writing the posts has given me a greater appreciation for the creativity God has given others and me. I recognize how creativity has sustained me in everything over the years.

6. I started writing book reviews for the books I’ve enjoyed. Collecting the aspects that engaged me in the stories, directs me to what I want to emulate in my stories.

Image courtesy of phanlop88 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of phanlop88 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

7. I promote other authors. This has forced me to become adequate in using Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and guest blogging in both directions. In joining an author’s promotion team, I’m learning the tasks and how such a team works.

8. I pray for authors, editors, and agents. I understand much about the challenges and joys of a writing career, especially from Gods perspective.

After helping in these ways over the years, I’ve discovered an unexpected bonus to my career. People have learned who I am. That can only help in a career where exposure is crucial.

What examples do you have in which helping others has helped in your creative work?