Friday, December 20, 2013

A Writer Walks Into A Marketing Meeting and Bangs Head on Desk

On Tuesday I posted a “Tuesday Topic” over on The Writer Diaries that was all about Marketing. This is a topic that has been on my mind a lot! When I was discussing this issue with my awesome agent, she said, “Think about how people in Nebraska are going to find out about your book.” Now, I should mention that I actually have family in Nebraska, so at least they will know, but beyond that, I see her point.

So the question remains: How does a Writer, with no marketing experience and a very limited budget, help their book make a splash in the enormous literary ocean?

Gone are the days of PR campaigns for debut authors. Oh, I’m sure some lucky blokes can wrangle some attention grabbing events from their publishers, but for most authors, we have to force our creativity off the page and into the business world of the industry. It’s just the way of the business.

Now, while I don’t have my marketing campaign figured out… or even thought about in complete sentences, I have come up with a list of directions I want to approach while drafting my plan of attack:

1. Grassroots. Many moons ago, I was a political campaign manager. Okay, that sounds really grand. What I actually did was run a state-wide campaign for the State Auditor position. Do you know how boring the State Auditor position is to voters? In a word: excruciating. But, when the votes were counted, our campaign had the closest margin of the other statewides. Never mind that we lost. More people voted for us (percentage wise) than any of the other “flashy” offices. Why? Grassroots. I live in a farming state and my candidate was a former watermelon farmer. So we hooked up a tractor, loaded a truck full of watermelon and took our message to the people.  We hit almost every county in the state. We didn’t win, but by the end of the campaign, people knew who we were and, generally, they liked us. Maybe not enough to actually cast a vote for us, but they liked the watermelon.
2. Working with the mainstream. I will do the press packet. I will submit as many articles as I can think of to write to a variety of publications. I will send press releases to all the alumni mags I can. I won’t like this part as much as the next, but I will do it because, if I can land an article in a regional or even national publication, more than just my family might start talking about this awesome book.

3. Looking for “outside of the box” places to promote my book. The other night, while I was cheering on our school team to a b-ball victory… Go Crusaders!!... I had a chance to catch up with a friend who happens to work at the local Wellness Center which has a full-service spa, rehabilitation center and state of the art workout facilities. When I mentioned the book was coming out in October, she was so excited. She's known me since I started penning my first book... in other words, a long time. She knew this was a big deal. And she also knew how we could help each other. She's starting a 2014 program that will focus on a the 6 aspects of health, including Intellectual (like reading a book) and Social (like being in a book club and talking about a book... with food, of course... probably healthy). So she's going to put the book in the gym AND use it as the book club book.  Every single person who walks in to that center will see my book on display. And you can bet I will have the QR code on the sign for people to buy the e-book. Out of the box thinking!

4. Getting to know the people who know books. I'm lucky. I live in a part of the country where there are ten major metropolitan cities within driving distance. It might not be NYC, but it's not bad. And everyone of those metros have booksellers... and not just any booksellers, but Independents. Normally owned by the same person manning the store. Even though I might feel a little like a snake-oil salesperson, you can bet that I am going to do everything I can to meet with those people who stock the shelves. How am I going to get people in Nebraska to find out about my book? Well, I'll probably visit my family and just happen to stop in to a bookstore and pick up a must-have novel. And that family vacation to Florida? We are so driving and stopping at shops along the way. Can you say ROAD TRIP?

There are more plans, but I don't want to give them all away right now. I have to keep you hanging on for the next installment! In the meantime, how are you going to spread the word about the things YOU'RE Passionate about?

1 comment:

  1. You have a great list and gave me some things to think about for my novel due out in 2015. Like you, I'm working hard on a marketing plan. Good luck on getting the word out there on yours :)