Today we’re talking about the second element in your marketing plan. (There’s only four total, so remember not to panic.) In the last post we figured out what you wanted to achieve. Today is a simple extension of that.
Element #2 – How are you going to achieve it?
This is the fun part of the marketing plan–figuring out how you’re going to achieve your goal. Here’s your opportunity to be creative.
Brainstorm a List of Activities
Let’s say that your goal is to make more people aware that your book exists. How could you do that? Start brainstorming a list of things you could do to meet your goal.
Some possible activities:
- Contact book review bloggers and send them a copy of your book to review.
- Enlist friends to post reviews of your book on review sites.
- Host a book giveaway on your blog and give out copies of your book in exchange for mentions of your book around the Internet (on Twitter, Facebook, reviews on Amazon, etc.).
- Donate copies of your book as prizes to giveaway contests.
- Do a blog tour on book review sites and other writer sites.
- Make your book available as a free download PDF on your website.
- Print up postcards with your cover image and the backcopy blurb-include one in every bill payment you send.
- Add your book title and tagline to your email signature with a link to your website.
- Start a twitter account for your main character and have him tweet about his daily “life”.
- Set up a Facebook Page for your book and post related short stories, character profiles, etc. from your book.
These are all standard promotional things you could do, but you could get even more creative.
Select Activities to Complete
Once you have a list, you want to evaluate it and choose the things you want to do. Keep in mind that you may not WANT to do all of them or that it may not be a good idea to do all of them. Why wouldn’t you want to do all of them? Note that on our list above there are some contradictory items.
If you choose to do #3 – “Host a book giveaway on your blog” or #4 – “Donate copies of your book as prizes”, you don’t want to do #6 – “Make your book available as a free download”, as having the book available for free dilutes its attractiveness as a prize for a giveaway. Can you imagine a reader being ecstatic they won something that everyone else got for free too? Exactly.
Another consideration is how well the activity will reach your target market. Your target market is readers in your specific genre.
Sending a book cover postcard with your electric bill payment spreads awareness of your book, but it isn’t guaranteed to reach readers in your genre. The person who opens the mail at your electric company may not even like reading.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t print up book cover postcards and send them out. It just means you should be aware that sending them to random people probably won’t give you as many results as something else on the list.
Make the Activities Specific
When you select the activities you are going to do, remember to make them as specific as possible. (This helps with the element we’ll be covering next.)
For #1 – “Contact book review bloggers and send them a copy of your book to review”, how many book review bloggers are you going to contact? 1, 5, 15?
For #3 – “Host a book giveaway on your blog and give out copies of your book in exchange for mentions of your book around the Internet”, how many copies of your book will you giveaway? How often? A one-time giveaway? A monthly giveaway?
For #5 – “Do a blog tour on book review sites and other writer sites.”, how long will your blog tour last? One week? One month?
Set a Deadline for Each
You also want to add a deadline to the activities and break them down into individual tasks as needed.
For #1, your task list might look like this:
- Research book review blogs on Internet. Locate 5 that review your genre. (Will complete by Thursday this week)
- Create list of blogs with contact info and note each reviewer’s criteria for accepting books to review. (complete by Saturday)
- Craft individual emails/submission packages for the blog reviewers. (complete by following Wednesday)
How to Make This Element Successful
- Be specific in what you want to achieve. Include details and numbers.
- Set a deadline for each task/activity and mark it on your calendar.
- Don’t try to do every activity at the same time. Pick one and complete it. Then do another. Doing multiple at the same time will just overwhelm you.
- When in doubt about which to try, pick the activity that requires the least effort or time to implement. Knock it out quickly and then try another.
- Consider your available time now and in the future when selecting an activity. While #7 – “Start a Twitter account for your main character” sounds fun, it will require daily upkeep. Do you have the available time and inclination to keep that account active every day? If not, pick something else to try.
That’s it for the second element of your marketing plan. Two down and two to go.