I’ve been asked indirectly to give some advice on promoting and marketing a Book for a friend. This is probably starting to fall under the category of work, and generally my work is paid for. However part of marketing oneself is giving away free high level concepts and ideas. So this is what we can do for you at our commercial side – DonCharisma.com.
I’m calling this a “30 minute blog”, because I’ve set my stopwatch and will stop writing at 30 minutes.
Promoting And Marketing Plan
You’ll need a plan. The plan should include your timescales. Promoting and marketing either costs money or you expend effort, ie hard work and do it yourself.
Make an inventory of resources, what’s my budget ?
Low budget – who are my friends that might help me ? who do I know that has skills ?
Decent budget – research companies that do promoting and marketing services. Inventory existing contacts with skills.
What do I need to do and when ?
By the time you have a publish date, then you should have already got a plan in place. Promoting and marketing can be started way in advance of the book being finished. Plan this out on a spreadsheet or month/year planner.
The Central Focus
Your book should have graphical and written concepts in it’s marketing material. So you’ll probably need a book cover, with a graphical design that suits the content of the book – a picture says a thousand words they say.
If you have a decent budget hire a professional graphic designer. If not then ask around your friends and contacts that you’ve already made. The WordPress.com community has many graphic designers, some just starting out, and I’m sure you’ve been making friends with them, not just other writers. If you haven’t then now might be a good time to start.
For your “blurb” look at other books similar to your own. How did they write their blurb. Blurb needs to be short and concise, and needs to convey what the book is about and give reasons why people would want to buy it. If you have budget, consider paying a professional writer to write it. If not write it yourself and ask as many people as possible whom you respect their opinions for feedback. Collate feedback and adjust as you see fit.
The two above things ARE ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL, do not get these wrong. This is what your customers will see when they are making that final buy or no buy decision.
You will also need a website. The website needs to be your promoting and marketing hub. All your graphics and blurb end up here. Your author bio should be nicely polished. And you’ll probably have a nice blog with lots of relevant articles on it.
The website is where you should be pushing all the traffic when you are both promoting and marketing anywhere else – “www.myauthorwebsite.com”. Make sure it’s easy for readers to reach your buy page.
Promoting AND Marketing
You will need to both promote and market your book.
Promoting may also be about promoting yourself as a writer eg “JK Rowling” and the product “Harry Potter”. Promoting is announcing yourself or your product, “Hey, I’m JK Rowling” or “This book is Harry Potter”. That’s it, it’s just making other human beings aware of you or your product’s existence.
Marketing is giving reasons to buy. “Hi, I’m JK Rowling, well known author and I’m a really cool person” or “This is the new Harry Potter book it’s got all kinds of magic, you won’t be able to put it down”.
Realise the difference between promoting and marketing it will help you. Check this out for more detail – A Gift – Marketing VS Promoting 101
To create “buzz” you will need to spend dollars and have people getting out there for you promoting and marketing OR you’ll need to do it yourself. To create buzz is basically some smoke and mirrors and some real value that is being offered to people whom you’ve got their attention. You need to keep on making things happen. Book reviews, guest articles on websites, articles on your own website, events surrounding your book. Anything that brings focus onto you and your book. Just keep on doing it as hard and fast as you can. Really exciting buzz happens when the thing reaches critical mass and it starts promoting and marketing itself, but don’t expect it. Main thing is just keep doing it
Some people will use controversy to help to create buzz, you see it in the media all the time. James Franco’s instagram scandal with the teenage Scottish girl, was probably an attempt to create buzz for his new movie. If your book has controversial aspects you can use this to attract attention. But do plan it carefully and think about what you’re doing if you are using controversy to attract attention, it could back fire.
The sky is the limit with a big budget, promoters and marketers can perform miracles given enough cash.
Without a big budget you have to look for creative ways to promote and market yourself. They will involve calling in favours, and perhaps doing favours for other people. Use your social networks of contacts you already have – for instance a graphic designer out there who’s bored or you could buy them a few beers, and viola!, he or she will do you a book cover.
We take on select clients as either consultants or contractors for their promoting and marketing projects. Do please contact us if you have a budget for this and would like our assistance.
For large budgets we can take care of almost everything, but you’d still need to be the figurehead.
Please note – We do not work on an affiliate or commission basis.
Time’s up – 30 minutes of writing, plus a further 30 minutes of editing.
Commenters are invited to pass on any promoting and marketing ideas here, as an aid to any “starving authors” 🙂
Resources & Sources
Book – morgueFile.com
Notes for commenters:
Comments are invited. BUT you are reminded that this is a public blog and you are also reminded to think before you press the “post comment” button.
Good manners are a mark of a charismatic person – so please keep comments civil, non-argumentative, constructive and related, or they will be moderated. If you feel you can’t comply, press the “unfollow” button and/or refrain from commenting.
I read ALL comments but can’t always reply. I will comment if I think there’s something that I can add to what you’ve said. I do delete without notice comments that don’t follow rules above. For persistent offenders I will ignore you permanently and/or report you.
Most decent people already know how to behave respectfully. Thank you for your co-operation on the above.
Warm regards, Don Charisma