Posted in marketing

Creating a Marketing Plan: Part 1

Creating a marketing plan that’s doable is tough.

Where do you start?

Time

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How much time per day/week are you willing to put into marketing? Be realistic. If you only have an hour per week, build your plan around that. A lot can be accomplished in a small amount of time.

If you have more time, keeping a list or schedule can help you use it more efficiently. Using whatever amount of time you have in the most effective way is important.

Money

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Set a firm budget for your marketing efforts and be realistic about what you can afford.

There are a lot of free marketing options, so don’t feel like you have to have a big budget. If you have a small budget, there are many author friendly marketing options that are as little as $5 and can have a good impact.

Effort

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What can you do on your own and what do you need help with? No one can do everything on their own, so admit what your strengths and weaknesses are and go from there. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help when you need. Authors are great about helping each other.


Now let’s take the next step…

Who is your audience?

Who do you want to target in your marketing efforts? You need to be as specific as possible so you can narrow down your marketing pool. Targeted marketing is more effective than blanket tactics.

What avenues do you most want to pursue?

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In-person, online, blogs/reviewers, social media, etc. What are you comfortable with and what types social interactions do you enjoy participating in?

If in-person events aren’t your style, focus on online marketing like Facebook parties, Twitter chats, etc. If you enjoy meeting readers face to face, school talks or bookstore book signings might be where you want to focus.

What is your goal?

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Aside from hitting the NYT bestseller list 😉 

Study your competition. What’s working for them? What’s not working? Look especially at creative ways other authors are marketing their books. Finding unique tactics will make your book stand out.

Marketing is tough, but making a plan that fits into your life, budget, and schedule will make it more manageable.

WPR Header ImageTo listen to the full podcast on Creating A Marketing Plan That’s Actually Doable, check out the Write. Publish. Repeat. Podcast Part 1 and Part 2.

Posted in publishing

Publishing Primer: Publishers Part Two

Today we’ll be discussing some of the disadvantages of working with a publisher. To find the post discussing the advantages, click HERE.

So, let’s talk why you might not want to work with a publisher. With every publishing track there are negatives and positives.


bb5f5-clock2balarm2bclockTime

Publisher’s timetable
6 months to one year +
Bigger publisher = slower
Sequels or other books may be delayed to accommodate other authors
Publishers have to prioritize (money is a big deciding factor)


c4223-robotcartoonMarketing

Majority of the marketing (time and cost) will fall to you
Small publishers have limited budgets
Large publishers have larger budgets, but it’s funneled to large projects
Results of marketing (time and money) is split with publisher


Rope 2Loss of Control

3-5 years is not uncommon (may be less)
Lose ability to post or publish your work in any other capacity
Book production is up to your publisher’s discretion. You may be asked for input, but the final decision is theirs
Future works may automatically fall under the control of your publisher as well\


Dollar SignMoney

Royalty rates TO THE AUTHOR vary
Large publisher: 5-25% (5-15 on print, 25 on ebooks)
Small publisher: 30-40% (all formats)
Hybrid publisher: 40-50% (ebook only)
Royalties help publishers recoup the initial expenses
This can be a large percentage of money the author will never see


Choosing whether or not to work with a publisher is just as important and choosing a publisher. Research is key!

Posted in books

Have I run away from Facebook yet?

FB changesThe last few months of 2014, there was a lot of discussion about how the new Facebook rules were going to kill small businesses’ ability to market.

Given that I know a bunch of authors, there was plenty of discussion on how this was going to affect authors in particular, and whether or not all those hard won “likes” on our author pages were going to be for naught.

In 2014, I put a lot of effort into growing my Facebook fan page, so I was concerned about the Facebook changes as well.

What were the changes?

Dollar SignJust in case you hadn’t heard about the new rules, basically, Facebook will do it’s best to filter out promotional posts in fans’ newsfeeds UNLESS you’re wiling to boost them, aka pay for them.

So, it’s been about a month since the new rules went into effect, and I’ve been watching how my reach, or how many people see my posts on my fan page, has changed from what it was before. The results have been interesting.

The reason Facebook gave for these new rules is because they’re trying to give users what they want, less ads, more content. In all honesty, they’re dead on with that goal, because people really don’t like ads in their newsfeed. Even before the new rules went into affect, promotional type posts on my page always had the smallest reach and least interaction. That was true before and after the rules. I have noticed a slight decrease in reach on promo posts since the new rules, but not enough to really make a difference.

So…does that mean we should all give up on our fan pages?

Absolutely not.

You just need to use them differently. Correctly.

Fans don’t want you to sell them books on Facebook. What they do want to see is sneak peeks, behind the scenes photos, pictures, questions, input on stories, anything that makes them feel like they are a part of the writing process. They want to get to know their favorite authors, see how their mind works, know what’s going on before anyone else.

Smiling RedheadReach is always bigger for me when I post things that are funny, questions, artwork, or quotes. Basically, things that inspire interaction.

If I really want to post something promotional, and I want it to be seen by lots of people, yes, I will have to pay to boost it, but really, I had to do that before, so things haven’t really changed that much because I haven’t been using Facebook as a promotional machine. I use it more as a way to interact with fans and build a community. Which is why fans use Facebook, too.

Changes to your favorite social media platforms happen all the time. Instead of running away in a huff, change tactics and find a way to work with changes to your benefit.

Posted in books

I Survived! #ComicCon

The invite came a little last minute, but off to the Albuquerque Comic Con I went! Luckily I had two friends with me to keep me from getting too lost. We learned a ton about what worked and what didn’t (bring shopping bags for customers next time!), how to set up, where the best spots are, and lots more. Plus, we had a blast. I’ll post some of the tips and things we learned next week when I’m not so fried, but I thought I’d share some pics today just for fun. 

Bonus points if you can tell me who are the costumes are supposed to be 🙂