“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” — Joyce Carol Oates
IN THIS ISSUE:
Books of the Month
How to Create a Promotion Plan That Helps Your Book Succeed
Your promotion plan
20 Marketing Questions Self-Published Authors Must Answer
Born with a special love for animals, M. J. Vigna has an amazing way of communicating with them that most people lack. After growing up with horses on her mind from a young age, she committed herself to the love, care, and art of horses. Through her years of raising her horses and miniature horses, Vigna gained a unique knowledge of herd mentality and how best to exploit it.
In addition to her work with animals, she is also an accomplished artist, silversmith and leather crafter. Her animal paintings are realistic and prominent in many homes. The cover sketch of “Deadly” was done by M.J. She also spent a number of years as a top model in the Los Angeles area in the 1950s and 1960s, including modeling for Richard Blackwell before he became famous for his annual “10 Best and Worst Dressed People of the Year” list. The photo on the back cover was a headshot taken in the mid 1950’s.
No difference exists between the Promotion section you will create for your business plan and the one you would include in a book proposal. In both cases you tell a publisher—even when you are the publisher—what you will do to promote your book once it is released. The format is simple: At the top of the page write, “The author will:” and follow this with a list of bulleted action items that describe how you will promote your book upon release.
Whether you plan to traditionally publish or to self-publish, a promotion plan is essential. It is your to-do list once your book is published. It is how you will meet your goal of creating a successful book.
Novelist Jenna Blum is no stranger to ambitious marketing plans. For her first book, she visited more than 800 book clubs in the Boston area alone. To promote her second novel, The Stormchasers, she undertook a driving tour of every Midwestern city with a bookstore, chasing storms and posting on social media along the way.
She’s now in the throes of publicity for her latest project, Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion. But this time she has help.
If you’re a self-published novelist, your line of books is your small business. Like any small business, you need a marketing strategy.
There are lots of marketing activities that you can engage in to promote your book, but before you start doing any of them, take the time to think like a marketer by asking yourself these 20 questions.
1. Who is in your target market? What is their age, gender, geographical location? What kinds of other products do they like (products that have nothing to do with your book). They may be just like you, but don’t assume that’s the case. They may have values and preferences that are very different from yours. The more you understand the whole life of your readers, the more effectively you can communicate with them.
2. Do you have a database of fans? If not, do you have a plan to gather email addresses at your next event, via your web site, or other venue?
3. What kinds of activities do your readers like—in addition to reading your books? (For example, do they like rodeos or flower shows or yoga retreats?) Do you participate in those kinds of activities and reach out to these types of people?