Marketing, Advertising and PR

WRITING WEDNESDAY

Typewriter Pink

On Wednesday’s I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

 Author Marketing Plans

No matter where you are with your writing, even if you are just starting out, whether you are self, independently or traditionally published, marketing should be on your mind very early on in your process.

Marketing is the process for creating, communicating, selling and delivering your product (book) to customers and for managing customer (reader) relationships in ways that benefit. It requires coordination, planning and implementation.

Before creating your plan you will need to:

Establish your goals

Determine your target audience

Research your competition

Research advertising costs

Consider strategies

Choose a timetable

Set a budget.

 A good marketing plan includes paid advertising, promotions and public relations.

Award Talk of the Town

Keep in mind when planning your timetable that most print publications (other than newspapers) require a long lead time for placing ads. Some magazines are laid out months in advance of their publication date. Internet banner ads can sometimes have a long lead time too. Radio and T.V. producers book guests well in advance. Most book stores schedule readings and book signing’s well ahead of time as well. Conferences also book speakers and presenters months in advance.

Advertising & Promotions are the paid communication about your book through direct mail, print media, radio, television and the internet. An integral part of marketing, advertising is the process used to motivate buyers. Advertising can be expensive. It takes diligent research to come up with advertising outlets that reach your target audience and fit within your budget.

Bookmarks photo

When considering your marketing budget remember to include promotional materials like business cards, postcards, postage, bookmarkers and other promotional items, advertising, travel a launch party, web site, and professional organization memberships to name a few. If you are publishing with a traditional or an Indy publisher they may cover some of advertising cost, chances are the bulk of it will be up to you. Some authors self-publish and feel they can skip the advertising step. They say, “I cannot afford it.” To this I say publishing is a business. It is absolutely possible to sell books without advertising, most likely one at a time. One well placed add can sell hundreds.

Public Relations (PR) is the professional action that presents you and your book to the public, stores, and the media including social media in the best possible light and managing the spread of the information about you and your book. These actions also include:

writing press releases

pitches to T.V. and radio producers

event management

designing promotional materials

book cake 3

Tips for writing Press Releases

If you have the budget to hire a professional to write and submit your press releases for you, they are well worth the money. If a professional isn’t in your budget here are some tips on writing and submitting press releases.

The fact that you wrote and published a book is not ‘newsworthy’ to most media outlets. They are looking for news that is of interest to their entire audience. The main thing you have to remember when writing a press release is you are informing the audience of something important to them, you are not promoting your book (that would be considered advertising.) What expertise or insight have you gained from writing your book? If you wrote a book about your transition from the corporate world to owning a bakery perhaps your angle could be ‘the pros and cons of opening a small business in (name of town,) or tips on how to have a memorable celebration. The possibilities are endless but you should choose 2 or 3 and stick with them. The second thing to remember is to be concise and professional. The third thing is to send it to the right place. Do the research. My suggestion is to start small, think close to home. Your small hometown paper, magazine or newsletter is a great place to start. On most media websites you can find a place to submit press releases. Does your alma mater have a paper, your church? Once you have submitted to these local publications submit to 3 or 4 city papers closest to home. You can expand from there.

It isn’t a good idea to pay someone who promises to distribute your press release. It is time consuming but you are better off looking up the publications and submitting to them yourself.

Make sure the publication is right for ‘your news.’ If it isn’t something their readers would be interested in, you are wasting your time and theirs.

Use simple words.

Do not submit press releases more than once a month unless the news is really big.

Tips on format:

Your headline has to be fabulous and should be no more than 8 words. You only have about 15 words to grab an editor’s attention so the headline counts big-time.

Megaphone

Next you want to put your first choice for the date you want the release to be published. Most people put, For Immediate Release.

Next you want to write an introductory paragraph. Press releases are written in third person. If you are announcing a book event, mention that and the host and any other authors involved. Think hooking the reader here.

Next you want to go more into ‘the news of your release,’ answering the what, why, when and where questions. Remember you cannot ‘sell’ in a press release so don’t mention where your book can be purchased. You want the ‘news’ of the release to be so good that the reader will go look for your book.

A short bio comes next and then you want to list your contact information. Let the editor know what contact information you want published and what information you don’t want published. I usually list only an e-mail publicly. If it is for a book event you can list the phone number of the book store or wherever the event is being held.

When a publication does publish your press release, thank them, promote them and share on social media.

And you thought writing the book was the hardest part didn’t you? Don’t get discouraged. Marketing is a bear, for sure but the key is to have a good, well researched, well implemented and realistic marketing plan.

Do you have any tips for figuring out who you target market is?

Happy writing,

Doreen

The Official Release Date for The Stranger In My Recliner Is: January 19, 2016!

Review copies will arrive in 4 weeks!

Sophie Book Cover

“Before the angel of success arrives in your life, you should devote yourself to preparing your welcome for her. Polish your craft and strengthen your body to be fit so that you can do your job and enjoy success when it comes. Sharpen your mind and spirit so they are ready to face the challenges that accompany a visit from the angel of success.

If you are not ready when the angel knocks, she will flee. And who knows when she will make it back around to your door again.” Unknown

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