Saturday, September 24, 2011

Your Promo Plan

Laurie McLean, an agent with Larsen Pomada Agency, was one of the main speakers at the Central Coast Writers Conference. She had a lot to say about promotion and the promotion of e-books. She also helps people with their promotion plan.

Here are some of the tips she gave:

Decide what your goals are. Check your publishing contracts. See if you have back lists title, books that you wrote but never got published that could become ebooks.

Develop your brand. Decide what you unique brand is. Make yourself stand out. Always put your name in the labels or tags on your blog.

If your going to prepare your ebook manuscript for posting on Smashwords, Amazon's Kindle and Barnes and Noble PubIt, format your book correctly for each ebook distributor. Select the best ebook sites. Create POD copies for printed books. (Frankly, I'm quite happy to have a publisher who does this for me, yay, OTP. I have enough trouble finding time to write two books a year and do a good job promoting them.)

Be sure to have a good cover--pay for someone to do it. (Again, aren't we fortunate to have a great publisher who does the cover?)

Create cover and inside blurbs.

Solicit endorsements.

Post your ebooks. (Can take a long time.)

Use effective online and offline marketing to increase sales potential.

You must have your own blog and website.

Book reviews especially form online reviewers.

Guest blogs.

Comments on others' blogs.

Video book trailers

Use social media.

Boodreads/Library Thing, be an active part of these communities.

Business Cards. (They are my favorites, I handed out close to 100 at the CCWC and CC Book Festival this weekend.)



Press Release--she said this was old school and prefers HARO.

Amazon Author Central (If you haven't done this one yet, be sure to put it on your to-do list.)

Kindle Boards (Be careful with this, they aren't happy about authors' promoting, but do have special places you can do it.)

Be flexible.

You decide where you are going to do your marketing. (Not all things work for all people--figure out what you enjoy and what actually seems to have results for you.)

Be yourself, be nice, be a friend, don't spam, just interact.

If you ever have the chance to hear Laurie McLean speak or take a workshop from her, do it, you won't be sorry.

(My comments are in the parenthesis.)

Books by Marilyn


Anonymous said...

One promotional idea that has worked well for me - refrigerator magnets. If you're already making business cards, just get the magnet backs from Office Depot or Staples. I've given away thousands, and people actually do put them on their refrigerators. Free publicity!

William Doonan

BillieJohn said...

Marilyn, what is HARO?

At OTP, we have just recently started to send press releases routinely, when the authors let us know the event details. We are emailing the release/announcement to 1000-plus media outlets and a rolling list of bookstores.

These have generated some interesting results...especially where the recipient has asked for a review copy.

When I started OTP in the late 1990s, I was told a buyer needed to see or hear about your product 4-5 times before he was motivated to buy. Now the experts cite 10 and more, due to number of products, different media, general rush of people's daily lives.

So we have to do all that we can do, as often as we can. Like Marilyn!


Bill Schweigart said...

Oooh, this is good stuff. Filing it hopefully for future use!

Melanie Jackson, author, editor, piano student said...

I have handed out/sent out recipes related to my mysteries, e.g., green-fried tomatoes in a story set in my own Italian tomato-growing 'hood. I like the branding idea -- then your promos aren't scattershot, but have a unifying thread.

James Callan said...

Just stopped by a book signing by an author friend. He made a poimt to speak to everyone who passed by and offer them a free bookmark. Most took it. Quite a few either stopped or came back to talk to him about his book. And a number bought his book. A simple thing that engaged the passerby and turned him or her into a potential buyer.

Stephen L. Brayton said...

Yep, yep, and yep. Good list. I'm doing all but the Goodreads thing and I need to get back to it.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I'm not good with Goodreads either, run out of time.

Have no idea what HARO is, but plan to do a Google search.


Elizabeth Kolodziej said...

I'm HUGE on lists!! So I'm totally loving this post! Thanks so much!

Liz ^_^

Anonymous said...

Great info! I felt like I did okay for my first time making cards but I also know I can do better. I hope that as my blog (and I) evolve I can incorporate some of the extra things you mentioned here. What did you think of the “no shiny cards” comment from the conference?
Also- I had so much fun meeting you!

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