Monday, June 29, 2015

S.D. Skye's Hell or High Water 365-Day Blog-athon Day 15 -- Marketing Plan Day Part II

Yesterday I started discussing my marketing plan for my new book until the sleepies hit me after taking a pain pill so I'm going to finish up my discussion today.

So, where were we? Postcards and bookmarks...

I usually order my postcards and bookmarks from a company called GotPrint.com. Absolutely the cheapest printing anywhere, I believe. I think they charge about $30 for 1,000 postcards, color on both sides.  Book marks are about $40 or $50 per 1,000. Of course the more you order, the cheaper they get per thousand. I always order a minimum of 1,000, more often 2,500. The reason is because I don't want to be one of those authors at events who are scared to give them away because they are so expensive to print. No, when I do events, I make it rain...postcards. (I keep the ones in my pocket.)

I usually create banners for my books--some for one and some for all. Table banners and retractable banners. I use eSigns.com (6-ft. table banners for $60) and BuildASign.com (retractable banners for $79 with your own design).

Yes, I do list these types of things on my marketing plan.

Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs/websites. These are an absolute must these days and you must talk about this on your marketing plan. Now, in reality, I don't bog twitter down with buy-my-book tweets. What I try to do is MOSTLY tweet my blogs about writing and other topics, blogs from my virtual book tours. But when they come onto my site, they see the books and if they are interested, they check them out. I add to the mix some book reviews, inspirational quotes, etc. And then mixed in there are a few buy-my-book tweets. (Just as an FYI--I maintain separate accounts for my romance vs twitter stuff and brand them under different names for the simple reason that my audiences are so completely different for the most part. )

Book signings and book events--I make sure I include a list of every event and note whether I'm a featured speaker. There was a time when I did 10 or 15 a year. Anything and everything. Now not so much. And now I know what book events and signings are really for. Less for selling then in that moment, and more for fostering relationships with readers, collecting email addresses for newsletters, and selling in the future.

Your best marketing tool...especially if you are trying to get into bookstores? The book itself. A professional cover and catchy back cover copy is a must--completely non-negotiable. It's one thing you hear over and over again about indie published books--horrible covers. Here is my best advice for you--when you come up with a good mock up cover (front and back with back-cover copy), take it to Barnes & Noble or your local indie bookstore (before you complete your design). Ask the bookseller to look at your book cover and tell you -- 1) Based on the cover and the back cover copy, would they carry the book? If not, why not? and 2) Where would they shelve it?  I've done it before. They are really happy to help.

After that, I would go to the section that features your genre and look at the other book covers there. If it feels like you're playing a game of "Which one of these is not like the others?" then you may want to reconsider your choice. I'm just sayin'. At the end of the day, bookstores want books with a clear genre that they could shelve with like books and sell. There are no guarantees, even with traditional publishing but set the best conditions possible to promote success.

And that's all I've got on Marketing Plans today. Any questions? Anything I missed?

Hope you found that helpful.


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