Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading books and visiting websites about book marketing. Even though I’m not published yet, all of the sources I’ve found have said you need to start marketing a year before your book is released. My manuscript is being read by several publishers right now so I figure I should at least try to wrap my head around the marketing side of the business. The following is a list of things I’ve done or plan to do in order to publicize my book.
- Author website. I went the cheap way and slaved over this baby myself. I only spent about $60 on a template and then I had to write code and implement it myself. I’m pretty pleased with the outcome although there is still some tweaking I need to do. I just haven’t had time yet. www.sybilnelson.com
- Book website. I did not go cheapy on this one. The vision I had in mind for the site was beyond my capabilities and I knew it. So, I hired a professional. The website should be ready in late March. The site will be called www.priscillathegreat.com. (Reminder: It won’t be ready until late March.)
- Book trailer. Once again, I went cheap which is dangerous for a book trailer. There are some really bad trailers out there. The bad ones I’ve found have poor audio, cliché text, too much text, corny voiceovers, or they just last about a minute longer than my attention span. Before starting mine, I reviewed as many trailers as I could and got a feel for what I wanted and what I didn’t want. Then I used Microsoft powerpoint to create an outline for the trailer using pictures from clip art. I only used this program because I am very familiar with it as I use it every day at work. You can skip that step if you like. My plan was to go online and find the perfect pictures and movies at free websites, but I couldn’t find any free pictures that I liked. I ended up sticking with the ones I used from clip art. Now there is good free royalty free music out there so take your time and choose what you like. I happened to have a friend from college compose the music for me for free. (Shout out to Brooke deRosa. She’s a doll.) Is it perfect? Probably not. But, hey, it works for my budget. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jjOB67B-fI
- Business cards. I went cheap here as well. Lots of free places to get business cards. Check out www.vistaprint.com . Since I’m not published yet, my cards just advertise me and my website. I carry them with me everywhere and look for opportunities to hand them out.
- Bookmarks. When my website is complete, I’m going to make colorful bookmarks with my website address and leave them in libraries and other places where young readers will be.
- Blurbs. Create a list of potential blurbers. We’ve all read books where on the front or back cover there are quotes from people saying how great the book is. Well, I want to create a list of twenty people who I want to quote on my book. Some of these will be celebrities that I hope to bribe with candy or something and some will be more attainable. Who will write a blurb for me? I’m going to aim for celebrities that I know or who know someone I know and celebs that are fellow alumni. But probably the most beneficial people to target will be celebs who have written books similar to mine, or celebs with kids who will be my target audience.
- Marketing plan. I have a written marketing plan for my book Priscilla the Great which includes my goals, publicity ideas, target audience, biography, and campaign strategy. When (and note how I say when. Maybe if I say that enough it’ll really happen!) I get a publishing deal, I’m going to set up an appointment with the PR department and share with them my marketing ideas. (And I’ll bring cookies. A little sucking up with food never hurt anyone.)
- Facebook Fan page. I started a Facebook fan page where I post updates about the books progress, I let fans vote for character names and book covers, and I post pictures of characters as they come available. I have 160 fans right now. Feel free to join as well! http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1499683785#!/pages/PriscillatheGreat/319519255134?ref=ts
- Twitter. I plan on starting a twitter account for my main character where she can update her fans on what goes on in her fictional town of River’s Bend.
- Blogs. Besides blog articles on www.journeysinink.wordpress.com, I also have my personal blog at www.sybilnelson.com, and I’m starting a blog in Priscilla’s voice called Prissy Fit where she will give her comical opinions on the world. This is all an attempt to get my author name and my book title out there.
This is all an attempt to get my author name and my book title out there. I read somewhere that, on average, a person needs to see a book title or an author’s name four times before they decide to buy the book. The more your name is out there, the more you increase your chances that the next time a person is roaming around the book store, the name of your book will pop into their mind. Then they may actually pick it up and take it to the register. Hopefully, this article gave you some ideas for what you can do toward your own marketing strategy. Let me know how it goes!