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So we authors all know we need to market ourselves and our work, but so many of us don’t know where to start. I recommend that writers build a marketing plan – a list of select tasks within a limited (and/or regular) time frame – for each book. Sounds easy enough, but before you can build a marketing plan you have to identify your audience, and then find marketing opportunities that will reach that audience. Sounds a lot easier than it is.

Well, today I’m going to help you out with that, at least a little. My internet author friend Valerie Bowman recently published a great how-to guide that has a lot of helpful tips. While Valerie’s experience is largely with the Romance genre, most of her advice is genre non-specific.

Valerie’s guide to “Painless Marketing for Busy Authors” is well worth the small investment and is a great place to start planning your marketing efforts. Valerie’s book includes the same savvy suggestions you’ve read on this blog (and others) like build a website, brand yourself (not your books), don’t bite off more than you can chew, and set a realistic budget and goals. All of this is sound advice and bears repeating.

Valerie also offers some resources and cost-saving ideas like:

  • Author-Author.net – where you can buy copies of your books at cost. If you buy them here, you can resell them and keep 100% of the revenue. I’ll add that some publishers (like the Amazon Publishing imprints) often offer special pricing   to their authors for purchasing their own books.
  • Worldcat.com – tells you which libraries ordered your book
  • FreeBookFriday.com – a great website to get Twitter followers and Author Page likes for a minimal cost
  • Novelrank.com – you have to sign up for this on release day but it tracks your sales
  • Ninth Moon – great promotional products for authors
  • AuthorCentral.com – Amazon sales tracking site. You can see your rank and sales but only for print books (unless you self-publish) as reported by Nielsen BookScan. Updated Friday mornings.
  • Hootsuite – an application that can analyze when your Twitter followers are online the most. You can then schedule your promo tweets accordingly. You want to tweet about promotion sparingly.
  • Mailchimp.com – manages email subscriptions for newsletters. Free up to first 2,000 subscribers.

And that’s not all. If you’re looking for a basic how-to guide to help you get your marketing plan off the ground, you might give Valerie Bowman’s “Painless Marketing for Busy Authors” a try. Blurb and links to buy below.

Got questions? ASK VALERIE! Just include your question in your comment to this post. Valerie has graciously offered to stop by and respond!

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PainlessMarketingCov2“Painless Marketing for Busy Authors”

by Valerie Bowman

The A-Zs of book marketing covering the good, the bad, and the surprising!
  • Why promotion really is your problem even if you have a publisher
  • What is the goal of all marketing and promotion?
  • Why negative reviews don’t matter and why you should welcome them!
  • How to find your readers
  • What is branding and why should you do it?
  • Specific things you can do to promote your books…and more!

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ValerieBowmanauthorphotohires

About the Author

Valerie Bowman is an award-winning author who writes Regency-set historical romance novels aka Racy Regency Romps!

Valerie’s debut novel, SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT, is the first in the Secret Brides series. Book two, SECRETS OF A RUNAWAY BRIDE, was released March 26, 2013 and SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS MARRIAGE will be released Oct 1, 2013. A SECRET PROPOSAL, a related novella, was released 1/1/13.

Valerie has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a minor in history from Smith College. By day, she is a technical editor at a computer software company. By night, she combines her love of writing, history, and romance to craft stories about people falling in love.

Want to buy the book? Find links to Amazon, B&N, and Kobo at http://www.valeriegbowman.com/for-writers/

Want to learn more about Valerie? Visit her website for more info and links to her Twitter and FB accounts: www.valeriebowmanbooks.com

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