Marketing Monday ideas, that is ;). It occurred to me that while I try to share suggestions and good practices for all of you to use in your own marketing efforts, I haven’t ever given you an example of what an actual regimen looks like. You may be wondering – what are the nuts and bolts of an author’s marketing plan?
Marketing is so much more than the obvious time-sensitive advertising and promotional activities authors do to support a book launch – like contests, giveaways, blog tours, and interviews. Marketing is a never-ending process that requires your ongoing attention.
Choose Your Battles
First of all, I really do spend every Monday on marketing. One of the most critical commandments of author promotion is consistency, and the best way for me to maintain consistency is to set aside a day of the week that I can devote entirely to the endeavor. Early on I learned something really important about myself. Marketing tasks drain the left brain while fiction writing is a right brain thought stream, and I am NOT one of those gifted folks who can switch hemispheres at will. I get really grumpy when forced to multi-task across that great divide – and the work that gets done is all crap. So, for me, the best approach is to spend a whole day in one mind set. Hence, Marketing Monday.
Make Every (Marketing) Minute Count
Managing Marketing Monday is harder than it sounds. There is a to-do list which never gets finished because something ALWAYS comes up. For example, today I was pressed to finish drafting course materials for a class I am co-teaching later this month (ironically a class on author marketing). As a result, this blog post almost didn’t happen.
But, it is a fact that effective marketing begins with a purposeful plan – even if you never get it all done. It’s all about catering to the crisis of the moment, and being okay with that. Take care of the critical issues first, and then proceed with the plan.
For me, a typical Monday Marketing looks like this:
Check on the Neighbors – every Monday I visit blogs, sites, communities and publications that are making significant contributions to my genre or are particularly popular. Over the last couple of years the list has grown so long I can’t do it in a single day, but I do as much as I can on Monday and then take a little time each day during the rest of the week to catch up.
Feed the Feed – sometimes it doesn’t happen, but at least once a week I post on the blog, and update the status on my FB fan page. I make an effort to tweet something clever or interesting every day, and during weeks when I have something new or exciting to share, I add a second update to the blog.
Keep up with the Joneses – in addition to staying in touch with my readers, it’s also important to stay in touch with the book world. I spend time every week talking to other authors and reading industry news.
Shop for New Shoes – a big chunk of a successful marketing plan is outreach, which means actively looking for ways to expand visibility for my books. This includes researching conferences, events, and publications to which I can contribute, and then pitching a presentation, class, appearance or article. It’s important not to get to comfortable with what it tried and true, because you never know what new and exciting opportunities you might be missing.
Take Care of Business – for a working writer, this encompasses everything from tracking sales and royalty payments to developing proposals for new ideas. It also includes tasks like reviewing edits, approving cover concepts, and producing marketing material like book blurbs. This particular to-do list item is most often the cause of Marketing Monday crises because it is usually deadline driven and always, always urgent.
So, that’s my Marketing Monday – more or less. Now you show me yours! Do you have a promotional plan that you try to follow? What’s on your to-do list?