|Item #9: MFRW|
You've written a book, and it's about to launch. You're excited, nervous, and maybe even a little panicky that it's all finally coming to pass. This is what you've dreamed of for ages! And then one of your author friends says, "So what's your marketing plan?"
Your mouth goes dry. Your heart pounds. The room darkens. Your brain freezes, and all you can think is "My WHAT?!? You mean I have to sell this thing too?"
Relax. You're not the first author who missed the "Authors Must Sell Their Own Books" Memo. It's easy to focus so hard on writing and editing that once your release date is announced you find yourself at a loss for even a semblance of a plan to market that darling piece of literature you've spent the last however many days/weeks/months creating.
Grab a paper bag and breathe into it to keep from hyperventilating and passing out. Once you've calmed down enough to read, check out these ten last minute things you can do to get off to a good start. You might want to use some of them for the next book as well.
Nine Basic Things
1. Use what's already at hand. Unless your book is the very first ever released by your publisher, they likely have things in place you can use to promote. Check to see if they have an author blog, Yahoo group, announcement list, or newsletter. Sign up and use all of them.
2. Find other authors whose books are releasing close to the same date as yours. See what they're doing to promote their books. Ask if they'd like to partner with you for a contest, blog hop, or other event. After all, you both gain by working together.
3. Make the most of social media. If you aren't using them yet, by all means sign up for Facebook and Twitter. If you don't know how to use them, start by going to Google and searching "how to use Twitter" (likewise for Facebook). There are thousands of tutorials. The most read generally pop to the top of a search, so pick three or four articles and read them. Twitter is fun and easy. Facebook is a bit more complicated, but IMHO, it's a necessity for authors today. You need an internet footprint, and these two powerhouses are great spots to start.
4. Join Goodreads. http://www.goodreads.com/ You can upload your book information, create an author page, and find reviewers for your books.
5. Pick an author promotion site and stick with it. I use the Romance Studio. I've been one of their featured authors since 2004, and if I had to pick only my website and two other sources, TRS would be one of the two. The benefits far outweigh the cost. Go to http://theromancestudio.com and look for information on becoming a featured author. Choosing a second site is tough -- there are so many to choose from. I'd recommend CoffeeTime Romance or Romance Junkies. I'm friends with the owners of both and really would have a hard time saying which is better -- each is perfect in its own way. But definitely start with the Romance Studio.
6. Join a few Yahoo groups. I said a "few" -- not hundreds. Join ones you can follow and enjoy being on. There are many good ones. Choose groups that fit your genre, and keep up on what they offer. TRS, CoffeeTime, and Romance Junkies all have great Yahoo groups.
7. Create a countdown to the release date for your book. For the next (however many days you have) list one item about your characters, the setting, or give background info about yourself on your blog. Goodness, you do have a blog, right? Mine is a lifeline and brings me new readers every time I post. Yes, you do need one. Trust me. Mine: Unstoppable Heroes.
8. Do something every day to promote your book. Whether it's tweeting about research you did, sharing a writing tip on Facebook, posting a character insight on Goodreads, or writing on your blog... do something every day to move your career forward. And that includes writing the next book. Don't become a one-trick pony. Write every day, no matter how long it is. A daily habit (of anything) builds experience, confidence, and ability.
|The Last Vhalgenn|
9. Join Marketing for Romance Writers. I created this site, and two things differentiate it from other places online. A) There are no membership fees. It's free. B) It's chock full of industry-people including published (and wannabe) authors, publishers, editors, agents, cover artists, promo groups, and more. It's a self-help group that fosters mentoring and enables anyone to ask for help and advice -- and to give it. You can ask for promo help, offer guest spots on your blog, share contests with others, and find out who knows what about that new publisher in town. There is even a monthly newsletter to help you promote your new release. There are also Coordinators for Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook who help promote YOU. Want to see what that "My book is on Pinterest" button is about? Click the link. Jump on Twitter and use the #MFRWauthor hashtag. What are you waiting for? Get over to MFRW now. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarketingForRomanceWriters/
Planning is Everything
Next book, you'll have a list of nine quick things you are already doing as a basis for an even stronger plan. Although from personal experience, I suggest you keep that paper bag handy.
Kayelle Allen is the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers. She is a multi-published, award-winning author, and the owner of The Author's Secret, an author support company. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary characters, futuristic immortals, covert agents, and warriors who purr.
Unstoppable Heroes Blog http://kayelleallen.com/blog
The Author's Secret https://theauthorssecret.com