Marketing 101

When one of my books finally finds a publishing home, I want to be ready with the marketing plan. That said, I’ve dug through all my old blog posts from all my favorite blogs and pulled out every shred of information I could find on marketing. I’m sharing some of the info over at Melody Steiner’s site, but the rest will be here. Today’s information comes from Catherine West. She posted this information on August 1, 2011, but I’m going to re-hash it here for you. 

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(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)
 
Catherine goes for a more basic approach than some of the other bloggers I’ve read, but that’s good. Sometimes we need to remember the basics. Here are some of her ideas.
 
1. Good cover. Readers will pick up a book if they like the cover. I realize that some authors have no say in the cover, and that publishers are supposedly experts in coming up with excellent covers, but if you can have some input, go for it. 
 
2. Good network. This would be the family, friends, acquaintances, and other authors you’ve got cheering for you in the background. They are the people who will buy your book the day it hits the shelves then tell everyone they know how awesome it was. This is invaluable, because most books sell by word of mouth. Get some of these people to post reviews in their blogs, or on Goodreads, or somewhere where other potential readers will see it and decide they must also read the book. 
 
3. Accurate targeting. Figure out who your readers will be and how they will hear about your book. Then actively target that group of people. If your book will be enjoyed primarily by women who like sci-fi, find out where they’re hanging around (in public or on-line) and figure out how to come to their attention. Be genuine, and don’t get in their face, but draw attention to your book if at all possible.
 
4. Facebook. Mention your book in one Facebook status bar. It’ll go to all your friends. Then ask your friends to re-post that status to their home page, and suddenly all their friends have also seen it. You could reach thousands of people quickly, and because the book’s been recommended by someone they know, they’re more likely to at least check it out on Amazon or the local library.
 
5. Giveaways. This one’s been mentioned in previous posts, but Catherine brings it up because it works. People love free stuff. Even if it’s a silly pen with the novel’s name on it. Or you could give away your book, or an ebook copy, or a Starbucks card. The key is FREE.
 
6. Reviews. It’s great to find readers for your book. It’s fabulous when they write a positive review and post it somewhere for other readers. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, all these sites have a place for reviews, and people actually read them. Do your best to get some healthy reviews of your novel in these places.
 
Have you tried any of these marketing devices? Share your successes or failures please. We all need to learn.
 
-Sonja
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