Marketing: Vision, Strategy, and Tactics

I’m back from my writing conference and all fired up to do more writing stuff. Unfortunately, that enthusiasm hasn’t translated to more words in my WIP. It’ll come, as soon as life settles back down to normal. I promised last week that I’d share what I learned. (To be honest, I promised to share starting last Friday, but I missed that deadline due to unpacking, getting the house back in order, running 19 loads of laundry, herding minions to do their chores, and a host of other life necessities.) But here I am! You don’t have to wait any longer for conference notes. Contain your excitement, please.

 
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(photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)
 
The most productive time I had was in Randy Ingermanson’s class on marketing: vision, strategy, and tactics  I can’t share everything he taught, as he makes money doing that and it would be unethical for me to give it away for free. However, I can share small bits of it, especially those that relate to my writing life. He began by having us write our vision for our writing future. If you have no vision (goal), you can’t know if you’ve been successful. Once the vision is in written format, you can strategize how to get there. Only then can you identify which tactics will work for you. Without a vision and a strategy, any tactics you use could be complete wastes of time.
 
The Good News for me: Twitter is not a necessary tactic for my vision and strategy! But a website and a blog with excellent content are both tactics that will help me achieve my vision. (Side note: THIS blog won’t help, because it’s geared to writers, and I need to attract readers. So I’ll be starting a new blog soon that’s designed specifically to the target audience of the novel my agent is currently trying to sell. I won’t quit doing this blog, as it’s something I’ve learned to enjoy, so the new one will be in addition–I’ll talk about this in a bit because I’ve gotten ahead of myself already.)
 
Identifying my target audience is a huge piece of marketing. If I don’t know who my target audience is, I can’t choose the proper tactics for reaching them. My novel CASSANDRA’S CURSE is about a young Greek-American woman who bakes for a living. My target audience are young to middle-aged women who enjoy suspense with a touch of romance and a healthy dose of the fantastical. I am NOT saying that men, teenagers, or older women won’t enjoy my book. I’m saying that most of my readers will be younger women, and they’re the ones I’ll reach out to with my marketing tactics. 
 
Randy and I brainstormed tactics for reaching out to this demographic, and he came up with an awesome one. He suggested my new blog offer recipes. Specifically, recipes for foods that appear in the book.  Muffins, breads, Greek dishes, etc. If I post one recipe per week, by the time my novel shows up on shelves, I’ll have offered enough recipes to fill a cook book (which is another great marketing idea to reach these women). I realize that not every young woman likes to cook, but it’s a good starting place. (Another side note: Randy says it’s HARD to market for fiction, so sometimes you just have to take a risk and give something a shot. If it doesn’t work, stop doing it. If it does work, put more effort into it.)
 
I have more I want to say about marketing, but this looks like a good place to stop. Come back on Wednesday for more nuggets of marketing wisdom. Comments or questions on today’s topic?
 
-Sonja
 
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