Making a Marketing Plan

Facebook Hops

 

Facebook hops are one of the few forms of marketing that an author doesn’t have to invest a lot of time in – at least not for the ones simply participating. Organizing one, however, is a different story.

Before agreeing to participate in one, an author needs to be fully committed to the role they will be playing. The hop only works if everyone does their part. Luckily, all that is required to be done is copying and pasting text to an author page and offering a few prizes. The better the prizes are, the more attention the hop receives. Technically, once all links are confirmed to be working, participants do not have to be present for the rest of the event. To make the most out of the exposure, popping in and engaging potential new readers is advised.

Making a Marketing Plan, The 'Write' Information

Facebook Takeovers

 

We have been discussing marketing strategies on a budget. Takeovers are a perfect addition to an author’s arsenal of free weapons that can search out sales and gain exposure.

A Facebook takeover is an actual event set up through an author’s page to promote a special occasion. Generally, it is used for book launches or cover reveals. I have also participated in some for charitable events, a cyber-con and a promotion of a live event coming in the near future.

Before you consider hosting your own, I strongly suggest attending a few to see how they run. They are not as easy to pull together as they seem. Whoever is hosting the event must be available throughout the entire time that it is running to make sure everything progresses smoothly and fill any slots guests don’t show up for. If it’s a two day event, I recommend a comfortable pillow to add to your chair.

Making a Marketing Plan, The 'Write' Information

Blog Tours

Marketing a book on a budget is a time-tested problem for authors. More and more self-published authors are reaching out to bloggers to drive visitors to their books.The question is – does it work? Remember it isn’t always sales that indicate success, exposure is just as important.

A book blog tour in any form takes dedication and hard work. Whether the payoff is great enough to cover the time you put into this venture is up to each specific author. To maximize the benefit of any blog tour, it is best to have different information for each site.

Standard Blog Tour

A standard blog tour usually runs for one to two weeks and spans several blog sites. The number of websites involved is up to the individual arranging the tour. Prearranged content is published at scheduled times on each site during the tour.

Book Blog Tour Blitz

This is basically the same as a standard blog tour, except rather than having the prearranged content appear on different days, it is published on each site at the same time on the same day.

Merry-go-round Blog Tour

Everyone participating in this type of blog tour is both an author and a blogger. Posts are made on a schedule of one day for each different author. If ten authors are involved the tour will last ten days. The schedule is flexible based on the needs of the group. It can be decided to make one post per day or one post per week. Every blog has a different author to feature for every day of the tour. This provides traffic to both the author’s works and the blogs. Please make sure you have the time to be involved. This type of tour is founded on equal participation.

Paid Book Blog Tours

If you are low on time and don’t mind spending your hard earned money, there are sites who will organize a blog tour for you. You’ll still need to do the research to find the best sites to use, and provide your book information, but the actual finding bloggers will be taken care of.

Important information

Join groups and get to know bloggers before approaching them to feature your book. You may want to sweeten the deal with a small amazon gift card for them to give away. Keep in mind bloggers are trying to gain readers. If your book doesn’t mesh well with their themes, it is unlikely they will agree to be involved.
Bloggers and their readers tend to be a little more critical and in some cases quite picky when writing reviews and handing out ratings. You will be opening up yourself to accepting the good and the bad.

Make sure you thank the people who post on their blogs for you. Use social media and your own blog to give some recognition.

Thanks for reading – Join me next week when I take a look at read and review groups.

 

Making a Marketing Plan, The 'Write' Information

Headtalker

Creating a Marketing Plan ~ Headtalker

Last week we took a look at adding Thunderclap to a marketing plan. This week, we’ll be discussing the only real competition in crowdspeaking platforms – namely Headtalker.

The basic ideas behind a Headtalker campaign is the same. You create a personal message that you want to be seen by a large number of people. There are, however, a number of things that are different to take into consideration.

1. All campaigns are authorized within 24 hours of submission.

2. The platform is free. There is no need to upgrade to a better package. They are all the same.

3. The minimum number of supporters needed is only 25. This number can be increased if you wish to an number of your choice. You could choose 26 or 42.

4. There is more control over your platform. More changes are allowed after the campaign is live.

5. There are four types of social media that can be used to support a campaign, adding Linkedin as an option.

6. Each type of social media counts as one supporter. That translates into the ability of one person to count as four separate supporters towards your goal.

There is a marketplace for buying or selling support. Prices start at $5.00 and go up. The more famous the person or the bigger their social media reach, the more expensive their support is.

7. They have a number of twitter accounts that support a campaign as soon as it goes live. It is possible to start with up to ten supporters within a minutes of campaign launch.

8. With the social reach boost to start off a campaign, it is almost certain to be listed as trending for at last the first day on the home page.

9. There is room for visitors to comment on the campaign page.

From my personal experience, the minimum goal of 25 supporters isn’t going to give you enough reach to be useful. In my opinion, you are better off to ignore the initial boost in social reach numbers and set a higher goal for supporters to rival Thunderclap numbers.

It may seem like a good idea to run both crowdspeaking campaigns at the same time. Keep in mind you have to find supporters for both campaigns. Overlapping the same social reach will give you very little benefit. Leave some time in between campaigns.

Both forms of crowdspeaking have their merits. It’s up to you to decide if one or both fit well in the plan you have for marketing your work.

Join me next week, when I take a look at Blog Tours. Thanks for reading.

Making a Marketing Plan, The 'Write' Information

Marketing

One of the hardest things an author faces is marketing their own work. No matter what publishing platform you choose to release your work through, eventually you will find yourself in the position of having to promote it. Unfortunately, this is also one of the least discussed topics between peers as well. Adding to the confusion of what direction to go in, is the mixed reviews that are available. Put quite simply, what works for one author does not always work for another.

There are far too many marketing tools available to authors to mention each and everyone in this article alone. They range in price from free to well into the hundreds. Some offer a money back guarantees, some have certain standards your book has to meet, some are genre specific, but almost all will require the author to put in some time and do a little work as well to achieve the maximum benefit.

Before getting started on any marketing plan, every author should have in place an adequate social media following. Make sure you have set up a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account at the minimum. Other forms of social media that are recommended are Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, and Instagram. The majority of the book marketing services available online involve sending out messages via these platforms to their large followings.

There are a few things every writer should look at before jumping into a marketing plan head first. It may be exciting, but keeping a calm head and be prepared will benefit your bottom line in the long run.

Whatever form of promotion chosen, the first thing a potential reader notices is your book cover. If it doesn’t interest them, then nothing else matters. Odds are they will simply move on to the next recommended read. Take a good long look at your design and decide if your money is better spent making a new cover before marketing the old one.

After you are satisfied with your cover, work on creating a few different one paragraph write-ups about both yourself and your book. If you use more than one service, you don’t want everything to be the same. Change things up to keep it interesting.

Prepare at least ten different tweets about your book. Research popular hashtags and use them to give the maximum exposure possible. Try to make interesting statements about your book rather than telling people to simply buy it. Make use of your book’s tagline or comments left by reviewers. Be creative. End each tweet with a link that leads to a buy now page. This is important. The majority of people do not want to be led from link to link. Make it as easy as possible for them to make the purchase.

Warning: When looking at a social media following, for instance on Twitter, it should be taken into consideration that not all followers are necessarily interested in buying books. These numbers include other authors who are or have promoted their books with that particular service, some companies who are only interested in increasing their own followers and most likely some accounts that are automated. What does that mean for you? That portion of followers will never read and, in some case never see, your message. If it looks too good to be true, do a bit more research before parting with your money.

If your marketing budget is small or next to none, don’t worry there are cost-effective solutions that can help you promote your work to the point where it is providing the funds to cover the larger more expensive services. Start slow and work your way up.

Over the next few weeks, I will be exploring the world of marketing with you. While I cannot tell you which platforms will work for you, I can provide you with a list of different services, and in some cases, my personal experiences with them, to help you make a choice you feel is best suited to you and your book(s).

Thank you for reading. Join me next week for the next article on Marketing.