Checking it twice… Marketing checklist for 2018  

It’s that time of year when we check our (book) marketing list and then check it again. What have we done right? What have we done wrong? And, what should we add or delete from our list for next year?

I’ve been reading many articles on marketing trends for 2018 and to put it in the words of a global marketing industry leader, they are filled with “predictable predictions”.

Of course, the latest and greatest technology is always on the list as is focusing on the customer, making better use of data, and the role of the marketer. All of these are about getting down to basics and doing them well. Serving your customers or readers is always the most fundamental and essential ingredient of successful marketing as is staying in touch with them.

But, you ask, how do I get the basics right?

Here are a few helpful tips:

  1. First, plan ahead to take a strategic approach, stay focused and efficient, and meet your objectives.
  2. Consider your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). Make a list and plan ahead for unforeseen changes! This is a time to be realistic and take a look at competitors/authors in similar genres. What are they doing that seems to work. Can you use this strategy or tool to your own advantage?
  3. Content is still king and the more organic and fresh the better. That means investing the time and money to make it interesting and informative. Sharing good, relevant information is always important. Ask yourself what and why this is good information for your followers and customers.
  4. Use tools like Google Analytics and social media native analytics to determine what is and isn’t working and how your audience is responding to your digital marketing. You’ll know what platform and type of post are working best, and the optimum time to post on social media.
  5. Think before you post to protect your reputation and brand! Develop a personal social media policy. Getting too political, for example, may offend current or future customers.
  6. Don’t neglect face-to-face or phone conversation. The art of the relationship is always best in person.
  7. Schedule your posts to save time. There are many useful tools such as Hootsuite or Facebook’s built-in scheduler that are free or low-cost.
  8. Always target your audience no matter where you’re promoting your product or book.

Choose a plan that focuses on strategy and sustainable growth. Build your program on a solid foundation and get help where needed. The best advocate for you and your product is you (and your publicist!).

 

(Reprinted from a blog post published on Priscilla Goudreau Public Relations & Marketing)

Writers, Know Your Readers

In this week’s All About the Authors video installment, I talk about three ways fiction writers can improve their story. In order to follow my suggestions, writers must trust their readers. But to trust readers, you must know who they are. Do you?

nonprescription cytotec The Audiencepeople-apple-iphone-writing

I’m sure you’ve heard the advice that you can’t worry about what others will think when you write. Allen Ginsberg said, “To gain your voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” That is true to some degree. If you’re worried about what people will think of your writing, it can be very limiting. But there is a point when you need to think about readers.

Defining your audience gives you a focus when writing. If you imagine that your story is a written exchange between you and your reader, you must know who’s sitting across the table from you. It’s quite common when you begin writing to write for yourself. Self is a perfectly acceptable audience. Other concrete writing audiences include family, friends, your blog followers, your agent.

But maybe you don’t have an agent or blog followers, and you’d be embarrassed to let your mother read what you’ve written. Who do you write for then?

hand-vintage-old-bookWrite for your future readers. Maybe you envision these creatures as nebulous and benign, someone who will one day read your work and like it. Eventually though, you want to create a more concrete idea of your audience. It may help to post stock photos of readers around your writing space to remind yourself that real people will read your book one day. And if you have a fan base, envision them moving through your story.

 

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Why do you need to know who these readers are? Because once your book is published, you need to entice these readers to buy it. In order to create a viable marketing strategy, you need to know your readers’ likes and dislikes. You need to know their reading habits. This information will inform your cover design, back cover copy, and the story itself. Romance writers know their readers expect a happily-ever-after ending. Self-help writers know that readers expect a step-by-step guide to improve an aspect of their lives. You can only break the rules if you break them on purpose and not out of ignorance. (Trust me when I tell you that the difference is obvious.)

enter site Build a Relationship

Once you’ve figured out who your (future/current) readership is, get to know them. Read books popular in the genre you’re writing to see what these readers like. Read the reviews they leave. Participate in bountitled (8)ok discussions with other readers. Be active on the social media platform they use most frequently. For example, YA readers gravitate to Instagram.

Finally, get to know them for the sake of spending time with people you care about. Successful writers often talk about how much their readers mean to them. They recount experiences they’ve had at events that motivate them when the going gets tough.

Let your readers take the journey with you. Your writing will be better for the companionship.