Local SEO Citations – The New Link Building - obtaining authority citations
I’ve assembled a sample layout for a book marketing plan below. Often, the book marketing plan is a neglected part of the process for authors, whether they’re self-published or indie published.
But if you think about it, a marketing plan is an essential first step, to be completed no less than 6 months before the publication of your book. It’s kinda like a more wordy, less artistic, less sexy vision board - but it serves the same purpose. (however, if you want to turn your marketing plan into a vision board, I’d love to see it)
Below are some key elements w/prompting questions that I feel are appropriate for any marketing strategy/plan:
- How do you describe your work?
- How do you position your expertise?
- What is your messaging?
- What will your target audience respond to?
- Can you describe your work in 30 seconds or less?
- Can you describe your work and still sound interesting?
- Why should people care?
- What sets you apart?
- Can you use images, music or targeted language to “sell” your brand?
- Who is your target audience?
- Where do they live?
- What do they read?
- How do they read? (e-reader vs. books)
- How do they learn about new books?
- What drives them to purchase new books?
- Who is your competition?
- Can you usurp someone else’s audience?
3. Search Engine Optimization
- How will your readers find you on the web?
- Are you using appropriate tags?
- Are there better tags?
- Are you blogging appropriately?
- Are you creating ways for new audiences to discover you?
- Are you measuring your progress with analytics tools?
- Are you making adjustments based on your analytics reports?
4. Social Media
- Which social media tools will help you sell books?
- Which social media tools are best for SEO?
- Which social media tools are best for rapport?
- How often should you utilize these tools?
- What time of day?
- What do you post?
- How do you post?
5. Publicity and Public Relations
- Who will review your book?
- Who will review your book favorably?
- Who has an engaged audience?
- How will you present yourself?
- What is your unique selling proposition?
- What educational tools will sell your story?
- Can you teach a class?
- Can you give an inspired lecture?
- How do you reach out to media?
- What kind of event can you put together?
- How can you generate alternative media exposure?
- Should you go on a book tour?
- Where shall you go on a book tour?
- Is advertising appropriate for you?
- How can you reach your target audience?
- Should you do paid reviews?
- What is most affordable for your budget?
- Print or online or both?
Additional ala cart considerations that should be a part of your marketing plan:
- How will your website complement your marketing strategy?
- How much should you pay for professional marketing guidance?
- How much sweat equity will you need to put into your marketing efforts?
- How much time can you realistically spend marketing your book?
- How will you budget your time effectively?
- Are there any partner organizations that might help promote you?
- How can you build a community of supporters?
And finally, considering according to a NY Times study, most authors sell less than 500 books during their lifetime, how will you buck the trend?
All worthy considerations, eh?
Ok - so this idea isn’t that silly. It’s based on the idea that media will sometimes write a piece or a review based on the fact that it might be a “History Month” or “Wilderness Month” or “National Pie Eating Day”, etc.
Does your new book have a tie into one of these crazy days? Do you have a personal tie, but happen to have a book too? If so, draft a sexy pitch, making note of the holiday, and make sure to send a copy of your book three months in advance to the media of your choice, giving them time to read your work and write a feature/review.
Ten points to the author who can get a book review on national “Something on a stick day” … otherwise known as March 28. On second thought, I don’t think anyone wants to know what is on that stick …
Here are a couple of handy resources for authors to discover new, relevant and interesting holidays:
Hallmark, not surprisingly, has some kickass resources:
So does this website, Brownielocks (but don’t let the circa 1997 design fool you):
Book promotions is a tricky business. While no book is the same, the team at The Neo Com Group often meet authors falling into the same marketing pitfalls over and over again. Here are some simple, blunt tips for authors seeking help marketing their book:
1. Lead Times
Make sure you begin your marketing efforts 6-9 months before the actual release date of your book and/or launch of your product. Similarly, if you are looking for a review, check the lead times. For a magazine it’s sometimes a year in advance of publication, for most newspapers it’s three months. If it’s too late, and you’re already publishing your book, see “search engine optimization.”
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Work with someone who understands SEO, or learn it yourself. With hundreds of millions of potential readers using the internet, there are all kinds of tricks to use search engines to help them discover your book for the first time. How did you discover this blog entry? Trust me, it was intentional. SEO works best for authors working on biographies or other nonfiction topics, though it shouldn’t be neglected by anyone. In the very least, make it easy for people to find you if they are looking for you.
3. Social Media
The key to social media is consistency. If you cannot commit to consistent updates, either find a professional to help you, or look into some scheduling services. Also, use #hashtags if you’re using Twitter.
4. Book Promotions
Book promotions is a vague term that encompasses marketing, advertising, public relations and publicity. I don’t typically use these words when describing my work, as “book marketing” is more befitting. However, I’ve learned that “book promotions” is used more by authors using search engines, when looking for help. I guess this section should be called keywords.
If you’re looking for marketing help for your book, feel free to shoot The Neo Com Group’s Michael Phillips an email at: email@example.com
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During the past week we’ve seen news about self-publishing in prominent national media, and regional Pacific Northwest media.
As a book marketing consultant, I take an eagle-eye look at self-publishing news, and thought I’d share some of what I’ve seen in the past week.
If you’d like to learn about my special marketing services for self-published authors, please <click here>.
Here are some of my favs:
From the Pacific Northwest:
Self-Publishing Takes off With Seniors: The Columbian
“Getting older seems to bring out the author in people. And seniors are discovering the booming self-publishing industry is their path to every author’s deepest desire: a book.”
Comments: I’ve worked with many seniors during the past year and I understand their unique challenges and concerns. Please contact me at (971) 266-3515 if you’re a senior and are looking to market and promote your self-published title.
Self-publishing offers an array of choices for authors: The Spokesman-Review
Comments: Great overview of the industry with resources for soon-to-be self-published authors in Eastern Washington.
Self-Publishing: No Longer Just A Vanity Project: National Public Radio
“They used to call it the “vanity press,” and the phrase itself spoke volumes. Self-published authors were considered not good enough to get a real publishing contract. They had to pay to see their book in print. But with the advent of e-books, self-publishing has exploded, and a handful of writers have had huge best-sellers.”
Comments: A great feature with anecdotal stories - no real new information here.
2012: the year of self-publishing: Christian Science Monitor (blog by Husna Haq)
Comments:No new information; a fine piece for those unfamiliar with developments in the self-publishing industry.
Another First for Self-Publishing: Forbes Magazine
“We learned earlier in the year at Digital Book World that in 2012, self-publishing took a $100 million bite out of U.S. trade publishing revenues in 2011. Sounds like a lot but isn’t much compared to the nearly $14 billion in revenues the book business made in the U.S. that year. This year, the number is certain to be more.”
Comments: That’s about the extent of any “news.” Like the Husna Haq piece, this one is referencing NY Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani’s decision to make a self-published book a choice for “Book of the Year.” A first ever decision by the paper, but arguably not surprising in that it’d have to happen sometime, and frankly, there are more self-published novels being produced than at any other time in history.
I host these quasi-regular book marketing Meetup groups in Portland, Oregon - where self-published authors, traditionally published authors, book marketers, book publicists and other interested parties get together to talk trends and strategy. It’s super cool. This is your official invite to the next one ….
Last Friday I put together an event for an acclaimed Portland author named Todd Grimson, and I’ve decided to write about my process as it’s befitting to my strategy for book marketing and book publicity for authors.
- Grimson spent then last 15 years writing under the moniker I. Fontana; ie; his personal “brand” has become diluted since his groundbreaking hits “Brand New Cherry Flavor” and “Stainless” were originally released in the early 90’s
- Grimson isn’t necessarily active on social media (despite having Goodreads, Author Central, Twitter & Facebook accounts)
- Grimson cannot do public speaking appearances due to his struggle with multiple sclerosis
- How can I introduce his work to newer, younger audiences?
- How can I maximize exposure for this literary event and for the release of his brilliant new collection of short stories?
- Traditional Media Outreach Campaign (for Portland this includes: The Mercury, Willamette Week, The Oregonian, Portland Book Review, Portland Literary Review and calendar listings throughout the city. In other words, “the easy part”
- Social Media Outreach (Bloggers, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, etc)
My goal when putting on events is to work with as many partner groups as possible to build the largest word-of-mouth buzz possible. My intention for this event was to create mutually beneficial and community building partnerships in an effort to create a win-win for all involved.
Here are the groups I thought to get involved:
1 - bookstore (took four tries to find one that was available)
Win-Win: In exchange for their services, I promoted their name in the media and on our social media pages and website.
1 - established literary venue (a relatively new concept in this literary town)
Win-Win: I promoted their venue to the media, and brought new people to their venue.
2 - meetup group invitations (I have my own Meetup, as did the venue)
Win-Win: I created something interesting and different for members of Meetup to enjoy.
3 - bands; performed after our reading was completed (each has their own ‘fans’)
Win-Win: I helped build an audience for them to showcase their work to.
4 - readers (actors w/friends that read collections from the short story)
Win-Win: I gave actors an opportunity to tie their name into a prestigious release event, secured media and social media exposure for them.
We had a successful event, despite our initial challenges. We received coverage in The Mercury and The Oregonian and had our event posted to the calendar listing section of various other local television stations and assorted media. Because of his condition, we did not try for television or radio or even podcasters.
Our group partnership strategy was successful in that each brought audience members to help fill up the venue, and secured exposure for all involved.
Next time you, as an author, think about putting together a literary event to promote your work, ask yourself these questions:
- How can I make my book event interesting enough for the media? (new release, providing a service, teaching a class, involving music, involving actors, etc)
- Who can I partner with to create a mutually beneficial and community building event? (bookstores, clubs, actors, musicians, venues, small companies, politicians, media, etc)
And always remember, as the great U2 once said:
To celebrate the release of Todd Grimson’s “Stabs At Happiness”, we’re having a literary reading featuring up to 6 different performers, all reading short stories from the new collection. This event is at the Jack London Bar this Friday, is free, and doors open at 7:00 p.m.
Schedule of Events.
7:30 - 9:00 p.m. - Literary Reading Featuring:
* Efra Lopez * Dede Desperade * Jake Ten Pas * Andrea White
* DJ Charles Burlitz
* The Tenses
* Grape God
Schedule of Events.
7:30 - 9:00 p.m. - Literary Reading Featuring:
* Efra Lopez * Dede Desperade * Jake Ten Pas * Andrea White
9:30 - close. Live Music Featuring:
* DJ Charles Burlitz
* The Tenses
* Grape God
* * *
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BOOK RELEASE EVENT AT THE JACK LONDON BAR
Writers, Poets and Musicians Gather to Celebrate Release of Diverse Collection of Short Stories by Critically Acclaimed Portland Author Todd Grimson
November 13, 2012 (Portland, OR). Artists, actors and other notable locals will gather Friday, November 30th for a book release event featuring a reading and concert, celebrating the release of a new collection of short stories titled “Stabs At Happiness” from Portland author Todd Grimson. This free event will take place at the Jack London Bar (529 SW 4th Ave) in Portland, Oregon and doors open at 7:00 p.m. A literary reading with live actors will occur from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and will be followed with live music from 9:30 p.m. until close.
About Todd Grimson.
Todd Grimson earned the 1988 Oregon Book Award for fiction for his novel “Within Normal Limits”, a book he wrote while working the late shift in an emergency room at NW Portland’s Legacy Emanuel Hospital. “Within Normal Limits” was followed by the critically acclaimed supernatural zombie thriller “Brand New Cherry Flavor” and a twisted 90’s-era vampire love story titled “Stainless.” In 2011, upon the re-release latter two books by Schaffner Press, The Guardian newspaper in Britain called Todd Grimson, “The Greatest Horror Writer You’ve Never Read.”
About “Stabs At Happiness.”
The thirteen stories in STABS AT HAPPINESS represent over three decades of Grimson’s fiction, both in his own name and under the nom de plume Innocente Fontana, which have been published in a variety of literary journals and online publications.
Ranging in setting from the farthest depths of the Amazon to the casbahs of Morocco, with stops in the Warholesque downtown New York of 1973, the corrupt last days of pre-Castro Havana 1959, or San Francisco just as Prohibition came to an end in 1932, these sometimes tragic, sometimes darkly comic or surreal stories are populated by desperate vagabonds, prostitutes, explorers, gangsters, transvestites, starlets and others on the run or at the end of the line, in a unique voice reminiscent sometimes of Don DeLillo, Donald Barthelme, Haruki Murakami or Graham Greene.
The Oregonian calls “Stabs At Happiness” a “vivid, engaging, commendable, recommendable return to print for an unsung local author.”
About the event.
The literary event will feature several readings, beginning at 7:30 p.m. from actors and artists including Andrea White, Jake Ten Pas, Dede Desperade, Efra Lopez, and other special guests. The readers have been specifically chosen to reflect the settings and offer variety to each of the short stories, in what promises to be a fun twist on the traditional author reading. Due to his fight against multiple sclerosis, Todd Grimson will not be present at this event.
Music will begin at 9:30 p.m. and features DJ Operative, Grape God, and The Tenses.
Signed copies of “Stabs At Happiness” and Grimson’s other works “Brand New Cherry Flavor” and “Stainless” will be available at the event for purchase from St. Johns Booksellers, a family-owned neighborhood bookstore located at 8622 N. Lombard St. in the historic heart of North Portland’s St. Johns neighborhood. For more: www.stjohnsbooks.com
About the readers.
Andrea White. Andrea has most recently been seen in Profile Theater’s Lesson Before Dying as Vivian. Andrea is a two-time Drammy Award winner for Best Supporting Actress in Theater Vertigo’s Hell Cab and Artist Repertory Theater’s Two Sisters and a Piano. She enjoyed a two-year run as Jeanie in the Los Angeles 30-year revival of the musical Hair. Andrea may also be seen on such television shows as NYPD Blue, Family Matters, Living Single, and most recently Grimm, and Leverage, and as Dr. Algeria in Extra Ordinary Measures. She will be reading the fictional short story “What The Matter Is” based loosely upon a historical event in which the actress Jean Harlow went missing.
Jake Ten Pas. Jake is a freelance writer for local publications such as The Oregonian, covering music, travel, TV and more. He’s also the Minister of Propaganda at AM:PM PR. When he’s not making with the words, he’s consuming as much media as he can, from obscure psychedelic rock to cosmic horror literature to the films of Nicholas Winding Refn. Jake will be reading the short story titled, “Wrong” which is a fictional story that takes place in Portland.
Dede Desperade. Dede is a community activist and low budget horror film princess. Dede will be reading the self-titled short story, “Stabs At Happiness.”
Efra Lopez. Efra is a born entertainer and is often regarded as a de facto master of ceremonies for extravagant parties among the wealthy and/or good-natured. Efra’s charming Latin American accent will add texture to his reading of the short story titled “Hurt’s Rescue.”
*** More special guests to be announced at: www.toddgrimson.com
For more information, call Michael Phillips at The Neo Com Group, (360) 601-9984 or contact via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Schaffner Press.
Schaffner Press publishes books that stand the test of time. Not interested in trends, or the latest diet craze, how-to’s or how not-to’s, screeds, diatribes or books predicting the upcoming rapture or apocalyptic scenario, Schaffner Press publishes books that reaches beyond my world and connects with the larger landscape, and which explores an issue that is important both to me personally and to the world as a whole. Hence, the Schaffner Press mission statement: “Books of Social Relevance for the Discerning Reader.”
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/gVVmu77TioU
Schaffner Press: www.schaffnerpress.com
St. John’s Books: www.stjohnsbooks.com