The Ultimate Book Marketing Plan – Part 2

As I discussed last month, I think there is a book marketing formula that leads to long-term success in sales. The formula to spend your time in book marketing in 60% basics, 25% media and 15% wild ideas.

Let me get more specific about what activities you should be undertaken in each area.

60% of Your Book Marketing Efforts:

1. Blog. Blog about individuals you’ve met on the road and organizations doing good on the subject of your passion (and your book).  Also give advice to celebrities and others. Have a strong opinion and always advocate for your passion. Once a week would be great, once a month at a minimum. Use social media only to bring other people to the attention of your followers through the blog. Never (in my opinion) mention your book in your blog. Instead, have a link to buy your book and show it, but don’t mention it. People are allergic to self-promotion at this point. They want an authentic person who cares about what they care about.

2. Create Community. The blog will attract the target audience. Make a space with them to communicate with you and each other. Use your own site (or create one with Ning.com) for people to congregate and get resources and inspiration. Resist the temptation to curb discussion that you don’t like, but respond to all the comments yourself. Help continue the dialogue.

3. Keep working on your online media kit. Keep it updated at least weekly. Think of new interview questions. Here is a download on what should be on your author website and media kit. These are the essentials but you can get creative from here.

4. Create articles that will stand the test of time. I created 20 articles over 5 years ago to promote my book and not a month goes by that one of those articles is used by a new source (literally, not a month). I did almost all my articles as top 5, 7, 9 or 10 lists. Two of my lists were picked up by the New York Times online over the past two years. Investor’s Business Daily did a full column on me and my book three years after the book came out. Look back at your book to create the lists or make new lists when subjects seem relevant to what the news media might be looking for.

25% of Your Book Marketing Efforts:

1. Read and watch television. Read overall consumer newspapers and magazines, like the New York Times, Wired Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Watch CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, especially the weekend morning shows where they tend to interview authors. Stay up to date with what the media considers important in the area of your passion and advocacy.

2. Plan a strategy for jumping on the media treadmill that is already moving. Figure out who you need to know – which journalist or reporter will want a connection with you because you can help them with expert opinion and interesting stories. The media loves stats, so if you can do a survey (with over 1,000 respondents) then you have real news.

15% of Your Book Marketing Efforts:

1. Brainstorm the wild ideas. Take a half hour on Friday to talk to others, to think yourself and to decide which two calls you will make next week where you can make a big connection that might lead to a big advocacy opportunity for you. This should include people you already know as well as those you don’t. Your job is tor bring big ideas to them – the kind they can get excited about based on their own passions. This isn’t about you, it is about a new way to serve the group you served in your book.

2. Plan for networking. If you will be attending any networking events, plan to advocate for your passion. I recommend you do not take any books to networking events. Only first-time authors think they need to show off their work for credibility. Don’t give away books and don’t sell them unless you are the event speaker.

Final Advice: Stay focused and don’t get distracted. Don’t spend money at this point on publicity, ads or other marketing efforts. The only exception would be to hire an author’s assistant if you need additional hands-on execution help. The only other exception is spending money on your website. I highly recommend you get a WordPress site, and get a good designer (I have a great one in the Philippines). This shouldn’t cost you more than $500 to start.  If you can’t make changes on your site, you will lose a lot of time.  You or your author’s assistant should be able to update graphics, add media and content in minutes.

Desperate authors who haven’t achieved the sales success they think they should have start spending money. If instead they got more strategic and took action, they would have a lot more success. You have to be willing to invest time in thinking and thinking big and then you have to be willing to consistently send emails and make phone calls. Let me know how you do!

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