by Sherrie Wilkolaski
Original version of this article published in Ms. Wilkolaski's monthly column "Author's Guide to Publishing" in IFWTWA's "Press Pass".
Book marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. For a busy author, the best way I’ve found to help keep my clients on course is to keep it simple. Focus on one thing each month to help grow your platform as an author and market your work. You can come up with a dozen things you want to accomplish for your book, right? Personally I like to take the first Sunday of the month to work through my monthly marketing tasks.
Here is a quick list of ideas which can be used in any order. Whether you’re just launching your book, preparing for the New Year or just in the mood to get your book marketing plan in place, this 12 month outline (if followed) will keep you on course. Feel free to cut and paste this list and you’ll be halfway there.
January. Editorial calendar. Map out the content you want to focus on each month for your blog and you won’t have to think about what you want to write about the rest of the year. You can write on the fly as things come up, but this will give you a sense of peace so you can plan ahead for your features. Use your blog to support your book. Don’t forget to include at least one article for Infinity's Publishing blog.
February. Social media. Get moving on your social media and pick two mediums that work best for you. Personally, I am NOT a fan of Facebook and I don’t use it much, even though I know how much Google likes it. I get around it by blogging more and have recently fallen for Pinterest. If your time is limited, LinkedIn is incredible for networking and Pinterest will do wonders for you blog articles and recipes…just make sure you have a beautiful photo to pin.
March. Bookstores. March is when buyers are planning for holiday (fourth quarter) sales, so get out there and mingle with your local independent bookstores and gift shops. Who knows you may actually sell a few books along the way.
April. Network. Are you taking advantage of your writers groups and industry publishing associations? Get out there and connect with author authors. The possibilities are endless!
May. Book reviews. No matter when your book was released, a book can always use more reviews. Reach out to your network of contacts and online book review bloggers. Most reviewers will take eBooks. Swap book reviews with other authors.
June. Website. Summer is the perfect time to make website updates and improvements. Is your website all it can be? Have you featured your book(s) on your homepage? Can a user easily place an order for your book or get in touch with you for an interview? Check all website links and make sure your images are fresh. If you have older blog articles, simply updating the photos can give you a quick facelift. Don’t forget to hyperlink from one blog article to another using your website keywords.
July. Read a book. Yes! Go out and read books in the genre in which you write. It will inspire you and give you a sense of what your competition is doing.
August. PR. Reach out to your media contacts and look for opportunities to promote your book. Think outside of the box. Ideally, this is something an author should be doing on a regular basis, but if all you do is work on this one month a year, it will give you some clips to add to the press kit of your site so your book won’t get stale in the eyes of the media.
September. Guest blog. I may sound like a broken record on this subject, but it really does work. Post on Global Writes and reach out to other authors, industry sites, etc. and get out there and guest blog. It will put you in front of a new audience.
October. Holiday book push. This is the Olympic season of book sales. Keep your eyes peeled for any opportunity for you to promote and market your book during fourth quarter.
November. Donate. This is the time of year to give back to the community. Donate copies of your book to the local libraries or other charities. Give of your time and do some readings. Help a fellow author out and help them promote their book to your audience.
December. Rinse and repeat. Plan for the next year. Celebrate your year of book sales success. Next year is going to be even better!
Happy Book Marketing!