Marketing

The Three Phases of a Marketing Plan

You’ve written your book. You’ve published your book. And now you’re waiting, quietly, at home for the sales to start rolling in. Isn’t that a wonderful dream? Unfortunately it’s just that.

ThinkstockPhotos-166669458A dream.

If you’re going to build sales of your self-published book you’re going to have to put some effort into marketing that book. You need a plan to do that marketing, and in the post The Three Phases of a Marketing Plan, Archway Publishing will offer you three things you do to help build that plan.

Whether it’s asking the right questions, gathering resources, or insuring you’ll be ready to follow-through on your plan, this post will offer valuable advice.

Read The Three Phases of a Marketing Plan now! >>

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

Standard
Marketing

How to Best Choose Your Book’s Marketing Plan: Part 2

This blog is by Archway authors for fellow authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Sharoq AlMalki, author of “A Tale of Two Beehives”. For more info about her, check out her website, Twitter and Instagram. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

Read part 1 of How to Best Choose Your Book’s Marketing Plan here.

  1. Segmentation

Decide who your target audience is. We all want the world to read what we’ve written, but the truth is that there will be sections of society who are much more likely to buy your book. Your marketing activity should all be directed at that narrow section.

  1. Get yourself a website

SKU-001061073No matter how much you may not want to go down that route, you need to have a website. And it needs to be your website about you. Some people build it around the name of the book, but that is never going to work as well, be as powerful or engaging, or have the flexibility or longevity of a site about the author. Don’t worry if you have barely learned to use Word. Getting your own site is cheap – or free, and is a straightforward process. Off the shelf ones are good and slick, and if you do need help, there are many companies offering cheap packages to get you online.

There is no need for the site to be too flashy. It is just a door that you want people to go through to learn more about you and your book. Have an “about me” section, anything else that you think is relevant, such as short stories you have written, but don’t fill it up with stuff that is not relevant to your main aim – selling you and your book.  The other thing you need to have on your site is a

  1. Blog

Writing a blog is a great way of engaging with your potential readers. You have done something that many people have done themselves, just as many are struggling to do, and many, many more will never do in their life. As mentioned in number 2, this is a good thing to do while you are still writing your book. If you do it well, and are lucky, you will have a number of customers waiting with bated breath for your book to hit the shelves. One thing you need to be aware of when writing the blog, is that you are showcasing your talents as a writer, so write well.

  1. Email

It may come as a surprise, but email is probably the most powerful marketing tool available to you. Building up your email list is essential. Do this by offering newsletters, free stories, offers on your book etcetc, anything that means people sign up. Then use it wisely. Like your blog, whenever you send anything to someone, you need to make sure you are giving them something of value. It needs to contain something that will entertain them, offer useful insight, or just plainly be of monetary value to them.

  1. ReviewsSharoq-27MAR2016-017

These are essential if you are to get people outside your immediate sphere of influence to buy your book. They are especially important at the beginning of your books life. Aim for between 8 and 12 to ensure your book is easily discoverable on Amazon. There is nothing wrong with getting family and friends to leave a review, and ask those on your email list, or anyone who has received a free book from any competitions you have run to kindly leave a review. The other way, and probably the most beneficial is to go directly to one of Amazon’s reviewers. Find ones that review books in your genre, and email them (their details are provided in their bio), being polite and attaching a copy of your book.

  1. Pricing

This is the trickiest one. How much do you charge people for your book? Here opinions differ wildly, and it is very much down to your own preference. Me, I feel that when buying a book, it is as much an investment of my time, as it is of my finances. If I find a book I like the look of, whether it’s 99p, or 2.99 isn’t going to make much difference to my decision to buy it. It is very easy to think that simply by reducing the price it will increase your sales. In reality that probably isn’t going to be the case, and if you have done everything else well, the price should and does, almost become an irrelevance.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at theArchway Publishing Facebook page.

Standard
Marketing

How to Best Choose Your Book’s Marketing Plan: Part 1

This blog is by Archway authors for fellow authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Sharoq AlMalki, author of “A Tale of Two Beehives”. For more info about her, check out her website, Twitter and Instagram. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

So, you’ve finally finished that book that’s been inside you all those years. The sacrifices you’ve made; the hours spent staring at the blinking cursor and the mocking empty white page; the endless rewrites and edits – have all been worth it. You’ve finished. The End. Unfortunately for the vast majority of writers, that is where the real work begins. Because, unless the only people you want to read your magnum opus are your long suffering partner and parents, you need to get it out there into the big wide world.

SKU-001061073 This is the bit where a lot of people come unstuck. They are writers, not marketers or PR professionals. This isn’t why they picked up that pen or started banging away on that keyboard all those weeks, months and years ago. At first it can appear to be a minefield, and you are going to have to quickly learn new skills, embrace new techniques and more than likely spend a lot of time outside your comfort zone.But there is help out there.

The methods and techniques below are predominantly designed for those going down the self-publishing route. However even those who have been fortunate enough to get a publisher on board, the reality is that in today’s publishing world the majority of the effort still has to be undertaken by the author themselves, albeit from a considerably better position.

The first thing that will strike you – well it certainly did me – when you start to dip your toe into the world of promoting your book is just how many people out there who have done the exact same thing. Hidden away in your dark room, bleary eyed from the artificial light and caffeine, it is easy to think that you are, maybe not unique, but certainly in a small club of like-minded individuals pouring your heart, soul and very being into your book, for an eagerly waiting public, desperate to devour your words.

Sadly this isn’t the case. The fact that now everyone has a computer, and that it has never been easier to get your book published is very much a double edged sword for the writer. Yes it makes the process so much easier, with the route to the potentially massive marketplaces such as Amazon relatively simple – and free. But that comes with the obvious drawback. The world and his wife (and very often his pet cat too) have gone down that route as well. Suddenly it becomes a case of those staples of every marketing textbook – differentiation and promotion. And that, my friends is where the problems begin. But rest assured here are the best techniques for you to market your book.

  1. It’s not all about the book

Though the ultimate aim is to get as many people to see and then buy your book as possible, you need to start thinking of yourself as a marketable product too. This is easier for some people than others, but more often than not it is easier for people to buy into us and who we are than a random book. So you need to create a presence for yourself. Don’t forget, this is going to be a presence that you are going to have to maintain for the foreseeable future. Plus, once things are on the internet it is very hard for them not to be on the internet. So, despite the temptation to make yourself out to be some uber smart, buzzy, personality with your finger on every pulse and trend out there, resist it. Be yourself. It will be much easier to maintain, and at the end of the day, you’ve finished a book – you have things to say, you have achieved something millions couldn’t. You have a story to tell, and not just the one in your latest (soon to be!) blockbuster.Sharoq-27MAR2016-017

  1. Start before the end

You can never start too early to build up your profile, and raise the awareness of this fresh new author on the block and their book. It can often take a while to go from zero presence to one where you can do some damage, so if you are able to start while writing your book, you will be in position to go when you complete the manuscript.

You can even use your progress in your book as a method to get followers and their attention. Problems you are facing and how you overcome them are something that are common among writers, and everyone is always keen to know how others cope with those issues.

You could even run competitions or polls on how your novel should progress, or on the names of characters etc. Any way to get people to engage is a massive plus point.

 

Read Part 2 of this blog here>>>

 

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

Standard
Marketing

Meet Max!: Marketing My Book

This blog is by Archway authors for fellow authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Elizabeth Rosso, author of “Meet Max”. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

Welcome back!  So far you’ve stuck with me (thanks!) through coming up with the idea for “Meet Max!,” shaping that idea into a manuscript, editing my bookfinding illustrations, and deciding to self-publish.  Success!  Right?  Well, not so fast… I mean, yes, I have a book, and yes, I love Max, but I’m just one person.  Now it’s time to tell the world about Max and his adventures!  Which led me back to my recurring question: how do I do that?

Through pure dumb luck, I started out by identifying my audience.  At its most basic, my audience is children.  But it’s also adults with children in their lives, and children with dogs, and people of all ages who love dogs, and people who love reading.

SKU-001051763Next I started to think about ways to reach those audiences.  Bookstores seemed to be the most obvious choice, but I also thought that any store with a connection to any of my audience segments, or with a focus on local products, might be a good target.  So, I started cold-calling all those types of places.  One of my sales calls took me to a national retailer with fairly detailed requirements for requesting that they carry my book.  One of those requirements was to submit a marketing plan.

I hadn’t realized it (I don’t have any business training or experience), but building my marketing plan was exactly what I had been doing.  I sat down to write out a more formal plan, and it became obvious that bookstores needed to be my primary target.  All those other outlets were fine if an opportunity presented itself, but they wouldn’t give me the kind of return on my effort that I had been looking for.

Okay, lesson learned the hard way!  But while I had been expending a lot of effort for small (but exciting!) returns, I was also using some of the marketing services available through Archway.  Currently I’m at the beginning of my social media campaign, setting up a web site, a Twitter account , and a Facebook page.  Some of that technology is new to me, so there’s a bit of a learning curve, but I recently doubled my Twitter followers, and am working to get the web site and Facebook page to take off as well.

It’s been a lot of work and I’m still hoping for my “big breakthrough,” but the small successes have been energizing and I’m definitely learning a lot along the way.  I hope that you’ve been able to learn something from my experiences too.  And if you need a great children’s book about a curious dog with a bushy tail, I know just the one!

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

Standard
Author Feature, Marketing

Discovering My Marketing Plan while Marketing

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Tsara Shelton, author of “Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself.” Tsara is a writer of musings, sipper of coffee, and addict of any story. Having learned life exploring the edges of society she finds her footing in the world through storytelling—as a mom, wife, daughter and citizen. She blogs regularly at Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton.  For more about Tsara and her book, visit her on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

me laughingEver since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to write books. When I was young I wrote often and diversely, basking in the compliments and impressed smiles of the grownups. But soon those compliments came with suggestions and constructive feedback, and I shrunk away. I was afraid of the work. No, I was afraid of doing the work only to discover that I wasn’t as talented as I’d led everyone to believe. I put myself on hold; not quite giving up, but not quite ready to do the work either.

Many years later as the mom of four sons who were searching for manhood, I knew I couldn’t keep telling my talented boys not to give up on themselves when I so obviously (and so easily!)had considered giving up on myself. So, I started writing and publishing and proving to myself that I could do the work.

Then, with my husband insisting that my dream coming true would also be his dream coming true, I put together a book of stories that slowly grew up and published with Archway Publishing. In this way I am now showing my sons, and myself, what it looks like to do the work and to value our dreams.


9781480815810_COVER.inddThus, Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself: A Collection of Stories that Slowly Grow Up, the beautiful book with the beautiful cover designed by the beautiful people at Archway, was born!

The next step was to show my sons and myself what it looks like to back up those dreams by introducing the stories to the wide, wide world through marketing.

I had two things going for me in this regard. One, my mom is an international mental health expert and I’ve been her personal assistant for a few years. I’ve eagerly taken on the job of sharing her projects (books, shows, inspirational comedy and music, international docu-series) with the media as well as with parents and professionals in the world of mental health. Two, I published through Archway which means I had a team of supportive, knowledgeable, and available others to give me a hand.

I had one (big) thing going against me. A fear of being self-centered and annoying. Sure, I can email busy producers and editors regarding my mom’s stuff because I see and know and have witnessed over and over again its immense value. But my stuff? My book? My words and ideas? Scary stuff, man!

boys and me picHowever, I love my book and I love my ideas and I love learning who I am through marketing. With the support of Archway (coaches and consultants who call to check on me just the right amount, keeping me going without applying unnecessary pressure) and the watchful eyes of my sons (who are young men searching for their own voices and marketing tools) I’ve stepped outside of my comfort zone, just enough to discover my marketing comfort zone.

I’ve done podcast interviews, written guest blogs, and discovered book reviewers who adored my accessibility and (thank goodness!) my book. I’ve answered questions about myself as a writer for author interviews, and have been planning an event for families with autism, as well as another event for teens who want to write in order to discover their voice.

Thanks to the support and ideas from Archway, who offer creative marketing tips that fit me and my book, along with author friends and other groups I’ve discovered while on my marketing quest, I’ve grown as a writer.  I’ve grown, also, as a mom with ideas for her sons.

I knew that marketing my book, Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself: A Collection of Stories that Slowly Grow Up, would help me figure out how I was most comfortable marketing myself, and I even suspected it would help me grow as a person.

I was given marketing strategies and ideas by the knowledgeable folks at Archway Publishing, and I started trying the ones that matched me most – which meant discovering what those were.

I discovered my marketing plan while marketing.

I also discovered more of myself.

-AWP-

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet us @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

Standard
Marketing

“Gettin’ in Tune” w/ Twitter

By Kevin A. Gray
Archway Publishing

Apropos of nothing having to do with Twitter, I was listening to The Who (@TheWho) while writing this primer. For the record, the band has 441,000 followers at last check. Before you can become a Pinball…er Twitter Wizard, you’ve got to get started.

So without further adieu, and with the help of “The Who,” here’s a brief Twitter primer.

  1. Who Are You?: First you’ll need an account and a handle (name). Handles are limited to 15 characters (not including twitter bird
    the @). Using your name is one option, but it may not be available. Consider something that describes you or what you’re marketing. For example, if you were Tommy, your handle might be @PinballWizard.
  2. The Real Me: Your profile is important, but you’ve got a 160 character limit. Make it pithy, but professional. Briefly tout your credibility (“award winning” etc). Be creative. Don’t try to be funny, unless you are funny. Include your website/blog URL and invite others to follow. You can overcome the profile length’s limitations by including an appropriate photo that further tells your story.
  3. I Can See for Miles: Now that you’re on Twitter, look around. Follow some prominent tweeters to see what they’re doing. In fact, StatSocial recently released “The Top-100 Social Media Power Influencers, 2015 Edition. That’s a great place to start.
  4. Baby Don’t Do It: You’re going to be tempted to send out oodles of tweets about your book. Don’t. Spamming is a quick way to have your account suspended. Be strategic about who you engage. Roger Daltrey would never walk into a room and start shamelessly pushing albums. Twitter is a conversation. Know the rules.
  5. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere: If you’re going to enter the Twitterverse, know that it’s a commitment. Tweeting once a day or once a week won’t cut it. Stay active and relevant.
  6. Going Mobile: Download the Twitter app to your Android or iPhone. Staying engaged is easier if Twitter is always with you, even if you’re embarking on your second or third farewell tour.
  7. However Much Booze: This may sound obvious, but if you’re knocking back beers backstage with your favorite band; it’s best to put Twitter away for the night.

These are just a few tips you can follow. How are you using Twitter to market your book?

-AWP-

Standard
Marketing

Archway Publishing Author News

Periodically, the Archway Publishing blog features a roundup of author news with links to news stories, reviews, awards and other items  of interest. If you’d like to submit an article for consideration for inclusion, please send us a link, as well as some information about the piece.

Recent Archway Publishing Author News

-AWP-

 

Standard