Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Promo and Marketing for Writers, Part 2

I signed a contract for book two in my culinary mystery series, Prime Rib and Punishment, and it will be followed a two-three months later with book three, Potluck. While those are in production, I will be writing Ancient Grease in which Alli and Gina work for a cruise ship as demo cooks. 2015 is going to be a good year for me!

Jeana, our marketing guru at Oak Tree Press, just e-mailed me with some requests, one of which is sending her my year-long, month-by-month marketing plan for Prime Rib and Punishment. The plan begins three months prior to release and continues for at least nine months after that. I had to complete one for Mission Impastable, too, but I know a bit more now than I did when I created that one.

I have a guest on “Write Away” next week, but I will share parts of my marketing plan with you two weeks from now so you have a sense of how to produce one if your publisher requests it or you are indie publishing and wonder what a marketing plan can (not must) look like.

But here are some tidbits for marketing and promotion as teasers:

I will order business cards as soon as the book cover is finalized. I am hoping we go for another “food on a fork” picture like Mission Impastable. I like the simplicity and the branding effect of a similar style cover. Remember, I like to use the real estate on the back side as a reason to keep my card so I will be pulling recipes from the next three books for that purpose.

A couple of years ago, I ordered car magnets for my doors. I’ll be getting another pair of magnets for PR&P and other books in the series. It is cheap, passive advertising. I drive to the grocery store and somebody asks me about the book title! Everywhere I go, my name and my book title go along.

Of course I’ll be announcing my new title this month to the readers of my cooking column in a small local newspaper. I already show the cover of MI; I’ll just add in PR&P when it’s ready. I am fortunate to have this free advertising opportunity each month.

I’ve arranged for some guest spots on blogs later this summer, and I’m doing a fall podcast that will allow me to tout all three books.

I’m going to create some of those Rotten E-Cards with promo material (you have to be careful not to violate their guidelines), but I know they catch one’s attention when they pop up in a Twitter of Facebook feed.

Tweets and Facebook posts will let people know something comes this way! I am asking ten people to post tweets and Facebook posts (which I prepare in advance). The reach of ten others to their followers/friends will greatly extend my exposure. I prepare those in advance for distribution to them with instructions for when to release the messages.

I know these items are pieces of my marketing plan, but I have to put more effort in pulling off both a virtual and in-person launch. My plan will tell Jeana that’s what I’m doing, but I will have two other documents with the details for each.

What has been successful for you in book promotion and marketing? Please share below so we all learn!

Be sure to stop in next Tuesday. Sue Faris Raatjes is back with tips for those who want to write for the Christian fiction market! And in two weeks, I’ll share the marketing plan for Prime Rib and Punishment.


  1. Thank you for this practical advice, Sharon. I benefited from your help previously when developing my own marketing plan. You are generous in sharing with other authors and I am grateful.

    1. Thanks so much, Sue! I am grateful for your continuing support of my blog posts! In two weeks, I get into some real meat.