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marketing plan?


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#1 stumblebum

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 08:02 PM

With the open submission period of twilighttimesbooks about to commence, I have been putting the finishing touches on a submission package.

 

And then I noticed this curveball on their submission page: "Send a cover letter, synopsis, first chapter and marketing plan in the body of an email message to the publisher."

 

What, exactly, is a publisher looking for when they ask for a marketing plan? Help!



#2 Jeanne

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 08:48 PM

It depends on the publisher, but they probably want to know how savvy and active you are in social media and if you're willing to participate in things like book signings, interviews, blog tours, giveaways, etc.

 

They may also want to know if you have any networking connections that could help market the book. These connections could include professional memberships, mentors, famous authors who will blurb, etc.

 

Hope that helps. Alas, marketing one's book, whether you are self-published or traditionally published, has become the norm.

 

Jeanne



#3 stumblebum

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 06:51 PM

Egads. My marketing plan thus far has been to do whatever my agent/publisher tells me to do. I don't have an issue dancing like a marionette, but I'm not the most social media savvy person in the world. I don't even have a facebook account.

 

Should I approach this from the perspective of what I am willing to do (whatever they tell me), instead of focusing on my current social networking, which would be somewhere in the range of not?



#4 Jeanne

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 09:11 AM

It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to start creating a social media presence. Do you have a blog or website? That's a good place to begin. After that, I would dip my toes into FB or Twitter. Be careful that you don't get sucked up by the social media, though. It can be a terrible time-waste, too.

 

For a query that requests a marketing plan, I would say what I'm willing to do--but be aware that this is something that should begin LONG before the book is actually published. People buy your book because they feel like they know you and want to support you, especially when you are a new, unknown author. Social media in this case is all about building your tribe, a group of loyal readers or potential readers who are interested in what you have to say.

 

Jeanne



#5 stumblebum

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 03:10 PM

Thanks for your advice. I very much appreciate it.



#6 xtymorgan

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 12:21 PM

I struggled with this during my query process, too.  I had a couple agents/publishers ask me the same thing and it freaked me out, too.  I know NOTHING about marketing.  Diddly squat.  But you can't say that.  In fact, I was lucky to have an hour long conversation with Christine Whithohn at Book Cents last month and she gave me a TON of invaluable advice about the industry.  One thing she touched on was the "marketing question".   She said NEVER say you have no experience in marketing or that you'll just do whatever you're told to do.  MAKE SOMETHING UP, if you have to.  Try to sound like you've got a plan, even if you don't.  She said agents appreciate that much more than "I don't know".  As the other poster said, you really need to establish a presence online.  Don't just use your regular Facebook page, make an Author Page.  Also, create an author website.  I made mine for free using Wix.com.  They let you create a page for free and they host it for free.  I didn't have to pay a dime.  Here's a link to the website I created, if you want an example: http://xtymorgan.wix...tinamorganbooks

 

A lot of writers are using Twitter to promote their books now, too.  I personally can't stand Twitter, but if my publisher asks me to create an account, guess what I'm doing?  The more present you are on the internet and social media, the better.

 

So, bottom line is, when asked to present a marketing plan (unless they want it in a separate document), add a paragraph to your query that says something along the lines of:  "As to marketing this novel, I plan to use my website and social media to promote my book.  I am also ready, willing and able to attend conferences, books signings and marketing events to further promote my novel."   That doesn't sound that great, but it gives you an idea of something you can start with.

 

Hope this helps and good luck!


CK Morgan

Author/Paralegal

 

 

"There is nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." ~ Ernest Hemingway


#7 shawnrohrbach

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 03:08 PM

More and more we as writers are expected to be a part of this whole marketing process, unless of course you are Big Bill Clinton or George W.  MSNBC host Chris Mathews went on ad naseaum for WEEKS when his Kennedy book came out.   I am thankful for two courses in my MBA/InfoSys program on Marketing.  Do not think sales as much as branding.  Branding comes in many forms, hopefully in activities we can afford to carry out.  I will not be pulling an full page ad in the New York Times Sunday edition any time soon.  $$$$$$$  I will be making arrangements to read and sign my books at any receptive book store (or other venue) that will accept me and I plan my vacations around this.  Other venue?  I found an art gallwery in La Jolla California who loves events like this and when anything new comes out, I buy four or five bottles of wine and he puts out snacks and i read and sign.  I researched hundreds of radio stations nation wide and have a good list (nope, it's mine) of both am and fm stations who love to interview writers.  Since I only get a small number of author copies, i have to rely on a press release issued by the publisher (at their expense) and the author copies i get go to book buyers and reviewers i have developed professional relationships with over the years.  Don't give them to family under any circumstances; waste of resources. They can buy a copy.  I have relied on Facebook and Twitter somewhat, but found LinkedIn to work best for me.  I have five times as many contacts in Linked In as the others combined and i am always searching their database for new contacts.  A lot of those people actually read.  I am making myself tired as I write this and gear up for my markerting campaign for "My Kitty Cats are Big Fat Brats".


Shawn Rohrbach
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