Friday, February 24, 2012

The Basic+Plus Marketing Plan For Those Who Are Nearing Wealth

Ha ha ha! But didn't you know that every author is like J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer and we're all r-i-c-h?! Well, now you do. {--sarcastic font

But today, we're going to talk about the marketing you might do beyond the basic plan. Remember that plan had bookmarks, postcards, and a blog tour on it.

This plan includes those three things, but has additional features.

1. Swag item. Here is where you can step up your swag -- if you'd like. I print stickers. For POSSESSION, I bought an image and used it in promotions, giveaways, buzz-building, and as stickers.

I'm doing the same thing for SURRENDER. You want to see?

I can print 500 stickers for $27.30. This year, I got smart and put my website on the sticker. Last year? Not so much. Live and learn.

Cost: Low $, low hours.
Uses: Give them out with every promotion, blogger swag, include at book signings, slap on any book-related package you mail. Use the image in your online campaigns too. Last year, the Tagged image was used in my newsletter campaign (see #2 below) and as an avatar campaign on Twitter.

Don't like stickers? (Though it's hard to beat 500 at $27.30...) No problem. Find something else you can use with your book. Some ideas:

  • Pin buttons
  • Water bottles
  • Wrist bands
  • Candy
  • Moo cards (I'll admit, I bought these too... maybe I am J.K. Rowling!)
  • T-shirts
  • Jewelry
  • Bottlecap magnets

2. Newsletter Campaign.
If you haven't started gathering names and emails for a newsletter, you probably should about the time you're querying agents. You can use this opt-in audience for promotion, and there are several sites that you can use to create your newsletters for free.

I use MailChimp, and I love it. I haven't paid a dime for it. You can sign up for my newsletter here. Now that we're getting closer to the release of SURRENDER, there might be some goodies for newsletter subscribers only...

Cost: $0, 1-2 hours/month. (Seriously. I can put a newsletter together in under 30 minutes.)
Uses: Run giveaways, exclusive to newsletter subscribers. Keep readers up-to-date with your books, deals, news, etc. Use images from #1 to run book content-specific promotions. Talk about other books. Advertise ARC sign-ups (which, BTW, you can sign up for an ARC of SURRENDER here).

The possibilities are virtually endless, and with a free price tag and very little time investment, you should consider a newsletter.

Caution: Don't be a spammer. If you say you're going to send a newsletter once a month, don't send one once a week.

3. Goodreads**. I think Goodreads is a great place to reach readers, because well, that's where readers hang out. The biggest pro for Goodreads? The ARC giveaway. Remember that you're going to use your ARCs for review purposes, and there's no better way to get a crap-ton of people requesting your book than to run a Goodreads giveaway.

Cost: $0-10 (mailing cost only), low time.
reach readers where readers hang out, giving away a prize people want, building buzz.

All you have to do here is spend a few minutes listing the giveaway. (Oh! Look! There's an ARC giveaway of SURRENDER going on right now!) Goodreads even picks the winner for you, gives you code for widgets, the works. You are responsible for mailing out the book. If your publisher is sending the ARC, your monetary investment is zero. If you are, you'll have to pay for shipping (but you can put your sticker on the outside of the package...)

Goodreads gives you the code for widgets too.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Surrender by Elana Johnson


by Elana Johnson

Giveaway ends April 30, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

So there you go. The second tier above the Basic Marketing Plan.

Well? Can you set up a newsletter? Order some additional swag? List a giveaway on Goodreads? What else would you implement into this marketing plan?

Next week, I'm going to talk about additional ideas to market your work exclusively online. **I'm also writing a separate post about Goodreads and Facebook ads, both of which I've purchased and used. So stay tuned for that!


Natalie Aguirre said...

These are all such great tips on marketing. I'm saving the links to all your marketing posts for future reference. Personally, I don't love swag but the stickers sound like a good idea. Do you think people really like it?

Also, are glossy bookmarks hard to sign? I've read that somewhere.

I'm SO hoping I get an ARC of Surrender. I filled out the form and requested it again in an e-mail to your publisher for another ARC. And pre-ordered your book for my daughter for her birthday.

Sarah said...

These are great tips--I'm hanging on every word. Thanks, Elana!

Unknown said...

I love your marketing tips, Elana! I know a lot of people who are looking for advice like this. And now I know I can bug Sarah for some ultra cool swag. I'm her #1 (not so creepy) fan. :D

Matthew MacNish said...

I remember getting Tagged on Twitter. Good times.

Mary said...

I have to tell you that my students love swag and are more likely to pick up the book and read it when I bring in bookmarks/stickers/faux tattoos for them from an author. Bribery? Maybe. But whatever gets 'em reading, I say!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Some good ideas! Already did the Goodreads giveaway and giving out some cool swag during my tour. But more is good!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Great tips on marketing. Bookmarking for future use. Now, heading out to check out Moo cards. >..<

Angela Brown said...

Thank you so much, Elana, for sharing these marketing tips. No matter what stage of the process, these tips will be very helpful.

Julie Daines said...

I hope you know I'm bookmarking all of these posts for when my book comes out next year. I love it when people tell me what they've learned--saves me tons of time. Thanks!

Jill Kemerer said...

Fantastic!! Thanks for all of the low-cost, relatively simple ideas to help promote our books! Woo-hoo!

Callie Leuck said...

Stickers are awesome. I would be ALL OVER printing stickers. I bought personalized return address stickers from VistaPrint just because I love sticking them on envelopes. Sometimes I think I write letters just for an excuse to stick a pretty return-address sticker on an envelope. I would be totally stoked about making stickers for a book. Well, I'd be really excited about the book, but I'd be almost disproportionately excited about the stickers.

I recently started getting into Goodreads. I didn't quite see the point before, but now I see that (1) it's like Pandora for books and (2) I get to interact with virtual and long-distance friends over what books we're reading. And now you tell me that it has a system for ARC requests! I am in love. Also, I obviously immediately signed up for your ARC.

I recently realized I've been lurking your blog for a while and am unsure if I ever left a comment -- I read nearly all my blogs in Reader and even if I love a blog I don't necessarily comment often unless I know the person particularly well or they asked a question I have something to say about. So yeah. Working on that! Hello!

Kelly Hashway said...

I have to ask what you use to print the stickers. Any special kind of label? I can't find ones that are a good size.

Nicole McLaughlin said...

Great ideas! I love moo cards!

Carolyn V said...

Great, great advice Elana! Thanks for sharing! ;)

Heather said...

These are fantastic tips! I just figured out the whole newsletter thing, I know, I'm slow. Blogger has a way to send one now, love it! I'll have to up my sticker movement, great idea!

Peggy Eddleman said...

You and I started writing at about the same time. Can I just tell you how incredibly grateful I am that you went through everything before me? Seriously, Elana, you are a godsend.

Carol Riggs said...

Wow, these are great ideas! I've bookmarked them. How FUN to have stickers, magnets, etc. with your info on them. :D

Shannon O'Donnell said...

You are brilliant. I know . . . I've said it before. Get used to it. :-)

T. Powell Coltrin said...

You make me smile and chuckle--always.

Yes, I've gain a plethora of information here. I will try some of these.


Stephanie McGee said...

*hopes some day she'll have need of these posts*

Martha Ramirez said...

Thank you SO MUCH for all the tips! Putting your posts all in a doc:)

i'm erin. said...

HOoray! I love the stickers. I was wondering about stickers last time you posted about the business stuff. I want one in a seriously bad way.

If I was going to be a published author I would take all this advice and run with it. Since I'm least, not any time soon, I will take a nap, and dream that I can use this advice and run with it.

Jemi Fraser said...

Stickers are fun! Of course, as a teacher, I think they're embedded in my blood somewhere... :)

Unknown said...

Elana - All great ideas. I love the new stickers. Awesome!

L.T. Elliot said...

I've always wondered how you did your newsletter because it looks so fabulous!

Excellent, excellent info, Elana! You're the best!

K.T. Hanna said...

I love these posts. Thank you so much for sharing them with us :D

mshatch said...

wow, these are all excellent ideas. Thanks for sharing: I hope I'll be able to implementing some of them soon :)

Unknown said...

This is so good Elana and I have many friends who would find it useful. I'll give this post a mention on my blog a mention next week.

Unknown said...

This is so good Elana and I have many friends who would find it useful. I'll give this post a mention on my blog a mention next week.

Leslie S. Rose said...

Sooo helpful. Tucking all this away for safe keeping until I (hopefully) need it. I know as a fan, I love collecting stickers etc. for books, movies, etc. I'm crazy about.

Anonymous said...

GREAT TIPS!!! I'm gonna use 'em! :)

Catherine Stine said...

Good ideas! I've done the giveaway at Goodreads and some swag, but not the newsletter. Thanks for these tips!

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