8 Points Online Marketing Plan for Authors
By Dee Stewart
In the spirit of SORMAG, I want to talk to you about a specialized marketing form that has fast become the choice for publishing houses, online marketing. If you are an author with a contract, then you know most midlist authors and below are no longer receiving marketing support by way of product placement, instore events, book tours, and book promo items. Instead publishing houses are devoting a bulk of the author’s designated marketing dollars to online campaigns. And since I’ve talked about book marketing plans all year, I decided to switch the game up. I want to help you create an online marketing campaign that will help you meet and galvanize your ideal readers.
Imagine as an author your day consists of writing great stories you know your readers will love, then meeting these readers to fellowship with you about your story and why they love them. Isn’t that a sweet dream? In life coaching terms we call that place- operating in your sweet spot. Online Marketing—if you plan your efforts well—is the best tool to get you to that sweet spot faster than any other opportunity out there. It is why your publishing houses are using it, as well as the face that it is a more affordable alternative to traditional advertising.
Today’s session I will share basic online marketing planning tips, techniques and tricks to help you galvanize your readership. If you have further questions, you can leave a comment at the end of the post or email me at deegospelpr at gmail dot com.
Let’s begin by defining Online Marketing.
Marketing-- is a practiced science, the ongoing process to identify, anticipate, supply and satisfy your ideal client.
Book Marketing is the ongoing processes to identify, anticipate, supply and satisfy your ideal clients( readers, your distributors, your publishing house, bookstores.)
Online Book Marketing: is the ongoing processes to identify, anticipate, supply and satisfy your ideal client by using online tools. It is an extension of your overall book marketing campaign.
Let me repeat: Online Book Marketing is an extension of your overall book marketing toolbox. Do not stop your other marketing efforts!
Now I will introduce you to seven basic online marketing tools and how to prepare a strategy to use them.
The 8 Point Online Marketing Toolbox
1. Email Marketing
2. Blogging, including Podcasting, Vlogging & Microblogging
3. Social Media Design
4. Forum Building
5. Online Advertising
6. Online PR
7. Social Bookmarking
A more detailed look:
Email Marketing: Email marketing is a public relations, customer relations management, direct mailing Trifecta (PR/CRM/DM.) You can participate in three marketing processes at once. What’s very good about email marketing is that your direct mailing efforts have a better return on investment(ROI) when you couple it with a client connection piece—consistent, compelling and strategic email placements to your ideal readers.
Blogging: Online Journaling (blogging) Many authors blog to share their writing life with their readers. Blogging can be used for various reasons:
· To serve as an online hub for your fanbase
· To serve as your newsletter content builder
· To promote your next event
· To attract event planners and bookclubs
· To serve as an online bookstore
· To serve as an online press room
· To attract agents and editors
· To create another source of writing revenue
· To host an online blogtour
· To podcast your book
· To videocast(vlog) your book
The key to blogging is commitment, consistence and content. Join me in September for 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog at http://www.christianfiction.blogspot.com
Social Media Design: Despite the contrary authors should have a strategy and design in place when you are online. This design consists of scheduling, tooling, and driving readers from event to event. Tools like brightkite, eventbrite, igoogle, ping.fm, and squidoo helps you create almost an online (ro)bot of you, whereby you are promoting yourself 24-7 streaming and responding to your ideal readers and clients in real time. The top social media building blocks for authors are:
· Amazon Author Pages
Forum Building: Fan bases grow exponentially when they form a community. The Twilight Moms Club on Mommy Blogger is a huge community that talks about the series, meet regularly and host charity events. If you’re operating in your sweet spot your fans will come together and create a fun and exciting community for you as well. The best way to do that is through forum building. Couple your email campaign with a forum to continue conversations in and you have a winning combination. A great example of a blog that created a community with a forum is Faith*in*Fiction. Bethany House Editor David Long created the blog to start a conversation about compelling Christian novels. It is the catalyst for The Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, Relief Journal, First Wildcard Blog Tours, and over 150 Christian book review blogs.
The top forum building sites for authors are:
· Facebook Groups
· Twitter Groups
· GoodReads Groups
· Utterli Groups
· MySpace Book Groups
· Shelfari Groups
· Blogger Fan Groups
Online Advertising – paid for placement. Examples of book ads are (ads in print & online publications, radio, internet or network television, blogs, etc.) Its goal is immediate promotional impact and short lived. It’s results can be measured via survey, tracking backlinks and sneeze page hits. It is the most expensive form of marketing. When you create your plan it is imperative to use online ads to promote your next event or next title, and most effective when creating and implementing book launch strategy. Where can you find online advertise placements?
· Online Mags like SORMAG
· Blogs like Christian Fiction Blog http://www.christianfiction.blogspot.com
· You can submit ads/drops to online radio shows like Media Candy www.blogtalkradio.com/mediacandy
· Social Media Sites like Facebook Ads
· Internet TV Shows like Faithful Folios on LiveStream
· Eblast services like GoodGirlBookClub. Make sure to include in your plan to purchase eblast service from a local service, a genre specific service, a national magazine.
· Link Ads in online newsletters like Dee’s Goody Mail
· Book Trailers on DeeGospel on YouTube
· Sponsoring online events like SORMAG Online Conference
· Paying for a Blog Tour through Ty Moody Creations
· Ad placements on Literary Sites like Booktour.com
Online Public Relations & CRM – the activity to create opportunities to build relationships with your readers gatekeepers and to promote your service, product and brand. It is not a guaranteed sale, cannot be measured short-term, but affects are longer and more lasting than advertising. Customer Relations Management (CRM) is tied to PR, because PR also handles crisis management and customer feedback and retention. Online PR & CRM activities are:
Online Book Tours like CFBA
Online Audio Interviews like From Cover to Cover Literary Talk Show
Online Book club meetings using SKYPE or Mogalus
Book review placements on Christian Fiction Blog or RAWSISTAZ
Online mag interview opps like Victorious Living
Radio opps like Ella Curry’s BAN
Speaking opps like Nia Promotions’ Online Teleseminars
Online Parties via Twitter and Facebook and BrightKite
Social BookMarking– social bookmarking is a referral activity for bloggers. Blog readers find a great service or read and the refer what they like through social bookmarking sites like:
Become very familiar with this tool and implore your readers to do the same.
Direct Selling – your website or blog is the lifeblood of your online presence. Moreover you can create a buyer’s page to navigate readers to direct selling. It is best practice to provide your local booksense tour, an online bookstore and an affiliate link with either Amazon, Borders or Faithpoint. To be able to watch the activity from your site setup a google analytics account and put the code inside or have your website designer place the code and provide monthly reports about your site’s activity. On that site make sure you have both audio and visual components of who you are and your book, preferably, you the author.
In short, let me share what these services should do for you. Online Marketing – is not the same as CRM, although social networking is a tool for both CRM, publicity, advertising, direct sales, and direct mailing. Online Marketing is using the 4ps of marketing process online.
Identify readers with online research using SMS, bookmarking, blogging, podcasting, polling.
Anticipating reader needs via polling, forum building, e-newsletter campaign strategy
Supply readers by introducing your answer to their wants and needs by creating an effective product launch strategy using online hubs, blogs and supplying online snippets in audio, video and print forms via viral sms like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Viddler, YouTube, UStream, Skype, Utterz
Satisfy readers by enabling your book e-reader capable with ebooks and sony reader and Kindle Ready.
Dee Stewart is a writing diva mother, publicist, inspirational book reviewer for Romantic Times Magazine, Atlanta Satellite Bookseller for Mocha Readers Bookstores, and owner of Christian Fiction Blog(www.christianfiction.blogspot.com) and The Christian Fiction Network(christianfiction.ning.com). Her writings have appeared in: Spirit Led Woman, Gospel Today, Good Girl Book Club, The Dabbling Mum, Atlanta Christian Family, Mosaic Literary, Precious Times, Vertical Fix just a few. She will be featured in SistahFaith Anthology(Simon & Schuster, Feb. 2010.) Follow her on Twitter at @DeeGospel. Or visit my site at http://www.deestewart.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dee.stewart
“This fall I will be hosting a six week Media Candy book marketing session for a very affordable rate. Let me know if you are interested in more details. Also in the fall my site www.deegospelpr.com will become a membership site, whereby you can download free reports, ebooks, tip sheets, bookclub contact info, participate in some of my free teleseminars, podcasts receive discounts for group coaching and marketing products, literary agents accepting submissions, book festival panel speaking opps, an invitation to apply to become a speaker’s bureau member, and much more more for a low fee of $25 a month. Subscribe to my free newsletter at firstname.lastname@example.org to stay updated.
- I believe in promoting authors and their books. Let me introduce you and your books to online readers.
I'm also a happily married mother of three who's trying to break into the Christian writing field. The writing road can be rocky.
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