In 2015, I did a bad job of promoting consistently and wanted to do better in 2016. I'm not a planner, but I knew that's what I'd have to do in order to be successful. So I sat down and figured out a simple promotion plan. Then I blogged about it to hold myself accountable, and because I thought people might find it useful.
And they did. I got a lot of complements and a lot of questions about how I came up with it. So here I am blogging about it again with details on how I came up with my 2016 promo plan.
KISS--Keep It Simple Stupid
Since my main hurdle in promoting was difficulty, my first step was to make the plan simple. My day job can be pretty draining, and leave me with little energy to do much more than binge watch Netflix, so I didn't want to set daily tasks. I also didn't want to come off as spammy. Therefore, I formulated my plan around a month. 30 days (give or take) to spread promotion over.
Spam is only good if it's from a can
As I said, I did not want to appear spammy. Since I have two young adult novels and a four part novella series, I decided one tweet for each book a month wouldn't be spammy. I use Tweetdeck to schedule the tweets throughout the month, ranging from 8am to 9pm.
Blogging–It's not dead yet
I'm sure you've heard people claim blogging is dead, but I still find it useful. Plus, blogging about my books was something I wasn't doing. How can I generate buzz when I'm not talking about my books? This was another thing I decided not to over do. I picked one day in the month and dedicated that to blogging about one of my books. Topics can range from teasers, to fun facts, to character interviews, to deleted scenes, to flash fiction. At the end of each post I put the blurb and links to buy the book.
Show me the $$!
Probably the biggest hurdle authors have for promotion is money. Marketing can cost a pretty penny. Look at Book Bub. If I want to list one of my YAs for free, it will cost me over $100! I've heard plenty of people talk about how they had success with Book Bub, but it's a hard amount for me to justify for a free book.
I opted to start small and set my budget at $20 a month. Pick an amount that's not too hard on the budget, and you don't have to spend it. Save one month and double your budget for the next month. January I spent $7.50 on promotion. That means I now have $20+$12.50 for February.
The other part of my budget was to utilize free sites. They tend to only be for free books and aren't guaranteed, but are worth spending a few minutes submitting to. These I choose to do every three months. Some have rules about how often a book can be submitted and I didn't want to over do it and turn people off. Finding free sites is easy. I googled it and found this one with 100+ sites. Ask other authors too. They may know of a place you can try. There's also Thunderclap, a free site that crowdsources people to help spread the word.
I found a promo plan doesn't have to be super extensive or detailed. There are plenty of simple things that are better than doing nothing. You don't have to break the bank either. Keeping it simple means it won't feel like a chore, and leaves open the option of expanding on it later. It will also allow you to remove tasks that aren't providing results, increase what is working, and try new ideas.
I hope you found this helpful in making your own marketing plan. If you still have any questions, or suggestions, pop them in the comments. =D
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