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Friday, June 25, 2010

Setting Short Term Goals for Marketing

JA Konrath suggests doing 10 (pretty sure it's 10) things to promote yourself or your books every day. C. Hope Clark suggests shy writers do one thing every month.  I'm comfortable somewhere in between.

This week, I'm going to do one promotional act each day. That means, if it's 10 PM and I haven't done anything, I can't go to bed until I do. I'll try it for a week, starting Monday.


I can't promote my ebook yet because it's a tad late coming out, but Keith Publications is just starting up and that's when the kinks pop up, so I'm not worried.

In fact, it gives me extra time to implement a few marketing strategies I've read about in order to promote...ME! It makes me sound like an attention whore, but we authors need to get over our reticence.

The last time you got a free bookmark or chapbook or read an interview with an author, did YOU think, "Gosh. Just look at her. Weedling for attention like a love-starved puppy. Gag!"

Unless the author was going overboard, you probably didn't think much at all. You took the bookmark and figured you'd either look into the book later or you wished her luck. So don't overthink how people will see you.

One of the first things I could do to let readers know I'm out here is to offer to guest blog on sites. Stop cringing. As someone who does a group blog, I'll let you in on a secret. It's a pleasure to have someone else offer to do the writing for the week.

The trick is to lay the groundwork early.

  • If you have a blog, invite other authors to come on your site, whether through guest blogs or interviews. 
  • Link to other blogs on your site. One good turn deserve another.
  • Any time you mention another author, his book, or he site, drop a note and tell them. Many authors like to keep track of places they are mentioned on the web, and they just might refer followers to your site. It's a win-win.
Just let things develope naturally. People can tell if you're sincere, and if you are a reader and writer, why wouldn't you want to promote other books and authors?

By promoting authors through my site and through the Sisters in Crime Los Angeles Speaker's Bureau, I had made friends. I received two offers to host a guest blog the day after I posted the release of my ebook.

And if you think about it, if someone you knew was on a blog tour and they didn't ask to be on your site, wouldn't your feelings be kind of hurt? Or maybe I'm more sensitive.

Next, I can make my blog search engine friendly. How? Good question. I have the information around here somewhere and will post it next week.

Prepare a press kit. When the time comes to really market my book, I'm going to need a press kit. Already I had to scramble for a professional looking picture for Keith Publication's author site. It wasn't a great shot, but I did alright considering I lost all my photos when my computer crashed.

I'll come up with five easy things to do next week and let you know exactly how I did them and how they turned out. Sound fair?

If you can think of any quick tips on self-promotion, feel free to post them in the comments and I'll include them in my blog.

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