For the last couple of days (see part one here and part two here) I’ve been sharing what I consider the new paradigm for DIY book marketing–a kind of cart-before-the-horse strategy where you market yourself first, and then publish later.
Yesterday we looked at the planning behind this kind of marketing strategy. Today we’ll look at execution.
Step 5: Develop a sustainable, effective strategy for broadcasting & interacting on those channels. Make this your primary activity.
If you are starting with Twitter or Facebook, get yourself a good scheduling tool. Here at Bookigee we are big fans of Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. These tools allow you to schedule tweets in advance, and also to manage multiple accounts through the same dashboard so you can post to one or more accounts at the same time. We also recommend getting an awesome app like Zite (it’s free!) that does an amazing job of collecting and curating articles and information so you have plenty of good material to broadcast. If you’re blogging or using a platform like Instagram or Pinterest, think about making “evergreen content” that will stay fresh and encourage new users to find you. Lists, thematic series, and serial posts are always good, and will give you some structure.
[Start writing your book in your off time when you’re not slinging mud at the local café or building your network. Building the network is more important than writing right now.]
Step 6: Rinse, lather, and repeat for 12-18 months.
There are plenty of resources that describe how to use social media effectively. The one thing I will say about it is the value you get out of a social media network is directly proportionate to the value you provide. You need to be interesting, helpful, and engaged, and you will start to build a following. Are you the pool-shooting cupcake queen? Start posting finger-licking pictures and bakery reviews. Engage with influencers, post interesting things, and add your two cents. Be real. Don’t talk about your (eventual) book. Or if you do, it should be part of your shtick to do so. “So I was in the coffee shop today, scribbling as usual, and then I saw the funniest thing….” And, there is something to the idea that if you follow those you want to connect with, a certain number of them will follow you back. It’s an effective incremental strategy as long as you are broadcasting great stuff.
[Continue writing your book or get started now if necessary—what does your writer’s group think? What, you don’t have one? Get one. And listen to their feedback. Maybe start to post some chapters on WattPad.]
Step 7: Go easy on yourself if you have an interruption in your schedule or a break in your plan.
Just pick up and keep going. You know what they say about slow and steady. And don’t lose heart if you feel like no one is listening. Part of what you’re doing in the early days is laying a back story for when your audience starts digging into your archives.
[Your book should be getting there—perhaps it’s time to engage with a good independent editor. Keep writing.]
Step 8: Initiate publishing plan.
- Post part or all of your story on an interactive platform like WattPad or LeanPub
- Launch a Kickstarter Campaign
- Query an Agent (include your awesome social media footprint)
- Serialize your book on Byliner
- Self-publish your book if you feel confident you understand how to market it
I’m not promising that you will become a best-seller. But I do think this is a completely viable way to publishing success, and for those people who do it really well, they are masters of their own domain. Traditional publishers are looking for people just like this. (Just like you!)
Want to keep talking? Come to Author (R)evolution Day–and we can continue the conversation. In the meantime, what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to get your platform going, cupcake queen.