3 S.R. Johannes: Marketing Monday - Tips for Pre-Published Authors

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Marketing Monday - Tips for Pre-Published Authors

I have been asked a question by my readers:

Why don't you ever blog about marketing?

Good question. I have no good answer. I guess because I speak marketing all day so I dont think about it at night.

As some know - my day job is that I have my own marketing/copywriting business www.bilaninc.com - founded in 2000. I have done marketing from Corporations (Spanx, Goody Hair Products) to Nonprofits to Small Businesses to Authors. I have been doing Marketing since I left Auburn with my MBA in 1995. (you do the math (Boo hoo!)

I've decided to start a weekly blog (Maybe Marketing Mondays!) that will offer marketing tips and help you to "Increase your MQ (Marketing IQ)."

This week's focus - tips for pre-published authors
You will hear me say you do NOT have to be published to start your marketing. Focus on your marketing on the days you want to write but can't. It will help you move through writers block and force you to be thinking baout your book.

1) Find a great hook for your book - this can be used in query letters, submissions, elevators, prayers (Dear god - please help me sell my...)

2) For writer's sake - create a web site! I don't care if you are not published. Get a web presence - get one now!. Create a web site that you can grow. You will not have time once you get published so why not start now.

3) Creating a strategy for your book. Take the book you are trying to sell and create a marketing plan. Think about target audiences, the best way to reach each group, and contact names. Again, you wont have time to do this after you get published.

4) Create a blog. Why not? Again - it forces you to write something when you cant write anything on that huge YA novel. I know of a few authors who got an agent because the agent or editor SAW THEIR BLOG and loved their writing. You just never know.

5) Think about yourself as a brand - who is your market, how do you want to present yourself. How do you sell yourself to an agent, an editor, and so on. Marketing starts even before you go out and try to find an agent.

I came across this quote to sum it all up.

"You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can not get them across, your ideas will not get you anywhere - Lee Iacocca"


Anonymous said...

How funny that you wrote this while I was having a blog identity crisis :) I think I'll leave this topic to the expert.
I like marketing mondays! And yay for you on being so close on submitting your baby. I love that feeling, as nerve-wracking as it is.
PS--have you read the shrinking violets promotions blog? I've been combing through it as I procrastinate my weekly revision goal (that's what saturday at 11:00 is for)

Elizabeth O Dulemba said...

Yes!! I've always pushed thinking of oneself as a brand! Very good kick-off to Marketing Mondays!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

Lindsay - thanks for visiting. After reading your blog - seems we have similar thoughts (scary huh?) I looked at shrinking violet - thanks for the tip.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

e - thx for coming - see you next weekend.

Casey Something said...

Never mind my question on your most recent post, I found this!

I'm lost as far as websites go. I tried to create one a while back using what-you-see... and never got very far on it. I haven't been too concerned about it yet because I have pretty much zip to put on one.

Should I have one anyways?

Love the marketing Mondays by the way.

Anonymous said...

Love the quote but the name Lee Iacocca is like some bad dream from the past...

Anonymous said...

Creating a strategy for your book is excellent advice. The thing is, I have ideas for markets (especially those that would tie in with history curriculums) but I do not know how to reach them let alone tap them. I mean, how in the world do I target teachers of ancient history. Some schools do it in the 6th grade. Some not until 10th (in GA, which is ridiculous but anyway). It just seems overwhelming to try and figure out how to reach these people in an efficient way...

Carrie Harris said...

You know, I'm thinking that item #5should really be #1, shouldn't it? Establish your brand and then make sure that the website and marketing materials fit that brand? Otherwise, I'm worried that I'd end up with a big wet mess, leaving people with no idea of who I am and what they'd get with my products.

Of course, I've been accused of overanalyzing before...