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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Drip, Drip, Drip: The Way to Plan Your Book Marketing Campaign

Thanks to Terry Doherty for today's guest post. She's a must-know for children's authors, that's for sure. But we can all learn from her expertise.


Drip, Drip, Drip Promo Campaigns
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

By Terry Doherty, Mom’s Choice Awards, literacy advocate, and founder of The Reading Club

Do you ever find yourself bogged down with trying to put together a newsletter? Me, too.

One of the cardinal rule of of marketing is to consistently and continually engage your fanbase. If you’re following Carolyn’s advice, you’re building your email contact list during author visits. Collecting names and emails for your newsletter list is a great way to expand your network, but thanking each person for coming to see you and letting them know about all your promotional events can take A LOT of time.

That’s where a drip campaign can come in handy. Drip campaigns are pre-planned emails that go out on a set schedule. There is no minimum or maximum number of “drops” in a campaign, but it does take some thought and a little prep time. Why? Because these emails have to be timeless, not to offer high quality content.

Let’s use a book festival as an example. I collected emails from people who bought your book or who got an autograph. I’m home and adding all of those people to my newsletter list. I want to send an email to this group of people to say it was nice to meet them and thank them for coming to see me. But (a) I only want to send to my newest contacts (not the whole list) and (b) I want it to go out five days from now.

Lucky for me, I have a canned email that I use for all events. It says “thanks,” but it also lets people know about the kinds of programs I do, asks them to let me know what they think of my book, and also to consider adding a review to Amazon (with a link to my product page).

Next, I set a rule in my email program that says something to the effect that when I add new people to my newsletter list, the “thanks” email should be launched five days later. Done! Now, whenever I enter names the “thanks” email triggers five days later.

 
TIP! If you use also use a contact form on your website or blog, you may want a more generic welcome or thanks-for-signing-up email. Alternatively, you can have a second signup list that is for people you meet and those who just sign up via form. That’s called “segmenting” your list.

 
Now, as I said at the top, we need to consistently engage with the people on our list, so in addition to the first email, I will launch a second email 43 days after that. [There is no magic number; I just picked 43 because it would logically space emails between my regular newsletter and the drip campaign.]

So what will I talk about? Well, my book is about birdwatching with kids, so one month, I might send a short email that has some links to my favorite blogs about birdwatching, or maybe a couple tips about how to identify a bird by its feathers or voice. Next time, I might include a PDF version of a set of bookmarks (about my book) that people can download and share. Next, it will be a video about how to make an Origami bird.

You get the idea. It might just be those four emails, maybe six months of emails, or maybe a full year. The keys, though, are to

1.     make sure that I am not always talking (directly) about me or my book. Email, like other social, is about communication and building relationships.

2.     pick topics that don’t have an expiration date. The idea of a drip campaign is that it will serve you well forever.

If you’d like to join a drip campaign in action to see what it is like, then sign up for my Reading Tub newsletters. We have two segmented lists, with two kinds of drip campaigns. One is just literacy tips and ideas (six weeks). The other sends you a book recommendation each month, based on the kind of book your child likes to read and their age.

Here’s to marketing and connecting with our fans made easy!

-----About the Author of This Guest Post: Terry Doherty
Terry is a mom, sister, wife, consultant, coach, and business owner.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/8fbDVP2IpHhQvlNwXBuUUjRjj6zX0LKiNfT2tVuHfXNwKwSaQThTklaNzdLIjEgPoKdMcKLwrv73GAgiKb1tl4YwYzm9US_bXdg8XRxhck6LyGlgAnSm-8n_k23wafDHTgShe is passionate about literacy. It was through her work with the Reading Tub (a nonprofit she created) that the Mom’s Choice Awards found her. She is the MCA’s Director of New Media & Alumni Education, as well as part owner.

Most days, you can find Terry reading a book (it’s part of her job, honest!) and writing … either for her various blogs or to prepare for an online class. Terry is a regular columnist on IBPA’s Book Industry News blog, covering the social media marketing beat.
-----
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Brand New Book Prize Contest You Can Trust

Today is the opening day!


North Street Book Prize is Ready for YOU
It’s time! New contests are the best ones to enter (providing they are reputable) and the well respected Adam Cohen and Jendi Reiter of WinningWriters.com have a new contest for self-published books called the North Street Book Prize. I’m excited to support it because it includes all the extra benefits of contests that I like best—like critiques. Like being more frugal than many. Like offering something free just for entering—something that will help your writing career move forward.

Subscribers to this blog know that I have long recommended contests as a way to learn more and to set a book apart from the hundreds of thousands published each year. Learn more at http://howtodoitfrugally.com/contests.htm.


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Example of a Cover Letter for a Media Kit

Hooray. I am almost finished editing the second edition of The Frugal Editor to be released in January.  I ran across this sample letter in the Appendix and thought it appropriate to get some writers started out on the right foot for their 2015 marketing campaigns.  Here it is, but four other examples of query and cover letters are available right now in the e-book edition.

 
A cover letter is very similar to a query letter except that it introduces a media kit or some other marketing material or enclosure like a manuscript requested by an agent. A query asks for something specific, like representation or media coverage. (See Appendix Five for samples of queries.)

If you know or have spoken to whomever you are contacting, your cover letter may be friendly and, depending on your personal style, you may use a first name. If this is a first contact, use the person’s proper title (Mr., Mrs., Ms. Miss), but avoid stiff formality unless you perceive an overwhelming reason to maintain a strictly formal tone. A cover letter uses the Times New Roman font (12 point). It is single-spaced and one page only.

Notice the sample cover letter below includes an invitation to an event mention at the end of the letter. It is both polite and smart marketing to invite members of the media to be part of your plans. Find more information on what to include and avoid in Chapter Five “Dangerous Corners Ahead: Covers and Queries.”

These two examples of cover letters and all but one of the examples of query letters I include in Appendix Five are for fiction rather than nonfiction. Generally speaking, it is easier for authors to find the right information and tone to sell and promote nonfiction. Fiction writers often need a little extra guidance, but ideas from all the examples can be applied to both fiction and nonfiction.

SAMPLE COVER LETTER FOR A MEDIA KIT


As you can see, this cover letter serves as a query letter as well because it tells the contact exactly what the author is hoping might come from the communication.

 [A professional letterhead goes here or that information becomes part of your signature if you use e-mail.]
Date: xxx
Contact’s name, e-mail, Web site address, and street address or post office box address
Dear Marilee,
It has been a while since we spoke about your reviewing my book, This Is the Place. As you can see, it is a bit late, but July 1st is now AmErica House’s release date. Since we spoke, This Is the Place won Sime-Gen.com’s Reviewers’ Choice Award in their mainstream category. Nominations are made by reviewers nationwide. I hope you can find a spot for an interview in your busy radio schedule.
I am a journalist who got lost for about forty years. I conceived an idea for a novel when I was writing for my high school newspaper; it gestated through my years as a staff writer at the Salt Lake Tribune, Good Housekeeping, my years as a publicist, and for about four decades doing various things after that kept me from writing.
 
Many, including the editors at the Los Angeles Daily News, have found my writing a book at an age when most are considering retirement an interesting news angle. At the age of sixty-two I found a publisher, several of my short stories placed in the finals of national literary contests, I completed my first screenplay, and I started to study writing again at UCLA and several universities in Europe.
 
That This Is the Place tells the stories of four generations of Utah women, from the 1800s to the 1950s, makes it of particular interest to western history buffs and those who like women’s literature. Its premise is that intolerance can be corrosive even when it is cloaked in family, love, and community.
This Is the Place’s release date coincides with the burgeoning interest in Utah as the 2002 Winter Olympics approach.
 
I am enclosing a media kit and an unedited review copy of my novel (with a generic cover). If there is anything else I can do for you, please let me know. I have headshots, a jpeg file of my book cover and other assorted promotional materials you might need. My first official reading and signing will be at Vroman’s on Thursday, July 26, at 7 p.m. and I would love to see you there.
Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Encs: 2

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Least-Seen Book Promotion Idea of 2014





Publishing/Marketing Partnership Tip
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How can you sell more books—any book, fiction or nonfiction—without doing all the heavy lifting yourself? Partner with an author who writes in your genre or on your topic. Here’s how: Include the first one to three chapters of their book in the back of your book and they do the same for you. You’ve automatically reached your target audience, gotten what amounts to an endorsement from a fellow author. After you’ve done the original planning (finding a reliable partner and adding one another’s material to your self-published book), the rewards keep coming in effortlessly!

Here are suggestions for making this cross-promotion work well:

1. Choose an author who writes in your genre or on a similar nonfiction topic, though the topic could be broad like politics.

2. Choose an author whose work you admire and who admires your work as well.

3. Plan well ahead and agree on the parameters of the agreement. Will you include an introduction (a kind of recommendation) before the chapters? How will you do it? With just a title like “Recommended Reading for Those Who Love Horror,” or with a personal introduction about your partner and why you like his or her work. How many words or pages of your partner’s work will you include in your book? (Be careful not to let the number of your author’s pages push you into another level where your book will cost more to print!)

4. If the number of pages is problematic, do it only in the e-book version of your book.

5. As an alternative, partner on a promotional e-book that you promote and give away free. You could use many more than two authors for this idea and agree on how many e-books and how much marketing each author must contribute to be included. Call it a “Free Sampler for Future Reading on the State of American Politics” or something else that matches your needs.

If you choose to do this, let me know about it. Send me an e-copy. I’ll use your note and links to the free book in the Letters-to-the-Editor section of this newsletter. 


-----
 Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Relatively New Amazon/Twitter Benefits for All Authors and Their Books


You have probably noticed that I encourage authors--traditionally published and self-published authors-- to use all the benefits Amazon offers them—even if you’re not much of an Amazon fan. That includes helping one another out (and encouraging fellow writers and friends) to add your book to their Wish Lists. Why? Because it helps your exposure and your algorithms on Amazon.com, that’s why. Here’s a recent message I gleaned from a recent e-mail direct from Amazon about the new Twitter/Amazon partnership that will help you with that:

Here's how to let Twitter Make Using Amazon Wish List Easy

To Add to your wish list directly from Twitter:
 
  1. Find a tweet containing an Amazon product link
  2. Hit the reply butoone with and include an Amazon hashtag like this: #AmazonWishList
  3. The item gets added to you Amazon Wish List and you can go back and shop later—easily. No forgetting. No extra steps.

Of course, you can also do this when you’re browsing Amazon, too. Just go to any buypage on Amazon and click on the oval Wish List button located on the right of every buy page. How about trying it with one of mine at http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromo. Doing so benefits you, too: Your own icon may appear at the top of those same buy pages—with links to YOUR page or Amazon profile! One click benefits all.

 

PS: Kindle Unlimited is relatively new, too. This new Amazon feature is another reason I hang in there with Kindle Select, even if it means giving Amazon an exclusive on my e-books (not my paperbacks!). Their Kindle Unlimited is now also available on Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom and Ireland), too.  They say these customers "will be able to read as many books as they want from a library of over 650,000 titles [when they are]  subscribed to Kindle Unlimited. All books enrolled in KDP Select with publishing rights in the United Kingdom will be automatically included in Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.co.uk.
"Just so you know, you earn a share of the KDP Select global fund each time a customer accesses your book from Kindle Unlimited and reads more than 10% of the book they order—about the length of reading the free sample available in Kindle books—as opposed to a payout when the book is simply downloaded."
I say, this feature exposes your book to a whole new audience of book lovers willing to pay a monthly fee to access e-books! (-: and you still get your royalty--or more.  


----- Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .