Aloha from the CAN treasurer, Karen Whiting
CAN began several years ago when a few author friends shared a great idea of forming a group that would help one another market and learn how to market. We are still growing into the best ways to do that. This blog has been a great teaching tool to share how to market and I’m rthankful to be part of such a network.
I want to share some tips of what I’m doing to prepare to market a few future books
In evaluating a new book idea before I start a proposal I think marketing. I chjeck out the competing books to see if the topic is one that sells and to see if my slant/concept is unique.I share the idea with potential readers to see if they feel a need for such a book and ask store owners would they think their customers would want in such a book.
Then I consider how I would try to market the book as I consider the target audience and how to reach them. I develop some plans of what I would do ideally. If the tests are met I work on a proposal and sample chapters. That’s the start and I keep the idea in mind, adding to it while I wait to get a contract.
Once I have a contract and start working on a book I start writing the book and work on the marketing. As I write that’s when the material is freshest in my mind and that’s when I may have excess information that won’t fit in the book as well as stories of what’s happening as I write. So I spend a few minutes at the end of my writing day building marketing material. I set up databases and blog files knowing I can use the material when it’s time to market.
For now I’m writing a historical nonfiction devotional book (Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front of American Wars). I’m doing a database of dates of any historical connections to what I’m writing-dates of events, birthdates of noteable people, etc.. Those will be good for twitter to make short notes linking to a blog. I write blogs for each story/devotional of extra research information or interesting notes about the facts or on how I located the facts. I do a few other databases to be able to create talks. The list could continue with databases of places so I could connect to radio stations in historic locations or connections of people from various hometowns to the book, political starts such as how culture came to the white house during the various war times, and even terms we use that came from the wars. I’ll use some facts to create an informative bookmark of interesting facts or tips for people on the home front. It might even be good to use databases for a calendar for military families from ideas gleaned in the book of how families during the war times have coped. I also create a file of couple questions that will be a free downloadable PDF.
For new inspirational craft books that are currently being illustrated I took digital photos of the crafts to use in marketing, wrote blogs for both the mothers and the girls, and a database of the scriptures and spiritual connections made in the book. I have excess materials from making crafts I’ll use at store events-some to have girls make a craft and some I’ll bundle for a door prize of materials for a specific craft in one of the books.
I like to attend ICRS every year and build my network there. That’s the industry trade show. I talk to as many bookstores as I can and get their cards so I can send postcards later. I started a blog with three other authors of girl’s books with my publisher and I’ll create postcards to give the stores. They can post it for girls to go to the blog for free information and even contests.
From CAN I grab more ideas. Someone else releasing a one-year devotional asked for ideas of giveaways and I liked a few that I might use, including giving away little calendars to write notes in as they read the book.
There’s no end to what we can do, so I make it easier by preparing to market as I write. Then I’m not as overwhelmed when the book is released.
Have fun developing ideas!