#MagicalMarketing,  #MondayBlogs,  Marketing

What My Marketing Week Looks Like And How I Got The YES!

I have a traditionally published book.  I feel that it's my responsibility to work my butt off to market it. My publisher may gain sales. But I gain readers, ones that I hope will stick around for my next book.

Since releasing my traditionally published book, I feel like I’ve signed up for another part time job.

 The marketing. 

Sometimes I love marketing. I love it when I tell my journey as a writer and people get really excited and whip out their checkbooks and buy a copy of my book. Sometimes I hate marketing. I hate it when I have to explain in a phone call to a local bookstore that I’m not crazy. I really do have a book!  I love getting emails from local reporters asking to meet me. I don’t love seeing the lame photo in paper that doesn’t do my hair justice. I like being seen by the raving fan. I don’t like the work that it takes sometimes to get that attention.

Yet it’s a must.

This spring I came up with a new strategy to meet my marketing goals. None of this is rocket science and none of it guarantees success. But this strategy keeps me focused.

I’m designated every fourth week in my calendar as marketing week. During that week, I shake the bushes, I contact podcasters, I call bookstores, I visit libraries, I do as much as it takes. When I came up with this plan, I came up with a number that sounded really hard, five contacts a day. Then I added one more. 

My goal for the week of April 20-24, was to “cold call”  30 different situations and ask them how they could help me get the word out for Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day in their viewers’, listeners’, patrons’ or readers’ hands. 

That was six a day. It helped that my friend Christine was cheering me on and rewarding me  if I met my goal. (Never underestimate the power of a friend and a really good bribe.)

What My Marketing Week Looks Like And How I Got The YES!

Now, I’m realistic. I understand some people are going to say no. I had heard Chip MacGregor say at a conference that a 30% success rate is the goal. THIRTY PERCENT! That means that for every three people I asked, if I got ONE YES, then that would be cause for celebration.

Day one:

1. I contacted via email VERY BIG WRITING EXPERT about being on her podcast. She said no very nicely.

2. I did a search for the phrase “find time to write” and came across a few blogs. I asked AL if I guest post for her. Haven’t heard back.

3. Asked Danielle, a 10 Minute Novelist, if I could guest post for her. SHE SAID YES!

4. Contacted BIG WRITING EXPERT #2. Didn’t hear from them.

5. Contacted INDEPENDENT BOOK BLOG. Didn’t hear from them.

6. Asked Rachel, a 10 Minute Novelist, if I could guest post. SHE SAID YES!

That was my first six contacts and it took most of a morning to do. I had 2 say YES, that’s 30% success rate! 

Every fear is based in a lie.

The next day, this happened.

1. A blogger asked me for a review copy! That’s a YES!

2. I contacted another writing podcast. Still waiting.

3. I called the biggest independent bookstore in my area and sent them an information email about my book. Still waiting.

4. I called the second biggest independent bookstore in my are and sent them an information email. Still waiting.

5. I asked Tina, a 10 Minute Novelist, to do a review. That’s a YES!

6. I asked a connection at a local newspaper to give me some names. Still waiting.

Your local library should be one of the first stops you make on your marketing journey!
Your local library should be one of the first stops you make on your marketing journey!

This took TIME! Even though it seemed easy, like just asking friends, I still had to write the messages and wait it out. And I got two “YES” out of six. I rock at this. 

Over the rest of the week, I did this:

1. Contacted a friend in advertising if he’d write a review. Still waiting.
2. Contacted Anna, a blogger, if she’d write a review. She said YES!
3. Contacted a podcast about being a guest. Still waiting.
4. Contacted Journey of Ambition podcast. They want to hear more! (That counts as a YES!)
5. Contacted Robin, a 10 Minute Novelist, if she’d write a review. She said YES!
6. Was contacted (without solicitation) by a writer who is giving a presentation at a conference. She asked ME if she could use some artwork I made on this website. Not only will she shout out my book, but she’ll read it and review it! THIS IS HUGE! And I didn’t even work at it. 
7. Contacted my local coffee shop about me doing a live event there. They said YES but in the Fall. 
8. Contacted a local mothers’ group about speaking. Still waiting.
9. Contacted another local mothers’ group about speaking. Still waiting.
10. Contact a writing blog that had an article about “finding time to write”.  They want a guest post! YES! 
11. Contacted another blog regarding just about the same thing. Still waiting.
12. Contacted another writing podcast. Still waiting.
13. Contacted an online writing community to see if they want a review copy. Still waiting.
14. Contacted another writing podcast. Still waiting.
15. Contacted Australian writers’ network (and didn’t think I had a chance at all) but they’re forwarding my information to the right people.
16. Contacted a friend, Maria, about being on her podcast. Yes, but not now. That’s not a problem.
17. Contacted yet another writers podcast. They said YES! 
18. Submitted guest post proposal to BIG TIME MANAGEMENT BLOG. Still waiting.
19. Contacted another friend, Ally, about her writing call in show. She said yes.

Let’s do the math! 

That’s 31 points of contact I made in five days. Of those 31, I have 10 YES! That’s close to 30%. I’m very happy with the results I got. And as the time goes by, I hope to get responses from some of the inquiries.

This was a full week’s worth of marketing for me. I’m not doing any aggressive marketing until the third week of May, when I’ll try to get 36 contacts and even more YES. 

My Plan?

1. Contact all local newspapers and either send press releases or ask for a features reporter to do a story.

2. Contact all local libraries and drop off copies of my book, asking for the name of their person who organizes events.

3. Do more google searches for more writing podcasts, blogs, websites and organizations who might be interested in my book.

I should have no trouble finding 36 contacts.

If I can do this. You can do this. If I can stand tall, present myself, polish my pitch, look for email addresses, and hit send. YOU CAN TOO! 

Marketing is hard. And sometimes it’s discouraging. But it’s worth doing if we’re going to succeed.

What have you done recently that gave you a YES?

Katharine Grubb is an author, poet, homeschooling mother, camping enthusiast, bread-baker, and believer in working in small increments of time. She leads 10 Minute Novelists, an international Facebook group of time-crunched writers. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.


  • Elyse Salpeter

    I like this idea – though I do something every day. I commit to doing 5-20 social media marketing efforts a day. I know that’s pretty vague and it’s wide ranging. It can simply be writing a blog, retweeting, working with authors on a blog retweet week where we comment and post, to more wide reaching ones where I attempt query agents, email my newsletter about a release, query amazon bloggers for reviews, etc. I’ve found recently it’s been harder to get responses back, but I’m going to chalk that up to the time of the year. Nice blog and great job!

  • Elaine Mansfield

    Realistic and helpful–and you make marketing sound like fun. Always good to have realistic expectations and not to be thrown by rejections. My book came out in October 2014. I’ve been madly marketing since. Possibilities were slowing down this summer. I did all the local libraries and stores and interested groups. Did lots of radio of various sorts. My focus was to be on submitting more articles.
    A few weeks ago, my book got a Gold Medal IPPY award, so that means more opportunities and open doors. I still have to do the work of knocking on them while keeping the blog going and creating new material. Question becomes how much energy to spend on marketing vs time for writing and life. I like your focused plan and need to figure out my own.
    Thank you so much.

  • Michele

    Thanks for sharing, Katharine! I need to do this, too. I hate marketing with a passion, but you made this look easy. BTW, you can always do a guest post for me! I will do a review of your book. It’s next on my list.

  • Danielle Hanna

    You go, girl! Already rocking that 30%! I’ll bet a few of those “no answers” will get back to you with a “yes,” too. (Don’t forget the wonders of a polite follow-up!)

    You seem to have arrived at the same conclusion I did: That marketing deserves its own block of time to enjoy Front Burner Status. I keep thinking, “I’ll sneak in a little marketing at the end of the day.” And does it happen? Nooooo!

    I think your other take-away is the wonders of networking. See how many 10 Minute Novelists said “yes!”? (Cuz we already love you!)

    Looking forward to featuring you on our blog!

  • Danielle Hanna

    Katharine …

    On my previous comment, my name somehow came out “Danielle Hands” instead of “Danielle Hanna.” (Stupid smart phone.) Would you mind fixing that? Not that it’s a bad name, or anything … TY!