Since releasing my traditionally published book, I feel like I’ve signed up for another part-time job.
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 the 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 some times 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 one week 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.)
Now, I’m realistic. I understand some people are going to say no. I had heard an experienced literary agent 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.
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!
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 area 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.
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.
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?