Monday, October 20, 2008

Following the Cyber Trail

You know you need some kind of a marketing plan or in introvert-speak, a way to cultivate your field of future readers, but how in the world do you even know where to start?

They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. They also say there are no new ideas, just re-packaged and re-envisioned one. So with this in mind, here’s a suggestion: Pick a recently published, successful book that is similar to yours in tone and genre and (most important) potential audience. Then, using the miracle that is google, follow the book’s cyber trail to try and piece together some of the places it was marketed successfully. If the book is truly similar to yours in some way, then chances are good that a number of the successful story angles, contacts, and approaches may work for your book as well.

So for example you could pay close attention to the newspaper coverage the book received, what angle did those stories take? Which newspapers seems to embrace it? What were the reporters who reviewed them or wrote the stories? Consider creating a list of newspaper contacts based on those results and play with similar-but-new-and-right-for-your-book approaches for press releases or cover letters.

Also pay attention to which blogs the book got good reviews on. High traffic reader and writer blogs are a fabulous way to get the word out about your book, and many bloggers are very open to receiving review copies. Also look for online magazines that may have written up something about the book or featured it in some way. These names should also go on your possible media contact list. (Of course, it goes without saying that you will only approach these contacts with a highly professional cover letter and media kit with the appropriate type of media pitch, whether for articles, features, or reviews.)

It used to be that you needed to pay a clipping service a goodly amount of money to keep track of all the media mentions of a product, but now in the Age of Google, most print versions have an on-line version of their publication as well, so you're just a google search away seeing what marketing paths books before yours have embarked on, where they were successful, and if there are any practical lessons you can learn from their approach.


Anonymous said...

Okay, this is brilliant. Why didn't we all think of it? Thanks! :)

Shari Green said...

You Violets are very smart cookies... er, flowers. Thanks for the great post, Robin. :)

Mary Hershey said...

Hadn't thought about the newspaper angle-- excellent idea, Robin.

Yeah, seriously brilliant stuff, girlfriend!

Mary Hershey

writtenwyrdd said...

Wonderful thoughts here.