Monday, February 22, 2010

Marketing Stages Part 2 by Guest Blogger Shelli Johanes-Wells

Today we continue talking about the different stages of marketing in a writer's career.

Last week we covered the first two stages, 1) Prior to getting an agent/publication and 2) Agented/Before deal. Today we will talk about 3) After deal/Before publication and 4) After published

After your deal, before publication

Now the marketing shifts to identifying your potential market so when your book comes out, things are already in place. As you go through umpteen rounds of revisions, cover views, copy edits, ARC reviews, etc you MUST be starting some of the marketing that will take place once your book in finalized.

Your Audience

* Who are they? What are the segments? For example if you wrote a historical mystery for young adults. In addition to Young adults, also consider middle graders as a potential audience b/c they read up and grow up. IN addition, look at the areas of history and mystery. Are there are YA societies/ezines, etc that focus on history or mystery for kids. Tap into those.
* List out all audiences and potential ways to reach them. What channels are best? How can you mingle with them? Do they have meetings, online newsletters etc.

Your platform

* Update your web presence. Be sure to add your book release date, publisher information and address to your email signature, write up of your book and any other materials people may need to easily download.
* Also create a media kit link on your web site with a professional photo, write up of your book.
* Create ways readers can begin to connect - such as Facebook, myspace pages etc
* Decide how you will market and learn how to do them? Will you do blog tours – if so what blogs would you like to approach? Do you want to do Skype tours – if so then learn Skype. Are you going to do Newsletters – if so what software will you use? These things take time and can be tackled now.
* Have you met your local bookstore people and librarians? Now is the time. Not when you have something to sell.
* Cultivate longstanding relationships
* Do you want to speak at any conferences?
* Take marketing classes or read marketing books. Get up to speed on what you can do to market your book

6 months Prior to publication/After published

By this time, your networking and web presence should be well established. Now you need to focus on your getting ready for your launch and creating a buzz for the book release date.

Be sure to answer these questions:

* Begin building a 6-month plan (3-4 months prior to launch and 2-3 months after launch.

* Find out who is your publicist assigned to you and meet. It is important to partner with them.

* What publicity or marketing is your publisher giving you? If any.

* Can you meet the sales reps that will be pitching your books to stores?

* Are any galleys going out? If so where?

* Are you allowed to contact Indies or librarians or is your publicist doing that?

*Are you making any appearances at conferences ALA, etc?

* Where is your launch going to be? Who is planning it?

* Are you doing signings? Tours?

* Partner and discuss any plans with your publicist/editor

* What is the plan for tours – whether online or in person –Do you need any swag – bookmarks, postcards, pens etc? Now is the time to order.

I hope that this gives you a place to start thinking about your marketing journey as you embark on your writing career.

Please feel free to comment and ask questions


Shelli has worked in marketing for almost 20 years and is the founder of her own marketing company, Bilan inc. Since 2000, she has worked with clients including Spanx and Goody Hair Products. Her Market My Words blog is a popular marketing blog for authors. Shelli is a children’s book writer ( currently represented by Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group.


We want to thank Shelli for so generously sharing her marketing knowledge with us! Shelli kicked off her popular blog in October of 2008 with very few visitors. In 2009, she's logged over 50,000 visitors! What a whopping growth spurt! Clearly she knows whereof she speaks.

And lastly, we'd like to invite any of you have a question for our Introverted Marketing Guru Ms. Nancy Ancowitz to please send your questions to
Mary or I. Don't forget, Nancy is a business communication coach, an adjunct instructor at NYU, and the author of Self-Promotion for Introverts (McGraw-Hill). She has graciously agreed to answer more questions for us and we'd love for that question to be from YOU. Now is your chance to tap into all that aMaZinG expertise!


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Shelli! Having just been through the debut-novel-release process, I would have been lost without this kind of list.

Kim Harrington said...

As someone about to go through all this, THANK YOU! What a great post.

Karen L. Simpson said...

Yes as someone about to go through this.Thank you so much.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

Thanks for having me SVP! :) Let me know if you get any questions I might be able to answer for you.

Anonymous said...

I am still an aspiring writer, but this is a very helpful post. Thank you, Shelli!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Shelli - this is great! I'm focusing on "part 1" right now, as I'm in the agented/pre-deal stage, but I'm tucking away this helpful info for later. :)

Mary Hershey said...

Shelli, wow! Thanks so much for both Part I and II. This is incredibly helpful! We loved having you as our guest blogger.

Seriously awesome stuff-- a keeper!
Mary Hershey

Elizabeth Loupas said...

Add me to the "about to go through this" list. Thank you, Shelli, for your concise plan of action!

Nancy Ancowitz said...

What valuable advice, Shelli! Thank you for sharing these tips.

Nishant said...

As someone about to go through all this, THANK YOU! What a great post.
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