Making a marketing plan

Thus far in my adventure into the publishing world, my main focus has been on producing quality products. I’m now working on the third book and progress is moving forward with future clients as well. One important aspect I am lacking is a written marketing plan, so I started one yesterday.

I decided to commit to one marketing effort per month for each book I publish. Some of efforts will cost money and others won’t. Up to this point, I’ve relied on ‘free’ ads via my own Facebook, Twitter, website and blog. It’s time to step it up a notch and go forward with a plan.

The first thing that comes to mind is that selling OWL books isn’t about selling OWL books. It’s about promoting the message of hope and faith in God that the books communicate. It’s about the readers and sharing a great reading experience with them that will enhance their lives.

I started making a plan for the first book, Angel: The True Story of an Undeserved Chance. Since the book deals with restoration from health issues such as drug addiction, HIV, bipolar and more, and cultural issues such as prostitution and emotional/relational dependency, I started my plan by researching  awareness efforts on the top issues. Joining forces with others will expand my reach in telling people about the book.

For each month, I organized a list of both local and national events that somehow tie to the theme of the book. I bought my first ad for $50 (an email blast going to 44,000 people), and I submitted the book in a national competition ($80 entry fee). I know that I have to step out financially in order to bring in the finances. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens!

Because I’m a small publishing company and I don’t have a lot of extra funds, and I have (almost) three books to market, I probably won’t be spending a whole lot more money marketing the “Angel” book for a while (unless I get amazing results right off the bat). But I have plans for free marketing efforts that will help the cause as well.

Here are some of the ideas I’ve already started implementing in my ‘free’ marketing plan:

  • Blogging: Not just here, but as a guest blogger on other blogs with links to my blog and website
  • Writing Groups: Networking with other writers and supporting their efforts means they will support mine too
  • Free Kindle download days around important milestones such as the 1-year anniversary of book publication, or local or national awareness events that coordinate with each book’s themes
  • Email blasts: Building my community of followers by sending out a monthly email newsletter that brings people back to my blog and website
  • Connecting to readers on sites such as Goodreads
  • Getting my name out there: Freelancing for other organizations and volunteering as a writer for causes I believe in.

I’m excited about the future of OWL of Hope and marketing is one of the steps on the path of this great entrepreneuring adventure! Everyday I’m learning more about the best practices and important steps to making my business (and your book) a success!

Rachael HartmanRachael Hartman is an experienced writer and author. She has worked as a full-time newspaper reporter, and as a freelance contributor to magazines. She writes high school Sunday school material for Word Aflame Press as well as lessons for Project 7 (P7) student-led Bible Clubs, and blogs for Lady by Design. She enjoys health and exercise, reading, art, and playing with her two dogs Darla and Danny. She owns Our Written Lives of Hope, an online bookstore and publishing house in which she helps others share the message of the hope of Jesus Christ and promotes holistic health. Check out her web site at www.owlofhope.com and link to her on Facebook.

© Rachael Hartman 2014

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3 comments

  1. There are some great ideas here Rachael! I like the fact that you’re being proactive with marketing. As a publisher that puts you a step ahead of many of your competitors. Keep it up, and God bless your efforts!

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