I expected a fair share of rigors to come with the writing profession – research, storyboards, graphic organizers, drafts, re-writes, revisions, editing, proof readings and the like. But marketing? Up until five years ago I had operated under the illusion that marketing was something your publisher did. Ever hear the term “Sticker Shock?” Well, this is worse- it’s “Authors’ Shock” and it can leave seasoned and neophyte writers in a daze for weeks!
I spent over thirty years in education. (Yes – thirty!). First as a teacher and later as a middle school principal. And believe me, we had a plan for everything!
Your kid’s been caught throwing one spitball too many? – The Behavioral Management Plan
Your kid can’t sit still for more than seven seconds – The Behavioral Modification Plan
Your kid called his/her teacher something that even the most hardcore rapper wouldn’t repeat – The Behavioral Impulse Control Plan
Your kid’s failing? – The Individualized Academic Improvement Plan
Your school is in need of improvement? – The Academic, Social, Emotional School Improvement Plan
And the list could go on. (In fact, it does. Ask any school teacher or administrator).
I’m quite familiar with these plans, having written so many of them that I could do it during a root canal. But nowhere in my thirty+ years of education did I ever have to write a marketing plan. Until now…
But I think I’m getting the hang of it. I just keep asking myself, “What are you doing to let people know about Time Travel Mysteries other than handing out your business card at the dog park?”
Surprisingly, I’ve done quite a bit – from social media like Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube and YourBookLaunch to my own website (www.timetravelmysteries.com) and my blog. Not to mention the blogging opportunities I’ve used with forums in the U.K. as well as right here in Arizona. And then of course, there’s the media stuff – bookmarks, business cards, and rack cards. All of these work if you have crowds to work. I manage to find them.
I conduct workshops at schools as well as teach writing for adults. Then, the book clubs. I’ve been a guest speaker for a number of book clubs; and the wonderful bonus is that they read my books!
In addition, I take every advantage of book signings at local, state and out-of –state venues. The last one was a trip to Albuquerque for the Southwest Book Fiesta in the convention center. I was just glad to get there alive. The entire trip was uphill around mountains. My car threatened death every few miles. Then the return trip was a frightening slalom down the same treacherous curves. I kept screaming to my husband, “I just want someone to read these books before I die!”
And then there are the memberships. If I thought the education profession had a plethora of organizations, it was nothing compared to what’s out there for writers. I have enough cards to support a full deck.
Impressive, huh? NO, not really. Every aspiring writer in the 21st century does this. So now, I am actually writing a plan – complete with goals, strategies and a timeline. It’s exhaustive. But, I smile when I think of the alternative. I could be writing a behavioral modification plan because some kid took a less than flattering picture of his/her teacher and posted it on Facebook!