Since I announced my first novel Checkmate First Mate will be a SMP release this fall, many have asked what I’m gonna do for my marketing. This is asked with the expectation that I will have the magic button, the answer to all things mysterious about shooting to the top of bestseller lists. As one of the Myth-busting Mavens of Author Marketing 101 . com, I am thrilled so many have found our site and now follow our advice. But what I do, and how I do it, is not the example to follow for a first time novelist hoping to make a splash in cyber space – for the following reasons:
1. I already know our core message, and the 7 primary points, and more myths than have been shared. I also know marketing is a lot like meteorology, it depends on the weather.
2. I’ve been building my Author Persona, and online presence, for over 4 years. It was in self-defense (self-defiance?) because of having written a memoir – that’s still not published.
3. I’ve been “in the book business” and networking with authors and best-seller novelists for over 10 years.
My marketing plan is – I’m gonna do what I want to do and make it as FUN as possible.
But, I do have some examples of my marketing activities to share. I finally got a professional author photo and then had the exhausting task of going through all my online profiles to remove random snapshots of me and replace them with images that look way better than I look in person. Get a good photo, first, and use it everywhere.
Last week, my VistaPrint business cards arrived and I noticed the yellow fonts were a wrong choice. The color contrast looked better in digital than in print. Three days later I realized, I hadn’t included my email address on the card! Oh well. The cover of my novel only takes up 2/3 of the back of the card, leaving space for my autograph or notes. I plan to make up labels of my email address then trim them by hand to fit on the edge of the card next to the cover. For all 1,000 cards. Sigh.
As for my planned promotions, none yet. I’m waiting for official word of my release and promotions from My Publisher because I know it’s more efficient to work with that schedule first. I’ll also be coordinating those promotions with our first marketing book that is being released at the same time. So, Alas, You’ll have to do as I say, and not as I do.
However, I attended a friend’s barbecue on Saturday. I had my new business cards with me. The women and girls all wanted one, and my AUTOGRAPH. And the truth is – no matter how much I think I know, or how jaded I may be as an old-timer, guru, or maven, signing my cards WAS SUCH A THRILL!! I’ll do it every chance I get in the years ahead! Digital copies do not go out-of-print!
Now here’s the only magic button advice I can honestly share – Do Not Go Kayaking All Day if you’re going to be Autographing anything. My thumb cramped before I finished the first “Terri” and those “k’s” at the end of my name were a real pain.