For new authors, the task of getting the word out about a current WIP or an upcoming release comes complete with a separate set of worries than that of writing, drafting and editing. Marketing and promo sounds fun. Some of us start the planning stages before we have the finished product. And that’s a good thing–to know what direction you want to go in, but keeping that momentum up during and after is the trick.
Is it enough to simply outline, list what you want and make the proper inquiries? Sure. If that’s your only goal at the time. Having a more strategic plan would be a good way to go or the “Piece Plan” as I like to call it. I had my “Piece Plan” ready and took off from the ground running with it back in late 2009 through 2010 and most of 2011. There was a whole strategy planned out before I finished book one and each piece of the plan had its own spot on my calender. Can you guess what happened? That’s right, momentum went down with the ship–of setbacks and plenty other tedious details.
Wait for it…then comes the realization of new complexities. Now, the marketing and promo thing becomes confounded by the jumbled ways to do it, rolling around inside your head like tiny marbles hitting the wall. “I’m a writer damn it!” you say, shaking your fists and hanging your head low. Ideally, and from new experience, the golden tip is having your manuscript finished, completely finished. A 2-3 month projected release date after manuscript is finished = time+productivity.
What’s that you say? I don’t have time. Sure you do. Remember, you’re finished with your manuscript and have a release date. This part, I learned from my friend Jennings Wright. She has formulas for time. Now this may not be exactly the way she does it, but the premise is there. If you work a regular job, simply give yourself a few extra weeks from your projected release date+amount of writing time you used per day working on manuscript and this = more time+more productivity for your campaign.
If you opt to work on some marketing/promos while you’re still writing the book, jotting down ideas is best until you finish the first couple of drafts. On a side note, putting your writing away when you hit a wall and pulling out your list of ideas can help reignite that writing flow.
Here are some quick tips to keep the fire burning and the task of marketing and promo fun and relatively stress-free:
1) Have fun with it at every stage!
2) Start your list of things you want to use in your marketing/promo campaign, the bigger the better, baby. This keeps a level of excitement cooking. Have fun with it!
3) Do your research. Have fun with it!
4) Make folders to put corresponding ideas and paperwork into or buy a few decorative tablets. You can also use a nice thick journal and add tabs to keep things in order. This will make your starting point more complete. Use bright, cheery, even metallic colors. Anything to keep that excitement rolling. Hell, use black or gray if those colors pop for you. Have fun with it!
5) Finally, your campaign should be ready to piece together. Do it in bites as to not overwhelm. Put your inner Pacman/Ms. Pacman to rest. Have fun with it!
If you start to feel like you’re running out of steam or experiencing setbacks, pop in a movie, watch a show that is similar to what you’re working on, take a walk, a hike, do something relaxing. This usually helps to spark the excitement again. Have fun with it!