There Are No Marketing Plans
Call it a Marketing Plan and I think of outlining. I hate outlining. I only have fun with titles, bullet points and summaries when I'm planning a book. No, when I see the word Marketing plan I think in the lines of promoting a book. But that's not what a Marketing Plan really is.
I've explained the difference between a Marketing Plan and a Marketing Strategy before and today is a continuation of that.
If I tell myself I have a Marketing Strategy, and a Promotions Plan, then things fall into place for me. Years went by before I realized strategy and plans were not the same. A marketing plan are things you do. A marketing strategy is how you think--your motto or tag line for why you are writing. You need a marketing strategy even more so than a plan because a strategy is the long tail. Plans to promote your books are suppose to change.
But that one goal, one one ring, is your strategy. Strategy is not the means to an end it is your life's work. Or said simply strategy is not HOW you sell books, but WHY. Strategy's are a tag line like:
1. Write. Publish. Repeat.
2. Give readers what they want to read.
3. Every story from the soul.
Without a strategy your promotions turn into hydra--for every promotion you do another two confuse you. Kinna like choosing promotions and changing your price to 99¢ (FOR NO REASON). Bringing the price down is good--WHEN YOU KNOW WHY--and not the "I guess I have to bring down my price for this promotion".
So how do you find your Marketing Strategy? I'm not going to tell anyone how to go about their life and telling you how to find a Marketing Strategy is exactly that. But I can tell you mine and how I got there. See the tag lines above? Mine is #1.
I came to the conclusion that my Marketing Strategy should be Write. Publish. Repeat. after reading everything I could in the 5 years of studying book marketing. My stories were not good enough to publish, back then. I needed to put in my 10,000 hours. After those 10,000 hours I'd have to put in another 10,000 hours TO BE GOOD AT IT. I was not so confident that my first 10,000 would make me "an expert". I believed it would give me a comfortable knowledge of what I needed to study. After my first 10,000 hours I realized--I'll never stop studying. Therefore, write, publish, repeat.
Once I had my Marketing Strategy in place I went for the Promotions Plan. I like short sentences when it come to the promotions plan so mine is simple.
1. Publish book
2. Get reviews for book
3. Find free promotions for exposure to book.
4. Purchase promotions for exposure to book.
That's what I do. This promotions plan gives me the creative license details of what I want to do for my book. From here I could spider out all the things I wanted to do in the way of creative promotions. However, this four step plan helps keep me focused and thorough.
Another key factor is time line and due dates. How long do you want to promote this book before the next one comes out? I could say I could do the same kind of promotion for each book, but I've learned each book has different outcomes. Succes relys on your fans and how well received your book becomes.
For promotions I blog about the ones I've used or found every Tuesday. I call it Tuesday Tools--because promotions are simply tools, not a strategy. There are no wrong stratgies. That is the constant--the thing that should remain consistent. Change your strategy and you start from scratch. Which could be a reason why sales are down if you heavily promote. Find your strategy, find your reason for writing, and you gain your promotions plan.
ACTION ITEM: Find your strategy. Find your promotions plan.
Thank you for this post! Good reminder that strategy and tactics are two different things. My strategy is a Hemingway quote: "Write hard and clear about what hurts." I added a bit on the end. "Write hard and clear about what hurts...often and better than yesterday."
4/15/2014 12:50:16 pm
You are very welcome!! I love your revised strategy!! I also see a double entendre which I adore!! Right on!!
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