Monday, February 2, 2009

Organizing Your Marketing Efforts

Happy Groundhog Day!

You may have noticed a great deal of silence at this blog lately. What have I been doing? Besides the day job, which in December and January felt like a 24/7 job, I've been immersed in marketing prep and marketing for Mark's new book, The Resqueth Revolution. (BSP - see buy-now links in the panel to the right.)

Last year about this time, I was on a steep learning curve, trying to figure out how to market our first novel, Hacksaw, First in the Eva Baum Detective Series. (Mark H. Phillips and I write the Eva Baum series together.) By the end of that effort, I felt like I'd learned volumes and was much more relaxed about prepping for Resqueth. I can now say that I do not recommend the relaxed approach. Had I made a schedule and stuck to it, much could have been accomplished in advance and I would not be in danger of my nose slipping below the water line now. So, today's post is all about managing your marketing efforts. Since I've proven to myself that I am not an expert in this area, I thought I'd share some online resources with you. All the links provided in this post lead to free online resources.

Angela Wilson publishes a blog dedicated to helping authors market their books. provides a free calendar geared at keeping authors organized.

Lorna Tedder, CJ Lyons, and BeaconLit all offer suggested marketing plan schedules.

Jeannie Ruesch's blog offers several marketing resources. In addition, she has a series of posts that walk you through a month of activities designed to end in a marketing plan. (You may need to scroll down a bit to see the links.)

Lynn Jordan reminds us that writers must always make time to write. She offers several suggestions of how to squeeze in time in 15-20 minute increments. Every bit helps - right? So write.

That's a lot of advice! The key, as I'm sure you've figured out by now, is to find what works for you. If what you're doing now leaves you constantly at loose ends with a stack of unfinished tasks for your efforts, it's time to try another approach. Now if I can only find the time to take my own advice...


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Great resources!

And don't feel so discouraged about being a little behind. After reading every book on marketing and visiting hundreds of sites, I was SO full of ideas - but there's only so many hours in a day. We just have to get done what we can get done!

L. Diane Wolfe

Gwyn Ramsey said...

Love your article. Great information. Good job, Charlotte.

Pauline B Jones said...

It's really easy to get sucked into the promotion vortex and get consumed by it. My best advice is to pace yourself. And remember that writing the NEXT book is also a key part of promotion. :-)

M.E . KEMP said...

Thanks for the info - it's practical and helpful. M. E. Kemp, author: "A Merry Slay Ride" (Wolfmont Press) and DEATH OF A BAWDY BELLE (Hilliard and Harris.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of value in this post!

Timothy Hallinan said...

Great stuff. Any writer who trusts his/her publisher's PR staff -- even at a major company -- is in for a disappointment. I'm at one of the world's biggest, and they failed to get my 2008 book into either BOOKLIST or LIBRARY JOURNAL, although they did help to get it a star in PW. But still, the trades should be a minimum deliverable.

And don't expect anyone at a pub house to know anything, and I mean ANYTHING, about online.

The suggestions for pacing the effort are especially helpful.


Timothy Hallinan

Chester Campbell said...

I've read a ton of stuff on promotion, but you hit my nail on the head with the one about finding time to squeeze in some writing.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Thanks, Charlotte, for the good promotional advice. Just in time for my next mystery/suspense novel, Diary of Murder, coming out next month.