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Friday, February 20, 2009

Killer Campaigns: Organization

Okay, so today's post doesn't reflect an actual promotional venue, but I am learning the hard way that a writer must learn to pace himself and plan ahead.

I have a hard time saying no to people. Yesterday alone, I had FIVE people write me asking for favors. Two wanted critiques, one wanted some artwork done, and the last two asked for help promoting their books. This is on top of other favors that have been piling up.

I might be able to accomplish each of their requests, but it's not going to happen right away. I get home so late at night that all I want to do is crawl into bed. This leaves me with trying to help them out during the weekends. You guessed it--the same weekends I save for writing and working my side editing jobs.

Today's post is not about promotion per se, but how to organize your promotions.

I started out very organized but that began to disintegrate after I moved to the new house. I'm telling you, that commute is a killer! Some days it takes me two hours of bumper to bumper traffic.

But I will give you the snapshot of my marketing plan.

The first thing I did was break it down (using my original list on Killer Campaigns) and selected the items that I thought I would be comfortable doing.

For example, I can't see myself doing chats. Every time I'm in a chatroom for someone else I constantly lose the connection. To add insult to injury, it doesn't help that I'm not a chatty person by nature. Chat rooms are just too impersonal for me. I want to get to know the people I'm talking to and you can't do that with the micro-speak of a chat room.

But I ADORE writing articles and guest blogging. It takes quite a bit of preparation, but I get a lot mileage out of my articles and posts, so that goes first on my list.

I also weigh the costs, both in time and money. I did very little advertising for my book. But I will admit, I was snookered into doing an advert that was not what I thought it would be. The price was relatively cheap. It'll get a lot of exposure, but the promoter did a very poor job of explaining how the ad would look. If I had it to do over again, I would put the money elsewhere.

Let me break down how my marketing plan looks.

• I listed EVERY promotional venue I could think of. (see my original post on this)

• I checked off the things I either would like to do, or were easy to do.

• Made a list of all my writing friends for potential guest blogs or announcements on their blogs.
--This is deceiving. While I have a lot of friends, I don't ask everyone to help promote my book. Not everyone has a blog or forum that is amenable to book promotion. For example, I have some friends who just blog about personal stuff. They might have an audience, but I would feel self-conscious using their personal blog as my platform. God bless those friends who waved their blog pom-poms on my behalf. Almost all of them did it with no request from me.

• Budget. I wrote down how much I was WILLING to spend on promotion. It was a very small dollar amount, and I scrutinized every penny.

• Calendar. I did a month by month schedule for the ebook. Sadly, I have failed miserably with the print book. I am getting my keester in gear now.

• Pacing. It all comes back to pacing yourself. A calendar helps. I've set up Microsoft Outlook to send me regular reminders of when I'm supposed to do what.

And I keep doing favors for people in the hopes that good karma will return to me in the months ahead.

So how do you plan your marketing schedule? Do you schedule your events far in advance or are you more by the seat-of-your-pants kind of promoter?

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