Promo Tip: Planning ahead

Have you ever spent more than a few hours at a time working on your author brand?

As a full time writer – I like to do just that. Write. But with the summer school holidays upon us I’ve had to take an unplanned break from my stories. Quite frankly, having my whole family at home became to large a distraction. I was actually getting snarky about my percieved level of underachievement. So, out of desperation not to spend all my time watching endless DVD’s while I escaped the heat, I switched to thinking about how I’d like to promote my next book release (when that day eventually rolls around).

Honestly, I found the process quite interesting. Looking for blogs to request guest spots, finding copious sites that focus on review only that I might send my story too. Working out where I really don’t belong.  There are so many places to choose from that it’s easy to waste a huge chunk of time. Luckily, after a few days of following links via my twitter and facebook friends, I’ve found the perfect places to promote my next regency romance. But then I started to think about what exactly my blog would say.

When One Wicked Night came out I did very little conscious marketing. I’ll admit it – I procrastinated like hell over what to do and never did enough. I promoted here on this blog, and over at Lady Scribes as well as facebook, twitter. But I couldn’t really say there was any structured plan for it. LOL. This time will be a lot different I hope. This time I have a plan:

First off – I’m writing the promotion blogs now, well before the book comes out. I have rough drafts right now that will be polished over the next couple of weeks and then I’ll tuck them aside to wait for the release date. Without the stress of a looming deadline before me, its been fun to hunt through the mss and pull out exerpts I’d like to share. And I will also add to the blog material over the coming months as new ideas strike.

Second – I know where I want to guest blog, but I’ll be keeping my eyes open for new opportunities. Thanks to that first point – writing promotion blogs in advance – I won’t have to scramble for material if they are last minute arrangements, and that means my writing time should not be seriously interrupted.

Third – I’ll keep writing. When my last book released I did what probably everyone else has done. I sat on my hands and waited for my world to change overnight. Of course, nothing felt different from pre-release to post-release. LOL. Looking back on it now, I could have done so much more, but the excitement you understand is very, very distracting. I hope not to waffle around the way I did.

I know that for some I might be counting my chickens before they hatch, but I can see an enormous benefit in not just planning the promotion now but actually writing it now. So my question, if you’re an author is how do you approach brand promotion? If you’re a reader how much attention do you pay to author guest posts versus book reviews?

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3 thoughts on “Promo Tip: Planning ahead

  1. There’s also promoting *your* personal brand vs. promoting an individual book. As a newbie, I tried to inject a small bit of personality into even the book-centric promo because I wanted readers to get to know me. (And still do! LOL)

    IMO, there’s no such thing as planning too far ahead, though. I tried to get my ducks in a row for what I was doing for each release so I had a to-do list to check off as I toddled merrily along. Like a road map. I desperately needed that sense of direction. But actual scripts? Uh no. Too many books coming out too close together. I won’t be as crazed next time, thank God.

    • Thanks for dropping by Kari.

      “Too many books coming out too close together.” – Wow, congratulations on that. Every author’s dream!

      It’s interesting that you see promoting author brand and book promotion as two separate things. In my mind they are very closely linked. These posts I’ve written are certainly not just “buy my book” material: Cover, blurb, exerpt. They little pieces of me, my thoughts and feelings about my characters, and how the story developed. But I’m definately with you on planning ahead. :o)

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