Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Making the Most of Your Marketing Time

Today I'm excited to have another amazing post from Jennifer Slattery. She's sharing some of her thoughts on marketing.

Jennifer Slattery writes Missional Romance for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently available for preorder at a 33% discount. You can find it here on Connect with Jennifer on her website and through Twitter and Facebook.

Making the Most of Your Marketing Time

by Jennifer Slattery @JenSlattery

With the advent of the Internet, Blogger, and WordPress, writers have free access to an unlimited marketing source. However, we have a very limited amount of time. Because of this, it’s wise to choose our endeavors carefully. When it comes to cyberspace, not all blogs are created equal. Some are good, some are average, and some are flat-out not worth your time.

In other words, when developing your marketing plan…

You do have one, right?

Because if you haven’t taken the time to intentionally plan your launch, you’ll expend a great deal of energy with little to show for it. You could easily over-schedule yourself on small blogs and sites, reaching the few, leaving little time or creativity to reach the most.

When preparing for your launch, here are some steps to help you maximize your time and efforts while reducing your stress.

Seek Out High-Audience Blogging Opportunities
When I was the marketing manager for Clash of the Titles, my role was to create a buzz for, at the time, a relatively unknown site. I decided to go big and approached some of the most well-known literary sites and ezines in the CBA. I figured the worst they could do was say no. Turns out, they didn’t. In fact, every site I approached invited me to send them material. But I didn’t go in blind. Here’s how I did it: 
  • I spent an hour or so reading their blog or ezine. I made note of their tone, the topics they covered, and determined their audience. (It helps to approach the larger sites well ahead of your launch date.) Then I brainstormed some post ideas based on what I read. Once I’d done all that, I included what I’d learned about the site or ezine in my pitch, tailoring my experiences to match. (In other words, I make sure to include my credentials for writing the piece.)
Use Reprints for Smaller Sites
When approaching or responding to invitations from smaller sites, always ask if they’ll accept reprints. Assure them you’ll send them something that published a minimum of six months prior. If they have a problem with this, tweak an old post to make it fresh. You should be able to get 8-10 uses from each post.

Keep a File of Everything You Write
Launch time necessitates chaos, so why add to it by having to search your computer for old posts and articles? Rather, create a file specifically for this purpose, and begin filling it ahead of time. Plan to have a stock of 10-15 posts ready and waiting for launch-day. Then, when blog tours come, you can send out what you’ve already written and spend the rest of your time working on your next book.

Make it Easy on Your Host
It can be incredibly frustrating to find your host neglected to include your purchase links or back cover blurb. To avoid this, add everything you want to see in the post in one document. This way, your host won’t have to go fishing around for anything—and be tempted to forego links on exceptionally busy days. Also consider sending royalty free images to accompany your piece when you send it. As an added bonus, the easier you make the experience on your host, the more apt they will be to host you again.  

Keep a List of Connections 
Finding blog hosts, influencers, and reviewers is hard work. Make that work count by keeping a spreadsheet with contacts, their blog or e-zine slant, and any other pertinent information. Begin forming this list well in advanced of your launch, and add to it regularly by making note of reviews and author interviews on Facebook and Twitter. Then remember step one explained above? Review the sites and contact the hosts. 

Marketing is tough and time consuming, but with some thought and planning, writers can make the most of every word typed.

What are some things you do to maximize your marketing time? Have you ever approached a blogger unknown to you asking if you could write a guest post for them? What happened?

Are you making the most of your #bookmarketing time? Tips from author @Jenslattery on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Marketing your book requires planning and forethought - a list of tips from @JenSlattery on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Ainsley Meadow’s encounter with a woman, her child, and their abuser sparks a passion that threatens her engagement.

Will seeing beyond the present unite her and her fiancé or tear them apart?

Raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignites a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancĂ©. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.


  1. Thanks, Jen!

    Edie, thanks so much for having me on your blog! I've learned (and continue to learn) so much from you!

    1. Jennifer, I didn't know if you realized it, but you still have one of the top posts here on The Write Conversation. If you scroll down the sidebar on the left, you'll see YOU'RE DEEP MAN has stayed at the top since the day you wrote it! Great stuff here as well. Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, E

  2. Thanks, Edie,

    Michelle Massaro actually wrote that article, but I assume by "my" you meant COTT's post. :) I loved it as well!

    1. Jennifer, you're so right! I always think of COTT with you. Sorry!

  3. Great advice. Thanks for the post, Jennifer!

    Amber Schamel
    Bringing HIStory to Life

  4. No worries, Edie. That's actually a compliment. :) So, thank you.

    Amber, thanks for stopping by, and I'm glad you found this post helpful! So... not to pester, but what's one thing you can put into practice, staring today?