Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Recipe for Successful Marketing by Marji Laine

Let's face it, as writers we're determined to get our stories into the hands (or e-readers) of as many book lovers as possible. Sometimes, that's not an easy task. Today, author Marji Laine gives us her recipe for successful marketing. -- Sandy

Marji: SUCCESSFUL Marketing can be compared to the Loch Ness Monster: avoids description, difficult to visualize, and impossible to capture. Yet authors continue to search for the elusive creature.

Though there are countless possibilities for promotions, the success of any given one depends on too many variables to list. Despite that fact, a successful plan will always have 3 ingredients:  

  • A great product
  • Creativity
  • Timing

The Product
Marketers and promoters will agree that the best strategy in the world won’t work for long without an excellent book. You can’t ignore the quality of your product. The things the author can control – editing, cover art, formatting, details of the book itself – shouldn’t scream “Home-made!” What’s great for bake sales and craft shows doesn’t work so hot for publishing.

The Plan
Marketers herald the need to get in front of our audience. That’s easy enough for non-fiction writers, but tricky for the rest of the literary world. One might attempt to write with a current high-profile topic included in the story, but the better approach is a creative one that doesn’t require a full re-write.

The best marketing idea hasn’t been developed yet. The standard and success fluctuations are always changing.

Try posting to the various book-lover groups on Facebook. After joining, an author can post promos as often as they want (within each group’s “rules”) see the promotions, both good and bad, from others. Readers do visit these groups for ideas about their next reads. 

With so many books in those avenues, however, unless your book has an amazing cover, you should be creative with your display. Do more than post your link. Build a cash of memes that you can use anywhere. I saw the cutest picture the other day – a cup of coffee, a gift with a tag that said 99¢ and a Kindle with the author’s book pulled up on it. Simplicity itself, but so clever and downright brilliant!

The Timing
And that brings up the final ingredient. While it’s important to get a good idea of when your readers are on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, it’s even more important that your name doesn’t conjure up visions of billboards that say, “Read my book.”

Social media is, foremost, social. Use a 6-1 rule of thumb. Post 6 things that aren’t about your book – repost others, use quotes, details about life or experiences. Then post something about your book. This rings especially true for Twitter, but is applicable for other outlets. Always interact more than you advertise.

Don’t forget we are a global market now. Make sure you post things for the overnight crowd. Schedule a one or two with connected buy links for India, Japan, UK, and Australia along with the other smaller markets. Those times can be lucrative opportunities.

Above all, don’t give up. Interact well with your chosen media. Support others. Share your message.


Marji Laine is a homeschooling mom with teenage twins left in the nest. A new indie-author with her debut,  GRIME BEAT only out for a couple of weeks, she spends her non-writing time transporting to and from volleyball, teaching writing classes at a local coop, and directing the children’s music program at her church. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.