Time to Get a Jumpstart on that Marketing!

Time to Get a Jumpstart on that Marketing! Guest Post by Alysson Foti Bourque

Time to Get a Jumpstart on that Marketing! Guest Post by Alysson Foti Bourque

I have just released the third book of the Alycat series. What is my marketing strategy and how has it changed over the last three years?

We all love to follow our dreams. And publishing a book is certainly a passion that gives us such great reward. However, the book won’t sell itself and sometimes we find ourselves become entrepreneurs instead of authors.

Time to Get a Jumpstart on that Marketing! Guest Post by Alysson Foti Bourque
When I began the series, my marketing strategies focused on getting a brand and business started. I wanted my exposure to be an “introduction” into the series. This involved building an author and book series website and setting up a social media presence with Facebook, Instagram, Google, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Twitter. Then came ordering book signage, tablecloths, bookmarks, brochures, and other book swag for author visits once I had colored storyboard images. I sent out press kits to librarians, schools, media outlets, retail stores, and more. And this was only the start.

Now that I am publishing my third book, marketing strategies are geared towards keeping relevant and making sure that I highlight new developments that are paramount to keeping the series alive. At least three months prior to the book launch, I start planning the book launch party, involving my wonderful community members and friends! I begin scheduling book tours and author visits to take place after the book is released.

In order to build hype, I send out galleys of the book to reviewers such as NetGalley, book bloggers, and Goodreads and submit to award agencies. Another beneficial marketing tool is virtual book tours. These are book spotlights and reviews that can be done from the comfort of your own home.

One of the hardest tasks is to get your books into the bookstores. As a new author, booksellers can be reluctant to schedule a sit and sign event if they have not heard of you. This is why you promote and market before the book launch! Think of it as being an author and yes—a salesperson (something I hate calling myself). The book should sell itself but the literary world is overflowing with new books every single day! So how do you open that door? First, start with mailing a press kit and book/galley to the bookstores introducing your book and yourself to them. Your press kit should include a sell sheet, press release, headshot of the author, and a picture of the book cover. Make sure your sell sheet outlines the ideal audience, amount of pages, word count, brief pitch of the book, and a short bio of the author. Next, follow up with the bookstore by dropping by with your press kit in hand, and ask if the manager has a moment to speak with you or if you can get a business card with his/her email. If you get to speak with a manager, sell, sell, sell your book and yourself—in a non-aggressive way, of course. Hit on key points such as awards won, local connection, availability, and what you could offer the bookstore. Make sure you give the impression that you are willing to work with/for them to make this happen. Lastly, follow up with emails, telephone calls, or drop by again, but not too often! Be patient. Be kind. Be professional. If the answer is no, ask if you can read at a story time. This is a great chance to meet your audience.

Time to Get a Jumpstart on that Marketing! Guest Post by Alysson Foti Bourque
Alysson Foti Bourque earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Juris Doctor degree from the Southern University Law Center. After practicing law for six years, she traded in writing trial briefs for writing children’s books. She enjoys public speaking opportunities at schools, conferences, and festivals nationwide. She hopes to inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams and believe in themselves. Currently, she resides in Sunset, Louisiana with her husband and two children.

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Ends Nov 3, 2018


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