Thursday, June 19, 2014

How Marketing and Writing Go Together with S.R. Johannes

Today I have YA author, S.R. Johannes, to help us with marketing! Read on for some amazing tips to get your book seen! You can buy Shelli's third installment in the Nature of Grace series, UNSTOPPABLE, on Visit Shelli at her website, her Facebook page, and follow her on Twitter!

Thanks for the great info, Shelli!

How marketing and writing go together.

Every writer loves to write. But not every writer loves the business side of publishing.

These days it's important to know all aspects of the business (marketing, sales, taxes etc) - especially if you decide to indie publish at any point.
First, it's important to understand the basics of marketing. You need a web site, you need some form of social media, and you will want to start an email list. But this is all online marketing.

You need more than that and this is where it can get overwhelming.

But if you think of "marketing" in a different way, maybe it can be fun. Think of marketing as networking with your target audience - AKA our readers.

Basically, marketing your book is about finding your audiences and just letting them know about your book, about the themes in your book. Marketing is about connecting to your readers. And that's why we write! You first need to understand your writing, the genre, and all the secondary topics your book addresses - directly and indirectly.

All YA have similar audiences at a high level - teachers, librarians, teens, parents, and bookstore owners. But you can't stop there. If you want your writing to touch people, you have to focus on the next level of readers. For example - My Nature of Grace series is for young adults and it is a thriller. But it also touches on animal conservation, nature, going green, survival, outdoors, and the region surrounding the Smoky Mountains. These are all possible targets for me to consider. Here's what you need to do to break it down into smaller chunks.

Once you have targeted the audiences listed above, then do this:
• List out the topics/themes your book covers.
• Pick the most dominant theme
• List out what 3-5 audiences would want to read it.
• Find out where they hang out most (forums, ezines, festivals etc)
• Document who to contact
• Then figure out how to contact them

Hope this helps you realize that marketing can be fun especially if you break it down into smaller chunks. It's about connecting to your readers on a more personal level.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Great checklist! What's cool is that after you've done that for one book, it's easier with the second as you already have a resource list.

SA Larsenッ said...

A fantastic and upbeat post! Thinking of the process as connecting with readers is perfect. Will share! Thx, Sheli, Kelly.

Kelly Polark said...

I agree, Sheri and Alex!
I actually did a little contacting and marketing today after reading Shelli's checklist!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

These are basics - once you get hang of it - I would always find some way to step out of the box and do something creative!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Shelli is a brilliant writer and marketer. I can't wait to read Unstoppable. Maybe one day I'll pop in Atlanta and get Shelli to sign my copies. :)

Kelly Polark said...

Shelli - Creative is good!
I agree, Sharon!! And you should!

Shelley Sly said...

This is very helpful! Even with a thorough marketing plan, promotion can get pretty overwhelming. I'm going to try breaking it down like you did. Thanks, Shelli and Kelly!

Rena Jones said...

Great list. Thanks!

Jemi Fraser said...

Shelli always has brilliant advice and she's so generous in sharing it! Thanks for the tips :)

Marcia said...

Very good list. I think the idea of small, specific chunks is so helpful to many who feel overwhelmed by marketing.

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

How serendipitous to have found your blog this morning just by clicking on "the next blog."

I'm currently a full-time caregiver to my 86-year-old father, but have been an agented screenwriter since 2005 and recently published an ebook, thus your post was not only interesting and helpful, but timely indeed!

Very nice to have met you, Kelly, and continued success!

Petra :))

cleemckenzie said...

Some great tips here. I really liked the idea of targeting markets outside the "usual" readers by identifying your themes.