For many authors, the task of book marketing is confusing or something they just don’t want to do. However, without marketing, it is virtually impossible for your book to be discovered. So, I would like to share with you a simple framework I have developed to help you create an effective integrated marketing plan for your book.
Marketing is easier if you remember this POEM
The framework is easy to remember because it is the acronym POEM.
The P stands for publicity
The O stands for online
The E stands for events
The M stands for multimedia
Every successful, integrated marketing campaign includes these activities, and when deployed together as I suggest, you can be significantly more effective with your book marketing efforts.
Too often authors are overwhelmed or confused when it comes to marketing their books because there are so many opportunities available today to connect with readers. Using the POEM framework can help eliminate much of that confusion, plus, help you create a plan that is easy to understand and execute. That’s because instead of completing a series of single, random actions, POEM will help you use individual activities across multiple channels to promote your book more broadly and easily.
Know what the letters POEM stand for
Now even though the words that make up POEM may seem self-explanatory, I want to define each of them, explain the range of work each encompass, and suggest which activity is foundational for each category.
P Is for Publicity
Publicity is using traditional and online media to build awareness about your book. This distinction between media is really important because often when people think about publicity, they only think about television, radio, or newspaper. Certainly, those are avenues that you can use to raise awareness about you as an author and your book, but in this day and age, you should also think of publicity as promoting yourself online through bloggers or social media.
To get started, I recommend you have a press release announcing the launch of your book. It should include what the book is about, when it is available for sale, where to buy it, and how to contact you. This press release can be the base communication you provide to anyone and can be used as part of your media kit you use to pitch your story.
Get ready to pitch
Along with your press release, you want to work on your elevator pitch. Your elevator pitch is how you’re going to talk to media about your book. A pitch is not an outline of your book or history on why you wrote it; it is a short, captivating explanation about your book and the key reason why people would want to read it.
It is also important to make your pitch relevant. For example, if you live in a community that has a local paper, your pitch to the paper should include a mention that you’re a local author. The key is to have a short, crisp, compelling pitch about your book that you can adapt if necessary based on who you are speaking with.
Using your pitch to get attention
With a press release and an elevator pitch, you can usually be pretty successful at approaching local media and bloggers with an angle that’s relevant to them. When you talk to media you don’t want to just talk about yourself. You want to talk about what would be interesting to them. It’s a subtle difference, but it’s very, very important.
Even if you hire a publicist, you will need to develop your pitch. The difference is he or she will work with you to craft the pitch to approach specific media, but your input will be critical.
O Is for Online
The next area of book marketing to focus on is online. I define online as anything you discover through digital channels. It can be anything you read or see or listen to on your phone or on a website or in your email.
From my perspective, your blog and/or website should be the foundation of your online efforts. You want to drive people to one place. For example, on my blog I have it hooked up through WordPress to push out to Twitter and Facebook. So, if I publish a blog post, the system pushes it out and lets Facebook friends and Twitter followers know there’s a new post. With technology, you can reach different channels but still, bring people to one place.
In this way, no matter how people find you, you don’t need to repeat or update your story on multiple platforms. Instead use different platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Pinterest to drive prospective readers or media to one location—your blog or website.
Once you have your foundation established, you want to make sure you have a plan to do outreach on social media because that is a key to driving traffic to your website or blog.
Consistency and relevancy are keys to social media
One of the most important things to remember when you do social media outreach is consistency and relevancy. Consistency means drip irrigation instead of a thunderstorm. In other words, don’t just post messages only when you have big announcements or intermittently, but try to post content on a regular basis.
Relevancy is something I also mentioned in publicity. Make sure what you post is of interest to your readers even if it is not content that you create. For example, if you have a cookbook that addresses a particular nutrition issue, you can find other content on the topic and share it with your readers. Remember—they are not just interested in you as a writer and your book, but they’re also probably interested in the topic you wrote about.
As with publicity, you have the opportunity to do this yourself or you can hire people that can help you. It just comes down to what time and budget you have to invest.
Ready for the next two letters in your POEM marketing plan? Read Part 2.
Paul is the Senior Copywriter at Lulu, responsible for all the words you see on our site (misspellings included). He also manages the community site – http://connect.lulu.com/en/ – and in his free time, he’s an avid reader and short story writer.