Book Campaigns and, "What's a Writer to Do?"

With all the promotional opportunities out there today for writers, it can be difficult to decide which path to take. Some of these opportunities cost kingly ransoms, others can be justified into our budgets, and some are even free.

Each have value. The very expensive promotional packages usually have a wider coverage and larger teams of people behind them. Services that may fit into our budgets may provide only a limited service with someone behind the service spending their time to promote you. And, then, the free services mean that you must provide the labor hours necessary to see the service through.

In the end, we have to decide what works best for us, individually. Money will always play a determining role but if you just got a contract with a big NY publisher, well then, maybe investing in a more expensive marketing campaign would be the wisest choice for you. I think it’s safe to say that most marketing & promotional companies will use some aspects of internet marketing.

The larger firms have contacts within the media and so more expensive packages might include TV and radio spots and interviews with the larger newspapers. They will develop most of your promotional material that will go out to the public. They will coach you on how you appear in public, create a book trailer and assign talking points after reading your book. They will set you on a book tour and schedule appearances for you around the country. And, if your money is tight, and isn’t everyone’s, they can schedule only major radio talk shows that you will visit at the station or that you can call into. Their services can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $25,000 and up.

Smaller firms may get you interviews and reviews just as the larger firms however, they will be concentrating their precious time and yours on places they know they can slot you. Many moderately-priced publicity teams focus heavily on internet marketing. The may put you on a “virtual” book tour. A virtual book tour is a tour you “go on” from the convenience of your computer. Most of these internet publicity teams will create some of your marketing material. They may book in combination 20 to 30 blogs, radio shows and podcasts. For the blogs, the author may be asked to provide guest blogging, where the author will actually write to something he wants the world to know about and that is not already contained in his bio. He will be asked to provide a bio, book cover art and possibly an excerpt from the book he’s promoting. If he does radio shows they are normally shows he can call into. Most often you will get little TV exposure, if any at all, but you might be asked to provide some sort of video for a podcast opportunity.

Free services, such as the popular social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn and the many social sites on Xing and Ning allow you opportunities to get your book cover and any and all promotional material you have developed onto these sites. Utilizing these services will be your burden of time and time management. And, believe me, you’ll need time management because It can be very enticing to put more and more information into these sites and blow entire workdays just doing publicity.

That’s why these firms exist. Without them we would have to do another job and that job takes many man hours to perform.

If you think about it, developing a smart marketing plan for your writing business will incorporate some of all of the different levels of marketing. If your budget is very tight, you will be doing a lot of your own footwork. Still, if you have a pocketful of cash and can afford the bigger firms, a smart business plan will still include doing a bit of a virtual tour and a bit of your own marketing. I mean, really, when people like Stephen King and James Patterson get onto Facebook, it says something about the value of these free services.

Just remember, with any service, the more that is provided, the more it will cost. Do your research. Set a budget and develop a marketing plan for your business. Because, remember, writers work in the publishing industry, an 8 billion dollar industry. Don’t forget. This is business. Make no mistakes about that!

Leave a Comment