I am not a marketing/promotion type person. If I had to sell things for a living, I would surely be sleeping under an overpass somewhere. But, as we’re all too aware, making a career as a writer requires you to support your work by promoting it. And with my first trade poetry picture book collection collection coming out from Clarion next spring (STAMPEDE: POEMS ABOUT THE WILD SIDE OF SCHOOL), it’s time for me to get busy. So, on some Mondays, I’ll be posting Marketing Monday posts, where I share what I’m doing and learning about marketing my forthcoming book.
I met both my goals this past week–probably because they didn’t involve my actually talking to someone about me or my book!
First, I emailed my wonderful Clarion editor, who was very encouraging and enthusiastic about my working on a promotion plan. She gave me the name of the publicist (I’m not sure if she’s the publicist just for Clarion or for all of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt–probably the latter) who will be my point of contact. So I emailed the publicist next. I haven’t heard anything back yet, but I’m just at the very baby stages anyway, so that’s fine. Hopefully I’ll hear from her in the next couple of weeks.
Second, I determined my budget for promotion of this book: $1,500. It’s not much, since I know how much a single postcard mailing or sending review copies to bloggers, etc., can cost. But it’s better than nothing. I may end up spending more or less, depending on what our financial situation is like. But I needed a number to even begin planning! And that $1,500 is earmarked toward things specific to this book. I might spend more time and money on activities to promote me as a poet and my books in general.
And I did a third thing! I signed up for a CLN workshop in October called Promotion Without Pain. It’s here in the Minneapolis area on October 11, and I’m hoping to get some really creative ideas going that day.
So, that’s where things stand.
Here’s my next set of tasks.
Read through my email inbox folder titled: Marketing – Future Tips. I’ve been socking away emails with tips/ideas for years! So I need to go through them and add relevant tips to my master list (which already has 75 or so tasks on it) of marketing possibilities for Stampede! Then I’ll have my list to start really thinking about and narrowing down to what sounds most useful and most effective.
Contact the illustrator of the book (Steven Salerno). I want to find out how he feels about my using some art from the book (cover, one interior spread, and perhaps some iconic image from it) in various marketing things, like a microsite for the book, postcards, etc. He has a terrific site and seems to be very web-savvy about promotion, so maybe he’ll have some great ideas we could collaborate on! (I keep reading to check with the illustrator on all of this, which is fine. But do I need to check with the publisher, too?)
Talk with my agent and editor/publicity person about which trade show should be my top priority in 2008. I’ve never been to any of them! IRA will be here in Minneapolis in May, so that’s a no-brainer. But what about ALA or Book Expo? Will my book be out by the time they happen? When and where are they? I need to look this stuff up and get organized, and then find out if there’s a strong reason to attend one of them for a new trade author with a poetry picture book to promote.
OK, that’s it. Baby steps. That’s what I’m doing. If I think too hard about everything I need to do in this area, I start to freak out! So…baby steps. I’ll check back in in a week or two with an update.