book

how to come up with a Book marketing strategy

Marketing your book is tough business and your book’s success depends on your ability to get it right. I’m going to tell you how to implement a book marketing strategy using the 5 month timeline of my book release. Just a heads up, most research would suggest marketing 12-6 months out.

 

Beta Readers / Marketing Research

Early february – Beta readers play two important parts for an author. First, they are a fresh set of eyes that can find any last minute mistakes. They’re a great tool for marketing too since they’re your first focus group on your new project. Their initially feedback will help you learn how first time readers will interpret your book. This will help you decide how you will want to market your book and what you want to draw a reader’s attention to. You can ask beta readers (focus groups) specific questions that may be concerning you and they may bring to light questions you hadn’t considered.

 

Blog Tour

Mid march – Blog tours are a great marketing tool where different bloggers will reviews your book, interview you, or just share information about your book. Blog tours are a big scheduling task though so getting it organized early will save you a headache later. For my release, I’ll be contacting poet interviewers now and hopefully start the tour in early may and have it finish the week before the release date. Since I’m leaning towards interviewing, the more time I have to answer questions, the less stressful the marketing release process will be for me.

 

ARCs

April – By Late February you have the feedback from your beta readers and you’ve made your final changes to the collection. Now you’re ready to send out ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) to book bloggers, fellow poets, and anyone else that will help market your book. Free ARCs are given to readers in exchange for their honest review of your book. If you’re selling on Amazon, it’s super important to have a lot of reviews close to your release date to boost your book in the rankings. The higher in the rankings you are, the more people will see your book and consider purchasing it.

 

More Frequent Posting

May – We’re 6 weeks out from release date and it’s time to pick up the marketing. This is when my blog tour starts, this is when you’re highlighting reviews that have been coming in due to your ARCs, and when you’re posting on all social medias so that everyone knows when and where to buy your book! Support and momentum are really important during the weeks surrounding your release date!

 

Celebrate!

Release Date – June 10th! You’re book is officially released! Time to shout it to the world and celebrate!! You’ve just accomplished something super amazing! Continue to love on your book, but try not to drown your followers in too much noise. Congratulations and best of luck to your book!

 

ARC and Blog Tour of Where I Ache

Hi Everyone!!

Where I Ache will be released in less than 10 weeks!! I’m so so excited! I feel like this collection is really going measures beyond my first collection and I’m so Thrilled!!! I have a list going for anyone who wants to receive an eARC via email, if you would like to be added to this list, just email me at : ddateable@gmail.com.

 

No worries about a follow count number or being part of a certain niche, if you’re interested, I’d love to get Where I Ache in front of your eyes! And I look forward to an honest review on Goodreads and/or Amazon. (Where I Ache’s link will be up by the time I send out ARCs in a couple of weeks).

 

I will also be having a blog tour for Where I Ache in May!! I’ve never done one before but I’m basically just doing Q&As on other blogs about the book, poetry, and writing in general. I hope that all goes well and if you’d like to be a host for one of the days feel free to get in touch with me as well! I appreciate all of the exposure Where I Ache can get!

 

Recap:

eARCs being sent out in 2 or so weeks (mid April)

Blog Tour in May!

Where I Ache launching June 10th!

 

How to deal with a bad review

When you work really hard on something and make yourself vulnerable by putting yourself out there, it really rains on your parade when someone doesn’t like it.

Art is subjective

The first thing you have to remember is that art is subjective and many different people will have a wide range of perspectives about your work. Since reviews are so subjective you can really take them with a grain of salt.

So you got a bad review, welcome to the club.

If you look at any of the top sellers you’ll see they still get bad reviews even though their books are so popular and well liked by the masses. Plus more thought provoking work is usually more controversial so it’s not always a bad thing that your book entices debates.

Let the haters hate

You of course want to defend your book but you need to allow everyone to feel comfortable to voice their opinion. Responding to a poor review rarely ever puts you in good lighting. Bad reviews aren’t always a bad thing either. Some reviews are constructive and will get you thinking with a new perspective and knowledge. You may approach your next book differently or after thinking it over, you’ll stick with what your gut tells you.

Tune it all out

Reviews have the potential to drive an author mad. It’s something that could easily turn into an obsession and hurt your creative process. When your thoughts are constantly whirling around if a reader will like it then you’re no longer truly telling your story and creating the best possible work you’re capable of. Sometimes it’s best to just turn off the notifications and stay off the review sites and just keep writing.

Keep Putting yourself out there

When I received my first poor review it actually made me feel more like a real poet/author. For starters it was one of the first reviews by someone I didn’t already have a connection with so they had no rose colored glasses on. I was getting honest feedback from a reader instead of the compliments from my friends who were potentially lying just to be nice.

The important thing is to keep putting yourself out there because just around the corner is a positive review from a different stranger. No bias and no potential lies and they loved it!

In Review:

Even the best sellers get bad reviews

It’s normal, there’s no need to respond to it

See if the review holds any insights

Ignore reviews entirely to keep your sanity

Keep putting yourself out there!

 

And hey, make sure to leave a review for my books Cracked Open and Where I Ache

Goodreads // Amazon

DD is Two Years Old!!

Another birthday has come for dear DD so naturally a Q&A is in order. This blog is hard to stay on top of sometimes but its so worth it with every comment I get to read from each of you and connecting us in this mess of a dating world ❤

 

  1. What’s your biggest accomplishment in your blogger journey so far ?

By far the biggest has been turning the poetry portion of my blog into a book earlier this year! I’ve thought about publishing a poetry collection for the past few years but thought it would happen much later in life or just be a pipedream that never came to be. So the fact that I am a published poet by the time I turned 24 is nearly unimaginable for me and super super exciting! And then the fact that strangers and people around the world have been supporting my book is more than I could have ever hoped! So Thank You so much for giving me that joy!

 

  1. Do you have any future book/collections planned?

I definitely do, before pulling together Cracked Open, I cataloged all of my poems and found other similar themes that can be the foundation for my next collection. I also have plans for publishing a different type of book but I’ll fill everyone in when that is more developed.

 

  1. Favorite post you wrote in your second year?

My favorite post from the past blogging year is Modern Online Dating Etiquette. I like posts that have lists and touch on each item which I think this post does. My blog also originated from modern dating and the mayhem it brings and I like to give advice to help others whenever I can.

Do you have a favorite article of mine?

 

  1. How different was your life one year ago?

Last August I was unemployed so it’s fantastic news that I’ve been working for the same company the past 10 months!! I was also just meeting my current boyfriend at the time so it’s pretty crazy to be at our 1 year already. Even now we talk about how unexpecting that first date was 🙂 So in the past year I’ve gained my first long term relationship and long term job! On a personal level I think I’ve been standing up for myself more in the past year. I establish boundaries and I go after what I want now – I’m a bit braver.

 

  1. What keeps you motivated when blogging?

You know when I was debating going self hosting it actually created a lot of doubt for me – it was a big step, I was making an investment, and I feared failure. It made me forget why I had started blogging in the first place and I ended up taking a month off. In that month I learned that I could never stop writing and I learned to set realistic expectations for where I want to take my blog. Remembering why you started and envisioning your dream are great ways to stay motivated! I also enjoy reading other blogs, seeing their happiness, and their own blogger journey.  

 

  1. Who were you in a different life?

I hope I was a talented artist, either in an entertainment setting or a sculptor / painter whom was often featured in galleries. I hope there was a time when I had so much creative talent that I was able to have a successful career.   

 

  1. What’s something on your bucket list?

I definitely think I want to see the northern lights. I find cenotes really cool and would love to swim in some. I’d also love to eventually have a poetry book in stores and on some best seller list.

 

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully advancing in my career and in the process of buying a house if I’m lucky. Definitely want to be in a long term relationship with wedding bells heavily in mind. Also would be great if I had a second dog! And would definitely love to have a few more poetry collections published! I wonder if the blog will still be a focus for me?

 

  1. Have you ever wanted to write/publish an article/poem but didn’t because of who might read it?

Indeed I have, I want to show readers that relationships aren’t perfect. I think social media really plays a part in portraying relationships as always perfect and amazing and that makes you feel worse about your relationship. I wanted to portray a real and honest view of relationships. But I’m not the only one in this relationship and I need to be mindful that some things should stay within a relationship. There are also people in my life that read this blog and I try to maintain an appropriate line in that area as well.

 

Questions for Future Q&A!

Hi Everyone!!

My two year blogversary is coming up!! Two years ago I would have never thought I’d be here now! In typical blogger fashion, I’ll be doing a Q&A since I haven’t done one in quite some time. If you have any questions about my blog, book, or life feel free to drop one below or privately through my contact page!

The Q&A will be out in three weeks!

 

 

Book Publishing – Working with an Illustrator

So I knew as soon as I started seriously thinking about publishing a poetry collection that I wanted to have illustrations throughout my book. I started by researching on instagram and tumblr different drawing styles. Some were every realistic, others had vibrant patterns, and another common design style was simple line work. There was something about the simple line work and the way it looked like a hand drawn image that I fell in love with.

Once I decided on the style I wanted, I focused in on finding illustrators that produced that type of work. I found Instagram accounts, Etsy stores, and Fiverr (link) – a freelance app. Next was understanding the price range in the market and seeing what I could afford with my budget. I reached out to quite a few illustrators and was able to begin a process of elimination based on price and the flow of conversation. After a few weeks, I narrowed it down to my top two.

One illustrator had an instagram page so that allowed me to see a ton of samples while the other was from Fiverr which unfortunately had limited samples of their drawing. The price difference was miniscule and shouldn’t have been a factor but for me it was. The last factor was location with one being in country and the other out. I was worried about time difference slowing down the project as well as cultural differences affecting the art work.

I decided to go with the Instagram account since I felt strongly that I knew I liked their style and product. I sent them the poems I wanted them to draw inspiration from with a bit of an idea of what I wanted but still giving them some creative freedom. But I would later find out the better option ended up being just telling them exactly what I wanted along with the occasional copy of a similar image for them to get an understanding of my requests.

The terms of the agreement weren’t completed ironed out and I found myself feeling guilty and demanding when asking them to change certain aspects of the illustration. The biggest problem was the stark difference in the results I was getting and the samples I had seen on Instagram. For that reason I asked them to stop mid way through and to accommodate a refund solution. The cut into the budget left me with a dilemma – do I spend more or let my book suffer because of my poor decision?

I went back to Fiverr and luckily the other illustrator was happy to work with me. This time I asked for 2 drawings instead of 15 to make sure this was the right choice and didn’t waste more of my budget. I decided to up my budget some but also cut back on the original amount of illustrations I wanted in order to combat my extra spending.

When I was confident in this illustrator I purchased 20 more images. I ironed out a few more details to get a clear understanding of the work that would be produced. I felt a bit less guilty about the revisions but still tried to be a reasonable client. I was much happier with the results I got here but learned my lesson.

Purchase a small amount first to make sure you’ll like the results.  

Set clear terms so both parties know what’s expected of them.

Don’t be afraid to change direction if you’re unhappy.

Check out the amazing illustrations in my book Cracked Open!   

How to self publish

Dream a little.

  1. Fantasize about how you imagine your poetry collection to be. Do you have a theme or topic you want to focus on, how do you want to touch your audience, and maybe start considering details like how long you want your collection to be. (Time: You could have been toying with the idea of publishing for months or years now)

 

Create a catalog of your poetry and organize it.

2. I created columns for Title, Message, Length, and Likelihood it would end up in this book I was focused on. This was extremely helpful to me because I realized I had my next two books ideas already forming just based on the theme of poem messages. It’s a smart idea to take stock of your inventory so you can make a strategy for your next steps. You might learn you have more poems on a topic you weren’t planning on including in this book which could lead to you switching directions. I knew I wanted to write some new poems exclusively for this book which allowed me to learn where I was lacking so that I could start filling in the holes with new poems.  (Time: A few hours, you should be about to catalog in a day. The question is how you want to catalog and what information you want. I added the column called book collections when I realized I had 3 different collections forming. This could take another day)

 

Take in stock.

3. Now that you know which poems are going to be included, you can start organizing them. Do some have a theme, will your book have chapters, do you want long poems or strict forms grouped together. (Time: You might do this the same day as your catalog or you might do it in the few days following.)

 

Group poems to form book structure.

4. You absolutely should take breaks from this so that you can look at the collection with fresh eyes. This is your dream, no need to frustrate yourself and take the fun out of it. Set a generous timeline for yourself. Allow yourself a week for every grouping. One day, think about how each poem flows to the next. Another day, think about how each poem looks on the page and focus on making grammatical sense if that’s what you’re after. (Time: 2 months might be a good marker, but you know how you work and the type of collection you’re trying to achieve)

 

Sometimes you need a creative break and some time apart from your collection.

5. This is normal and healthy. If you want, now you can research. Research publishing sites and talk to fellow poets about their experiences. Visit a bookstore and browse through the poetry section. What do you like about some of the books and how do you want yours to be different? (Time: You can start this while you’re working on editing your poems/chapters and also take 3 weeks after)

6. As I mentioned, for my collection, I knew I wanted new, exclusive poems. There may be other ways in which you want to make your collection more desirable, such as art work or collaborating with other artists. (Time: 2-5 months)

 

Now your collection draft is complete! It is time to edit!!

7. There is a suggested three edits: grammatical, format, and cohesion. For me, the hard work was definitely putting the draft together but I absolutely hate editing! Even with editing over 10 versions, I’m still looking for an outside editor to also review my draft. (Time: 2-4 weeks depending on your process)

8. Once you’re happy with your edited draft, it’s time to submit to the self publishing site/company you’re using! I used CreateSpace, it was super easy to navigate, they tell you exactly what you need in order for your draft to be accepted, and offer helpful services along the way. (Time: A few days for filling out the information and your file being reviewed and approved).

9. You’ll be sent a proof once your files are reviewed and approved. This will be your final proofreading and editing before having your book ready for sale.

 

Finally set a Launch Date and promote the heck out of your book!

10. Use Social Media, in person marketing, and relevant message boards online. It’s also common for Author’s to throw a Launch Party to inform locals about the release.

 

Get a copy of my book here!

 

Cracked Open Available Next Week!

Cracked Open, my first poetry collection will be available next Friday, April 20th!

Preorder your Kindle version here!

 

Take a look at my Timeline for putting my book together:

January 11 – I officially decided to publish my poetry collection!! (after months and years of wondering if I could really do something like this)

Feb 5 – I hired my first illustrator

Feb 11th – I hired my second illustrator

Feb 24th – Exclusive Illustrations completed

March 5th – I completed the 20 exclusive poems for Cracked Open

March 14th – publicly announced poetry collection – began marketing Cracked Open

March 18th – submitted complete draft for review

March 29th – ordered physical proof for final edit/review

April  1st – Instagram Cracked Open promoting

April 20th – launch date!!

 

A more in-depth step by step article will be posted in the near future!

Cracked Open – Release Date 2 Weeks Away

My Debut Poetry Collection CRACKED OPEN will be available April 20th!! Full with new illustrations and 20 never before seen poems! Here is a sneak peak! Link coming soon so you can order your copy!

 

Table of Contents for Cracked Open and Chapter 1 Title.

 

First Poem in Chapter 4.

 

One of the new illustrations scattered throughout my book! Love how the images bring the words to life.