S.R. Johannes released her latest novel UNCONTROLLABLE this week. I sat down and asked this novelist a few questions about marketing and branding in the digital age. Here are some of her thoughts:
How did you come up with your marketing plan?
I divide my readers into groups and then find out how to best reach time – some of it is online and some of it is in person. I make sure that I tailor all my messages and press releases toward each group.
What are the marketing basics?
- Every writer should have a marketing plan that encompasses online and offline marketing.
- Any writer should have some kind of web site in this day and age. A place for readers to go and find out more about you. If you have a blog it is just a bonus.
- Social media of some kind is critical. It doesn’t matter which one you do: Facebook, twitter, wattpad, Pinterest etc. – but find out where your audience hangs out and go there. You don’t have to be on everything but you need to pick a few and do them well.
- Every author should have some kind of swag to give away at events. Make sure you have your web site, email, and isbns on there so people who take your bookmark know where to find you.
- Other than that – I would get book marketing resources and learn what you can do that is extra.
Can you write creatively while marketing a project?
Yes. I am careful to schedule my time. So, I create writing time as well as marketing time where I spend time online, sending emails, managing my social network accounts, and making connections.
Do you have help with your website and PR?
My husband and I do it all myself. I have an education in Marketing so I know how to do a lot of it or I’ve learned it. My husband does graphic design so he has done it/learned it to help me.
Everything I do can be learned online by any author. It’s just a matter of spending the time.
What kind of budget do you create, if any, for your marketing campaign?
I did create a budget upfront that included ads, swag, and other essentials. I had to prioritize what I wanted to do and what would have the biggest impact.
Once my book started selling, I put aside a portion of my sales to go back into marketing. You get out what you put in.
Did you actively seek out blurbs or praises from other authors? Have you met all those who praise you face to face or are they cyber relationship?
I have been online for about 6 years now. I’ve met a lot of people through blogs and through SCBWI (writing organizations). When the time came, I contacted authors I felt were in alignment with my book in some way. Most of them I had met in some professional fashion. Those who loved the book sent me blurbs. I was so grateful to them for taking a chance.