Chana Keefer is celebrating her new release, The Fall, with a Christmas in July party! Why should we care? Well, aside from the fact that it's a terrific book, Chana has a brilliant pre-release marketing plan.
First thing she did was to solicit the help of some friends from the cross-promotions group she belongs to, Grace & Faith Authors. Each of us who are participating have offered our books and ebooks as special bonuses to Chana's Christmas in July campaign, but that's not all we're doing.
Chana has pre-written several tweets, Facebook posts, and email letters (complete with subject line ideas) for us to use in a media blast intended to reach at least 500,000 people. Considering the list of fifteen authors that have agreed to participate, it wouldn't surprise me if she reached her goal.
She has an impressive, professional page set up on her blog, Chana Keefer.com, called Christmas in July (visible, but still under construction as of this post date). The promo picture is top class and appealing. All the fans have to do is enter their name, email, and order number to be eligible for the bonus prizes offered. This is set up as a one-day only deal (July 10), so if successful, the Amazon rush on that day could skyrocket her novel to #1 best seller, which of course, could be a selling point beginning July 11.
Didn't I tell you her plan was brilliant?
It takes time to develop a plan like this--finding participants, designing the necessary pages in your blog or website (assuming you have one, and if not, you'd better get moving!), developing effective tweets and posts and email notes for everyone to use. Coordinating everything and everyone. I'm sure there are headaches I don't even know about--and dealing with them and everything else takes time.
The content of the tweets and Facebook posts must convey all the pertinent information in short, concise messages--particularly the tweets! Title, author, event, date, link, and ideally something about the book. In this era of impatience, when anything over 140 characters is too long, coming up with quick-glance info quips is tricky. No less tricky is the email--which, unless the subject line and opening paragraph are catchy, will be deleted like so much junk mail. These shouldn't be thrown together in the last minute. Proofreading is vital. For many, this will be the first introduction to the author; spelling and grammar mistakes in the promo devices will reflect on the his professionalism and ultimately his book.
So when your publisher delivers that disappointing release date which seems so far in the future, remember that you will need every free minute of that time to develop an effective campaign like this one, in between edits, cover development, and the unavoidable "real life" interruptions.
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