Marketing Plan Creation (Part 4): Implement the Plan

Marketing Plan Part Four:

Implement the Plan

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It’s been awhile since we talked about the marketing plan, has it not? I’m back on the final stage of the marketing plan for what was called Just One Cup, and was renamed Love Exactly a few weeks before release. That by the way, was an EXCELLENT marketing move. Let’s recap the first steps in the marketing plan process:

1. Defining the Objectives of your Novel:

This was were we did several things. We identified the promotional item–the novel, identified our goals for sales, and finally identified how profits and failures would be handled. The goals were:

  • Release book in Spring 2013.
  • Organize cover reveal for April 30th, 2013.
  • Begin marketing the novel heavily 15 days before release. This will require advertisements to be running on at least 30 blogs.
  • Run a month long blog tour.
  • Reach 75 reviewing readers via sales channels, giveaways and R2R or ARR.
  • Sell 150 copies by the end of the year. To keep on goal we must sell approximately 22 novels per month, unlike before this goal will be separate from giveaways. This means this goal is very high because I don’t usually sell more than 10 novels a month–on a good month.
  • Break the 25,000 rank on Kindle e-book sales for three consecutive days.

2. Market Segmentation:

We clarified that Love Exactly  would be marketed based on demographic, pyschographic and behavioral segmentation to obtain a select market of readers:

My demographic is New Adults in the age range of 17+. The market is mainly 17-35, but there will be others attracted. The novel is a Contemporary romance so I will be looking to attract a mostly female demographic, and as far as pyschographic, the sub-genre will attract those with a personality that has an interest in love stories, stories of rising above your past, and becoming a better person. The  buying behavior of those reading New Adults seems to be e-books, so the novel should be available on as many e-book platforms as possible. I do not want to miss out on the portion of the population that still craves the smell and feel of paper–so I will also have a paperback available. The paperback will also act as a good incentive for giveaways and promotions.

3. Select Promotion Channels:

We had to identify where we were going sell the item. I opted for e-books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo, and opted out of iBooks (due to cost) and Google Play (due to the poor system in place). For paperbacks I opted for Amazon and my own website using Paypal.

How Did the Implementation Go?

1. Meet the Objectives Set:

  • Release book in Spring 2013:
    I released the novel the day before the first day of Spring, again learning to not set a release date UNTIL the book is done.
  • Organize cover reveal for April 30th, 2013:
    The cover reveal reached over 100 websites in a day and happened on April 30th, although there were some blogs that released it beforehand on accident–ah, well!
  • Begin marketing the novel heavily 15 days before release. This will require advertisements to be running on at least 30 blogs: I didn’t run any advertisements on any blogs, but what I did was blast Facebook, my website, and other blogs with excerpts, etc.
  • Run a month long blog tour:
    I ran a two week tour, in which I hit about 60 blogs (4 blogs per day).
  • Reach 75 reviewing readers via sales channels, giveaways and R2R or ARR:
    I decided to not participate in R2R and ARR–instead I’ve begun to directly contact blogs to review or promote the book–about 2-3 hours a week is spent emailing and corresponding with blogs.
  • Sell 150 copies by the end of the year. To keep on goal we must sell approximately 22 novels per month, unlike before this goal will be separate from giveaways. This means this goal is very high because I don’t usually sell more than 10 novels a month–on a good month:The novel has been out for about a month and a half and sales have chilled to about 30 a week. I’ve sold 1600 books so far. So…I must be doing something right!
  • Break the 25,000 rank on Kindle e-book sales for three consecutive days:
    Haha…for the first month I was under the 5,000 mark. For the last two weeks I’ve been hovering around the 16,000 mark.

Overall, I did learn something from this, and was obviously far more successful than anticipated. I believe the reason was the pre-release penetration process–specifically, releasing teasers every week on my blog, and releasing Facebook only teasers about once every two weeks, if not more. The cover reveal and blog tours helped a lot too, but I did have an EPIC fail in realizing that after the blog tours I needed to continue to market. The thing is, blogs are booked pretty straight up for about 2 months. This means you need to schedule two months in advance for bloggers to continue to market your novel. I didn’t do that, and that is what is responsible for the steady decline in sales–I was selling 30 in a day on average the first month–now 30 in a week? That’s unacceptable. I know some of you are probably baulking at that statement (1600 books shut up lady!), but the truth is, if I had done this properly my sales would not have fallen so rapidly. I’m now playing catch up to try to correct this error. I’ve already begun the pre-release marketing of my next novel, and plan to create a sign-up for blogs to book out for (hopefully) 6 months, one blog each day, after the blog tours are done.  This requires a ton of ground work–and it will all be worth it! 5 years to go until I can be a full-time novelist? Maybe, maybe not–but if I don’t correct these failures, then I won’t be able to at all.

2. Market Segmentation:

Glad to say I think I hit that nail on the head.

3. Select Promotion Channels:

There’s been a lot of debate nowadays, and there probably always has been, about whether or not to enroll in KDP Select, where your novel can only be sold on Amazon (monopolization). I will say a large sum of my sales were on Amazon, BUT I sold about 300 on Nook, and 30 on Kobo. The rest were Amazon, but had I decided to go only with Amazon I would have been unable to reach 330 some odd readers and counting. I’m just not okay with that, plus my royalties on both of those websites are about 10% higher than Amazon. Here’s a shocker to the system, after I finish writing this I’m going to get Love Exactly on Google Play. The reason being, I was actually selected as a BETA TESTER for Google Play’s new easier, better, supposedly amazing, interface. I couldn’t believe it either when I got the emailing confirming that they wanted me, who had called it a big ole piece of trash publicly, to Beta test for them. The truth is, they probably have no clue I destroyed them on my blog. I just hope they redeem themselves, but either way, you know I’ll let you know!

Now is not the time to stop. Now is the time to keep pushing forward. You can always be better as an author and a marketer of your work. Don’t rest on your laurels! It’s time to continue the plan, and look damn adorable doing it!

Related Articles:

Marketing Plan Creation (Part 1): Defining Objectives

Marketing Plan Creation (Part 2): Market Segmentation

Marketing Plan Creation (Part 3): Select Promotion Channels

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