The first session at the expo was by Sandra Beckwith from, “how to Creat a Killer Book Marketing Plan.” I took great notes and I’ll tell you as much as I can remember, and then some.


First, Last Clichés:

You Said It—I couldn’t agree more, you are absolutely right. This Americanism dates from the first half of the 1900s. Dorothy Sayers, British mystery novelist, used it in Murder Must Advertise (1933).

Keep One’s Fingers Crossed—To hope for success. This comes from an ancient superstition that making the sign of the cross will avert bad luck. Also used as Keep your fingers crossed, meaning “Wish me luck.” This dates from the 1920s. This might have come from children’s games in which crossing one’s fingers denotes that one is “safe,” as well as the gambit of telling a lie with one’s fingers crossed, presumably to avoid punishment for this sinful act.

In Two shakes of a Lamb’s Tail—Very quickly, instantly. Lambs are known to be frisky animals. This expression is shortened to in two shakes, and dates from the early 19th century and originated in America. Mark Twain changed it in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1884) to “three shakes of a sheep’s tail.” This was well-known by the late 19th century.

So, how many did you find?

Sandra Beckwith was a vibrant and informative speaker. Her agenda was to tell us 1) Whey we need a marketing plan, 2) Seven questions you must answer, 3) The step by step process for a marketing plan. There was a fourth step, but only for the participants of the expo.

  • Why do we need a plan? We Must Plan for Success
  • The seven questions we need to answer:
    1. What’s your book publishing situation? – self-publish or traditional, need your book description, what differentiates your book from competitors?, What makes it marketable? Do you have any outside validation, i.e. awards, etc.?
    2. Who is your targeting audience?—Your target audience is not everyone. Be specific and find a niche. Do research and find your specific audience
    3. What are your goals for your book?—(marketing goals), What do you want to accomplish?, build a reader fan base? You must have at least One Goal.
    4. What is your book marketing strategy?—Get as much exposure as you can, public speaker, book signings, book giveaways, plan on giving away the books
    5. What are the tactics to reach your goals?—this is your meat and potatoes. The things you’ll do, but don’t try to do them all. Sample tactics=pre-publication endorsements (how do you get them? Build relationship early – join author’s Facebook, twitter and make comments, then send out many requests to get one blurb on your book from them), reader reviews (blurb comments), Facebook page, publicity, e-mail marketing. You should pick out one or two and MASTER them before moving on.
  1. What is your budget? – You need to figure this out for yourself.
  2. What is your time line?—You need to lay your ground work before your book comes out for your marketing plan. Ideal Timeline: start while writing book, six months before publish date on your marketing, expand your platform, make important connections by preparing materials.

You must keep marketing all the time.

So, Keep Writing!