Monday, September 23, 2013


Release day is one of the highlights of a writer’s life. Your book is out there, so you can sit back for a while and enjoy the feeling. Right? WRONG! Unless you have many friends who are willing to buy multiple copies of your book, you must start marketing your book. Today, I'll share specific components of my marketing plan. Please comment if you have recommendations that have worked for you.

NOTE: Always follow your publishers’ guidelines.

Two things I won’t address.

·         pre-release work because most publishers don’t offer pre-release ordering
·         contracted blog tours because I haven’t done them and I prefer free

Before the release (In no particular order):

·         Become active in your publisher’s authors’ group
·         Participate in any PR events that your publisher sets up
·         Join several romance book marketing-related Yahoo groups – Coffee Time   Romance and Love Romances Café are two of the largest. Other sites are genre specific which concentrates readers of your genre in one area. Don’t just visit to post. Get to know the readers and authors, especially in the genre readers’ groups. NOTE: All of them have their own rules. Follow them!
·         Have a basic website up and running with frequent posts to bring in visitors
·         Set up a Facebook account and gather friends
·         Join Goodreads and become familiar with its operation (wish I had sooner)
·         Join Marketing for Romance Writers – one of my favorite author groups. Members are knowledgeable, supportive, and share what they know OR find another author group that suits you.
·         Following your publisher’s policy, submit your book to review sites
·         Prepare a PR worksheet for each book that includes your blurb, several short excerpts of various heat levels (PG and R-if appropriate), a short author bio, and all your buy and social media links (Add the buy links and ISBN #s after the release)
·         Set up a blog tour with other authors and be prepared to reciprocate
Topics might include personal interviews, character interviews, or a post about a topic related to your book.

After the Release

·         Collect all your Buy Links – Amazon, B&N, Are, and your publisher’s
·         Update your website with buy info
·         Manic Readers allows you to
o   put your book up for review at a couple of dozen sites after the release
o   develop an Author Page
·         Create an Authors’ Page on Goodreads
·         Buy one of your books on Amazon as soon as it is available. After the first sale is recognized you can do two things
o   Create your Amazon Authors’ page
o   Sign up with Novel Rank to track your Amazon sales for free
·         Start your blog tour (Always respond to comments and thank the hostess)
·         Post blurbs and excerpts on the Yahoo sites
·         Participate in your publisher’s PR events
·         Keep a list of:
o   where and when you have visited
o   what you posted there
o   what you’ve given away (Find out what your publisher gives you, then keep a sheet for each book. So you can buy more when you need them)
·         After the initial frenzy, continue your efforts regularly. I post "billboard" graphics of my books with info on my website which can be clicked to buy (

   This isn’t a complete list, but it’s a start. Please add to it.

Visit Rita Bay at Rita Bay's Webpage & Blog
"Finding Eve" Champagne Books, September, 2013
"Nimue's Daughter," Shared Whispers, Champagne Books, September, 2013
"Search & Rescue" Secret Cravings Publishing, July, 2013
"Her Teddy Bare" Carnal Passions, May, 2013
"The Aegis" Champagne Books, April, 2013
"Ely's Epiphany" Secret Cravings Publishing, December, 2013"Into the Lyons' Den" Champagne Books, August, 2012
"His Desire" Siren BookStrand, May, 2012
"His Obsession" Siren BookStrand, April, 2012


Fran McNabb said...

First, congratulations on all your releases. You've been busy!!
The info in your post is great. It's nice to see an easy-to-understand list of what to do after the sale.
Miss seeing you.

Rita Bay said...

Thank you,Fran. I've had a busy year. I love to write, but marketing is a must - especially when you're new. Miss seeing you at meetings also.

January Bain said...

Excellent advice Rita!!!

Rita Bay said...

Thank you, January. It is far from comprehensive. Hope for more ideas

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Nicely organized. I will follow through better this time.

Anonymous said...

Very well done. Useful info for all our visitors.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

linda_rettstatt said...

You make great points here. I needed the reminder, too! Thanks.

Rita Bay said...

Thank you Mike and Linda. I think consistency of marketing is critical, especially for new authors. I've only been published for a year and a half, so I - and other new authors - need to make an extra effort.

Adriana said...

Excellent list. I do most of what you've listed but it's clear I need to get much more organized!

Rita Bay said...

Thank you, Adriana. Organization is the key. Wish I could say that I was organized. Unfortunately, not.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, Rita! I love check-lists.

Helen Henderson said...

Organization doesn't have to be odious or expensive. An excel spreadsheet works well. Or if you have created a novel notebook in a program such as Evernote or OneNote, create a page called tracking and insert a table. Be sure as Rita suggested to capture links (and often screenshots or printouts of your marketing results.) If nothing else, the scrapbook created from the captured images is good for a mood boost.

Thanks for the list Rita. Helen

Rita Bay said...

Thank you for sharing, Helen. I think you hit on the key. It's organization. I love lists, numbers, and binders.

Liz Fountain said...

Organization comes naturally to me in so many aspects of my (paid) work and life, but it's all new as an author. Since consistency is key, I'm trying to focus on the kinds of marketing/promotion that I will keep up.

It might have me in fewer venues, but I'll be in the ones I focus on more consistently, and I hope with higher quality content.

Thanks, Rita, you're always so generous with the "lessons learned"!

Rita Bay said...

Another key is prioritizing. You have to work within your comfort zone and the amount of time you have to promote. One of the nicest traits I found when I started writing was the willingness of writers to share.

Susan Arscott said...

Dear Rita Bay, thank you for providing so much useful information. Gosh, I don't know how I'll get it all done, but I will try my best.

Rita Bay said...

Prioritizing is critical. Much of your marketing can be completed ahead of time. I keep each book's marketing data in a folder for marketing on the computer that is easily accessible. I think the initial investment is worth the pay off.