How To Write Non-Fiction – Part Six: Marketing Basics

Once you’ve finished your book the hard work starts: marketing.

Some people are brilliant at marketing. They get off on it. I’m not one. I hate it. But I love my book and know it deserves an audience. What to do?

If I could afford it, I’d hire a bloody brilliant PR firm and let them worry about it.
I can’t, so here’s my no-budget marketing strategy:


1. Social Media

Social media platforms breed like bunnies so you can
A) cross-post till your eyes bleed and you have severe repetitive strain injuries. Or
B) work with what you’ve got.

I like Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging so I Tweet, blog and, er, Link.
On Twitter, I interact with wineries, wine organisations, other wine writers/bloggers, Oregon media, food and drink publications, and so forth.
On LinkedIn, I connect with as many wine colleagues as possible.
As for the blog… you’re reading it.

2. Make a Pitch List
A pitch list is simply who you’re going to tell about your book. Think about two categories:

A) those interested in your book because of its contents
B) those interested in your book because of you

Category A, for Vine Lives includes anyone into: Wine, Oregon, Pinot Noir, travel, sustainability, craft, agriculture, work, family, grapes, wine culture, food, restaurants, nature, etc. Hence magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc that cover any of those topics.

Category B is about my personal connections: hometown, library where I volunteered, restaurant where I waitressed, university alumni magazines/newsletters, publications I write for, websites I’ve contributed to, etc

Start with the obvious stuff then let yourself get weird. Make a mind map!

more paper required...

more paper required…

3. Spreadsheets
Once you’ve got two fat lists from part two, make yourself a spreadsheet. An hour’s tedium now will save on sanity later. Plus, filling it in is addictive. It’s tangible proof you’re doing something. If you’re naturally lazy, like me, you’ll need that carrot. For Vine Lives I’ve got three pages so far: media, wineries, events. All you need is a basic details of the organisation/individual: website, contact name, email/phone, notes, date.
I’m on a one-a-day regime: sending one email/press pack per day. If I had more time/energy I’d do more but this at least keeps me ticking at a minimum.
contact_screen_grab

I call this post “Marketing Basics” because it’s as much as I know so far. When I know more, I’ll write more. Meantime, I’ve got press releases to write!

Please share your marketing tips in the comments!