My Business and Marketing Plan for Q3 2017

I can’t believe we’re already almost halfway through 2017. The past six months have been tumultuous, to say the least—not just in the publishing industry but also throughout the world and in my personal life. At this point I’m writing just to give myself some sort of center of gravity.

Or maybe it’s way too late for that.

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Toward the end of every quarter, I review my current business plan and see where I’m at. I also re-evaluate my writing goals for the year. I try to keep track of that here on my blog but yeah. I posted my original plan toward the end of last year, but forgot to post when I updated my plan in March. So if it seems like you’re missing something, that’s why.

Goals

I recently realized that I was pressuring myself to write every book as a series just for the sake of writing a series. Sometimes books truly are standalones and there isn’t enough story to span over three, five, or more books. It took me a long time to stop being stubborn and “should”ing on myself. I also had to acknowledge that my series wasn’t selling well enough to justify writing yet another book.

After some careful thinking, I decided that the titles in question could stay the way they were. Crazy Comes in Threes got a makeover and the South of Forever series is complete with one prequel and three novels (though I can always add more if I want).

I did write a fourth book for the SOF series, but it just didn’t feel genuine to me. I ended up scrapping thousands of words because I can’t publish something I’m not proud of, even if it means losing money or ending a series a bit early. I look at it this way: if I’m not into it, my readers won’t be, either.

Right now I’m writing the companion novel to Just One More Minute—small town f/f romance Any Other Love. It will be released this summer.

I’m also working on a new series that will begin this fall.

I’m still working on getting my books back into paperback editions; I’ve been using Vellum to format my ebooks and when they announced they’d be adding paperback formatting this summer, I decided to wait for that. If you’re an indie on a Mac, I highly recommend Vellum. It’s amazing.

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Marketing and Platform Building

I’ve been trying some new marketing strategies, mainly to build my email list. To be completely raw here, I have little to no marketing budget (though I’ve been doing a lot of copywriting in an effort to change this). Much of what I do has to be at low financial cost right now. This includes:

  • using Instafreebie, Bookfunnel, and Noisetrade to give away copies of books in exchange for readers’ email addresses and permission to join my list
  • joining cross-promotions with other authors in my genre
  • organizing my own cross-promos (though admittedly this is a lot of work and akin to herding kittens)
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When my new book comes out this summer, I’ll have a small advertising budget, but I’m planning on doing more advertising for my new series.

I’m also working on expanding my social media platform—mostly on Facebook. Throughout the past five years, I’ve determined that the majority of my readers and intended readers hang out on Facebook. This is backed up by research conducted by marketing experts (see Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast: Episode 39).

Recently I separated my personal and business Facebook profiles. I’ve also been making an effort to post to my author page three to five times a week, with more frequent posts in my reader group (as well as more live videos). I’m considering doing some takeovers again, though in the past I felt that they were very time-consuming with only a small amount of ROI.

Mostly, though, I’m spending my time writing.

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Basically I’m going to regain momentum in the second half of this year. I’d love to get back to releasing every two or three months.

I’ll have more details—and actual dates—soon.


Get a Free Copy of Diving Into Him

Jett might be sober, but she can’t kick her addiction to Koty.

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Sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll—that was Jett Costa’s old life. After her wildly popular band falls apart, she’s determined to remain sober and rebuild her career. There’s just one problem. The only person who still has any faith in her is her ex-boyfriend Koty, and Jett isn’t sure that she can keep her hands off him.

Maybe living together wasn’t such a great idea after all.

She may have been sober when she made that decision, but she definitely wasn’t when she agreed to play a show on behalf of a band that no longer exists at one of the biggest bars in Boston. Now she has less than three weeks to get her new band together. Can she ignore the sizzling sparks that fly between her and Koty every time they play?

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Published by

Elizabeth Barone

Elizabeth Barone is an American novelist who writes contemporary romance and suspense starring sassy belles who chose a different path in life. Her debut novel Sade on the Wall was a quarterfinalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. She is the author of the South of Forever series and several other books. When not writing, Elizabeth is very busy getting her latest fix of Yankee Candle, spicy Doritos chips, or whatever TV show she’s currently binging. Elizabeth lives in northwestern Connecticut with her husband, a feisty little cat, and too many books.