Create an Awesome Marketing Plan—Part 4: Libraries and Launch Teams

by Melissa Tagg, @Melissa_Tagg

A few weeks back, we began a series on creating an awesome marketing plan for your novel’s proposal. The goal is not only to wow agents and editors with your stellar marketing expertise, but also once published to be able to take this plan and put it into action.
Earlier posts include:
Part 1: Intro
Part2: Media and Speaking Engagements
Part3: Internet Presence

Today, our growing proposal marketing plan is going to get bigger as we add both libraries and launch teams.

Libraries

I didn’t include “Libraries” as a category in my first contracted book’s proposal. But when it came time to pitch future books to my publisher, I added it in. Why? Because it hit me: There are over 540 public libraries in my state. These libraries could potentially, at the least, buy my book and at most, host me as a speaker or workshop teacher, giving me the opportunity to sell more books and gain new readers.

So in my proposal, I told my publisher I planned to work to engage libraries by sending postcards and/or calling and introducing myself. My publisher ended up helping with this project by designing and providing a mailing for me to send. I’ve had around a dozen speaking invitations from libraries since that mailing!

Launch Team

You’ll hear all kinds of names for launch teams: street teams, release teams, influencer teams. Basically, this is a team of readers you gather who will help spread the word about your book during its release. This team should be especially active in the one- to three-month window right after the book’s release. Usually a publisher will supply a set number of influencer books. Mine provides and mails the books to my influencers.

Lots of authors do lots of different things with their launch teams–and ideas for interacting and nurturing your team is probably a post for another day–but in the marketing plan you include in your proposal, simply let the agent/publisher know you’re in-the-know about this piece of releasing a book. Maybe offer an idea or two about how you plan to assemble and interact with your team. Will you form a private Facebook group where you give the team ideas for promotion? Will you provide graphics and pre-written tweets for your team?

(Side note: I would suggest having a more specific plan for you and your team when it actually comes time to launch the book. You don’t want to collect a great team of people and then not fully nurture their participation. But again, for the marketing plan in your proposal, you can keep it brief.)

That’s it for today! Next time around: Cross-promotional opportunities and Book-signing/Events

For now, any questions about including libraries and launch teams in your plan?


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Award-winning author Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant-writer and total Iowa girl. The second book in her popular Walker Family series, Like Never Before, was named by Publisher’s Weekly to one of their spring 2016 Top Ten lists. Her most recent releases include Keep Holding On (Sept 2016) and One Enchanted Eve (Nov 2016). Melissa has taught at multiple national writing conferences, as well as workshops and women’s retreats. Connect with Melissa at www.melissatagg.com or on Facebook and Instagram.