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I had not planned it, but when telling a mate, Niall Larkin, about the new book I was working on, he quickly gave me a kick in the bum by tweeting and sharing this pic of the cover. Word was out and there was not a thing I could do about it. Niall linked me to the 37signals.com post on launching a product (go ahead and read it, then come back here). We are now officially in stage 1. The tease.
My original plan was that the book would be ready when its ready. I expected sometime close to Christmas. However I read Tim Ferris’ post on the best and worst time to release a book. November to Christmas is terrible because all the publishers release then and chase the press to write reviews and articles. This means it will be harder to get my book written about and promote it. I could wait until after Christmas And I am far too impatient to sit on a finished book for a few months. So I decide to pump up the release schedule to September. That’s just 60 days away. In the words of Sam Becket, “O boy”.
Which consists of spewing every idea under the sun onto the page as a big to-do list. This is a brain storm session of about an hour and a half. In my case it was done over breakfast in my local coffee shop. Everything goes down here no matter how far fetched or unreasonable it is. Getting the book tattooed on my back and running through conferences naked, yep its on the list!
Later I can go through and start editing but if you start editing your thoughts at the start you are stopping some of the good ideas that follow. With a master list in place I then start some research. I know I am not the first person to market a book, so let’s find some smart people who have done it before and learn from them.
For this I simply googled and quickly scanned for articles, blog posts and forum discussions that looked interesting. I also love Quora.com for research like this as the topics get really focused and edited replies. If it looked good I would save it to Pocket (getpocket.com) to read in more detail later. I will share the good ones I found later.
Then with my master list to hand I start reading and adding to the marketing list any good ideas I find.
With that all done I need to look at the book launch date, break it up into weeks (10) and drop some items from the master list into each week that I believe I can achieve. Now I know from experience I always overestimate my time and underestimate how long each activity takes. That’s OK, this is a rough plan and will act as a driver so you push yourself to get more done than you would without a plan.
When choosing what marketing to do try and pick out the activities you think will give you the biggest wins, with the least effort and the shortest amount of time. Put those first in the list because I guarantee you won’t get to the end of your list.
Release date :February 2013? Can we do sooner? Summer to November is bad time.
Break below into:
Teaser - a few months before
Preview - a few weeks
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Bafta nominated designer of over 10 years, Alan O’Rourke is Product Marketing Manager at WhatClinic.com, founder of email newsletter service Toddle.com and runs the number one email showcase site Beautiful-email-newsletters.com