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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Writers Should Catch Playoff Fever



September is when competitive teams in baseball make a playoff run or a pennant push.  You don’t need to know anything about baseball or sports to know that this means teams will now make their final and best effort to finish high enough to advance to the playoffs.  Most teams go home when the season ends, wondering what it will take to do better next year.  This year, for the first time since 2008, my team – the Mets – have a real chance to not only make the postseason but make a real statement. They have me dreaming of winning it all.  All of this talk of the Mets makes me think about the long season it took for them to get where they are, and it makes me think of an author’s season.  Yes, writers have seasons.  Here’s how to think of such a season for those looking to write and promote a book.

The writing season may seem continuous but it really goes in spurts.  For instance, a disciplined writer may:

*Take several months to research information.
*Give a month to brainstorm ideas and lay a book out.
*Write daily for three months to complete a book.
*Take a month to edit and re-write it.

So, maybe you can shave weeks or days off of any stage and bank, a book out, from conception to print – ready in 5 to 6 months.  Then the fun begins.  You are either taking a break, beginning the next book, or promoting and marketing the book you just finished.  In between, you’ve researched and contacted either distributors (to self-publish) or literary agents and publishers (to secure a publisher).  Oh yeah, and you may have a day job to tend to and family to look after and house chores, working out, and any of a thousand things to do.

So, back to the season of things.  Book marketing has a season. It’s all based on your scheduled publication date.  It looks like this:

8 months prior to pub date, craft a marketing plan
7 months prior, interview and research marketing, publicity, or advertising firms if you plan to get professional help
6 months prior, start connecting with organizations to schedule speaking engagements and craft your press kit materials
4-5 months prior, send advance review copies for testimonials and endorsements and send out copies to reviewers at magazines and long-lead publications.

This schedule continues right throughout three months after a book’s release.  A book has a window or time – or a season – to be relevant to the media, to consumers, and to groups that may have you as a speaker.  The playoff push comes before a book is published.  In fact, the season is what happens in preparation for your launch or pub date and then the months following the launch should be seen as the playoffs or championship.

So as I get excited over the Mets, who are in first place as of this posting, I know in most years I’m already reflecting back at this point over a lost season. Authors should consider now what their season will look like – both for writing, planning, marketing, and then executing the PR plan efficiently.  

I have playoff fever – do you?

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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