Starting to Write?

40 video/audio lessons that take you step-by-step from idea to finished novel, taught by an award-winning, best-selling novelist and nationally acclaimed writing teacher. Easy, understandable, foundation elements essential for every genre. Learn Skills, Secrets and most of all... Story.

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A great book isn't written. . .it's rewritten. Learn how to analyze and fix your novel’s problems with this unique “self-editing” system. . .then arm yourself with over 40 Advanced Fiction Classes and rewrite your story into publication.

Ready To Publish?

You’ve worked too hard to quit now. Your story is nearly ready, but now it’s time to sell your novel. Learn the steps to creating a powerful proposal, secrets to pitching, the key elements to your marketing plan, a social media primer and how to create rabid reader fans. It’s time to ignite your career.

Create an Awesome Marketing Plan—Part 6: Printed and Bonus Materials

OTM logo--marketing planWoohoo, we’ve reached the final post in a series of posts about building an awesome marketing plan to go in your novel’s proposal. Just to clarify, this plan is something you’re going to put together before your book is even contracted! Once a publisher has contracted your book, you’ll likely take this plan and expand it even further. But the goal for now is simply to wow the agents and editors you’re pitching to with your stellar marketing expertise.

In case you need to catch up on earlier posts first, you can check them out here:

Part 1: Intro

Part 2: Media and Speaking Engagements

Part 3: Internet Presence

Part 4: Libraries and Launch Teams

Part 5: Cross-Promotional Opportunities and Events

Today, we’re going to tack on Printed Materials and Bonus Material, plus I’ve got a quick note about endorsements.

Printed Materials

Yep, when it’s time for your book to release, chances are your publisher will help you out with printed materials like bookmarks, postcards, promotional fliers or posters. Every publisher is different and what they’ll provide likely varies. BUT in this section your goal is to say, hey, whatever you provide, I’m going to a) supplement if possible and b) make sure I’ve got a good plan for distributing it.

So in my marketing plan, I made it clear that I would make in-person stops at local libraries, bookstores, coffee shops, basically any place I could think of that might be willing to display bookmarks or the like. It was as simple as adding two or three sentences to my marketing plan but it let my prospective publisher know I not only had ideas for printed materials, but I knew what I was going to do with them.

Bonus Material

Bonus material is anything extra you can think of related to your book that you can use to promote it. Things like: deleted scenes, fun character profiles, discussion questions, artwork, maybe even a short story or novella related to a side character…anything you can provide on your website or in an author newsletter that you plan to use to help promote the book. Extra points if you’ve already written or come up with this material! But if you haven’t, that’s no problem. As noted above, the goal at this point is to acknowledge things you want to and are willing to do to help market your book.

And a word about endorsements…

I’ve seen a variety of different novel proposal templates and styles. Some include potential endorsements in the marketing section of the proposal. Others keep them separate. Regardless, if you have authors who have already agreed to endorse or consider endorsing your book, you’ll want to include that somewhere in your proposal, whether in the marketing section or as its own section. As an aside, one thing I don’t suggest doing? Listing authors’ names without actually talking to them first. :)

So there we have it, all the different pieces of a stellar proposal marketing plan.

To emphasize the note I made above, this is the plan you’ll include in your novel’s proposal. When it comes time to prepare for your book’s release, you’ll likely take each section from this plan and expand on it in detail…coming up tasks and to-dos and even more ideas. But the goal right now is to let your prospective publisher know you’re willing to play a role in getting your book into the hands of readers.

Do you have any questions about your proposal’s marketing plan?

 

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Rachel Hauck

Writing Romance: No Cheating Allowed!

No, I’m not talking about the characters and story line.

I’m talking the author taking shortcuts to achieve a goal without motivation.

I love romance.

God loves romance. Look at human history. It’s a romance!

In fact, I was flying home from Dallas the other day, sitting behind a young newlywed couple, and as I caught them interacting, I teared up.

“What God? Do You have something for them?”

“No,” He said. “I just wanted to share with you I love marriage, romance.”

Wow! God’s on board with love. And He loves sharing with His friends.

Anyway, on occasion, as I read romances, I find authors cheating.

Meaning, they move the characters through the story without motivation.

Well, not with character motivation but with author motivation saying, “I need the hero and heroine to be together in every scene.”

So, after a fight between he H & H, or a “I don’t want to be with you!” argument, the H & H are in the next scene together, getting along famously.

Hmm…

Even if the fight or argument was “I just want to be friends,” what’s the motivation for them to be together in the next scene?

There has to be romantic tension. Meaning, they’re saying and doing one thing but feeling and wanting another

She says, upon rejecting his invitation to a date or even after a spontaneous kiss, “Let’s be friends.”

He says, “But, um, yea, whatever…”

The next scene or even the next two cannot be the hero and heroine hanging out!

Why?

Because their romantic feelings have surfaced and one is standing off the other.

BTW, make sure you have a good reason and motivation for that stand off, too.

If you want your H & H to be together, which is great because it increases tension, then create a viable scenario.

This is why I love when an H & H are somehow forced to be together by circumstances, job or pressure.

In How To Catch A Prince (Feb 24th from Zondervan) I needed the H & H to be together but there were NO reasons.

The Prince was fighting being together.

So I had the heroine, Corina, be invited to the palace for dinner and then applied family pressure for them to attend a movie premier together.

In Denise Hunter’s Barefoot Summer, the heroine is forced to be with the hero to learn sailing.

So no matter if they are getting along or not, there’s another sailing lesson on the horizon to keep them on the same page.

I know we try to always have motivation, but sometimes we inadvertently lack in the motivation department.

Next up…

Another motivation issue.

If your hero or heroine chose to do something against their nature, or in the face of their pain or fears, show proper reason and motivation.

If your heroine is afraid of cemeteries, and you’ve made that clear throughout the first part of the book, (with proper reasons of course) then don’t have her go visit her Granny’s grave because she wants to “talk things over with her.”

Show the heroine or hero kicking and screaming into that scene! They have to be pushed by some external circumstance.

But when they DO enter into that painful place, take the reader along and let them feel the pain and emotion with the characters.

Don’t sum up the scene, “And so she went to see Granny’s grave.”

Or, “Finally, she could face her fear. Later, while eating with Bob…”

Take us inside the heart and mind of the character. Give us the emotion. Let us see and feel what the characters see and feel.

No cheating.

No shortcuts.

Now, go write something emotional and brilliant. ;)

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Store Image Frasier 2015 sml

The 2015 Frasier Contest is OPEN!

Are you wanting to up your writing game in 2015?  Entering a writing contest is a GREAT way to get feedback, get noticed by editors and agents, and build your writing skills!

And our MBT Frasier Contest is designed to help you Get Published, and Stay Published!

Check out these words from 2013 Finalist, and 2014 WINNER Jeanne Takenaka! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCKJa8tDX_Q

Find all the Frasier Contest Deets HERE!

You CAN write something brilliant!

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