Back story 2 – The Stew

Only the most experienced chefs can pull off a superb meal without a recipe. This was not me, and it’s probably not you. You and I need the whole cookbook. And these main ingredients:

  • A good editor, not your book club buddy
    • Expect feedback and to rewrite what you thought was perfect
  • A graphic artist to design your cover – front, back and spine
    • You should offer ideas, but let the expert do his work
  • Two solid endorsements from the heaviest hitters you know
    • These go on the back cover and tell everyone you’re for real
  • A website that matches your (and your novel’s) personality
    • This is your primary marketing tool so don’t do it yourself unless you know what you’re doing. (I’m not kidding)
  • A captivating book trailer for the website, because:
    • Nearly everyone who goes online watches videos
    • Viewers move on in seconds if a video is lame
    • To save $ on this piece and the items above, consider talent from up-and-comers at the nearest university
  • A marketing plan that includes:
    • A frank assessment and analysis of your friends and networks
      • Who will help you?
      • Where do they live?
      • What talents can you leverage?
      • Do they belong to book clubs and will they push your book?
    • What you’re willing to spend on this little endeavor
      • (We estimate $9,000 for Bella)
    • How much time you can devote to the project
    • Specific action plans on how to promote the book without using paid media. For instance:
      • See our map of the U.S. with endorsements from folks in numerous states. This began with a list of friends, relatives, college buddies and work associates from past jobs.
      • We identified people in as many states as possible, had them read 50 pages, write a blurb and send a photo.
      • This turned into the map and plenty of nice endorsements from average readers right out of the gate.

There’s always a back story. It’s not always sexy. But no one really cares about what’s going on in the kitchen; all they care about is what shows up on the plate. To deliver, you’ve got to dig in and get started on all these items. I’ll go deeper into each piece as we go forward.

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