Yesterday, I wrote about how and why I came up with my Take On Amazon Web Splash. Today, I'll talk about the logistics of organising it.
(A little explanation for those joining me after the fact: The Hating Game is my first novel, published by small press Prospera Publishing. To help promote it, last week I organised a Web Splash to see if I could hit the Amazon Bestsellers list. It worked!)
First things first: I had to decide what exactly I was trying to accomplish. Although my stated objected was obviously making the Amazon Bestsellers list, my primary objective was getting my book top of mind and helping to spread the word about its release, to 'prime the market' for the upcoming paperback.
Next: timing. Starting the campaign three months before the actual release felt right. I could have an initial big push around the beginning of September, then have another reminder in October and encourage more people to sign up. Come November, with only one month remaining, I could do a final big push. The key here was to slowly build momentum without bombarding people with too much Web Splash information.
Markets: With the timing decided, I needed to think about who I was trying to reach and how I was going to reach them. I had two main target groups: people who would help spread the word (social media contacts) and people who would buy (readers), with a lot of crossover between the two. I planned to reach these groups through:
Blogs - My main point of contact with people who might help spread the word. I posted periodically about the splash and set up a dedicated page on my blog with all the information, along with a sign-up form powered by Google Docs. I chose Google docs because you can copy and paste all the info from the Google spreadsheet right into Excel, which helped me keep track of all those who had signed up and their details (email addresses and blogs).
Facebook - Facebook fan page, friends, family and other writers. In October, I set up a Facebook event page so people who weren't on blogs and/ or Twitter could keep up to date on news, too. I also provided ready-made Facebook status updates for people to post.
Twitter - I posted updates here with links to the blog sign-up page every once in a while, but I didn't get tweeters to 'sign up'. I see Twitter as more of a spontaneous thing; people don't need a formalised process. When they see others retweeting, etc, they might opt to retweet too. Luckily, this worked for me and many people jumped in to help spread the word. The only things I did do ahead of time were provide tweeters with a ready-made status update to cut and paste, and encourage people to use the hash tag #TheHatingGame so people could keep track of what was going on. If you're on Twitter, you can still see how well it worked by searching for #TheHatingGame.
Goodreads - I created an event and send out invitations to all my friends. I didn't get much of a response on Goodreads but it didn't really matter. My point was mainly to get my novel's title out there.
Review websites - I found out what sites reviewed my genre and liaised with them well ahead of time to make sure they knew about my book and what I was trying to accomplish with the Splash. It made sense to ask for their support, as these sites all want to help promote the genre. A big thanks to Chick Lit Reviews, Chick Lit Club, Chick Lit Shorties, Novelicious, Novel Escapes, Trashionista, Girls without a Bookshelf, Books for Teens, Writing in the Bath and One More Page for all their help (if I've missed anyone, I'm sorry!).
Email Lists - Don't forget your family and friends, writing organisations, and basically anyone you think might be interested! I sent out an email to all my contacts two to three days before the Splash. Remember, if you have a Google or Hotmail account, you will be limited to how many emails you send daily. If you have a big contact list, you'll have to stagger your emails.
It's important to give people choice. Some people who participated may not have done so if I only offered the option to blog about it - by integrating more social media, I definitely got more people on board.
Keeping people informed: Using newsletter service Constant Contact, I sent out three emails over the course of three months. One in October after the first wave of people had signed up; one in November, a week before the Splash, with all the relevant information to post; and one after the Splash to say thank you. In each email, I provided links to my Facebook, Goodreads, website and Twitter and in the final email, a link to sign up for my Newsletter.
Phew! I think that's it. Hope that's helpful - feel free to ask any questions!
Coming tomorrow: What I've learned about Amazon!