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Are you forgetting this vital step in your book marketing plan?

Obvious, we here at Book Marketing Tools are big on book marketing, but author Debra Butterfield shares this vital step in a book marketing plan that many authors simply forget to do, and it is very important.

Have you ever left the house and wondered “Did I shut the garage door?… Turn off the curling iron?… Feed the dog?”

It’s not uncommon to wonder about things we do out of habit every day. These moments are harmless enough, but what happens when forgetfulness invades our work life?

As a busy editor, both as a freelancer and for CrossRiver Media Group, I have a lot of projects to manage as well as my own writing. I often can’t remember whether I really did something or merely thought about doing it. (I could blame it on a blonde moment, but I’d rather say I attempt to remember too much). I keep a to-do list to a degree in my daily organizer, but then I’m paging back through my organizer to remind myself if the task got done, or even worse, digging through my email sent box—a tedious, time-consuming task.

As my book launch approached, I struggled for weeks to develop a marketing plan. The moment I began to execute I realized I had already made my first mistake. Months earlier I’d sent my book to a group of beta readers and now I wanted to ask them to post a review when the book went live. I didn’t make a list of they were and couldn’t remember them all. I failed to track what I was doing.

In that moment I realized the necessity and importance of recording what I do. After all, what good is a marketing plan if I don’t know what I did and when I did it? I wouldn’t be able to measure the success of my plan, and the time spent developing it would be wasted.

Track Your Marketing

Don’t let the time you’ve spent creating a killer marketing plan for your book be ruined by forgetfulness. Just as you developed that plan, develop a way to track what you’ve done and when you did it.

Here’s an example of how I do it:

tracking

This can be accomplished with Excel using individual tabs for each social network you use and tabs for every other category of your plan (e.g. book review sites, media contacts). A table in a Word doc can accomplish the same. If you use Scrivener, which I do, create a folder for marketing and a document within that folder for every category.

This may seem obvious, but it is often the obvious that gets overlooked. Whatever way you chose, you won’t be wondering “To whom and when did I send my press release? Whom have I asked to do a review? What did I post on Pinterest last week?”

When you get to the end of the month and are prepping for the next, you’ll know exactly what you’ve done and what step is next. As you progress through your plan, you’ll have one place that readily shows the results, and you’ll be able to tweak your plan as needed for even greater success.

Debra L. Butterfield is a freelance writer and editor as well as the nonfiction editor for CrossRiver Media Group. She blogs writing and marketing tips at DebraLButterfield.com. Her newest book, Carried by Grace: A Guide for Mothers of Victims of Sexual Abuse, is the story of her personal journey designed to help mothers find comfort, direction, and healing.


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  • Excellent! I don’t use Scrivner but am thinking about it; afraid of the learning curve. Also not savvy with Excell. I do print out a calendar to record what I’ve done, but it’s difficult to go back to retrieve info; about as bad as having to go through email. So I’ll have to get out of my comfort zone and try your suggestions! Thank you again.

  • This is a great and informative post. I’ll have to start tracking my marketing that way. Thanks so much!

  • Like so many other busy authors, I’ve made this “good mistake” while trying to do too much at the same time. Sometimes simple, practical organizing tips can make a huge difference. Thank you for the gentle nudge toward greater self-awareness and systematic thinking.