No matter who publishes your book, it’s important to do what you can to promote it. That means reaching out to many different organizations, which takes time, energy, and a lot of following up.
To keep track of your efforts (and your progress), I suggest creating a master spreadsheet with a separate page for each type of organization you contact (e.g., alumni groups, book clubs, bloggers, press, etc.). The fields can be very basic, including details such as name, organization, email address, website, and status.
Once you begin your outreach, color coding can help you keep track of your progress. For example, let’s say you contact local alumni clubs of your alma mater to see if they’ll include a mention of your book in their newsletter. I suggest putting clubs who have said yes in green, those who need some follow-up in yellow, and those who have said “thanks but no thanks” in red. With color coding, every so often you can skim through your spreadsheet and know which areas need some attention.
When you first begin your outreach, you may think you’ll be able to remember necessary details about each group, but trust me, you won’t. Sending out a bunch of emails today is one thing, but what happens a month down the road? Which leads were promising? Who asked for more information? Whose email bounced back with an “I’m on vacation” autoreply? If you don’t keep track of these things, despite the best of intentions you may end up spinning your wheels and getting nowhere fast.
I know it’s a lot of work to do what I’m suggesting, but I promise it’s worth it. In addition to keeping you organized, a spreadsheet also will help you track your successes, which is a powerful motivator. Book marketing is hard, and the more green sections you have, the more inspired you’ll be to keep going!
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2015 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.