We all have our own systems for managing our lives. For example, I use a paper calendar and not the calendar on my phone. I know that’s old-school, but I love my paper calendar! I also have a paper “to-do” list that I keep on my desk, and I set alarms on my phone to remind me of things on the list when I’m not at my desk. It’s a hodgepodge system, but it works for me, which is the most important thing.
When it comes to book marketing, I adhere to the same philosophy: It doesn’t matter what system you use, as long as you use a system.
Here are two ways I keep track of my marketing efforts:
Excel spreadsheet for media/blogger outreach
Pitching media and bloggers for book reviews or inclusion in roundups such as “beach/holiday/spring break reads” is smart, but it will quickly become overwhelming if you don’t keep track of whom you pitched and when, with what result. I use a color-coded system: yellow cells for things that need following up, green cells for secured reviews, red cells for passes. That way I can quickly scan the spreadsheet to see what needs to be done.
Email in-box as a virtual to-do list
I try to keep my in-box as small as possible, yet I never move or delete a message until I’ve done whatever action it requires. Years ago I tried moving messages into various folders, e.g. “articles to read,” but then I learned that I would rarely (actually, never) go into those folders. So I changed the system to one that works for me.
The more you do to spread the word about your books, the more moving parts there are, which makes it easy for things to fall through the cracks. Keep organized, and you’ll have more success.