a guest post by Shannon Hitchcock
A group marketing blitz during the month of August? My initial reaction was UGH! I’m a writer, not a marketer, but since I have a new book out, (RUBY LEE & ME, Scholastic, 2016), I accepted the challenge.
I see only one negative to group marketing, which is losing total control. On the other hand, there are lots of benefits. Benefits like:
- Better Results for Less Effort: A team can get more done than a single person. #MGGetsReal will be featured on at least ten blogs during the month of August, but I only had to write two posts.
- Better Ideas: Brainstorming often produced better ideas than I generated on my own. We held a brainstorming session and decided on a hashtag to tweet about our marketing plan. We settled on #MGGetsReal.
- Expertise: Joyce Moyer Hostetter, author of, (BLUE, COMFORT, & AIM, Boyds Mills Press), worked with her daughter and prepared a video that features all five of our books. I’ve never made a video before, and it would have taken me a long time to learn.
- Greater Marketing Reach: We all have different professional contacts, so the number of people we can reach as a group is greater than if I were going it alone.
- Motivation: Working as a group kept each of us motivated to do our part.
Any group of authors with a common theme could implement a plan like ours. Our plan:
- Read/write reviews for each book.
- Seek to engage teachers/librarians.
- Write for two blogs not our own, (seeking blogs with national exposure where possible).
- Develop “group ads” for social media.
- Develop a unique hashtag for the effort. We chose #MGGetsReal because our books tackle a tough topic in a way appropriate for Middle Grade readers.
- Post to social media 3x week for the month of August in a way that highlights all five books.
- Retweet using the hashtag #MGGetsReal.
- Feature other writers on our own blogs if applicable.
- Develop a video that highlights all five of the books featured below:
THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM by Kathleen Burkinshaw– Kathleen’s mother was a Hiroshima survivor. In this novel based on that experience, Kathleen shows the effect war has on children, and that sometimes the enemy is very much like us.
WHAT FLOWERS REMEMBER by Shannon Wiersbitzky– Shannon’s own grandfather suffered from Alzheimer’s, and in this novel she paints a realistic picture of a man losing his memory and of the young girl who loves him.
COMFORT by Joyce Moyer Hostetter– COMFORT tells the story of how Ann Fay’s dad is tormented by combat memories following WWII, and how his trauma hurts the whole family.
JUST A DROP OF WATER by Kerry O’Malley Cerra– This book takes place in the aftermath of 9/11. It shows how normally tolerant people developed prejudice toward their Muslim neighbors.
RUBY LEE & ME by Shannon Hitchcock—Following a tragic accident, two friends, one black, and one white, struggle with school integration. I lived through integration so this book is close to my heart.
A group marketing blitz during the month of August? I hope your initial reaction is YAY! Join #MGGetsReal on social media and give us a retweet, a Facebook share, and consider reviewing our books.