How to Get a Head-Start on Fall and Winter Promotions

Photo by Sias van Schalkwyk

So, the dog days of summer are almost upon us and if you have school-aged children, you may already be thinking about the Back to School rush.

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about your business and how you can take advantage of that rush, too.

Back to School Promos
Do you offer tutorials or seminars? Why not offer a special Back to School promotion? Take some time to come up with a special sale or deal for clients. Everyone is looking for a way to stretch their dollars, and exclusive deals are a way to keep customers coming back.

End of Summer Sales
What about those summer fashions, accessories or products? Take advantage of the season with an End of Summer Sale. It’s a great way to clear out old stock to make room for all the new things you will be introducing in the Fall.

Give Them Something To Talk About
Do you have a new book coming out? Or do you just want to pump up the exposure of your previous titles? Try tying your release to a new book release, popular show, or genre that is being talked about.

Be a Bit of a Tease
Now is also a great time to showcase your new Fall fashions, products, seminars and book releases. A short spotlight feature on your blog or in your customer newsletter is a great promotional idea, and is a great way to get people interested, even if you want to wait until September to give them the full feature.

People are still busy trying to live out the remaining days of Summer, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait to promote your business. Offer a special teaser or preview event for your clients and customers, with a sneak peek that you will follow up with come September. It’s a great way to keep you & your business in their thoughts.

What Outstanding Ink Can Do
Not sure how to do this or where to begin? Here are a few ways I can help you:

  • It’s never too late to sign up for one of our Email Marketing Bundles. Individual, Seasonal, or Monthly, I will craft content-rich emails that you can send to your clients and customers
  • Our Website Marketing Bundles make your blog a social hub where your products take the spotlight
  • We can create a targeted Marketing Campaign for authors, artisans and other small business owners to help you keep your promotions on-track

Need some advice or want to find out how we can give you a head-start on the Fall and Winter seasons? Fill out our Service Request form and I will email you back with more details and ideas on how to hit the ground running come September!

Why Writers Need a PR Package

Photo by Kia Abell

Whether you decide to take a traditional path towards publishing your book or you go the DIY route and self-publish, every author needs a PR package to promote his or her writing.

In a recent article I put together as the Toronto Writing Examiner, I outlined a few of the basic documents the you should have filed away for future use.

Preparing these documents ahead of time makes it easier for you to put together a promotional package (whether you are mailing it or e-mailing it) to send to potential reviewers, interviewers, or even when you decide to send your manuscript out to potential editors or agents.

Here are a few ideas of what documents to include and ways to make sure you don’t just get the information across, but share your personality as well.

Every author needs to have a written profile, whether it’s 1 paragraph or enough to fill the inside flap of your book.

The length and style of your profile will differ depending on whether you’re using it on your website or if you are sending it to a potential editor or agent. With the latter, you may lean towards being more straightforward with your writing style, however the bio that you put on your website you can be a little more flexible with. Try infusing it with your own writing voice or writing and in a similar style to the genre you write in for a bio that will stand out from the masses.

Check out a few of the profiles I’ve written, in both a business style and a more creative style to see how you can bring your voice into your marketing materials.

Press Releases
The press release may seem a little old school in this digital age, but it is still a valuable tool to get the word out about your book launch, award, or other news related to your writing.

There are many opportunities for which you can write a press release – a new book; new event, appearance or book signing; updated website or new samples/excerpts to read; book sales or discounts. Use your imagination (but make sure what you are reporting is news and not just a way to get a little attention).

Again, while there is a specific style for the Press Release, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with it.

At Outstanding Ink, I have written quite a few Press Releases that have a little fun and are written with a more creative style while still keeping in mind that it is a business document that is used to announce news.

Book Blurbs/Cover Copy
Obviously, if you are promoting your latest book you want to include the back cover copy with any marketing material that you send out to bloggers or interviewers. It’s an easy way for them to feature you and your work and they can just copy & paste the content to their blog or website.

Although it might seem strange considering you just penned a 80,000+ word novel, sometimes, coming up with the cover copy can be the most difficult part to write.

One way to tackle that is to include it in the planning stages of writing your book. The text may change as you go from the initial idea through your first draft to the finished manuscript, but at least it allows you to get your basic idea on the page so you can focus on the core ideas of your book which will help you to sell it to both readers and reviewers.

Check out our Author Bundle, which offers a variety of different documents at a discounted rate or get in touch so I can help you figure out the direction you need to go to promote your writing in the best way.

Book Launch Marketing Material
Creating a few different pieces of marketing material focused around the launch of your book will help you to keep the buzz building long after launch day has come and gone.

Building up to the book launch with promos, blurbs, teasers, and excerpts are an excellent way to build buzz, but don’t forget to continue to promote your book in the weeks and months following its launch.

Collecting reviews, star ratings, blog features and other feedback from readers is built-in promotional material the you should send out to interested readers and bloggers to retain your book’s momentum and hopefully keep it rising up the best-seller chart.

If you need help compiling the information into a cohesive narrative, I can help you create compelling features that you can use to promote your book and keep the buzz going long after its launch.

Reviews and Press Clippings
Now that you’ve gathered some reviews or press clippings from online blogs or magazines, you need to put them to good use.

An interesting way to do that is to gather ones that have a similar message and create an e-mail blast or short feature for your newsletter.

Word-of-mouth is one of the strongest tools you can use to get new readers to pick up your book. By sending out newsletters or featuring feedback on your own website or blog, you are making it easy for new readers to find you and your work.

My Email and Website Marketing services can help you to take advantage of the feedback you’ve received, share it with your fans and help you find new ones.

Tying It Up
Ok, so you’re a writer and all you want to do is write, but your writing career is also a business.

That doesn’t mean your creativity has to get lost in boring business documents. Using unique strategies to sell your work and creating a targeted method to get in touch with potential readers, reviewers and fans, you can build a buzz about your writing that will carry you forward to your next novel…and the next one…and the next one!

The Importance of Consistent Marketing

When you started thinking about branding your business, did your first thoughts turn to putting together a consistent look to all your marketing materials?

From your letterhead to your business cards and your website, having a consistent look across the board is the key to building your company’s image.

Having a consistent marketing schedule is equally as important. Keeping your name at the forefront of your customer’s mind can benefit your business in so many ways.

You should think of your marketing as an ongoing task, rather than a one-time thing. Sending out a newsletter once a year isn’t going to do much to keep customers interested. You need to give them a little nudge every now and then, and setting up a marketing schedule is just the ticket.

When to Market
Obviously, the big holidays are the perfect time to reach out to customers. Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day and beyond – each holiday can be a great time to touch base and let clients know what’s going on with you and your business.

It is also a good time to tie in any related products or services you offer. Gift packages, discounts and other promotional items can make great updates.

But what if you don’t sell anything holiday-related? Or you sell a service? Or you are an author or artist?

Be creative! Thinks of ways you can tie what you’re selling into a holiday. Here are a few ideas:

  • Authors – book release dates, March Break or Summer reading picks, special week-long promotions, World Book Day, National Poetry Month, Banned Books Week, or choose your favorite author and send out a promotion in his/her birthday!
  • Artists/Artisans – exhibit or event days, local Arts Appreciation weeks, birthdays or anniversaries of your favorite modern artist, or tie your marketing to a new exhibition at your local museum


It’s Not All About You
One important thing to remember is to make sure you add a personal touch to your marketing efforts. Customers are bombarded with ads every day, so by adding something unique to your newsletter or email marketing is a way to not only stand out, but hopefully engage your customers.

Show how what you sell can benefit them. Share the story of how you became inspired to do what you do. Invite them behind-the-scenes with a tutorial, tour or information in your creative process. It will give them insight into you and your business, and show that you care about them (and not just their wallets).


Newsletter & Email Marketing Bundles Make It Easy
At Outstanding Ink, I offer various Email and Website Marketing Bundles that can help you to set up a consistent marketing schedule.

Whether you are looking for an individual piece of writing, or want to put together a weekly, monthly, by-monthly or even yearly campaign, I can help you to decide what information will best engage your clients, customers, readers or fans.

Check out my Website and Email Marketing pages to see how I can help you to build a stronger relationship with your clients.


It’s All About Trust
By staying in touch with clients and customers, you start to build a relationship, but you have to be sure to nurture that relationship through ongoing contact.

With just a few periodic emails or newsletters, you can keep them updated, engaged, and build a sense of trust that they will remember when it comes time to make a buying decision.

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