Marketing Plan for THE SQUID AND THE SPACEMAN
Promote the book to existing fans and target audiences via unique live events that generate visibility in social and traditional media.
To promote my first novel GOD BLESS CAMBODIA, I lectured and performed more than 100 times at libraries, indie theater festivals, colleges, writing centers, religious institutions, and other venues around the U.S., Canada, and Edinburgh, Scotland. For “THE SQUID AND THE SPACEMAN” I will develop a new lecture/show based on the book.
A) Target audiences:
- Gen X and Boomers interested in Love, Sex, and Dating at middle age.
- Fans of authors Jonathan Tropper, Sam Lipsyte, and Jess Walter, Joshua Ferris, Shalom Auslander, Philip Roth
- Fans of comedians Bill Burr, Dave Chapelle, Ricky Gervais
B) Existing fans and followers: about 17,500
1) Newsletter/Blog Subscribers: 880
2) Social Media: 16,700 fans, connections
- Linked In (3,030 connections)
- Goodreads: 1,090 friends
3) Multimedia Presence:
- Youtube (25 videos, 16,000 views) Soundcloud (2 audios)
B) Organizations I belong to which I belong:
- Alumni: University of Vermont, Northwestern University
- Writing organizations: the Authors Guild, Grub Street writing center, Media Chowder (happy hour group for local writers), New England Indie Authors Collective.
- Art and performance organizations: Fort Point Arts Community, Solo Together (for New England solo performers)
- IDG and PC World Alumni (former employee websites)
- Local synagogues
II) Reaching Them:
A) Live Events supported by social media and local media
1) Current talks and shows I perform solo
2) Talks and shows performed with the New England Indie Authors Collective (I am a co-founder)
- Annual Valentine’s Day show
- Spring and Fall Salons featuring new work.
- How to Get Published.
3) Proposed talks and shows
- How Much Can -- and Should -- You Change for Someone You Love? (readings from novels and discussion of psychological theories, such as Attachment Theory, Introversion/Extroversion, trend of single people who don’t want a relationship)
- Bedtime Stories for Adults (humorous erotica: readings and performance)
- New England for live events (in the last two years, I’ve spoken at 16 local libraries.)
- Around the US for virtual events
2) Theater festivals I’ve performed at in the past that I will approach again:
- Northeast: Portland, ME; Providence; Frigid Fringe (NYC).
- Midwest: Indianapolis, Kansas City, Elgin, IL
- Canada: Regina, Calgary, Edmonton,
*Generally, I performed for about 150 to 200 attendees per festival.
- Open mics/featured author readings
- Boston Erotic Literary Festival (I co-produced the first such event in fall of 2020)
- Writing groups, synagogues, Meetup Groups
- Non-book retail stores for Valentine’s Day, National Single’s Day (9/22), National Sex Day (6/9) at sex toy shops, lingerie stores, liquor stores, wine stores.
III) Marketing Timeline
1) Signed Contract (a year before publication?)
- mention on social media, email newsletters, organizations I belong to. (begin bi-monthly newsletter mailings and social media posting)
- contact Porter Square books in Cambridge, MA., to reserve space for a launch party.
- apply to fringe theater festivals as noted earlier.
- develop a new show based on The Squid and Spaceman focusing on the psychology of dysfunctional love. Title ideas: “How much can you change for someone you love?” “Are you dysfunctional or just a little messed up?”
2) Galleys (six months before publication?)
- post cover images, excerpts on social media, newsletters. (Begin monthly posting)
- press release to local media with cover image
- contact reviewers I know: Winnipeg Jewish Post, Arts Fuse Boston.
- send review copies to single’s expert Bella DePaulo and other influencers
- request interviews/appearances with bloggers, podcasters, etc who have interviewed me in the past; request contacts for others from author friend Erica Ferencik.
- ask friends and followers to request the book from local libraries.
- Sign up to read/feature at local literary series and open mics: Dire Reader series, Modern Art Party, The Jungle, West Medford Open Studios.
- Offer Goodreads giveaways?
3) A month before publication
- daily/weekly social media posts that include pre-order button.
- invites to friends and media for launch event at a local book store.
- depending on budget, purchase Amazon ads and promote posts on Facebook
4) Post Launch
- note: my first novel was published in March 2017. I am still promoting it five years later.
VI) Detailed Social and Traditional Media Outreach
A) Social media:
1) Facebook Groups/Pages to post to
- Bella DePaulo’s single’s group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1461172227534759/
- Media Chowder (local journalism group)
- New England Indie Authors Collective
2) Twitter Hashtags
- singles: #singlelife #PerksOfBeingSingle #onlinedating #SingleStigmas #singleton
- edgy, cranky depressed people: #TeamNoSleep, #insomniaclub
- Boston art events: #Bosarts
- comps and influencers: (follow their followers, Like, Retweet, eventually ask for help)
@jtropper, @DaveChappelle, @billburr, @rickygervais, @fleabag, @MensHumor
- comps and influencers: @amysedaris, @bojackhorseman, @curbyourlarrydavid
- books: #bookstagram
C) Book Bloggers, Podcasters, Etc.
- Tim Haigh: Bookspodcast.com
- Jennifer Perry host of Authors on Air (Web radio show)
- Emil Guillermo (online story telling class, Asian American podcaster/comedian)
- ask friend/author Erica Ferencik for contacts (she just completed a book launch)
D) Local Press:
- Boston Herald arts section:
- Boston Globe arts section
- Boston Arts Fuse
- Somerville Journal
- Somerville Scout
- Jewish Advocate, Jewish Daily Forward, Jewish Boston email newsletter
**I have an entire spreadsheet of contacts at local media**
(Venues open as of Summer 2022: Dire Reader series, Modern Art Party, The Jungle, West Medford Open Studios)
V) Things I Learned from Marketing of My First Book
- Libraries are a great venue for me.
- Paperbacks easier to sell at events
- Focus on events not social media
- Collaborate with other authors: In the past, I produced joint events with the New England Indie Authors Collective, Boston’s first erotic literary festival, Boston authors: Judah Leblang, Stephanie Schorow, Jennifer Pivor, Erica Ferencik.
- Change with the times: God Bless Cambodia and its show The Chronic Single Handbook lacked a strong female lead character. Squid has a strong female lead character.
- I’m now more established and have more fans and contacts than I did with my first book and first show.