THE BACKGROUND

45Pounds_COVER45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS) by K.A. Barson will be released on July 11, 2013. DISCLAIMER: The author has agreed to be featured in today’s Marketing Monday, and may or may not use any of the ideas below. Upon request, the author provided a few key images, quotes, and themes from the book as thought starters.

THE ASSIGNMENT

Offer up ideas and suggestions that the author could use to help create buzz for 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS) for the book’s launch. See the description on Goodreads.

THE METHOD

The best marketing ideas are tied closely to the audience and the product that you are trying to market, especially when it comes to a product launch. The marketing tactic should make you think of the product while appealing to the people you are trying to reach. This is the lens I use when developing a marketing plan for a book.

THE PLAN

From the description of 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS), I can tell that the book is going to have a lot of humor and heart. In the book, Ann is a size 17, and she’s determined to lose weight in order to fit into a bridesmaid dress for her aunt’s wedding.  Positive body image is a major theme, along with a desire to fit in. A lot of these ideas were born out of that.

Bridesmaid Dress Tumblr/Pinterest

Bridesmaid dresses are a key image in the novel. Most women and many teen girls have tales of ugly dresses they were called on to wear for a loved one. And most of these dresses have been recorded for posterity. The author has the opportunity to create a tumblr account that invites readers to submit photos of themselves wearing bridesmaid dresses, along with a quick caption. To get the Tumblr started, she could ask friends, family and fellow authors to help get things moving. She could expand it to include prom dresses without straying from her theme. The results – humorous – would fit with the tone of the book, and this is a nice way to sell the book by tying into its subject matter. The site should be reflective of the book’s cover. This would also work as a cross-post on Pinterest.

Launch Day Celebration

The author mentioned that the “Thriller” dance is featured in the book. She could ask friends, family members, and fellow authors to film themselves doing the dance. The sections could be edited together into one big celebration video to promote the book’s official launch. Here’s an example of a similar video.

Swag

The author mentioned a couple of great food items that she will give out as swag. These are great as they are relevant to the book, which means they will resonate with readers. The only downside of food (is there a downside?) is that it’s not an item that will linger around to remind people to buy your books. Another swag idea might be to order small pocket or compact mirrors imprinted with a positive message. For a tighter budget, she might consider stickers that have a positive message (ie. You are beautiful.). I designed a couple to give her ideas.

ilikeyou

youarebeautiful

Costume

At book events, conventions, and store events, the authors dressed in costume tend to get a lot of attention. Several author friends dress in Victorian or steampunk garb and have mentioned that it makes for a great icebreaker and way to draw attention to their book at the event. If the author is comfortable, she might consider wearing a bridesmaid gown to her events (one that is obviously meant as a costume). It could make for a great conversation starter with teachers, librarians, and readers, plus she is showcasing the humor in the book.

Clothing Swap Book Events

Everybody has clothes they no longer wear and one woman’s tossaways are another’s new wardrobe. The author has the chance to draw in a bigger audience to her events by holding clothing swaps. Invite teens to bring in their clothes, jewelry and shoes for the chance to swap items with other girls. It’s a great opportunity to discuss body image and talk about 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS). TLC’s tips on hosting clothing swap parties.

Anonymous “Like You As You Are” Notes and Cards

The author could create templates of notes that teens could leave each other in their lockers or desks. Similar to notes that parents drop in their kids’ lunch boxes, these notes could be used to give your friend a boost when they need it most. Downloadable templates could be offered for teens to print out and use. Another option would be to create e-cards (think someecards) that could be shared online. (Note: this could end up being cheesy if it’s not done right. If the notes were written in the tone of the book, it could be really well done.)

“Dress the Dressing Room” Contest

Dressing rooms are another key image in the book. Who hasn’t gone in a dressing room and left feeling unhappy with their body? The author could create little feel-good notes to be “dropped” in dressing rooms. People could print out the notes (which include the title and author’s name), post them in a dressing room, and snap a shot of the note for a chance to win books or other prizes. This way the person seeing the note feels good, and the book is introduced to a new audience. This is definitely a guerrilla tactic, and a variation on “spot my book in the wild.”

MARKETING MONDAYS

I’ve worked in marketing for ten years, and prior to that, I was a graphic designer for eight years. The first Monday of each month I will discuss different marketing tactics for publishers and writers. Some weeks I will be preparing case studies of new releases and offering up launch solutions to help spark ideas for authors. If you are a debut young adult author and would like to be considered for a Marketing Monday case study, please use my contact form to let me know.

Have a question? Let me know in the comments!