MF 260 : Marketing your coloring book
Updated: Jun 23
In this episode, we take a look at strategics and tactics for marketing your coloring book including some free social media tools. More at www.bemovingforward.com.
Part 1: Marketing strategy for your coloring book
Now that you’ve published your book, we’re going to turn our attention to marketing. Actually, if you’ve been following this podcast you’ll immediately know that statement is wrong!
When it comes to marketing your book or coloring book, you start as soon as possible, long before it hits the virtual shelves. When we launched Corporate Cliches on December 1, 2016, we had to scramble to get it on people’s radars since the holidays were around the corner. If I had to do it over, I would have started the marketing a lot earlier.
What was true in 2016 is even more so in 2019. Today, the coloring book landscape is so flooded that standing out is a lot harder. So, start early – the sooner, the better.
So, how do you make your book stand out? Let’s turn our attention to marketing tools and strategy.
Let’s start with paid or premium marketing tools.
Facebook. Facebook can be a powerful way to promote your book. You can set a budget as low as $1 a day for as many or few days as your budget allows. I highly recommend you take Facebook’s “blueprint” ads course if you’re not familiar with creating them. These are 5-10 minute modules that are free to take; covering everything from creating video ads to targeting an audience.
Amazon. When we published our coloring book it was on CreateSpace, which was owned by Amazon but not part of KDP. At the time we didn’t have access to run Amazon ads. Once our book migrated to KDP last year, we were able to start running ads on Amazon, which like Facebook, allows you to run ads on their platform for as little as $1 a day for as many or few days as your budget allows. This was a powerful tool for us last year as we ran a holiday ad campaign from Thanksgiving through the end of December.
LinkedIn. I didn’t talk about this one as much for the book writing mini-series but for our coloring book, our target market was people working in office jobs. We ran sponsored ads on LinkedIn which helped drive sales in 2017 and 2018 during the holiday season. The nice thing about LinkedIn is that you can target people by industry and it’s not as flooded as Facebook.
Now that we’ve covered some of the tools let's talk strategy to guide your marketing.
Macro: As we put together Corporate Cliches and due in no small part to our December release date, we decided to market the book as the “perfect white elephant,” “holiday office party” gift. This was based on our target market: people working in corporate environments. If you’ve ever worked in an office job, you’ll know that holiday office parties are part of the culture along with “white elephant” and “secret Santa” gifts. Knowing this, helped shape our marketing strategy and messaging.
Micro: When it came to tactical, we used paid ads but also regular social media posts on Twitter and Instagram. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll see that during this month, I’ve been tweeting clichés of the day with visuals from our coloring book. In some ways, social media marketing for a coloring book is much easier than a traditional book since you have built-in images that can make your social media posts pop.
Get your copy of Corporate Cliches here.
Part 2: Marketing tools for your coloring book
Let’s turn our attention now to some of the tools to implement your marketing strategy. Since we focused on paid and premium tools in part 1, I also want to share some highly effective free tools you can use to help drive sales.
Canva. I’ve talked a lot about Canva with respect to designing book covers but it’s also a wonderful platform for crafting social media posts. Canva has templates for every major platform from Twitter to LinkedIn to Instagram and more. You can create social media posts tailored to each platform; adding in visuals, text, and images from your coloring book.
Video. Today, video is a big component of social media content. If you’re not great at creating polished videos, I highly recommend you find a simple app that will create a quick video for posts and stories. There are plenty of free ones like iMovie that will do this for you. You can take a few visuals, such as screenshots or photos, pop them into a template, add some text and music and within a minute or two, you’ll have a 30-45 second sizzle video for IG, FB, or elsewhere. Around the holidays, I focus a lot on video content, reposting ones I've previously created to promote the coloring book.
Hootsuite. Managing your social media can feel like a fulltime job. I recommend use a scheduler to make your life easier. There are many out there and some platforms like Facebook can do this natively. Hootsuite is a great one to use for LinkedIn, Twitter or IG. You can pre-populate posts ahead of time. Hootsuite has a free and premium version.
Plan and implement your marketing strategy early. Start by identifying your target your market and your book’s niche. Use the book itself to create visual content via social media posts and video.
Part 3: What I’m reading
The Racketeer by John Grisham (***): A story about a former lawyer serving jail time who bargains with the FBI for his freedom in exchange for the identity of a federal judge’s killer. I enjoyed the first half a little more than the second. The first part moves quickly and keeps you on edge. However, the second half is repetitive of themes and beats from his earlier work such as The Firm. It’s interesting to see Grisham focus more on flawed heroes and anti-hero protagonists.
Books by John
Check out my Amazon author profile.
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The Corporate Cliches Adult Coloring Book: makes the perfect stocking stuffer or white elephant gift.
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