I’m starting to think seriously about marketing Feast. Should I have thought seriously about it earlier? Yes. But one does what one can. I’m currently reading a book about how to sell a lot of books, and I have another one recommended to me about your brand and your book. Fun? Not exactly. But I’m learning things.
So far, the first chapters have mostly told me to build a platform, so at least that’s sort of comforting, as it’s mostly done. Or at least in progress. It’s hard to figure out how much time one should spend on such things (as opposed to, say, writing new fiction, essays, etc).
Facebook I do very naturally, and it’s super-fun talking to people here. (Maybe too fun!) Right now, I try to bop over to Twitter once a day or so, but it’s just not a natural medium for me, so it’s hard to build engagement there. And Instagram I just have Heather copying things over to for now; I should probably be following food bloggers and liking their stuff and going back to their sites, etc. I mean, I even want to do that; it sounds like fun. But it all takes time.
There are some other concrete tips; I’m going to try to collate them into a document to discuss with my team.
Here’s a few so far:
– make sure your website looks professional and has all the info people will need (Stephanie is working on that now)
– build your e-mail list (it exists, but I can build it further by making it cool: extra recipes? discounts? contests when the book comes out?) — this book recommends one newsletter a week, which may be beyond me, but something to think about, I guess? They recommend checking out brainpickings.org, so I’ll go look at that
– build out the YouTube channel (I need to set that up for Serendib Kitchen, edit the videos and start putting them up; I’d really like to do a video for every recipe in the cookbook, eventually — is that overambitious? It seems like it’d be so helpful to people, though…)
– ditto if you’re doing a podcast, but I don’t think I’ll be doing one for this book.
– are there major figures in the field you want to reach out to? for endorsements (it’d be great to get blurbs from other South Asian cookbook authors, right? other general cookbook authors?), invitations to speak, support my marketing (reposting things, etc.) I’ve already joined the EATT mailing list, for people of color in the food world, but there’s a ton more I could do in this arena.
– also start working on appearances: writer’s conferences, TED venues, universities and other possible speaking venues)
– contact book buyers, of course! I need to talk to Mascot and find out who they’re contacting, so I don’t duplicate, but then I need to hustle and get on this. They’ll want to know numbers for my platforms, so I should get Heather to pull that together for me — how many FB friends / followers, etc.
– ideally, you schedule things to happen at the same time, in the first 30 days after the launch — radio interviews, book signings, posters in the windows of local bookstores, e-mail blasts — I’m not sure how much of this I can do, but we’ll see?
Expect to see more of this.