By the time you connect with the Solution Tree marketing team, you will have invested precious time, care, and brain power in your upcoming book. You will be deep in collaboration with Solution Tree Press to produce a beautiful resource—the end result of your inspired vision.
The marketing team is pleased to extend that support you feel during the production of your book to when your manuscript is hot off the press and ready to buy. Actually, even before it’s hot off the press; there are several tactics in play before your book even hits the shelves.
We know that you are providing a gift to the world of education, and we want to do all we can to ensure educators know about your book. That’s why you’ll be hearing from us approximately five months before publication. We want to meet with you to hear about your work in your own words. Why are these meetings important? Because no one knows and loves your book like you do. Your insight matters to us. It helps us advance your work. It gives us direction in developing marketing strategies tailored to your needs.
Since collaboration is big at Solution Tree, it’s important to us that we collaborate with you to strategize your campaign. Here are 5 tips to ensure a meaningful, efficient marketing meeting. And rest assured, we promise to do our prep work before the meeting too.
1. Review your interview questions and prepare responses
Your marketing meeting agenda consists of two parts. The first half of the meeting is an author Q&A. The second half focuses on marketing strategy and campaign optimization. But let’s focus on the Q&A for a moment. There are five basic questions the marketing writer will ask.
What inspired you to write the book?
What challenges will this book help educators overcome?
What are some strategies/tools/templates you offer in the book?
What makes this book unique?
What is one big idea you hope educators take away from the book?
Reflect on these questions and have your responses handy during the call. This is good preparation for many reasons. First of all, if you’re prone to interview jitters, knowing what you’re going to say ahead of time can really boost your confidence and put you at ease.
Second, taking time with these questions reconnects you with the heart of your book. It’s possible that, at the time of your marketing meeting, you may not have cracked open the manuscript for a while, whether it’s because the book has been in an editing round or for any other reason. When you prepare your responses to the Q&A ahead of time, your book—its content, organization, and the inspiration behind it—will be fresh in your mind to discuss.
Finally, if you’re familiar with the questions you will be in a great position to dive deeper into the content when needed. Your interviewer will almost certainly ask follow-up questions based on your responses to the basic five questions, so be prepared to dig into the content with your marketing team.
2. Get clear on your audience
When asked the question, “Who is your audience?” it can be tempting to reply “K–12 educators.” However, it’s a worthwhile exercise to break this down even further. Getting clear on your core audience will help us create impactful copy, strategize campaigns, and build early sales. Some subgroups you may consider:
- Teachers in specific grade levels or grade level ranges
- Building or district leadership
- New or veteran teachers
- Instructional coaches
- Professional development coordinators
- Professors in teacher preparation programs
- Content-specific teachers
- Educators who work in priority schools or Title I schools
- Students’ families and community members
You get the idea. Think critically. Who are the people your book would best serve?
3. Create a list of keywords
Humans tend to be frequent fliers in the digital landscape. We’re constantly online, searching for things that interest us, and we quickly navigate to what rises to the top of our search results. With this in mind, it makes good sense that digital marketing is integral to promoting your work and that we should do everything we can to get you to the top of that search engine results page (SERP).
Imagine yourself in your potential readers’ desk chairs or at their coffee shop tables. What would they type in their search bars to pull up your book? Our mission is to anticipate those words and phrases through keyword research and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. SEO simply means the processes used to increase the visibility of your website or product page in search results for the online consumer.
Your keyword contribution is valuable. While we have a dedicated SEO expert to round up great keywords for your book, your input will ensure our selection is well-rounded and effective. Thinking of this ahead of time will help us brainstorm keywords together and come up with a robust list to give your online presence a boost.
4. Compile a media list
Our marketing team has curated an extensive list of evergreen media outlets—those we turn to again and again. While we pitch your book to our list, we rely on you to share your go-to sources for news and information on education with us so we can include those in our reach. Think of media outlets you may have worked with in the past, as well as those you have no direct professional connection with but would be a great fit for your book.
Your list could include magazines, journals, podcasts, or blogs. Consider publications or podcasts that have featured stories about you or have interviewed you in the past. Have you partnered with an education journalist who would be interested to know about your upcoming book? Do you have friends who are education influencers on social media? All of these are potential avenues for book promotion.
5. Assess your online presence
Maintaining a strong, relevant online presence is a big job. Now is a great time to take stock of your social media platforms and any websites you’ve created. Do you have social media accounts that are gathering dust? Do you prefer to focus your energy on Twitter or Instagram or TikTok? Maybe it’s time to shut down that platform that just doesn’t resonate with you. As far as website maintenance, maybe it’s time to investigate options for assistance with design and upkeep.
As always, your marketing team is here to help. Bring us your questions, concerns, and ideas. We’re happy to support you in growing a healthy, active online network.
There you have it—five successful meeting tips to follow from your dedicated marketing team. We love what we do, and we’re committed to developing and nurturing a collaborative partnership with you to promote your work. We can’t wait to get started. See you soon!