Organizing The Book Promotion: Low-Tech Rules

I wrote the book on the laptop, of course. And I scanned in all the photos and permission slips, and chapters, and changes. I have a smart phone I couldn’t live without. Now it’s time to start organizing the promotion for the book.

People are sending me email suggestions for book stores and craft stores, mixed in with contacts and suggestions, links to websites, email addresses and Yahoo groups.  There are different ideas mixed up in different emails. There is no way to label each and keep it all straight.

So now I can ask people with blogs on writing or coaching or mixed media, creativity, journaling or arts to let me know if you would be interested in being on my blog tour–a series of interviews I’m scheduling around the release date. I can guest post or you can present an interview–in print or as a podcast. Let me  know in the comments!

I’m doing fewer signings and more events–Raw Art Journaling is not a novel, it’s a book on making meaning with your art. So having people do some art when they come to a signing makes sense.

A few events are planned, some in the works. And that’s when I realized that I need the old-fashioned organization tool I used for years before the computer: a three-ring binder. At first I refused, and made an Excel spreadsheet instead. But that didn’t work for me. I need to see the calendar at the same time I see the to-do list. See the “maybe” list along with the “final” list. Of course I’ll still use the computer, but I also need one place in the third dimension for all these lists and ideas and maybe-I-cans.

So the binder got purchased and labeled and organized. It will require a lot of updates and changing, but as the book release date (July 20, 2011) creeps closer, I’ll be ready for it.

–Quinn McDonald is the author of Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art to be released by North Light Books.

Through a number of my careers–creative director in an ad agency, editor at a newspaper, training program designer, event manager–three-ring binders kept my projects organized as I traveled from Beijing to Ft. Wayne.

The binder is chartreuse, easily visible on my desk or in the studio, as paper drifts pile over it. There are dividers for events (including signings), developing classes, publicity, people, and related projects. Costs are on an Excel sheet that I can print out if I have to. Most are lists that are also in the computer, printed out, and written over with additional thoughts.

10 thoughts on “Organizing The Book Promotion: Low-Tech Rules

    • I’d love to come East. To do that, I’ll need sponsorship, though. Airlines and hotel costs being what they are, I can’t sponsor my own two-week (or even one-week) trip to New England and DC. But I would love to come East again and do some classes around the book.

  1. Hey Quinn,

    Congratulations on getting the book done and moving into publishing mode!! I would actually like to interview you about the book for my blog… I think it would be a lot of fun… and a great resource for my peeps!!

    • Be happy to do an interview, Chris. I’ll get in touch through your email. I’d also love to include you on the blog tour. I just got the how-to tips PDF from the publisher on promotion, so I’m making lists.

  2. When it’s all said and done, paper is simply a friend! Maybe after some of the big events you could make some journal pages that you punch and throw in there too. It will be fun to look back on…

    • This is really a good idea, TJ! I don’t have to separate journaling from the business aspect–I can create a whole journal on the worksheets and the thoughts I added. I KNEW there was a reason why I bought a ream of heavy cream paper to print this on! You are an intuitive genius!

  3. I always use three ring binders for organizing my events/projects also. I color code my contact sheets by event/project and I use that same color on the calendar for that event. I usually have a big master book with multiple events in it so most everything I need is in one place. The day of an event I have a red event book that has all the info for that day. This has worked for me for about 30 years and I’ve tried a few other systems for keeping things organized and keep going back to the notebooks and manual calendars.
    I’m just a paper/pen girl!

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