The idea behind Red Tuesday is for authors to get together and provide a book-oriented version of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can learn more about the idea here:
The purpose of this post is to brainstorm the ideas that we’ll need to get started. Most of this should be done in the comments section below. We’ll need more brainstorming sessions as we go. Here we should focus on just getting things underway.
Red Tuesday is an opportunity for otherwise ‘independent’ authors (we largely behave this way when we sit down to write and when we market, even those of us who are traditionally published) to organize together and form something special – without, hopefully, too much more work than we would do just to have our own separate promotions. Here at WordPress, there is a strong sense of community among authors and artists. If we participate and harness this community feeling, we may all benefit from Red Tuesday.
It’s not about one person succeeding from the work of many others, and it’s not about one person being in charge. It’s about several people collaborating together. The beauty of the marketing involved is that every author can promote his or her own books while simultaneously promoting Red Tuesday.
BRANDING IMAGE: We want to brand the concept of Red Tuesday. Therefore, we need an image that we can use to help brand this visually. We want to include this image on all of our marketing materials for Red Tuesday. The more people see this image, the better.
We want to use the same image over and over, but we’ll need it to come in a few different forms. We’ll need a couple of headers for blogs or social media, an image to insert into our posts, a sidebar image, a thumbnail image, a logo, and anything else we think of. Essentially, we’ll need a variation of the same image in various aspect ratios.
TamrahJo drafted a good concept (see below). It will be easy to produce the image in a variety of shapes and sizes, it’s really suggestive about the idea of gifting books, it matches the color of the event (red), it fits with the holiday theme, and it has a cute play on the color and verb homophones. I made a similar image for this post (above).
What we need is an improvement on our efforts (or a better idea, if anyone has one). If you can make a better present, bow, font, etc.
Whatever image we use, we will need permission for every author who participates to use the image for their Red Tuesday marketing (except for possibly putting in a restriction to prevent anyone from abusing the idea). This means that any images or text used must grant this permission, also.
Again, we’ll need the images to come in an assortment of sizes, suitable for various purposes. It may also be desirable for some of the images to include text (a slogan, for example), but others to exclude it.
BRANDING TEXT: We’ll need a slogan, catch-phrase, strapline, marketing line, blurb, and/or whatever other short text may be useful to help us brand the concept of Red Tuesday successfully. Again, we’ll need permission for every participating author to use the ideas that we decide to go with. TamrahJo included a suggestion for some text in the draft of the branding image (along with font effects).
WEBSITE: Unfortunately, it appears that the ‘redtuesday’ domain has already been taken as a .com site. We could throw in a hyphen, but then anyone who misses the little hyphen will go elsewhere. Perhaps we could add the word ‘books’ to the end of it.
We should have one website setup that’s geared to tell customers all about Red Tuesday. This is a link that we’d want to include with all of our promotional materials.
I don’t mind springing for the domain name. I could put together something basic, or add basic materials that others prepare. But if there are any volunteers with web skills, maybe that could lead to something better. I guess we could start with a WordPress template, or I could get something from GoDaddy, for example.
To begin with, we want to include our Red Tuesday branding image and a description of the program. What else could we put here?
Perhaps catalogs (including subcatalogs) listing books by genre (or subgenre) that will be discounted on Red Tuesday. (We could also highlight a few books that have very deep discounts – good examples that may help to draw interest.) Depending on how many books wind up in the program, this could be an extensive catalog. We want to make it easy for customers to sort through it, appealing to look at, and easy to update as new authors join in. If there is an easy way to do this, maybe where authors can add their own books yet the formatting still looks nice, it would be nice to find it. It will probably take some volunteer efforts to put this together, but hopefully we can think of some automated services to help do much of the work…
Maybe an extensive catalog isn’t worth the effort. Being buried in a long list – if the list becomes long – probably isn’t the most helpful marketing tool. What will be helpful is when authors individually promote their own books while simultaneously promoting Red Tuesday.
(We could also have a humble page that gives credit to any volunteers who provide valuable services.)
What else should we have on the website? For now, we just want to get it started with the minimum, and we can add to it as we go along.
We want a different hub to direct interested authors rather than the website designed for customers (though some authors, like me, will be shopping for books on Red Tuesday, too). Our blogs can help with this. Remember, you’re welcome to create your own posts about Red Tuesday (reblogging isn’t the only way to spread the word, though you’re also welcome to reblog Red Tuesday posts).
MORE: There are other things we’ll need soon, but these are a few things that we’ll need right away. Can you think of anything else that we’ll need immediately? If so, please bring these up in the comments.
COMMUNITY: Through our involvement in Red Tuesday, we can be part of something much bigger than ourselves. The magic word is participation. Please share and discuss your ideas in the comments section below. Brainstorming isn’t about one person coming up with ideas, but about many people bouncing ideas off of one another and discussing them to see where it leads.
Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)