Posted On September 24, 2012 by Print This Post

Principles of Integrated Marketing with Jennifer Fusco

I first met Jennifer Fusco through the workshop she did for the 2010 RWA Conference on branding. She was fantastic, knowledgeable and she made marketing seem fun -what? I don’t who first friended who on FB but we hooked up and she quickly became my go-to person on how to make this all make sense. Since we can’t seem to find a time to be in the same place to hang-out together, I figured RU was the next best thing.

Principles of Integrated Marketing

The word integrated can be defined as “to make into a whole by bringing all parts together.” In integrated marketing, the goal is to create a unified message about what you are trying to sell. Thanks to hyper-competition in every category and the rapid proliferation of media choices available to today’s readers, a unified message is necessary in order to break through the pack and gain attention for yourself.

In integrated marketing, plans must maximize every author touch point by developing an understanding of how the reader behaves pre-purchase, during purchase, and post-purchase. The purchase process can take minutes or years, depending on the reader, but an authors’ understanding of how it works and what you can do to affect each phase, can keep your sales climbing.

To understand integrated marketing in its most basic form, let’s look at what Apple did with the first launch of the iPad into the marketplace.

1. Pre-Purchase: Apple used deliberate “leaks” to generate pre-announcement buzz leading up to the pre-launch event (featuring Steve Jobs). They also did an email blast to the seven million names on their email list and launched the product with a TV commercial.

2. During Purchase: Apple used web demonstrations and in-store demonstrations, and gave consumers the option to buy online, in-store, and by phone.

3. Post-Purchase: The iPad’s packaging represents the brand and its product promise. Apple captured extra revenue by selling extending warranties and offered walk-in support at their stores.

While this is easy to look at from a consumer/product standpoint, can you name an author who has done or is doing the same thing? I can.

With the book itself not releasing until 10/12, pre-purchase “Leaks” for Dennis Lehane’s LIVE BY NIGHT appeared in the July/August issue of Playboy this summer when Harper Collins allowed first chapter printing of his newest novel. Excerpts were also featured at BEA’s Book Buzz and snippets were featured on the internet and in social media. On his website, pre-order links are featured from Amazon, B&N, and Apple iBookstore.

For his release, he has in-person events scheduled as well as “Author Tracker” listed on his website. Author Tracker allows fans to receive email updates on particular events and appearances.
Post purchase: The buzz has already started. Internet sites are reporting that the film script for LIVE BY NIGHT is being developed for Leonardo DiCaprio.

Now, we’re all not Dennis Lehane, Nora Roberts, Stephen King or any of the other genre greats. I get that. But here are some best practices that we can do to begin to create our own integrated marketing plans for ourselves:

Best Practices for Integrated Marketing

1. Use the same tone of voice everywhere, especially in social media communications.

2. Build a reader database. Never give away anything without getting something in return, like an email address. Data is your friend.

3. Create a tight linkage between email communications, your website, and social media, because they all give the opportunity to engage in conversations with readers.

4. Make news to get free media. Don’t be afraid of self-promotion.

5. Coordinate the timing of free and paid media to maximize impact. Advertise in the same magazine or online blog you are featured in. Make sure your article and ad run concurrently.

6. Give readers choices as to how to buy the product. Let them know you are available in stores or online. Where you are featured online, provide the reader with all the links.

7. Design a system that drives the reader towards a purchase, while avoiding comparison shopping. Encourage readers to purchase your book off your website to avoid them buying someone else’s.

Head spinning? Oh, no! It’s not as hard as it looks, trust me. If you need help, there are plenty of books designed to help you work your way through the chaos of marketing. There are also services that can help. Goddess Fish, YouDoPR and, even my own company, Market or Die Author Services are geared to support the author through the scary world of marketing their own work.

Marketing takes time. Yes. Patience? Yes. More importantly, it takes a plan. I tell authors I work with at Market or Die Author Services to engage me at least 60-days prior to the launch of their book. Why? Planning the integrated plan is the most important task of all.

By planning, the author won’t have to worry if they’ve done everything they can to market their new release. Nor will they struggle to “think up” the next Twitter or FB post. Knowing how to position yourself in the marketplace and crafting messages to support your position will lead to sales and the success you’re looking for.

Any questions?

*Portions of this article have been taken from the ANA’s Article Integrated Marketing Communications dated 9/19/2012.


Any burning questions about author marketing? Come on, you know you want to ask!

Join Author Taryn Elliott on Wednesday when she blogs about writing through the pain.



Jennifer Fusco serves as the President of the Connecticut Romance Writers and a member of RWA’s PRO organization and represented by Eric Ruben of The Ruben Agency. Ms. Fusco has completed two Urban Fantasy manuscripts. Currently, the Creative and Brand Marketing Manager for General Electric, she is also the President of MARKET OR DIE Author Services and writes marketing books for writers. To learn more about how you can market your work, please visit:

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21 Responses to “Principles of Integrated Marketing with Jennifer Fusco”

  1. Hi Jennifer,

    Working with a small budget and little time, what is the best use of time and money for marketing? Buying ads? Being interviewed on blogs? Getting as many reviews as possible?

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | September 24, 2012, 6:30 am
    • Mary Jo,

      First of all, let’s take a step back and think about what you want to do. What are your goals? To increase your fan base? To support a new release?

      Your time and money is best spent when you align your efforts with your goals. I recommend ads and blogs – as long as they are targeted to the audience you are trying to reach. Only participate on the blogs that reach your target audience and have a proven readership. I’d be happy to talk specifics with you if you email me at

      Posted by Jennifer Fusco | September 24, 2012, 7:40 am
  2. Jennifer – Thank you so much for being with us today!!!!

    For someone who has a pretty solid platform in social media – what do you recommend to kick it up a notch?


    Posted by Robin Covington | September 24, 2012, 7:06 am
    • Robin,
      For you, specifically, it’s not about your platform (which is stellar) it’s about how you use it.

      For your next upcoming release, I’d work on the pre-buzz, release and post release meassaging.

      There’s a lot we can do to support this messaging…3 phase messaging doesn’t wear out your audience with “buy my book” repeition.

      I think this is a common mistake among authors. They don’t know how to position their communications so they “wear out” the same message over and over.

      Posted by Jennifer Fusco | September 24, 2012, 7:43 am
  3. That’s a keeper!!

    Posted by Pj Schott | September 24, 2012, 7:36 am
  4. Wow. Food for thought. My head IS spinning but probably because I’m also over on Twitter monitoring the Digital Book World Discoverability and Marketing hashtags. I figure that whole event is what I call Early Adopter City: they’re talking about the latest techniques and the possible futures with tech details like Metadata and SEO, whereas you’re giving us welcome basics. Thank you.

    Posted by Rhonda Lane | September 24, 2012, 8:37 am
  5. Morning Jennifer!

    Great post! I’d never thought of maximizing your website to have them buy the book THERE. Question though – would you actually set up your own shopping cart? Or simply have it go to your own Amazon page? I can imagine (ok, it happens EVERY time I go to Amazon) meaning to buy one book there and wandering off when I see something else….


    Thanks so much for posting with us today!


    Posted by Carrie Spencer | September 24, 2012, 8:44 am
    • The easiest is to embed the links to your page on Amazon. The page where it shows only your book (then the recommendations at the bottom very small, that page!)

      I always get distracted on Amazon. Ooooh, what else is out there….look at that shiny cover. So you can see how its possible to lose a sale that way.

      Thanks for posting!

      Posted by Jennifer Fusco | September 24, 2012, 9:10 am
  6. Hi, Jennifer –

    Thanks for today’s fabulous post.

    You talk specifically about a book release, but what advice to you have for pre-published writers to get ready before the first sale?

    Do you think it’s possible to establish a platform prior to contract/sale? If so, what are your go-to resources on platform development?

    Many thanks!

    Posted by Kelsey Browning | September 24, 2012, 12:10 pm
    • Hi Kelsey,
      Of course a pre-published author should have a platform! For example, my agent was impressed on how much I had put into my platform prior to being agented. Going ahead and establishing your brand and your social media, and web presence will only help you make contacts in the business. Also, it allows potential agents and editors know you’re serious, and writing is more than just a hobby. It’s a business!

      Posted by Jennifer Fusco | September 24, 2012, 1:03 pm
  7. Hi, Jennifer. Thank you for being here. I think one of the most important things for debut authors to realize early is that a lot of the marketing will fall on them. I never realized how much time I could spend on marketing! It can definitely take over and I’ve learned to set limits or else I won’t get any writing done.

    Wow, I wish you’d been here 15 months ago! LOL.

    Can you give us a ballpark on what it would cost to hire a company like yours to help with marketing? I know it depends on the author and what they want, but can you give us examples so we have an idea of what services like yours might cost?


    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | September 24, 2012, 12:29 pm
  8. Hi Jennifer!

    Because there are so many authors pushing their books on social media, there are times when I’m more interested in the promo strategy than the book.

    Do you think contests with giveaways (i.e. a free Kindle), discounting the book price to 99 cents or offering it for free are effective marketing tools to build a following?

    Thanks for being with us today!

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | September 24, 2012, 12:43 pm
    • Hi,
      Yes, I do. However, let me say is HOW they’re being used that makes them successful. At Market or Die Author Services, we lay out what we are trying to achieve, then put the best marketing plan in place to achieve it.

      An integrated strategy often means combining a contest, a discounted book price, advertising and so on. When combined together an integrated, measurable strategy work best. Running a contest for the heck of it rarely pays off.

      Hope this helps!

      Posted by Jennifer Fusco | September 24, 2012, 1:08 pm
  9. Great article, Jennifer. Very informative.

    Posted by Marian Lanouette | September 24, 2012, 3:33 pm
  10. Great stuff, Jennifer–and timely! Waning Moon, the first book of a Dystopian trilogy releases this Friday. I’ve learned a lot in the past year, and I keep adapting to what’s new and effective in the changing landscape of publishing and book distribution. As an indie author, I’m a do-it-all-do-it your-selfer. I feel like no matter how much I do, there is always more to be done. And what worked for my last release may not work this time.

    Thanks for all the good advice. Oh, and the FB ad worked out well. I applied $5 per day for 10 days through my launch date, and already I’ve gained 15 new likes for my FB page. I’m also simultaneously advertising Waning Moon to my demographic of readers as set by the ad perameters. Anything that increases my visibility is helpful. It was easy and painless setting up the ad. Will definitely try another in the future. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Posted by PJ Sharon | September 24, 2012, 4:05 pm
    • Wonderful, PJ!!

      In your ad parameters, make sure you also list your “competition”. So that any one who might like author X, may also like you, too.

      Once your # of likes start to slack off, expand your parameters. It may mean that you’ve reached everyone within those specific set of guidelines. Maybe (just for kicks) put the TV show REVOLUTION in your parameters for a day or so and see what happens…..

      Keep me posted.

      Posted by Jennifer Fusco | September 24, 2012, 6:12 pm
  11. When I heard the term “integrated marketing”, I was thinking it would be about aligning with your vision, mission, values.

    I didn’t realize it would be about baking marketing into your life cycle, which, of course, makes sense.

    That said, I do think there is space to make integrated marketing more about integrating it around values and value alignment … after all, values are the glue that bind us, and the lightening rod for life.

    Posted by J.D. Meier | September 24, 2012, 6:20 pm

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