How I used “Plan B” and “Plan Z” to Sell Books During the Lockdown – by Kathryn Haueisen

How I used “Plan B” and “Plan Z” to Sell Books During the Lockdown – by Kathryn Haueisen

I worked hard to release Mayflower Chronicles: The Tale of Two Cultures in 2020 in order to catch the wave of special events planned around the famous voyage’s 400th anniversary. As the book was going to press, the world was going into lockdown to mitigate the worse pandemic in a century. All my initial book launch plans crashed on the shores of COVID-19.

After a bit of teeth gnashing, I put together Plan B and Plan Z.

B is for local bookstore. I called my closest Indie bookstore to confirm that, if readers ordered books through them, they’d call me to come over to sign them, with staff only in the store. It worked! Locals pick them up in bags set outside the store and the staff mails books to out-of-town buyers. This arrangement generated an invitation from the owner to participate in a Zoom “Meet the Author” event. She told me, my book “is selling like hot cakes.”

Plan Z consists of turning to Zoom as my main marketing tool. By sending out e-mail information about the book, and following up with phone calls, I’ve lined up book-based presentations from California to Boston, and from Texas to Ohio, including:

  • An adult forum discussion group
  • Three libraries so far
  • A retired teacher’s group
  • A women’s philanthropy group
  • Two book clubs
  • A church women’s group
  • A Rotary Club

An October virtual “Book Birth Bash” was the center piece of my new book launch plan. I hired Sarah, a young, out-of-work-due-to-COVID theatre tech gal, to handle the technical details for a virtual book launch party. She’s an expert at managing sound and lighting. Thanks to COVID, she’s also gained considerable experience doing virtual events. I put together a guest list of people to appear at the event. At Sarah’s recommendation, we pre-recorded seven interviews. She edited them for consistent length, and incorporated them into a Power Point Presentation.

I paid for a one-month subscription for the webinar version of Zoom, which gave the event a more professional appearance than the usual “Brady Bunch” appearance of most Zoom events. After I welcomed everyone, and gave a brief overview of why I wrote the book, participants saw a combination of images from places covered in the book and the interviews.

I narrated while Sarah handled all the tech details and my daughter monitored incoming comments on a separate computer across the room. She texted Sarah with any comments requiring a response. A co-host, participating from the safety of her own home, ran three quiz breaks to determine who won the E-book, print copy, and audio book. She announced the correct answer to each question and the winners at the end of the hour.

I originally intended to invite several people for a pre-event happy hour, and stay to watch the webinar on a large TV screen. However, during the weeks leading up to the event, COVID numbers in our area spiked, so we cancelled that part of the evening. Those attending the “Book Birth Bash” in person, in addition to me, consisted of techie Sarah and my local immediate family. We celebrated after the event with take-out Chinese food and wine.

I wanted to launch my book in Cape Cod while attending a series of 400th anniversary events in the area. Instead, I traveled around the country via Zoom from my home office in Houston. I’ve probably sold as many books as I would have with the original plan. I know I’ve spent less money. From sales reports on Amazon Author Central, I see books are selling where I’ve visited via Zoom.

I miss the in-person interaction but I am grateful that Plans B and Z allowed me to successfully launch my new book during a pandemic.


Kathryn Haueisen worked in public relations before launching a freelance writing career and becoming a Lutheran pastor. Her first retirement project was researching and writing a historical fiction, Mayflower Chronicles: The Tale of Two Cultures, which was published by Green Writers Press in October 2020. She writes weekly about good people doing great things for our global village at


>>>Read More WritersWeekly Feature Articles<<<


QUERY LETTERS THAT WORKED! Real Queries That Landed $2K+ Writing Assignments

Peek over the shoulders of highly successful freelance writers to see how they earn thousands per article! The query letter is the key!
In these pages, you'll find real query letters that landed real assignments for national magazines, websites, and corporations.

Also includes:

  • Abbi Perrets' form letter that brings in $30,000-$45,000 annually
  • Sample phone query from Christine Greeley
  • The Six Golden Rules of Queries and Submissions...and How I Broke Them! by Bob Freiday
  • Your Rights As a "Freelancer"
  • and ANGELA HOY'S SECRET for finding ongoing freelance work from companies that have a stable of freelancers, yet never run ads for them!


BOOK PROPOSALS THAT WORKED! Real Book Proposals That Landed $10K - $100K Publishing Contracts - by Angela Hoy

Peek over the shoulders of highly successful, published authors to see how they landed publishing contracts worth $10,000 to $100,000! An enticing yet professional book proposal is the key!

BONUS! Successful ghostwriter, Anton Marco, shares his secret for landing ghostwriting clients. Don’t miss Anton’s real ghostwriting contract at the end of this book! It provides an example of what he charges and the payment terms he requires from each client.


90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy

Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!