Archive for category: Marketing books

I visited a book club in Uxbridge, Mass., last night and we discussed all things related to What Happened in Granite Creek. They had fabulous questions and plenty of insightful comments. It’s always fun to get in the trenches with readers and hear what they have to say about the books they read.

A question I’m sometimes asked is how people can help get the word out about my book. I’m always hugely humbled that people are so willing to help. I created a little checklist below—this applies to ANY book you fall in love with, especially books by emerging authors. Please share!

13 Ways to Help a Book You Love

Note: This post is more for fellow indie writers, but it will apply to any readers out there who own businesses or who work in small businesses and are involved in some of the financial decision making.

If you’ve worked in a business long enough, you’ve probably heard this happy-sounding little acronym ROI: return on investment.

But what the heck does ROI mean? If you want a good financial definition of ROI, here’s a place to start. If you want to understand my real-life experience with ROI, then read on.

See, the problem with ROI, especially for new businesses (and writers need to think of this as a business — it’s an art business, but it’s still a business once money exchanges hands for said art) is that people focus too much on actual dollars.

I’m a firm believer in the saying “you need to spend money to make money.” And, yes, you need to be smart about where you spend the money, but if you get too caught up in the micro view of ROI, you lose sight of the macro view. The Big Picture. The Long View.

For me, some things can’t be measured in dollars. I’m selling my novel at 99 cents. Think about that — a whole book for 99 pennies. I can guarantee you that if we looked at my ROI on things like advertising and cover art, we’d see that it’s in the gutter. According to the financial definition. According to the short-term view.

But I don’t care about that. I’m in it for the long haul. Here’s how I look at it: if my ad brought in a reader for life, that is worth so much more than that one sale. It’s impossible to measure the worth of that one reader since this person could end up being part of my passionate tribe…one of those people who helps me get other readers (at no cost to me).

The other thing that strict-ROI-professors don’t consider is this: if you spend no money on business promotion and you make no money, where does that leave you? I’m always baffled by people (and yeah, I’m talking writers here) who are so quick to dismiss doing anything that costs money simply because they quickly do a calculation and realize they’d need to sell a gazillion copies of their 99-cent book in order to make up the  cost of an ad campaign. They’re missing the point about that thing that can’t be measured: all those readers who might become fans and who will continue to buy books (at higher prices than 99 cents, because true fans would be willing to pay a few more bucks, trust me) and who will continue to recommend you and your work.

I’m not suggesting writers should be pouring tons of dollars into ad campaigns or cover art or special promotions. That’s not realistic for most of us. But you’ll need to spend some money, even more so now, given the influx of titles that are added on a daily basis. I understand if you don’t have the funds; that’s a different situation than simply saying you won’t spend the funds “because the ROI won’t be worth it.”

And yes, I realize that some of the cash you spend might not result in any sales. The ad campaign or Facebook promotion might be a total flop. It happens. But you need to experiment until you find what does work. The other thing to keep in mind is this: it’s hard to predict huge ROI…huge ROI is a hindsight assessment.

I think this is true for all new businesses, by the way — not just writers. Forget about ROI for the first year, maybe even the first two. Focus on exposure. On winning lifelong customers (readers, in my case). On engaging people. On putting out the best product you can, whether that’s a book or a bright shiny new widget. And be willing to spend some cash in order to get your work the exposure it deserves.

Because it deserves it, doesn’t it?

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

A couple of months ago, I posted my first round of shout-outs. Methinks I’m due for a second round of gratitude-filled thanks to the awesome folks who’ve been helping me out. Here we go, in no particular order:

Cheryl Perez from You’re Published did the interior design/layout and back cover and spine for the paperback version of Forgotten April. She does great work and is reasonably priced. She’s launching a new website soon, but for now, you can reach her here.

Steve Tannuzzo of Tannuzzo Copywriting has a connection with a printing company and was able to print up all the copies of Novel #2 for my beta readers. He’s also a fabulous writer/copywriter/proofreader, in case any of you are in need of one of those.

My beta readers rock my world! They include the Nobscot Niblets (writers group) and some family members and friends who are like family. If any of you are reading this, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Someone on Twitter asked me the name of the song I use in my book trailer for Forgotten April. The great thing about Animoto, the software I use, is that it offers a vast music library and all the licensing is taken care of. I mentioned in this post how I stumbled on some music by an artist I’d met many years ago (and I ended up using his composition for my short story “Crush“) and how he’s now writing musical scores for movies in Hollywood, which is way cool.

Anyway, when I looked up the group that sang “Happy,” which is the song in the Forgotten April trailer, I decided to Google the group to see what I could find. The name of the group is Secrets in Stereo. Here’s their Facebook page. And below is the group singing the full version of “Happy.”


Enhanced by Zemanta

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

A friend/fan/colleague of mine named Gretje Ferguson approached me a bunch of weeks ago about taking my photo for an author series she’s putting together.

First, I was flattered that she thought of me. How nice of her! Second, I was honored because Gretje does awesome work at Gretje Ferguson Photography.

I said yes, despite my borderline insanity when it comes to having my picture taken. It’s not my favorite thing, and there are few pictures of me in existence beyond college years — on purpose.

Anyhow, Gretje made me totally comfortable and worked some serious magic. Here’s a shot of me being all pensive and contemplative (and praying for good book reviews 🙂 ):

And here’s a flirty shot.

And here’s the obligatory head shot.

Thank you, Gretje, for a fun day and for your fabulous work!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

The title sounds a little presumptuous, doesn’t it? As if I’m some sort of big-bad publicity machine from a Big 6 publishing house.

I’m not, as you know. But I am a marketing copywriter by day, so marketing is something I live and breathe anyway.

I decided to make a list of all the marketing tasks that need to happen for the launch of Forgotten April, in no particular order because my brain can’t handle putting it in any order right now.

  • Proofread and finalize files: Mobi, ePub, PDF
  • Proof and finalize interior print files, spine, and back cover for Createspace
  • Request book reviews
  • Refresh email, refresh email, refresh email while waiting for responses from said book reviewers
  • Create book trailer
  • Draft the product description
  • Breathe
  • Create page for book on website
  • Add book info to other relevant pages of website
  • Update website home page
  • Write blog posts supporting the launch
  • Swap in new profile picture on Facebook
  • Do Facebook status updates around launch
  • Do status update in LinkedIn
  • Tweet, tweet, tweet — but don’t be obnoxious
  • Eat chocolate
  • Update Twitter bio
  • Exercise off the chocolate
  • Take part in blog tour
  • Make a pitcher of margaritas; drink
  • Update Kindle Boards signature
  • Feed the cat
  • Announce new title on Kindle Boards
  • Bathe, at some point
  • Write and distribute press release over the wire (for back links, mostly)
  • Brainstorm creative ways to get press
  • Solicit and set up cross-channel promotions with clients/vendors
  • Brainstorm ways to reach out to mommy book clubs
  • Solicit people to take part in Forgotten April Shout-Out Day
  • Say thank you. A lot.

I have no doubt I’m forgetting items. But this is a good list to work with at this point. I have a bunch of stuff done, like the cover art, final digital files, banner ads, and the book trailer. Still a lot to do…

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine