Tag Archive for: #promotion

Clicking Our Heels – Promotional Tools – What’s Best?

Promotional Tools – What’s Best?

What is the best promotional tool for
branding? Selling books? Getting readers? Here are some of the opinions of
different Stiletto Gang members.

Shari Randall – This is the eternal question! I think that
when these three aspects work together – writing a great book that gets proper
branding and support and connects with readers – that’s the magic. But how to
do that? I’m still working on it. As a writer, the only thing I can do is try
to write the best book I can.

Dru Ann Love
– I remember authors better once I’ve met them face to face. So branding
yourself whether on social media or with tangible items is key for exposure.
But you have to be consistent. Don’t show me a *fake* you on social
media and when a face-to-face encounters happen, you’re not real.

Judy Penz

– Despite all the recent negativity, I still find Facebook to be a good tool.
And you have to have matching bookmarks for your books. I also love going to
book club meetings, either in person or by an online meeting.

Kay Kendall
– Authors can communicate easily with potential readers by using the
online tools available today. I believe a writer should pick the one (or two)
that she understands and enjoys and then develop a presence on it. Even if
someone is published by one of the big book companies, one still has to do
one’s own publicity. Speaking at nearby bookstores and libraries is useful too,
although few today can afford to do the old-fashioned book tours of old. Social
media covers for that. Using it is a must.

J.M. Phillippe – I think I am still trying to figure this
one out 😛 Sadly, it’s not just “write a book!”


– I think one of the most powerful tools are reader reviews help because they add legitimacy as
well as exposing the book/author to a wider audience. Book bloggers can also be useful for reviews and audience. In terms of branding myself as an author… Of course, since my day job is graphic design, I care about this. My graphics and promo materials all have a consistent graphic look and quality, which I think is important.  But I would say that the author in me who likes to write ALL THE GENRES (ok, maybe not all) rebels against being type cast and overly branded. 

Lynn McPherson – This is a tough question! I’ll be looking
to see what my fellow Stiletto Gang members have to say about this because it’s
something I could use some help with 🙂

– I’m not really concerned with branding. That may be because I
write in several different genres. As far as the best tool for selling books
goes, tell me what it is and I’ll grab it. Word-of-mouth will do it, and we all
do all kinds of things to try to build that word-of-mouth, but I’m not sure
anyone knows how to actually do it. I think I will settle on simply writing the
very best books I know how to write and then trying to get the word out in any
way I can that I have these books out there.

Thorne –
 am all over the genre map in what I write, so
I love brave readers who are willing to try wherever I go

– I like my monthly newsletter to get and maintain connection
with readers.

Mary Lee
Ashford (1/2 of Sparkle Abbey)
– Wow, I
hope someone knows the answer to this question, because I sure don’t! I’m never
sure what works and what doesn’t. However, I can say that the promotional tool
I like the best is meeting readers. Whether in person at a book signing or
conference, or online through a chat or other social media, the opportunity to
meet readers and talk about books is always simply the best!

Debra H. Goldstein
– My social media choice depends on the work I’m trying to promote and the age
of the audience I’m trying to reach, but my best promotional tool if word of
mouth after meeting readers.

Writing, Promotion, Life

All of the above battle for my time.

I’m in the process of writing my next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery. I try to work on it every day–but things like laundry, making arrangements for a trip to promote a book, coming up with promotions, planning a blog tour, etc.

While writing a police procedural there are times that I have to do a bit of research. I’m fortunate to belong to PSWA and it’s easy to get on the listserve and ask any question about police procedure that I need to find out. The answers will flood in from many law enforcement professionals.

Though not an outliner, I do have a good idea of where I’m going with the mystery–though at this point, I only have a vague idea of the outcome. Because this will be #11 in this series, I have continuing threads about the characters that I need to address.

As thoughts come to me, I always jot them down, because if I don’t I might forget.

I was overdue with my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery. I don’t really have due date with the publisher, but I was so late sending in a manuscript, I got an email asking if I had one. I’ve turned it in and it’s been assigned to an editor with a possible launch date at the end of September.

And of course this means I must get busy with planning the promotion.

And then there’s life.

My husband does like to spend some time with me (and I with him) so we do take off and go to the movies and out to eat. He usually  comes along with me on any promotion trips and we turn them into mini-vacations.

We have a huge family–and many live nearby, one daughter, a son, five adult grandids, and 7 great-grands.We see them a lot and enjoy spending time with all of them. One daughter lives in Southern CA and two of her kids live with her. We try to get down there when possible.

And our eldest daughter is farther away also, Southern CA, but about a 6 hour drive. Her two adult kids are there with their families–and five more great-grands. And yes, we go there when we can.

There you have it–a busy life for this old lady, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

Opinions wanted

By: Joelle Charbonneau
Next week is Bouchercon – a fan conference for all mystery
and thriller related.  There will be book
signings, awards and panels filled with book discussions.   
One of the panels I’m participating on this year at
Bouchercon is about all things promotion. 
How much is too much promotion?  
Um…I haven’t a clue.
Honest.  I really
haven’t the foggiest how to answer that question.  Probably because I’m bad at promotion.  I’ll write the occasional blog post, do an interview
if I’m asked and tweet if I’m giving away a copy of a book.  I even remember to post reviews on Facebook-
especially if my agent posts them first and makes it easy for me to hit the
share button. 
But when it comes to creating bookmarks, swag, updating my
Amazon author page and posting on chat boards or e-mail group loops about my
book….I’m terrible at it all.  I feel
silly when I carry bookmarks.  In fact, I
forget they are even in my bag unless someone asks about them.  That’s probably the reason I don’t make them
anymore.  And while I was encouraged to
join lots of loops and Goodreads groups, I think I might have posted once one
them.  Thank goodness for my publishers
or no one would know about my books. 
So…needless to say, I’m probably not the right author to be
weighing in on what promotion works or how to know where to draw the line.  Which is why I need your help.  What kinds of author driven promotional
things do you like?  Which ones turn you
off?  And what would you prefer to see
when it comes to the wonderful world of book promotion?   I am
taking notes!

Please Like Me Anyway

by Rachel Brady

Three things never get easier for me:

1. Small talk
2. Fundraising
3. Book promotion

I can’t grow plants, carry a tune, or do plenty of other things either, but the things on this list seem to present the most handicaps for me in life.

Small talk is tiring. Expending energy to have non-conversations exhausts me. I prefer to save my enthusiasm for other exchanges that actually have a point, or at least some real, honest-to-goodness entertainment value.

Fundraising is an enigmatic blend of Love and Hate. I want to support all my causes and be a part of the solution, but how do I do that without annoying humankind? I don’t like making shoppers avoid eye contact or causing homeowners to feign absenteeism when I ring their doorbells. (“Just give me your order forms, kids. I’ll buy all the cookies myself.”)

But the worst is book promotion. Don’t tell my publisher, but I would rather stab myself in the eye with a pencil.

My first book was in print before I told anyone I knew that I liked to write. Admitting to trying to write a novel felt pompous somehow, so I did all my writing in secret. This was fine until it actually got published. Then I wanted everyone to know. But I didn’t want to have to be the one to tell them. It is strange how something that was personally so rewarding also made me extremely self-conscious.

Letting the world know that a new book is out, for me, sounds something like this: “I wrote a book and I hope you will read and enjoy it but don’t misunderstand me I’m not pressuring you to buy it oh nevermind forget I brought it up please like me anyway here’s my card.”

In publishing, they tell us that nobody will buy a book they don’t know exists. Authors are encouraged to market ourselves, speak widely (I think this includes small talk), maintain a web presence, use Facebook, tweet like crazy people, place ads, schmooze, network, hob-nob, and wash cars on street corners in bikinis. Whatever it takes to get the word out.

It really suits some people. For me, everything about book promotion feels uncomfortable and awkward so I’m trying to think of creative ways to get other people to do it for me. I’m bartering books for banter over at my blog for the next week. And I would would really appreciate it if you guys would stop over and help me out.

I’ll give away a book here today too. Leave a comment to enter. It shouldn’t be a pep talk like, “Go get ’em! Be confident!” because that doesn’t work on me. Rather, I think the signed copy will go to the commenter with the best “Foot in Mouth” story. Because, really. Who doesn’t enjoy a good Foot in Mouth story?

One last thing. If you are a librarian or book club groupie, or if you know one, I always have a standing offer to send a signed copy of either of my titles to folks who introduce Emily Locke to their reading groups.

This concludes my awkward “I have a new book out” post. Please like me anyway.

And the Promo Begins

Sometimes I wonder why I do all this. All what? you ask.

Submerging myself in an imaginary world, writing about it, going back over to eliminate inconsistencies, because if I don’t find them, someone will. Checking the galley proofs for mistakes and no matter how careful I am, gremlins seem to be at work and sneak them in. And once it’s actually available, then the promoting.

Of course this all takes lots of time that you can’t be doing normal things like hanging out with the family (though I try to involve them as much as possible–just ask my hubby), doing housework, cooking, visiting with friends.

I don’t actually have a book in hand, but they are on the way, and I know it’s being advertised on Amazon–though when I looked the cover wasn’t up yet.

I’ve still got to plan and advertise my launch party, put together some promo materials, do some posting here and there, but I do have quite a few speaking engagements set up already. I’ll be attending four conferences, only flying to one, the others are close enough to drive. As you’ve heard from Evelyn, conferences are fun. I’ve met lots of wonderful people at conferences, Evelyn and Susan for example.

More things to do, so onward I go.

aka F. M. Meredith