Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category
While there is an exception to every rule, most of us hate, hate, hate the self promotion of books. It makes EVERYONE crazy!
Readers get sick of hearing writers with promo-citis. Admire my cover, pre-order my book, buy my book, review my book, come to my signing, I’m having a giveaway, buy my book, buy my book, buy my book. Did you see this review by someone who bought my book? It’s so awesome YOU should buy my book. Seriously, I didn’t grow up contemplating going into marketing. My life is not and episode of Mad Men. Here’s the truth…authors are juggling jobs and kids and pets and parents and illness and every other real world calamity you can think of. Self promotion kinda sucks. Authors just want time to write more good books and spend a little time surfing baby animals on social media sites. Is that really too much to ask?
Some days it’s seems impossible. But even though I know I’m not in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize, I’m going to put out a solution that could potentially work for everyone. Or at least ease the madness a little bit. The secret for slowing or stopping promo-citis is…
JUST REVIEW THE DAMN BOOK, PLEASE.
Word of mouth sells books.
If readers are talking about the books, authors won’t have to do as much self-promotion.
And it doesn’t have to be complicated.
*Reviewing on an online sight like Amazon or Barnes & Noble is fabulous and hugely appreciated. Your favorite author and their publisher and agent will love you forever for taking the time to put your thoughts out there. But if you’ve never done it before, don’t be intimidated. It isn’t necessary to write a lengthy, time consuming and complicated review, a simple 5 stars and an I love this book will do the trick.
*Reviewing a book is as simple as telling people that you liked it. Encourage other people to buy it and read it. Think of book buzz like a stadium full of people trying to do the wave. If enough people don’t stand up and wave their arms and cheer, no one will even notice. It takes a lot of people standing up and waving to get anyone’s attention. Authors can not make a wave on their own. It takes fans.
*Give books you love to people who love books. As a book lover, I have never gotten a book and been upset. Even if I don’t end up reading the book, I donate it to someone who will and it makes me happy that I helped another author out there. Book Nerds are fabulous freaking people!
*Please don’t assume that other people are reviewing and talking about a book, making it unnecessary for you to do it. There are so many books out there fighting for shelf space and reader attention. Worldwide there are over 2,000,000 books published each year. There is no such thing as too much attention–especially for mid-list authors. It takes a lot of pushing before a tipping point is reached.
*Not everyone has heard of the books you love. Remember there are lots of books out there. Bring the books you love to the attention of your librarians and teachers. Libraries and schools do not have a large amount of funding to play with, but they will appreciate your feedback. They want to purchase books that will get readers excited. Your positive review, of a book you love, might get that book in front of a lot more readers. Books just want to be read. <3
This is by no means an extensive list of ways to help authors by reviewing books. But I’m hoping it’s a good start. Please feel free to add in your suggestions in the comments. I’m always on the lookout for ways to support the books I LOVE! Also, sharing this information with others is great. Not everyone realizes how much an author’s career depends on book buzz. And don’t forget it’s time to be part of the solution–stop the promo-citis and review the damn book, please.
For the purpose of this blog post, I’m going to lump platform, marketing and social media into one big ball of extrovertedness. For short we can call it Publishing PMS. And believe me when I say there are days when publishing PMS is about as pleasant as a bout of the hormonal blues. *sigh* Putting yourself and your book out there isn’t always easy and it can often make you moody and irritable. Since I first signed my contract for TOUCHING THE SURFACE, I’ve tried out lots of PMS approaches to enhance my foothold in the world of publishing. There are some that I stand behind for their effectiveness. There are some that I have no idea if they benefit me, but I certainly enjoy them. And there are some things that have proven to be an epic waste of time. I don’t have time to go through every little detail but I thought I’d share a few Publishing PMS bits of wisdom with you…
*Have a website and keep it up to date.
*Blog only if you like to do it and you can show up regularly. It isn’t about how often you blog, but more about how reliable you are to your readers.
*Pick your social media outlet of choice (twitter, FB, Instagram etc…) and make genuine relationships on it. If you’re dong it right, you should be giving to that community more than you are taking.
*The swag item I use the most is my bookmarks. Leave room on them to sign your name or add a small message.
*Create eye catching and informative displays for when you have a presentation table for an event such as a book fair.
*Try to find a unique and affordable supplementary piece of swag that helps you to stand out. (I used origami cranes with a sticker of my book and the phrase DARE TO DELVE written on the wings)
*Spend more time writing the next book than marketing the one that’s coming out.
*I think it’s worth the time to send out postcards to Indie Bookstores. Plan ahead and do a few at a time. If you are involved with a group of authors, pool your information and resources on bookstores and libraries.
*Join or create a support group for your debut launch or any launch for that matter. Banning together is great for publishing support, but also for emotional support.
*In retrospect, I would have taken the lions share of the money I spent on marketing, pre-ordered X number of books before my launch and then distributed them as charitable gifts to local or school libraries. While it’s hard to say if a book placed in a library will increase sales, it it likely to at least get your book in front of real readers. This may possibly create positive word of mouth and future fans who just might be looking for your next book. Plus–all those pre-orders don’t hurt either.
Those are just some of my thoughts. What tips would you pass along to deal with Publishing PMS? Do you have any questions about a certain PMS tactic? If time and money weren’t an option, what would you do to make your book a big ball of extrovertedness?
Yesterday, Daisy Whitney posted this tweet…
And of course it got me thinking. Reviews ARE important. Really important. We live in a media and statistical world, at least until the zombie apocalypse comes. This means that review are right behind the act buying the book in importance to an author’s success.
Kinda cool. Kinda scary. But here’s how I’ve been visualizing it. It’s like surface space…
In today’s social media age, a book without reviews is like a flat piece of paper. It’s there, but it has trouble standing out. Add reviews (positive or negative) and the book starts to become more visible and textured. It’s surface space appears to expand and it catches the eye. There are more options to touch the surface. Yeah, I went there LOL!
The truth is, authors need your reviews, just as much as we need your word-of-mouth recommendations.
This, of course, got me thinking about effective marketing strategies. The world is a busy place. Who has the time to write a review when there are a zillion other things we could be or should be doing. I’m guilty of this myself. In such a busy world, is there an incentive to get those fingers typing?
I didn’t have to look far for a great idea. My wolf pack sister, Jennifer Iacopelli (debut author of GAME. SET. MATCH.) and her publisher Coliloquy came up with this…
I LOVE the idea! So here’s what I’m going to do…
I would love to increase the number of reviews on my Amazon TOUCHING THE SURFACE page and my Barnes & Noble TOUCHING THE SURFACE page. If you write a review of TOUCHING THE SURFACE for Amazon, you’ll entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card. If you write one for Barnes & Noble, you’ll be entered to win a $100 Barnes & Noble gift card. If you’ve written a review on Goodreads already, all you have to do is post it to Amazon and Barnes & Noble for two entries. If you write one review for Amazon, it can also be posted on Barnes & Noble or visa versa. One review (that you may have already written) gets you entered once or twice for a gift card.
In order to make sure I can reach the winner, use this Rafflecopter to record your entry. The contest will be open for the whole summer. And I’ll be posting it on my website home page so it’s easy to follow.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks so much for taking the time to do this. And if you have other authors that you love and you’d like to see them continue to put books on the shelf, help them out with a review. They will love you so much, they want to share their chocolate with you. I’m serious.
I’m CROSS-POSTING at YA Outside the Lines Today.
Don’t be a turkey. Run on over and check out Kimberly Sabatini’s Guide to Social Media…
On Monday mornings I usually find myself cleaning up from the weekend. Seems like my tiding up is extending to my online life also. Here are a few loose ends–all in one location.
*Just a reminder–Between now and THE MORNING OF DECEMBER 14th you can order a signed copy of TOUCHING THE SURFACE right HERE!!!!!! Ordering a copy from Oblong books also means you’re supporting a wonderful Indie Bookstore for the holidays!
*The Class of 2k12’s year is almost over and our Class of 2k12 Epic End-of-the-Year giveaway of 20 Authors, 21 Books and just ONE winner ends on the 12-12-12. Don’t miss your chance to enter to win!!!!
*I’m still looking for people to become Hot Spots for TOUCHING THE SURFACE. (Details HERE) I have one or more Hot Spots in…
FL, TX, SD, PA, CA, MI, NY, PA, AL, CT, IL, UT, NC, KY, IN, OK, NJ, SC, GA and WA
How was your weekend? Mine was great but went way too fast. Are you ready for the holidays or has your inner holiday elf run from the house screaming in fear? Have a marvelous Monday!
At this point, a few people have read TOUCHING THE SURFACE and have asked if it’s going to be made into a movie. (How awesome is that?) My typical answer is that I have no idea, but wouldn’t that be an amazing thing? At the end of the day, I figure the better the book does, the more likely it is that someone would be interested in the TTS movie rights. What you should know though, is that it’s complicated. Fortunately for me, Jackson Pearce has a lovely vlog concisely telling you how it all works, which allows me to save some time explaining it to you. And by reposting her made-of-awesome video, I can hop into bed and read more good books that might someday be made into movies. Lights, camera, action!
What’s your favorite book adapted to a movie? What’s the most hideous adaption that you know of? What book would you love to see on the big screen? What book would be ruined for you if it was ever to be made into a movie?
****THE YAmazing Race is NOW CLOSED!!!!*****
It’s the last YAmazing Race of 2012!!!! And FINALLY, my book will officially be on the shelves in EIGHT DAYS!!!! I can’t believe it. But before I get too distracted…*shiny*…let me fill you in on the YAmazing Race in case you’ve been–ya know–living under a rock. Just teasing. 😮
The YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes is a massive blog hop featuring over 50 debut authors, and prize packs that include books, gift certificates, swag, and more! If you haven’t yet been to the Apocalypsies website, please click here to start from the beginning and read the complete rules. Now on to the race!
NOTE: The race doesn’t officially start until noon, so any entries submitted before then will NOT count.
Oh…I should also tell you a little bit about my book instead of just squeeing about it. LOL!
TOUCHING THE SURFACE
By. Kimberly Sabatini
Experience the afterlife in this lyrical, paranormal debut novel that will send your heart soaring.
When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she knows she must have messed up, big-time. She doesn’t remember how she landed in the afterlife again, but she knows this is her last chance to get things right.
Elliot just wants to move on, but first she will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she’d rather keep buried. Memories of people she’s hurt, people she’s betrayed…and people she’s killed.
As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of her past, Elliot must find a way to earn the forgiveness of the person she’s hurt most, and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves…even if it means losing them both forever.
FYI–You still have time to pre-order TOUCHING THE SURFACE here:
*Barnes & Noble
*And for a signed copy…Oblong Books and Music
Have you got all that? Excellent work, because you’ll need to store it all up in your brain for the quiz ahead. And remember, there are four total quizzes, so for maximum prize winning opportunities, be sure to fill out all of them!
But wait! There’s more!!!! I’m working really hard to get the word out about TOUCHING THE SURFACE and I’m looking for book lovers who…
1. Want a free TOUCHING THE SURFACE T-shirt.
2. Want an opportunity to win an annotated copy of TOUCHING THE SURFACE, a silver origami crane necklace and some additional awesome prizes, if enough people participate.
3. Don’t mind using the power of word-of-mouth to help me.
So, what is this exactly?
I’m using what I’ve learned from Malcolm Gladwell’s THE TIPPING POINT to get TOUCHING THE SURFACE to it’s “tipping Point.” My goal is to have Hot Spots burning brightly all over the country–TEAM TIPPING THE SURFACE!
If you are interested, I will send you a TOUCHING THE SURFACE T-shirt and a packet of materials you can use to help spread the word. There will be stuff for your local and school libraries, your local book sellers and even stuff for teachers. I’ll also have plenty of individual swag for your friends and family and the random strangers you think might like the book. Joining also gets you one entry for the prizes and for every extra person you enlist to become a New Hot Spot for TEAM TIPPING THE SURFACE–you’ll have an extra entry into the drawing for prizes.
(In order to create a new Hot Spot–your recruit will have to be in a brand new location. You’ll have my email–we’ll talk!)
Want to participate? Here’s what you have to do! If you would like to start a Hot Spot in your area for TEAM TIPPING THE SURFACE, please send me your full name, email address and your mailing address HERE!!! I’m looking forward to hearing from you. If you don’t think you’re up for being an official Hot Spot–I completely understand–but I’d really appreciate it if you’d share this information with anyone you think might be interested. (((hugs)))
So, now that we’ve got all that settled–here’s where you have to go next…
You are off to see… *drum roll*… Anne Nesbet!
Oh, I should ask a question…so we can chat? Is this your first YAmazing Race? Have you ever been a winner before? What’s your favorite part of the race? What about the race annoys the foam peanuts out of you?
Okay….here it is…my first time seeing my book in a bookstore. Take your Dramamine because between the fact that I was trying to walk, talk and video, in addition to being pretty darn nervous/excited–motion sickness is a reasonable outcome LOL!
Don’t you love how I’m “trying to be incognito?” Like there might be swarms of people ready to pounce on me. ROTFL!!! It’s just that I didn’t really know what to say–it’s pretty darn overwhelming. I can tell you that I stopped the video where I did so I could pick up one of my books and hold it. *heart squish*
Don’t forget I’m still looking for at least one person for every state to become a Hot Spot!!!! Sign up and get a TOUCHING THE SURFACE T-shirt!!!! And possibly an annotated copy of my book. Click HERE to find out how to be a Team Tipping the Surface Hot Spot. And yes, I did get a map to hang in my office like I worked at NASA or something and it might look something like this…
Bigger map picture to come when I’ve got all my Hot Spots up! Right now I’ve got the first eight out and in the mail!!!
So…does anyone else have any strange visual strategies that help them to motivate and organize? If I ever get that last pile of stuff off of the office floor, you’ll see a couple more LOL! Soon. (I’m totally lying.)
It’s Wordless Wednesday and I thought this was appropriate because I was speechless yesterday when I found out that my local B&N had a Preemie. TOUCHING THE SURFACE hit the bookshelves early and people were buying my book!!!! I have photographic proof. Then, to top off that amazing news, Team Tipping the Surface (all the folks working extra hard to tip TOUCHING THE SURFACE into going viral, was in action at dance class last night. Everyone has their T-shirts ready to go!!!! I’ll shut up now. I’m totally wordless–for now. *grin*
The spread of a virus and the idea of something “going viral” are two very different things. But it’s obvious, from the theft of the language, that a virus can be very adept at quickly making it’s way through the population. Let’s take a look…
I’m going to give you a little excerpt on the spread of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever straight from the CDC Special Pathogens Branch Website…
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE SPREAD OF A VIRUS!
“After the first case-patient in an outbreak setting is infected, the virus can be transmitted in several ways. People can be exposed to Ebola virus from direct contact with the blood and/or secretions of an infected person. Thus, the virus is often spread through families and friends because they come in close contact with such secretions when caring for infected persons. People can also be exposed to Ebola virus through contact with objects, such as needles, that have been contaminated with infected secretions. Nosocomial transmission refers to the spread of a disease within a health-care setting, such as a clinic or hospital. It occurs frequently during Ebola HF outbreaks.”
Now let’s look at what happens when something, perhaps a book, goes viral…
“After the first reader in an book launch setting is hooked, the novel can be shared in several ways. People can be exposed to good fiction from direct contact with blogger interviews, book reviews and/or word-of-mouth recommendations. Thus, the novel is often spread through families and friends because they come in close contact with such enthusiasm when interacting with fans. People can also be exposed to the novel through contact with objects, such as bookmarks, stickers, wrist bands, T-shirts and adorable paper cranes, that have been passed along with squeals of delight. Literary transmission refers to the spread of fiction within a setting, such as a book store or a library. It occurs frequently during book launch events.”
Are you seeing the writing on the walls? I am. I’m going to be blatantly honest with you. I have invested a huge chunk of my heart and soul into this book and I would love to see it do really well, but I also believe in the idea that we should shoot for the stars. There are enough people in the world who want to clip the wings of those around them–I don’t need to help the people who want to ground me. I’m a believer in the power of words let loose on the universe. I am convinced that there is a difference between saying I want to have my novel published AND I will have my novel published. When you say the word WANT you put need out into the world. When you say WILL you put out intent. I know it sounds a little hokey, but most people didn’t think I would sell a book to start with, so I’m going to stick with what has worked for me. So here we go universe–I’m saying it out loud…
My novel, TOUCHING THE SURFACE will go viral!
Now, make no mistakes. When you make a declaration–it doesn’t stand on it’s own. Just saying that I would be published one day didn’t make it happen. There was a lot of work and help from others that went into making that dream a reality. I’ve already been working hard to market and get the word out about TOUCHING THE SURFACE and I am so lucky that I have so many amazing family members and friends who are going above and beyond to support me. I am already overwhelmed by the out-pouring of support. It strengthens my belief that we are all interconnected and when we work together, we are bigger than the sum of our parts.
But of course, my mind is always working. As I’ve been mulling over viruses and books going viral, I remembered a book I read awhile back called THE TIPPING POINT by Malcolm Gladwell. I just looked it up and started laughing because it obviously had a big impact on how I think–I love the subconscious…
New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Ideas, behavior, messages, and products, he argues, often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease.Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.
Gladwell introduces us to the particular personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends, the people who create the phenomenon of word of mouth. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children’s television, direct mail, and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious, and visits a religious commune, a successful high-tech company, and one of the world’s greatest salesmen to show how to start and sustain social epidemics.
I think I need to reread this immediately! Here are some awesome quotes from the book…
“There are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting epidemics. All you have to do is find them.”
“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”
“Emotion is contagious.”
“If you want to bring a fundamental change in people’s belief and behavior…you need to create a community around them, where those new beliefs can be practiced and expressed and nurtured.”
“That is the paradox of the epidemic: that in order to create one contagious movement, you often have to create many small movements first.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
I would like you to help me reach the “tipping point.” My goal is to have hot spots burning brightly all over the country. Nope that’s thinking too small in today’s global economy. I want hot spots all over the world, helping TOUCHING THE SURFACE to ignite! That’s why I’m going to be starting TEAM TIPPING THE SURFACE! Anything that you can do to help will be appreciated. If you can tell a friend about the book, give it as a gift or request it at your library or bookstore–I would be forever grateful. Every little bit of support matters. It is word of mouth, above all else that gets the ball rolling. But–if you’d like to take your help one step further–I’d love to have some folks who would like to make a deliberate effort to help TOUCHING THE SURFACE go viral.
If you are interested, I will send you a TOUCHING THE SURFACE T-shirt and a hazmat helmet’s worth of promotional materials. There will be stuff for your local and school libraries and stuff for your local book sellers. I’ll also have plenty of individual swag for your friends and family and the random strangers you think might like the book. 😮 For every person you enlist to become a New Hot Spot for TEAM TIPPING THE SURFACE–you’ll have an entry into a drawing for some great prizes–like an annotated copy of TOUCHING THE SURFACE or an silver origami crane necklace. The more people that participate, the more cool things will be added to the pot.
*In order to create a new Hot Spot–your recruit will have to be in a brand new location. You’ll have my email–we’ll talk! I’m having visions of a map with Hot Spot stickers for my office!
Want to participate? Here’s what you have to do! If you would like to start a Hot Spot in your area for TEAM TIPPING THE SURFACE, please send me you full name, email address and your mailing address HERE!!! I’m looking forward to hearing from you. If you don’t think you’re up for being a Hot Spot–I completely understand, but I would really appreciate it if you’d share this information with anyone you think might be interested.
So what should we talk about today? Worst virus or illness you’ve ever had? Gahhhh I had Scarlet Fever once!!! Lots of books have gone viral–what’s your favorite? I’ve got to say Harry Potter! Best movie involving hazmat suits? Hmmmm Have you read THE TIPPING POINT by Malcomb Galdwell? Will you now? I’m interested to hear what you’ve got!
P.S. 14 Days until TOUCHING THE SURFACE launches!!! All the information on book launch events and purchasing signed copies can be found HERE!