Thursday, July 31, 2014

Things I Would Do

Image courtesy of blogs.cornell.edu

I am a planner. I love to make lists. And I've come to the conclusion that I'm also fascinated by self-promotion. Especially when it comes to book marketing. I love seeing how debut(and non-debut) novelists go about getting their book 'out there'. My biggest dream in life is to one day have a book published. So I've been taking note of marketing/self-promo ideas that I think I'd like to try one day.

LAUNCH PARTY: Whoo, boy. I can't even tell you how often I've dreamed about my someday *fingers crossed* launch party(loved seeing pics of this one). Decorating and planning finger food menus is my thing, so yeah, a book launch party is a must for me. As far as the marketing aspect, I'd contact my local newspaper, as well as make flyers to place in pertinent places. And invite all my family and friends from far and wide. In the standpoint of book sales, I'm not sure how much it would pay off. I think the real pay off w/a physical launch is simply getting to celebrate a major achievement in your life, surrounded by family and friends.

VIRTUAL LAUNCH PARTY: Great for if you can't do a physical one. And great even if you can. A virtual launch lets all the friends you've made online celebrate your big day too. I'd enjoy picking out goodies to giveaway, sharing behind-the-scenes info on my book, and maybe scheduling a guest post or two.

TWITTER PARTIES: I've attended one of these so far, and it was fun. It was set for an hour and had a specific hashtag to go along w/it(initials of the book title). I enjoyed interacting w/the author in real time and getting to ask questions about the book. Plus, I won a copy of the book!

BLOG TOURS/BLASTS: Tours generally extend a week to two weeks(that I've seen anyway). I imagine anything much longer than that and the author would be wrapped in a bed sheet muttering incomprehensibly in a corner somewhere. Blasts are a quick cannon boom in one day, where blogs all over the internet are talking about you and your book.

BOOK SIGNINGS: Going to bookstores, libraries, festivals, etc to sign books. If I'm honest this one sounds a little scary. Like booking them. Do you just call places & say, "I've written a book, can I come chillax at your place w/some nice writing pens?" Though scary or not, I'd still like to experience it!

VIDEO INTERVIEW: I recently saw this on Anna Soliveres's blog. I thought it was very cool to see her talking about her writing, and decided I would love to do this one day. I really liked the black and white format too, very professional.

FREE SHORT STORY: I got one of these when I marked Midnight Thief to read on Goodreads. The author, Livia Blackburne, contacted me and let me know that if I was interested she'd send me an electronic copy of Poison Dance, a short story which showcased James, a character in Midnight Thief. It made me feel like a special cookie! ;) And I loved going into MT knowing more about James. I knew secrets about him that the mc, Kyra, didn't know. Which makes me a super special cookie! If possible, I definitely want to do this in my someday *fingers crossed* career as an author.

POSTCARDS TO LIBRARIES: I heard of this through a blog post by Erin Bowman. When she has a book coming out she orders postcards w/her book cover on them and sends them to local libraries. She leaves the backside blank so she can write a handwritten note.

BOOKMARKS: Goes w/out sayin'! You can send them out for swag, give them to ppl you meet in real life, & stick them under windshield wipers at the grocery store. Right, not that one.

MAGNETS: I'm not sure if you can buy these w/out breaking the bank, but I imagine there's some cheaper ones available. I, for one, can never have enough magnets. I'm always making them do double duty on the fridge to hold just one more thing. And in daily life, walking by the fridge, it just might prompt a reminder of: 'Oh, yeah. That book's out now. I want to read that.' At least you can hope. =)

And last but not least-- BEING NICE: I have bought books before where I'm not that interested in the genre. Not that I don't think the writing's good, but it's just not something that I'm drawn to in my reading preferences. But I buy the book because I've interacted w/the author online, had a good experience, and want to support them. Being nice goes a long way. If you're a crotchety curmudgeon? I'm not going to be as hipped on helping you out. Maybe that makes me less nice, but that's generally how it works. *insert sweet candy-coated smile(sprinkles!)*

What do you all think? Are there any marketing/self-promo tips/ideas/tricks that you've tried/want to try? I'd love to hear them!

51 comments:

  1. Wow. You have given this considerable thought (not a bad thing!). There are so many cool things that are available to us with social media to introduce our book to the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, much, much thought! ;) Social media is super great when it comes to book launches.

      Delete
  2. I love this! Definitely bookmarking this page :) I've actually started thinking about some of this stuff, too, like ideas for a blog tour. And there will definitely be cupcakes at my book launch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, glad it could come in handy! And cupcakes + books= bliss!

      Delete
  3. This is a great list, Leandra. Thank you for organizing it, and thanks for the shout out on my interview video! I had a lot of fun doing it with my friend. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! People who are good w/video astound me- I can't even operate the one of my computer correctly! :)

      Delete
  4. Promotion is SO hard. And what works for one author/book may not work for the next one. Do book stores and libraries welcome new authors with open arms and host events for them? It depends on the book store manager and the librarian, frankly.

    For example, the manager at the B&N closest to my home has ignored all my requests to host an event at his store. The manager of a B&N an hour away invites me to her store a couple times a year. I sent out emails to all the librarians in my county. Several of them immediately responded and wanted to schedule events. Others never answered, and one said that if I'd like to volunteer at her library I could come in and fill out a volunteer form; they needed help shelving books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe she wanted you to come shelve books! I feel a bit sorry for those library patrons- I bet they don't ever have interesting author events. =( I guess all you can do is put yourself out there, and see who responds favorably!

      Delete
  5. That is an awesome list, though when you first said finger food, I thought of this.

    I don't plan well, but I did have fun with a book signing. We had wine. It was a hit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh, those are disgusting! I would not be able to eat those at all, lol! I remember your post about your signing, I loved getting to hear about it. Posts about authors out in the real world are some of my absolute favs!

      Delete
  6. You are one organized lady! I love all these ideas so much. It's funny - I'd never really thought about throwing myself a launch party since I'm (most likely) going the self-pub route, but WHY NOT?? I love what you said about just getting to celebrate this huge ginormous achievement. I'm not good with themes though, so maybe I'll send you an ARC and let you help me with that - LOL. But I do know that there will be cupcakes. 'Cause... come on. Cupcakes. And I will definitely be doing giveaways and bookmarks - I love the post card idea as well. So many good ideas! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would totally love to help you out! If you need any idea help just let me know. =) And you should totally do a launch party. Traditional or self-pub- doesn't matter. It's the same achievement either way- you wrote a book! And that's a big deal.

      Delete
  7. You should be a publicist. These are all awesome ideas. Sign me up for your street team when the time comes.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are going to be a star at promo! It's something I need to work on really hard. It's not my strong suit. I am planning on taking a couple of self promotion classes in August so maybe that will get me kick started.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Classes would be really neat! And I'm sure it will. :)

      Delete
  9. You've got it down! You named everything I can think of. Giveaways are always a draw too. My most successful one was on Goodreads.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, giveaways! How could I forget those? Those are always a huge draw, and I love entering them on Goodreads. I even won one once!

      Delete
  10. Wow you really have sat down and thought about this, great stuff. I love your list of ideas and *fingers crossed* I will need to use some of them myself one day. And I can't agree more about being nice, supporting fellow writers and making friends along the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we work hard and never quit, then it will, Suzanne! And making friends is one of the best perks of social media. :)

      Delete
  11. Excellent list :) Would be nice to think one day I may be able to use it! x

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love this, Leandra!! I'm like you, the one thing I've thought the most about is the Launch Party. Won't it be so fun?! I love all the other ideas, and I am now taking notes because someday, we WILL have our books out there!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will! And I would love to see the launch party you would throw- it'd be ah-mazing! You rock at that stuff.

      Delete
  13. These are so great! Although I think I'd have someone else plan the party for me. Parties stress me out and I'd want to just sick back and enjoy it. Although part of the stress is being the center of attention, so it might be hard to relax either way...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need to work on time management when it comes to the parties I host. It's always a race to the wire w/me- I'm usually in the shower when the guests are arriving, lol!

      Delete
  14. You should totally do some publicist work--I know I'd hire you!! :) Marketing is not my favorite part of writing, though I love getting to know awesome people. And I thought Anna's video was just awesome! Great list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do enjoy the marketing aspect. Well, I enjoy the thought of it at least, having never really done it yet. ;)

      Delete
  15. you and I are very similar! I am always planning my promo stuff and hoping I can actually live it out someday too :) I have similar plans--I'm going to try super hard to have a signing at my local B&N (they've known me since I was, like, 14 so they better let me lol) and hit up every Long Island bookstore and sign my books on the shelves. I'm also going to do cool/realistic swag--bookmarks, mainly. CafePress.com will be my best friend! Also maybe some of the lip glosses my main character is obsessed with in the book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, I love when giveaways correlate w/aspects of the books! And getting home and realizing a book I bought was signed by the author. Can't wait 'til it all happens for you!!

      Delete
  16. Great list! When I get stuck on writing, I'll let myself indulge in promotion plans sometimes...these are great ideas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a lot of fun to do, isn't it? I do it...a lot... ;)

      Delete
  17. What a lovely list - I can see you not only publishing a book, but doing all these things with style and flair!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks, Lexa! I hope I can someday.

      Delete
  18. You have a great list here, Leandra! I hope you get to use every single one of them in the near future! I'd say a launch party is a must, especially for a self-published author. You deserve to celebrate! My mom hosted one for me and it was wonderful. I felt so supported, and that is sometimes necessary when navigating the process as an Indie. Book signing events are hit and miss. Some places won't host one unless you can guarantee to bring in a certain number of people. Others respond well. I've had some good ones and not so good ones. You came out to my library event (thank you very much!) and could probably see that it was kind of a bust. But in terms of that library's author events, apparently it was kind of a hit. I think timing is everything on these, and the timing of my library event wasn't very good.

    One more thing I'd suggest for your list is what I call book cards. I have them printed in standard business card size - heavy stock/high gloss. The book cover is on the front and on the back is my email, website, Twitter, Facebook and a quote (either the tagline or a quote from the book). They are much easier to carry around than bookmarks. I leave them most places I go and my mom hands them out like candy :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Carrie! I don't think your event was a bust! There was quite a few people there, from what I saw. Plus, I did have to wait in line, so... ;) The book cards sound great, especially the quotes(I am a sucker for quotes). And your mom also sounds like one great lady! =)

      Delete
    2. My mom has been wonderful - she's even sold books to the ladies that she bought curtains from at her JC Penny store! The woman is good in sales...

      I guess I shouldn't say 'bust' when describing the library event. It was just very different than the events just prior to it. I mostly felt a little bad for my friend who organized it for me. She was so excited about it and in her words wanted it to be 'huge'. She ended up getting called out of town for work and couldn't even make it. That was maybe good though because then she didn't have to know that about 90% of the people that showed up were family and friends who already had signed books :-) I'm grateful for the support of friends and family, but since it was supposed to be a signing and not a second launch party it did quite turn out as my friend had hoped.

      Delete
    3. I think it's very hard to get people to come to events that don't know you. I went to a signing at my town's library a couple of months ago, and the author informed me that I was the fist person to ever show up to an event that he didn't know! I don't think a lot of people look at their local library's event pages to know stuff is even happening. If libraries had the budget to put ads in the paper or on the radio(and how neat that would be!), I bet there would be a lot more people show.

      Delete
  19. I'm getting ready for three upcoming releases. Eek! Blog tour posts and interviews galore! lol It's all good though. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is all good! Can't wait to follow along w/it. =)

      Delete
  20. I wish I had that party-planning gene! I don't. My problem is, so many of my friends and family are spread across the country, an in-person launch party wasn't very feasible. When I started trying to get one together, people were all, "I have to work." "Sorry, can't make it." Then they wanted me to come to them and sign books. Ugh! I finally struck a deal with a local bookstore and now I direct everyone there. They order the book, send instructions on how they want it autographed, and I go by and sign it. The store ships it. I'm still signing in person for people who couldn't be bothered to be at a specific place at a specific time. I've signed books at Waffle House, at a pizza place, at a coffee house... I don't know how to say, "If you can't make it on X date to X store, sorry, I won't sign books for your kids," so I just end up having to drive all over town.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't know how to say that either, Stephanie! But geez, that kinda stinks for you. =( I totally think you and your book should command a little more respect than that. But then again, I, as a book nerd would think that. =)

      Delete
  21. The thought of self-promotion absolutely terrifies me, Leandra! You have lots of great ideas, several I hadn't thought of before. I know this is all a very important piece of the book publishing process, so THANK YOU for all of the great ideas! I am both excited and nervous to jump in once the day comes! = )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! It is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time to think of all the work to be put into getting your book out there.

      Delete
  22. Love your list, Leandra. All super ideas! (I may steal a couple. ^_^)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steal away! That's how I got all of mine. ;)

      Delete
  23. Love this list! The promotion stuff that needs to be done with a debut novel scares me more than writing the novel. Writing, I can be good at. Self promotion - not so much! Great that you've given it some thought though :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can be difficult to put yourself out there and hope for the best! =)

      Delete
  24. Great write-up! I love the giving away a free short story idea (that ties in with the novel) and bookmarks! LOVE bookmarks! The thought of self-promotion terrifies me, so I appreciate the ideas. :)

    ReplyDelete

I love comments! And appreciate the time it took to leave one, so THANK YOU!!!