Had a book accepted or plan to go the ebook route? Then you want to think about getting your marketing campaign organised. How can people buy your book if no one hears about it?
So what sort of things should you do? And where should you do them? Here are some ideas to get you started:
ORGANISE A BLOG TOUR
I found this the best route to go to increase book sales. I did my Blog Tour back in February 2011 and my sales numbers quadrupled. I know it’s a lot of work writing the posts and approaching possible hosts, but I believe, from the sales increase alone, never mind the name recognition it should engender, that it’s worth it. Put your Blog Schedule on your website so chance visitors can have the opportunity to follow the Tour, too.
I didn’t find this the best way to go. I’ve tried both Kindle Nation Daily and a banner ad on kindleboards and I can’t say I noticedany increase in sales. Of course, you might be luckier and this is far from the definitive guide as I’ve tried such a limited area in which to place my ads. By all means try it. At least, if nothing else, you will be the wiser for it and who knows, it might pay off.
It’s hard to see how much good – if any – trailers do. They’re fun to make and the cost isn’t prohibitive if you do them yourself using Windows Movie Maker. And they’re always available on your website, youtube and other sites for people to see. It’s a big help with planning which pictures to put where if you jot down a synopsis of the book. When it comes to getting royalty-free pictures, there are a lot of sites out there. I use www.istockphoto.com
These don’t have to cost a lot. You’ll get author copies free from your publisher or if you’re going the ebook route you can offer books free using a coupon at smashwords. Goodreads and LibraryThing also allow for book giveaways.
You could alsooffer books as prizes on your own website as part of a contest, though if you hold something like a short story contest with a critique, you must be prepared for a fair number of entries.
This is not a route I’ve ever taken as it’s rather expensive. But if you can afford it, conferences could be the way to go to get your name better known and to promote your new book If you sign up early you can get your name down for a panel. Just make sure you have something to say when you get there. You’ll want to have postcards and bookmarks ready to hand out, possibly business cards. And you’ll need to ensure there are books available for sale in the sales room. You should be able to organise this with your publisher.
With any luck,your publisher will provide advance reading copies of your new release In any case, you’ll want to solicit reviews for your new release. If your book is an ebook there are many bloggers out there who will review your book, some of whom are widely recognised as providing a reliable reviewing service. Some specialize, so make sure you approach an appropriate blogger. ARCs are also handy to give away as prizes in contests.
Try to collect email addresses every time you make a public appearance so that you increase the number of people to whom you can send a regular newsletter with your doings. I use www.tmynewsletterbuilder.com and send out a newsletter once a month. What do you tell people? Well tell them about the new release with the book cover, tell them about appearances and panels you’re on at conferences. Tell them how you’re doing on your Work in Progress.
Once you have your cover art, you can design postcards, bookmarks and flyers. You can have business cards designed very cheaply, with either the book cover or your author photo. You can create most of these cheaply yourself or you can take the professional print route.
WEBSITE AND BLOG
Don’t forget to post information about your new release on your website/blog. Don’t forget to add the youtube link to your book trailer. Post an excerpt so your website visitors can read your scintillating prose! Crease a Press Kit page with a picture of you, your book cover, a short bio of you and the reviews when you get them. Interview yourself about the book and add this to the page.
SPEAKING AND SIGNING ENGAGEMENTS
Never turn down a chance to appear in public. Yes, it’s anxiety-inducing, but the more you do it the better you’ll get at it. Never be shy when you have the opportunity to sell your book. Some groups, like the Women’s Institute, require you to do an audition as a speaker before you can get on their approved list of speakers. Daunting, but it’s just another of the many challenges you’ve already faced.
I can hear you thinking that this all looks like a lot of work. You’re right. It is. That’s why the sooner you start thinking, planning and getting stuff organised, the more you can cover. That way, when your publisher/yourself expects you to be working on the next book, you have the time in hand. An hour or two at evenings or weekends with get the work done. Just be sure to get the word out somehow.
DYING FOR YOU is my latest ebook and the sixth in my Rafferty and Llewellyn mystery series.
In this one, DI Joe Rafferty joins a dating agency, using an assumed name so his Ma won’t find out. Murder ensues. And then the fun begins. Here’s the blurb:
Increasingly conscious of his lonely state, Detective Inspector Joe Rafferty signed up with the Made in Heaven dating agency, using an assumed name so his Ma and his colleagues wouldn’t find out. What he hadn’t bargained on was that the first two women with whom he struck up a rapport should wind up murdered – and with himself, or rather his alter ego Nigel Blythe, in the frame for the crime.
Will the anonymity of the alias be enough to carry him through the investigation? And will the extra time he’s bought prove sufficient to find the women’s real killer before the finger of suspicions is pointed at him?
And here are some of the reviews I received for the hb edition:
STARRED REVIEW FROM KIRKUS
‘Evans brings wit and insight to this tale of looking for love in all the wrong places.’
‘It’s bad enough being suspected of a double murder, worse still when it’s your alter ego being pursued and it’s the pits when you are the policeman in charge of supposedly catching yourself. I thoroughly enjoyed Dying For You, the sixth in the series,A lot of humour is injected in Rafferty’s narrative.He’s got himself inan impossible situation and one wonders what can go wrong next. I savoured this book and am keen to read the rest in the series asap.’
NEW MYSTERY READER
‘Twists, double twists andtriple twists. Two solid hours of reading pleasure.’
For the growing number of Rafferty and Llewellyn fans this latest novel in the series by Geraldine Evans will certainly not disappoint. This is a very enjoyable read with a plot that moves at a good pace, is full of surprises, has lots of humour and a very satisfactory denouement. Highlyrecommended.’
MURDER AND MAYHEM BOOKCLUB
‘A fun read for the mystery lover who enjoys tales with a twist. A cleverly-plotted tale. Enjoy.’
Here are the amazon links if you fancy it. It’s priced at £2.45 / $3.99.
My guest today is Nancy Lynn Jarvis and she’s going to post about 9/11, for the tenth anniversary of that dreaful day. My heart goes out to all Americans as you commemorate the day and all those who died..
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 is near. It’s hard to say that out loud, somehow. It’s almost like we should speak of 9/11 as “that day” like members of Harry Potter’s wizard- world spoke of Voldemort as “he who must not be named” lest saying his name would give him power and cause him to return. 9/11 changed the way a whole country looked at the world and our place in it and it gave us a new definition of Evil.
I planted two red climbing roses in my garden in 2001 as a tribute to those who perished in the twin towers. I still remember clearly what it felt like to dig the holes for the tall uprights that support them and set the rose roots around them in the days following 9/11 all the while hyper-aware of the eerie silence of a sky where no airplanes flew. The roses grew as I hoped they would, forming their own structure of twin towers covered with bright blooms of remembrance. After Osama bin Laden was tossed into an anonymous watery grave I planted rudbekia, a flower that’s meaning is justice, at the base of the two roses.
When I started writing my first book in 2008, an American cozy-style real estate mystery, I used people I knew for the characters and I stole, well at least borrowed, from their lives to create character back-stories. Kaivan, one of my main characters, was based on a friend of mine whose family had fled Iran after the Shaw fell because they were Christians and Iran under the Ayatollahs was a hostile place for them to live. My friend had a client who dropped off the face of the earth during an escrow. The Death Contingency told my imagined story of what happened to that vanished seller.
My friend is a nice man and a very proud naturalized American. I can remember how filled with pride and joy he was the first time he voted as a new US citizen—I described that day in my book. I wanted his character to be like him, but also to possibly be a murderer. I wanted to explore how such a man might be capable of evil, while not being an evil man.
In the book, the character of Kaivan was profoundly affected by 9/11 like we all were. He knew firsthand what conflict there can be between different faiths when the tenants of religions professing kindness and caring for fellow human beings get twisted by fanatics who gain influence and power. I don’t want to give away too much in case you decide to read the book, but in The Death Contingency, 9/11 was my key to exploring the difference between evil and Evil and to ask if murder is ever justified in the battle against the capital kind.
Thank yo for your post, Nancy. Thank you also for taking the time to remember the victims of that terrible day. I well recall the dreadful events. What particularly struck me was the appalling dilemmma facing the victims and whether they should jump or burn. It was unbelievable watching those who had chosen the first option tumbling through the sky past so many floors. Nancy, the roses and shrub you planted is a beautiful way to remember those poor souls and all the others who died that day, as well as those alive but still suffering.
You can learn more about Nancy, her book, The Death Contingency and her other work on her website: http://www.goodreadmysteries.com.