Presentations

self publishing image

Presented at the February 3rd 2014 Celebration Writers Group Meeting.

marketing and author platform image

Presented at the March 3rd 2014 Celebration Writers Group Meeting.

how to make an audiobook image

Presented at the Orlando Public Library on February 1st 2015.

Blog Post

Guest Post at Fiction University (March 27th 2014) – Indie Author Series:
How to Create an Audio Book

I’m published … now what? (Marketing 101)

I have been asked about my marketing strategy from a few author friends, so I’ve decided to include it here for anyone to see. These are just things that have worked for me. Good Luck!

Update:

In July 2014 I had to republish my book (small press issues, long story). This resulted in a new Amazon listing, which decoupled my sales history from the previous version. All organic sales (Amazon suggested sales based on the purchase history of Customers who bought the previous version) were lost. I tried many promotions to return my book to its previous ranking … nothing worked. I moved forward with Book 2. Once it was released I was able to promote that book exactly as I did with Book 1 … which had amazing effects on Book 1 sales! This was the only thing that brought Book 1 back to any decent sales ranking 🙂

Know Your Genre

My genre is Urban Fantasy (with a few romantic elements), so I’ve geared my marketing to hit that genre. You may need to investigate other options if your book doesn’t have any romantic elements, although a few of my suggestions are universal.

DIY

Don’t expect your publisher (small press or NY big boys) to market the book for you. There may be a marketing budget or crickets, so be prepared to get your book out there yourself to get it noticed. Obviously Indie Authors know it’s all them, but I think most of the Small Press Authors should use the same strategies.

Blog Tours

Find a blog tour promoter and hire them to setup a blog tour for you. These services are not very expensive, but can have a huge impact. I recommend finding blogs that specialize in your genre and see which promoters are using those sites. You can also set up your own tour, but this can be very time consuming, and you may not find as many blogs as a tour promoter already has in their list. Keep in mind that this service will need to be purchased 6-8 weeks out, and maybe longer if you want the review option. If you pick the review option (which I highly recommend), you will need to provide eBooks for the reviewers.

I have used:
Bewitching Book Tours ~ Book 2 Promoter ~ Highly Recommend!
Book Monster Promotions ~ Book 1 Promoter (link no longer valid)

Facebook Events

Find a Facebook promoter and hire them to create an event for you. It can be a Release party, or milestone party (WooHoo, the book has been out x months) … basically you just need a reason to have the event. You can also hire promoters that have street teams, which could help you get exposure to readers that may not have otherwise found you (the goal of all marketing). You may need to look around for a promoter that has done parties for your genre.

I have used:
Chelsea Author Promotions

Social Media

If you don’t have it already, get busy creating the following:
– Facebook Author Page
– Twitter Account (link to Facebook)
– Author Website or Blog (buy a url)
– Goodreads Author Account (link your books to it)
– Amazon Author Central page (look for US and UK site and update both with your pic and bio)

Like Author pages for Authors in your genre and keep an eye on what they do to promote their books. Don’t be shy about giving away your book with Facebook promotions. In the beginning you need as many people as possible to read it and help get the word out!

I’ve recently done two Goodreads giveaways … this requires a print book, but it can get a lot of exposure for your book.

Conferences

Find reader conferences in your genre and sign up to attend as an author, or try to get in to the public signing. There will most likely be a table fee, but if you have an author friend and can share the table, the cost will be significantly less.

Conferences I’ve attended:
Coastal Magic Convention (Daytona Beach)
Indie Bookfest (Orlando)

Reviews

Find opportunities to have your book reviewed. If it is any type of romance, consider submitting it to InD’Tale magazine. You can also (usually) select a review option when setting up a blog tour. Consider submitting to websites like Book Viral. Not all bloggers or sites will post the review on Amazon or Goodreads, but you can add these to your Author Central book page as Editorial Reviews. Getting reviews will help other people find your book.

Links:
Book Viral ~ Highly Recommend!
InD’Tale Magazine

Track Your Amazon Ranking

Amazon ranking is a good indicator of how well your book is doing. It will also give you an idea if your promotion efforts are working. Novel Rank uses the Amazon ranking to try and predict your sales for the month. This tool may not be needed for Indie Authors who can see their actual sales, but for Small Press or Traditionally Published, this can be a good gauge at how well the book is doing. The numbers won’t be exact, but it is still good data to have. There are two options, the first is free, but there is no guarantee at what interval they will check your ranking, the second option is priced yearly, and it will check your ranking every hour.

Also, when tracking your ranking, keep in mind that it could be delayed. For example, you run a FB promotion, but don’t see a spike right away, then the next day it drops. I only mention this because I can see the ‘raw’ sales of my audio books everyday, but the data is ‘as of two days ago’. In that case they are only updating the numbers once a day. The Amazon Ranking for books is updated constantly, but may be on an X hour/day delay.

Links:
Novel Rank

More About Marketing

A friend asked me to talk about marketing on her blog. Here is the post:
Quill or Pill Blog

Other Links

I have used the following services:
Book Cover Designer ~ Robin Ludwig Design ~ Highly Recommend!
Book Trailer Designer – Suzzanah Safi
Swag, Promo, and Book Cover Designer – Sweet N’ Spicy

Writers Resources

Associations

Florida Writers Association
Celebration Writers Group

Workshops

Writing the Breakout Novel week long intensive
New York Writers Workshop – Perfect Pitch Fiction Conference

Software

Query Tracker – free or $25/year premium subscription. Statistics for agent responses are cool.
AutoCrit – A way to analyze your writing. Free and subscription based options. The reports are very helpful for self editing.

Interesting Links

Interjection Dictionary
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (Amazon link)

Characters

This site has good information about character names and an advanced search that will let you find names based on nationality and/or meaning (original link no longer valid, this is now the main site):
http://www.babynames.com
This is the Social Security Administration’s site which will let you search by popularity for any year after 1879! It also has a few other links like top 50 names for twins:
http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/
The cool thing about this site is that it has a really, really, really long list of surnames. It also has a file of first names for girls and boys too, but first names are easier to find on the sites above:

Editing Services

Services I have used before:
John Robin – Story Perfect Editing ~ Highly Recommend!
Marg Gilks – Scripta Word Services
Jason Sitzes – Writers Retreat Workshop
Chuck Sambuchino – Editing Page