Five effective book marketing strategiesBy Karina Fabian
Target Audience: Everyone knows about this one, but so few of us follow it. I must admit, it’s my own stumbling block, but I offer two pieces of advice: Don’t just advertise to all your author groups. Yes, authors are readers, but they are also the ones trying to peddle their own books. Get out of the crowded pool and find another with people who might be interested in reading. This is easier said than done, I know; too often, I join some reader’s group and discover it’s full of writers all trying to find readers but talking to each other about their own books. So, let me suggest finding book review blogs and checking out those bloggers and what blogs they look at and what groups they are in. I got this idea in Feb while working my book tour. Got another idea? Please comment!
Repetition: The old saying is people need to see something seven times before they are ready to buy. Frankly, it’s one reason why movie trailers work so well, and amateur book trailers don’t. Movie companies pay to have their trailers shown again and again on multiple sites. There are ways, however, that you can repeat your message without just repeating yourself obnoxiously. Use different mediums: the book video and the excerpt and a sneak peek and a contest. Tweet bits of your book, esp. if they are funny. Make multiple trailers from different angles. I had a lot of fun with this for my new book, Live and Let Fly. I did a serious one, a snarky one from Vern’s POV, a character-based on with Stan Rakness, and a longer one with more information. Some took a lot of work, but a couple, I tossed together for fun.
Follow-up: If you send out a press release, an announcement, a guest post, etc., follow up. People are busy; things get lost in e-mail; folks forget. Also, when you see something posted about you, go to the page, comment, and tweet or FB about it. And keep track of those people, especially if they are new to you—they might be willing to post your news on your next book. . If you do a blog tour, keep track of the people who toured you and send them some kind of follow-up later—like if the book is up for an award, or something exciting happens, or some occasion ties into your book. For example, my publisher and I sent out a press release to all the folks who toured my father’s and my devotional, Why God Matters, during Lent as a suggestion for a Lenten activity. Several bloggers agreed to run the press release or re-run their reviews; one blogger got me and several other writers going on a multi-blog devotional which was a great blessing to us all.
Be open to opportunities: My latest book, Live and Let Fly, is the second DragonEye, PI novel. It is here only because I was open to opportunities—first, the anthology Firestorm of Dragons, for which I created Vern, a snarky dragon detective on the wrong side of the interdimensional portal. Then a request for a serial DragonEye, PI story from a small Mensa magazine. (I’ve rerun it on http://dragoneyepi.net, btw.) That, along with meeting an editor at the MuseOnline writers conference, led to the award winning novel, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem. Frankly, I’ve had so much fun with Vern and his partner, Sister Grace, that I am on the third novel now, and have 16 short stories written.
Not all opportunities are paying, but weigh them against the pleasure you’ll have and the potential future benefit.
--JUST A NOTE: My weekly newsletter, 30-Minute Marketer, helps you with steps 2, 3, and 4. I have a program set up of repeated tasks, follow-ups, new projects and quickie tasks, each of which should take half an hour or less. Please check it out http://30minutemarketer.karinafabian.com. No subscription fee, but I am working off donations.
Have fun—or fake it! Last week, I saw a clip of Nathan Fillion getting his People’s Choice award. He said that he was sick with the flu—pull the car over, sick—on the way, and the whole time, all he was thinking was to not vomit on the hostess. You’d never know from his actions on the stage.
I’m preparing a virtual book tour that has exceeded 45 stops as I write this, and I’m still getting more. I’m also researching more blogs and review sites and stressing a bit on when I’ll get review copies. (I’m writing this in February). When I write posts like this one, however, I don’t think about all that. I’m enjoying the fact that a friend is hosting me, I might be giving folks some inspiration—and I get to plug my book and newsletter! How can I not be stoked?
Marketing can be dreary and frustrating, but if you treat it like a drudgery, then people will internalize that attitude and may take it to your book. So reach in, find the excitement and let it show in your face, our voice, the attitude of your tweets and post. After all, no matter how tedious the marketing may feel, you are in love with your book—and the thought of a sale is just a bit exciting, too!
HERE'S A DESCRIPTION OF LIVE AND LET FLY:
For a dragon detective with a magic-slinging nun as a partner, saving the worlds gets routine. So, when the US government hires Vern and Sister Grace to recover stolen secrets for creating a new Interdimensional Gap--secrets the US would like to keep to itself, thank you—Vern sees a chance to play Dragon-Oh-Seven.
No human spy, however, ever went up against a Norse goddess determined to exploit those secrets to rescue her husband. Sigyn will move heaven and earth to get Loki—and use the best and worst of our world against anyone who tries to stop her.
It's super-spy spoofing at its best with exotic locations (Idaho--exotic?), maniacal middle-managers, secret agent men, teen rock stars in trouble, man-eating animatronics, evil overlords and more!
HERE'S AN EXCERPT
Festival was Friday. We had two days to stop a Nordic demigod evil overlord—overlady, overbeing, whatever—from blowing up a nuclear power plant, possibly destroying half an island full of revelers in the process, and creating an Interdimensional Gap through which she can bring the rest of her giant relatives to set up housekeeping where the Faerie Catholic Church didn't have the power to control them. In other words, two days until Hel broke loose.
I've had worse deadlines. I could afford a long bath in our whirlpool tub and a good meal first.
ABOUT KARINA FABIAN
Karina Fabian is an award-winning fantasy, science fiction and horror author, whose books make people laugh, cry or think—sometimes all three. Check out her latest at http://fabianspace.com