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Monday, April 14, 2014

Promoting Outside the Box

I asked a group of authors about their experiences with promotion. Joan starts us off and I hope you guys will get involved in the conversation by responding in the comments section. for a chance to win a free book.
Promoting Outside the Box
PROMOTING OUTSIDE THE BOX by JOAN HALL HOVEY

My best promotional efforts involve a combination of things. When my first book LISTEN TO THE SHADOWS was published, I didn't have a computer so my promotion was done outside the 'box' literally. Since I belong to writers organizations like Mystery Writers of America and Crime Writers of Canada and Writers Federation of New Brunswick, I made sure news of my book was included in their newsletter.

I did a mass mailing of flyers to bookstores in Canada and the U.S. I introduced myself at local bookstores and set up signings, and I did radio and TV interviews. (Some authors choose to send out postcards, but I like the substance of a flyer) If you are diligent, you will begin to create a bit of buzz that will gather momentum like the proverbial snowball rolling downhill. For example, the day after the TV interview was aired, the newspaper called for an interview. The story came out with the heading: A DREAM COME TRUE FOR LOCAL AUTHOR. Local woman lands New York publisher with first novel. I believe my own excitement and enthusiasm, not to mention hard work, had a lot to do with getting the exposure I wanted for my book.

You really do have to get out there and let people know about you and your book.

Finally, when the complimentary copies of my beautiful novel arrived, I had a poster of the cover blown up and pasted it around town - the library, university, etc. I've also done many interviews since, (like this one) written articles, all of which gets your name and the name of your books 'out there.' Share your experiences with other writers. I had an article coming out soon in THE WRITERS MAGAZINE titled 'My Journey to Publication.'   I also had one in MYSTERY SCENE MAGAZINE.  I was very excited to be included among the pages of these prestigious magazine, and moreso because they’re  ones I've subscribed to for many years, and learned much from.

Since that first book, I’ve written The Abduction of Mary Rose, Night Corridor, Chill Waters, Nowhere To Hide and Defective, all available on amazon.  It’s different now with the internet at your fingertips, literally.   I’ll send out a press release and post on Facebook and Twitter and other social media.  My wonderful publisher will run an on Kindle Daily Nation.  I’ll do a virtual book tour.  There are a number of book tour companies on the net.  Google them.  Compare prices and services. As I get older,  travelling has little appeal for me, so this works great.  

Remember: No one can sell your book like you can. It's your baby. Show it off. It goes without say that you should always present your best self, but I'll say it anyway: be warm, friendly, courteous always. Even when people ask you what you perceive to be dumb questions. Even if a bookstore owner declines to let you sign your books in her store. Be gracious, never be pushy or obnoxious. And remember to say thank you for any kindnesses or favors. A thank-you card to the story/library/coffee shop person is always appreciated.  

Lastly, make sure everything you did for that first book is put into a file for future reference. You'll have accumulated names, addresses for your mailing list, and all sorts of helpful information that will save a lot of time and effort when you get ready to launch your publicity campaign for that second book. Good luck and happy writing!

Coming Soon! The Deepest Dark published by Books We Love

Website: www.joanhallhovey.com

THANKS, Joan!

9 comments:

Mary Deal said...

Some great advise from a pro. Advice about promotion is always welcome. It also tells me the author knows what he or she is doing to make their career successful. I need to put Hall's books on my to-read list. I also need to read faster. Nice comments here well worth adhering to for improved action with our own books.

Susan Whitfield said...

Mary, I agree with you. Joan has the code to success. Thanks for commenting!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I began doing a lot of interviews. It is a snowball though - once you begin, you can't stop.

Dorothy Hayes said...

I found myself very popular in the town where the story of my book took place, and resulted in a launching at the local Wilton, CT library, then I was honored by the Kiwanis Club at a luncheon, followed by an awesome newspaper article, and then on to two more local libraries. As a result I sold books, and then I too did the virtual book tour. I got a chuckle over the comment that getting older your desire to be huffing it to various places diminishes. So the on-line social media helps out a lot. I met many lovely writers and reviewers on my virtual book tour, which I maintain contact with. It's all part of promotion but the added benefits are exposure and new friends.

Susan Whitfield said...

Diane's book, Publish and Promote, is filled with useful information especially for those who want to open a publishing company. Dorothy, even though I have a blog and host some tour dates for others, I haven't organized one for myself. I seriously need to do that. Thanks to both of you for weighing in.

Joan Hall Hovey said...

Thanks Susan,for hosting my article. And thanks to all who commented. We'd love to hear your own experiences with promoting your books. :) There is much we can learn from one another.

Anonymous said...

Good advice and I will use some of it. I have published an e-book and so far it has had two genuine sales, one buyer being a neighbour.
I have made many book review requests, but gotten only a few positive responses - and no review as yet. I have a Twitter account to promote my book and I intend to hand out thousands of business cards.

Susan Whitfield said...

I agree, Joan. Always nice to have you over.

Susan Whitfield said...

Congrats, Diane. You won a free book. I'll be in touch.