Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Marketing - A Learning Curve Part 2

Yesterday's post provided a wealth of helpful suggestions in the comments so I thought it would be a good idea to share them here, but first check out BubbleCow's post on how many copies do novels sell (sobering) and this article in The Bookseller (which makes for even more sobering reading) ...



S C Ransom advised to grab any PR your publisher provides (loved the book trailer on her web site - it gave me a few more ideas)
Martha Williams raised blog tours
Saffina Desforges mentioned the Kindleboards
Sue Guiney recommended book clubs, women's groups, readings & signing (and making sure that you work on the next book!)

So yesterday, (thanks you Saffi) I took the plunge into Amazon a bit and began work on my author page (huge gulp), but I haven't yet had the courage to dive into the Kindleboards or places like Goodreads. I will though because all of these things are necessary.

Blog tours...I do believe in them but I also think the jury is out on how affective they are...I also worry about bombarding my twitter and Facebook with ME ME ME posts because that definitely isn't me...so I'm planing on a more drip feed approach, which may be entirely wrong as far as the all important initial sales go, but I don't want to abuse the friends I have made along this journey.

Sue hit on something about expat life...book club and women's groups. I think this has potential mileage for me as a writer. They are both part of my life so they ring true. However when the other night at a meeting of university of alums I was confronted with the suggestion that THE CORNISH HOUSE should be there book choice for their club and I should attend - I went pale... The thought of all these wonderful woman reading my book and discussing it with me there... is the scenario of nightmares and plays to all my insecurities. Don't get me wrong. I love my book or I should say I love my characters and their story. It was important enough for me to write it not once, but however many times it took to tell the story well...but to physically be there when wonderful women are discussing it and possibly not feeling the same...gulp.

However I will do it...I need to set the story free. It will never be just mine once it's out the wide world. It will belong to each person who reads it and that of course is what I've wanted. I now need to dust off the methryl vest or whatever it was that Frodo wore in THE LORD OF THE RINGS....

Enough of that... I have detoured from the marketing stuff... I have begun spread sheets (not easy for me - totally incompetent with excel) to keep track of what I've done and what needs doing still. Right now May seems a long way off but there's Christmas in the middle which eats an awful lot of time and of course as Sue said...there is the next book....

Can you add any more marketing/PR suggestions? I have one more but I'll save it for tomorrow.

13 comments:

Phillipa said...

This is stating the bl***in obvious, but marketing's different depending on where your book is being sold and in what format. I enjoy blog tours and my US publisher says they work but all I'd advise is that there is only one of you. Grab every opportunity that's feasible and worthwhile - but bear in mind you still need to write and edit and have a life and that batteries do eventually run down and you need energy for your writing. At some point you might have to say 'enough, I need to work!" That's just my tip, otherwise enjoy!

liz fenwick said...

Phillipa - all hugely valid points...especially the batteries and where your book is being sold and what format. It's good to know the your publisher feels they work in the US...I haven't heard a UK publisher's thoughts on it (possibly just haven't seen it).

Formats, again key....

Thanks for the extra 'food' for thought.

lx

Kate Lord Brown said...

Great series of posts, Liz. It is a *very* steep learning curve, (and yes, one to be excited about). One of the most useful things someone said to me is to remember you are promoting your book not 'you' (so put aside any squeamishness). That said, I will be doing exactly what you describe on Friday - doing a reading/Q&A at a book club ... (hides under desk). Good luck - and goes without saying you are welcome to blog at mine on your tour x

liz fenwick said...

Kate - my stomach dropped to my feet - 'a reading and Q&A'...good luck.

Good point that's it's about the book...very good point. I have no problem promoting a friend or colleague so I just have to look at 'the book' as not ME but a mate...

Will be in touch re blog tour.

lx

Sarah Duncan said...

Coverage in the national media has, for me, been the most important re sales. The publicists know all the relevant people but I think you make their job easier by:

- writing a list of pitches for possible articles you could write

- providing a list of anyone or any place where you have a connection.

- Offering to contact local papers & radio yourself - no publicist will have time do do this. All the circulations are down, but you'll still get some coverage.

- coming up with 'angles' about yourself - but don't offer any personal info that you don't want them to use.

Don't worry Liz, I'm sure you'll be fine.

Sarah Duncan said...

Oh, and there's loads of stuff on my blog about doing talks and controlling nerves etc.

ATB Sarah

liz fenwick said...

Sarah - that is brilliant info and so helpful...will pull list together and try and be an interesting person!
lx

liz fenwick said...

Sarah - your blog is a treasure trove of brilliant stuff...will go in search...
lx

jane rusbridge said...

Something that's worked well for Isabel Ashdown, Gabrielle Kimm and I is getting together as local writers to organise author events. It's less lonely/more fun. You can promote each others' books (much easier than going on about your own all the time). This was Isabel's brainchild: she set up Chichester Book Club last year, which we advertise to local bookgroups, schools and charity organisations. It's wonderful to work with other writers rather than be in competition all the time!

Frances Garrood said...

Liz, I've talked to quie a few of reading groups, and the people have invariably been SO nice. Remember that they will be very impressed that you've written and published a book at all, and there will be lots of questions. Like you, I was terrified the first time, but now I really enjoy it.

liz fenwick said...

Jane - that is a great idea...tougher for me to act on at the moment logistically but i will keep in mind when we ever get back to Blighty :-)

Francis - that is reassuring to hear...and when the time comes I'll try and remember it.
lx

Stephanie Zia said...

The US book blogger reviewers are a friendly lot and some have a lot of influence. Opening a Twitter account in your book's name, or in character, is fun. My Sally's just started one of those newspaper things in the novel title name, just blogged about it. Doing it that way feels a little more once removed than tweeting from personal account. All good luck! I'm sure you'll do really well.

liz fenwick said...

Stephanie...sorry i missed your comment earlier and it didn't make today's marketing post - it will on tomorrow's.

I do love the idea of twitter as a character especially if the character's voice is powerful.

You have given me a cracking idea for May...huge THANK YOU
lx