Friday, March 14, 2008

It's Never Too Soon - Part I

Are you thinking about how to market your book when it finally sells? Feel foolish fantasizing about something that may never happen. Believe me, it's never foolish or too soon to be jotting down ideas and making marketing plans. When my Silhouette Romance, The Groom Wore Blue Suede Shoes , hit the stands, I wasn't all that prepared. I did the traditional book signings and hated the experience. Did them alone and did them with friends. I can't think of one book signing I loved. I felt like an idiot sitting there hawking my wares. :) Here are some other things I did:

1) Mailed press releases and promo kits to newspapers. Since we'd lived in eight towns in Louisiana and Texas, I rewrote each press release connecting myself and my family to that town.

2) Spoke to civic organizations and writers' groups. Right now, stop and make a list of friends (connections) who belong to different organizations in your area--retired teachers groups, newcomer's clubs, etc. Every city has a Newcomer's Club, an organization all new-to-the-area women join. Check your yellow pages or chamber of commerce to see if your city has one. They usually meet once a month for lunch at the country club, and have a speaker. You need to be the speaker for the month your book hits the stands. Don't forget to have a door prize when you speak--usually a basket of goodies with your book being the biggest and best. :)

3) Don't forget to take advantage of class reunions and alumni magazines.

4) Send your press material to area/regional libraries. Many libraries bring in speakers (that would be you) and you'll be able to sell a few copies of your book. Payment is usually slim to none, but they often give a modest honorarium. There's something pretty neat about seeing your book on a library shelf. :)

5) Take advantage of your Chamber of Commerce. I've never tried this but if I ever sell another book, I plan to publish my first chapter in pamphlet form and make sure the Chamber of Commerce has beau coups of copies to give away at the state line. How you design the cover of your pamphlet is totally up to you but make it eye-catching: MEET LOCAL AUTHOR _______. I'll include a picture, a bio and ordering information. Want to try this one with me?

One last tip: at every speaking engagement, book signing, at every opportunity, make sure you're collecting names and addresses. For door prizes, require your audience to put their name and address on a sheet of paper and drop in the "hat, sack, box, can" that you've brought with you. You'll be able to send them a post card when your next book comes out.

I'm always collecting marketing information. In fact, several friends have suggested I become a publicist instead of an author. Mmmmmm, think they're trying to tell me something? Like...give up writing and find a job you're good at. :) Maybe so. Something to think about, huh?

5 comments:

Julie A Carda said...

Jess,
Thank you so much for spreading the news. Your comments are filled with a sweetness for success and support. Happy reading and WRITING! Gratitude.

Sandra Robbins said...

I wonder who your friends are that have suggested you become a publicist? I am--oops, I mean they are right. You have the knack for this stuff. How like you to spread the word about Julie's book. I'm on my way to her site now.

Sandra Robbins

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

we need more publicists for authors...reasonably priced, hard working publicists.

Might that be you? :-)

If so, please contact me!
PamT

cballan said...

I'm impressed with the new bloggy you. Professional, personable, and provoking.

This really has grown into a blog dedicated to and about writers. Go YOU!

Kalar said...

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