Aloha from Karen Whiting

DSC_1716 copyCAN offers great benefits to readers and blessings to members. It’s B&BHomeFrontgood to follow CAN because we post about marketing that others can adapt. It’s also good to see what a group does to glean ideas for your own group.

 

Let’s chat about to multiply efforts greatly through team efforts that benefits all the members and blesses others.

 

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Hi everyone!

Pamela Meyers here with another discussion on marketing your novel.

Recently, while in a Pam2011SmallChinFistdiscussion with a couple people from my
church, a woman asked me if I had a publicist. I replied that the publisher for
my book releasing next spring has a publicist on staff that is available to me,
but for my small press books, the marketing is pretty much up to me. At that
point the man with us spoke up and recited the old adage, “To make money, you
have to spend money.” I assured him I agreed, but with a very slim budget, most
of the marketing has been up to me and I needed to be creative without a lot of expense.
Then I added that I have a lot of input from my professional organizations as to how
to go about marketing my books.

Later, as I reflected on that conversation, I stopped to
thank God for providing me with CAN and those here who work so tirelessly to
help its members get the word out about their books, and also for American
Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) to which I’ve belonged almost since its
inception. Between these two organizations I have learned a ton about
marketing, and yet feel I’ve barely scratched the surface.

One of the ways I want to push the publicity for my next
book is to utilize Twitter more than I ever have. During the launch of Thyme for Love I sent out Twitter posts
with links to where the book could be purchased, giveaways during my blog tour,
and anything else related to the book, but I keep asking the question:  Can I do more?

My pastor recently reported that after posting a website
link on Twitter for my church’s radio and on-line ministry website, the website
received 34,000 hits in a 24-hour period. That started the wheels in my head
spinning, and I began to wonder what else I could do to stir up peoples’
interest enough to go to Amazon to order my new book.

This month at CAN we are seeing first hand how a team of
people can bring about positive results more effectively than just one person. I
don’t have near the number of Twitter followers to generate 34,000 hits by
myself, but we can help each other in this way by agreeing to publish the
Twitter posts that are being gathered every week.

It takes more than saying “Buy my book by going to this
link.” We need to think creatively about how to get people interested in
learning more about our books. This can be done by starting out with a tease,
or asking a question to which they have to go to the link to find the answer,
or holding a give-away and getting people to your blog to sign up for the
drawing. But there has to be even more we can be doing. I’m just now starting to noodle what else I might do so I’ll be
ready when the release date gets closer.

Have any good ideas to share? Please leave a comment! 

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  Day 14 - (Butchart Gardens) 182_2

 

Cheri Cowell here:

My new Bible study Parables and Word Pictures From the New Testament is out and it is now time to put my database into use. One great way to connect with potential buyers/readers is through the use of E-Blasts. The very name tells what this is and what it isn't. E- means it is electronic so you must have your database in some kind of program that will allow you to send multiple emails. I use Constant Contact. Next, it is a blast meaning it is short, direct, and sent multiple time like a rapid-fire water gun. Okay, maybe not the best metaphor, but you get the idea. Below are a few more tips to help you use this great marketing tool.

First, you'll want to divide your contacts into like groups because E-Blasts are target marketing. For my Bible study, I have churches and ministry leaders in one category and fans/readers in another. I have a list of women's ministry directors and a group of fellow alumni from seminary.

Next, you want to make a list of the features and benefits for each target group. What need will your book answer for each group? The church and ministry leaders are looking for something different – they have a different need – than my readers/fans.

Now create your email for each group with those features and benefits in mind. I love Constant Contact for this because I can create a mini magazine looking email for my first E-Blast complete with photos of my cover and other photos that speak to their need.

Think about what day of the week is best to send your E-Blast. Most churches are closed on Mondays and during the summer, many are also closed on Fridays so those would not be good days to E-Blast them.

Finally, think about when a second and third E-Blast should go out. Because mine is a workbook Bible study perfect for small groups, I am sending one now and another at the end of August as school begins and small groups are forming. I'll send a third one at the end of September because many will be planning their Spring calenders then before they get into the holidays. If your book would make a good Christmas gift, think about sending an E-Blst before Thanksgivng with an incentive to order early.

Happy E-Blasting…

Come check out my Pinterest site – follow me and I'll follow you: http://pinterest.com/chericowell/

www.Facebook.com/chericowell  www.Twitter.com/CheriCowell 

Check out my new Bible study at www.CheriCowell.com

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Hi everyone. Pamela MePam2011SmallChinFistyers here for my monthly column on what I’ve learned about marketing your debut novel.

We’re almost to the end of July and with fall just around the corner, I can look forward to Love Will Find a Way, my second book in the On The Road to Love series, coming out November 2012—exactly one year after Thyme for Love made its debut appearance.

Over the past several months, I’ve let the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer lull me into a kind of laid-back stance as I’ve spent time researching historical information for a book series. I’m still in the midst of all that, but time is flying and I need to develop an action plan prior to Love Will Find a Way releasing.

Here’s my to-do list so far:

 

  1. Target the people who read Thyme for Love with reminders about my characters and the storyline. For many it’s been quite a few months since they read the story, and their memories are probably a bit faded. I will be writing some blogs about my characters and talking about what happened in Thyme for Love while hinting of things to come in Love Will Find a Way.
  2. Because April, my heroine, is a chef, I’ve already posted pictures of recipes I’ve was trying out for the second book, and I’ll be doing more of that and posting pix of the steps in each recipe. I won’t post the same recipes I included with the manuscript, but other ones April prepares in the story.
  3. Since I’ve been in the Lake Geneva area a lot this summer doing research for the historical series idea I plan to pitch at the ACFW conference, I’m going to start sending a pic or two on Twitter of spots mentioned in TFL  while I’m there. Even though the story takes place in a fictional town, it is near Lake Geneva and my characters go there often.
  4. Even though I have only recently turned in the manuscript and have not yet received the edits, nor has the book cover been designed, my friend who developed the TFL book trailer has begun preliminary work on the trailer for LWFW. I purchased photos from several online stock photo companies such as www.istockphoto.com and www.shutterstock.com when I was unable to find those I needed in my personal collection or at the free-use site at www.morguefile.com. I also roughed up a script to be incorporated into the trailer. We won’t get down to the nitty gritty of actually putting the trailer together until the manuscript is approved and I know the storyline will stay as is. Then we’ll have it ready to go when the cover art is finalized.
  5. I recently noticed there is a cooking school in Lake Geneva, not far from a small bookstore. What a great place to possibly hold an event when the book comes out. I’ve added stopping in there for a chat with the chef and hopefully working out some kind of creative event there.
  6. My current book has been available on Kindle for a long time, but I want to ask my editor about having either a reduced price offering, or even a free offering, for a specified timeframe in the weeks just prior to the second book releasing. Everything I’ve read indicates that these types of promotions help book sales.
  7. During October I plan to set up a blog tour for November and December, and will be putting into practice some of the things I learned during last year’s tour.

In future columns I will share how this action plan plays out, so keep tuned!Chix Breast Crimini Spinach

Now back to that historical research I’m doing. Hmmmm. Where was I? Oh yeah. In 1871 the first train from Chicago arrived in Lake Geneva.

 

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KarenWhitingArticles tend to reach far more readers than books. That makes it important to write articles for magazines, especially ones that include author bios or links and mention the title of a book. The articles promote the books.

I enjoy writing articles. I also help authors in CAN write for MTL (More to Life) magazine that’s published by the Munce Group (CAN partners with that group to reach out to independent Christian book stores).

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