Pam-Fave 7 closeupHi everyone. Pamela S. Meyers here with my monthly posting
on marketing your book. This past month I’ve been focusing on promoting my
newest book and preparing for a launch event this coming Saturday, which
involves a Power Point presentation and book signing at a local museum.

It came to my attention recently that there is another type of launch celebration in the form of an online party. Fellow CAN member,
Sharon Srock, recently held such an event on Facebook to launch her second book
in her current series, and I asked her
if I could interview her about how she prepared for the event and carried it
out. She happily agreed and I’m so happy she did.

 

Pamela:  Sharon,
I was excited when you agreed to share your experience with a virtual online
party you recently held on Facebook for your latest release in your Women of Valley View series. Why did you
decide to hold this type of party as opposed to one people can physically
attend? Or are you planning to have both?

Sharon:  When
Callie (Sharon’s first book in the
series) released, the women in my church threw a beautiful party. I sent
invitations and bookmarks to the other community churches, posted flyers all
over town, and had a lovely press release in the local paper. The attendance
was exactly ZERO for women I don’t worship with. They offered to have another
party for Terri, but I just didn’t
see the point.
Sharon

I’d been invited to a few virtual
launches and parties, and I was curious. I dropped in on a couple then checked
in with the authors afterwards. Everything I saw and learned pointed towards a
well-attended party, increased traffic and likes on your page, and a few sales
as icing on the cake.

The first two results have already proven
to be true. It will be a while before the sales results are in.

Pamela:  How
far in advance did you start planning, and can you list in order the things you
did prior to the day of the launch?

Sharon: Sure. I started planning about thirty
days ahead of the party date.

I secured some prizes, nothing expensive,
but nice. I chose AVON jewelry and bath products since I have easy access, and
copies of both my books. Enough to allow me to award a prize every thirty
minutes.

I contacted my influencers and asked if
any of them would be interested in being special guests during the event. The
two guest authors who were able to attend also gave away copies of their books
so they got a little promotion out of the deal as well.

I scheduled an ad to run the day of the
event and invited my entire friends list.

The day of the party I made announcements
on my FB page, asked my friends to share it with their friends. I also
announced it on Twitter, and invited everyone from all the eloops I’m on.

Pamela:  You
mention buying an ad on Facebook and that you were able to target certain age
groups of women. Can you elaborate on that?

Sharon:  When
you schedule a FB ad, you are given the option of narrowing your target
audience by gender, age groups, and interest. I targeted women between the ages
of 20-60. There are other tweaks I used to narrow the field. You can see the options
when you set up the ad.
 

Pamela: You also said on a loop
we’re on together that you earned credits on the cost of the ad. How did you do that?

Sharon:  When
I reached 350 likes on my page they gave me a coupon for $50.00 in advertising,
and I used that. I only spent half the budget, which goes along with what other
authors told me. They buy a $25.00 ad for their party, and I will follow their
example next time. When you create the ad, you set a budget for the campaign, and
every time someone clicks on the ad, it costs a few cents.

Pamela:  I’m not sure I understand. Are you saying that you had to pay more
money in addition to what you paid for the ad each time a person clicked on the
ad? Is there a budget set so that when you reach the amount you set, no one
else can click on it?

Sharon:  No, the $50.00 was my budget for
the ad. Each time someone clicked on the ad, it deducted money from the 50.00.
Since I did not use the entire 50.00, I don't know what happens. It works
similar to Ebay. You set the amount you want to pay and they don't go over it.

Pamela:  Thanks
for clearing that up. You say you scheduled three hours. Was the pace
heightened throughout all three hours or was most of it in the middle three?

Sharon: The party started at 6:00 p.m. central,
and it was like an explosion. By 6:15, I was typing too fast to worry about
spelling. J The pace did not begin to slack off
until about the two-hour mark. Even then, it was still furious enough to keep
me in the seat without a break. At 9:15, I finally pushed everyone out the
“door” and logged off. I needed a drink of water and the little writer’s room.

Pamela: 
Wow, that must have been wild. What do you feel worked and what would
you change?

Sharon:  Prizes
are always well received. The partygoers seemed to enjoy the guest authors as
well. The guest authors also turned out to be the very best thing I did for
myself. One of them had done this sort of party, and if it hadn’t been for her
help during that first hour, I would have been seriously overwhelmed.

Which brings us to the first thing I
would change. If (when) I do this again, I will enlist a buddy for the whole
time. The author who helped me the other night helped field the questions and
comments, while I uploaded prize pictures. She was a God-send. Definitely team
up. Throw your party with another author or two and then return the favor when
they throw theirs.

Change two. Three hours was too long,
especially if you are on your own. Two hours would have been a great length.

Change three. I wouldn’t send the
invitations a month out. People get busy, people forget. Next time I’ll invite
my friends about 10 days out.

Change four. I'd use Hootsuite to schedule excerpts, pictures of my prizes, and maybe even a conversation starter question or two. That way, I wouldn't have to leave the party to go find them and get them up when it was time.

Pamela:  I've heard a lot of good things about Hootshuite and I'm going to have to check into that site. Thanks
so much Sharon. You’ve got me thinking about doing a Facebook book release
party myself. I’ll be interested to hear the long-term results in the way of
book sales.

 

Have any of you done a similar thing with your book
releases? If so, please share your tips and what worked and didn’t work in the
comments.

Sharon Srock lives with her husband, Larry, and two dogs in Rural
Oklahoma. She is a mother, grandmother, and Sunday School teacher. Sharon has
one and three-quarters jobs and writes in her spare time. Her favorite hobby is
traveling with her grandchildren. She is a member of the ACFW and currently
serves as treasurer for her local chapter. Sharon’s debut novel, The Women
of Valley View: Callie released in October 2012. The second in the series, The
Women of Valley View: Terri has just released.

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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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SpringHopeNewCoverSpring Hope by Martha Rogers

When Libby Cantrell escapes her abusive father and a sordid lifestyle, she lands in the arms of Deputy Sheriff Cory Muldoon. As their attraction grows, Libby hides her past from the sheriff who has let it be known he abhors the life she led. When she becomes a Christian, and her father hunts her down to reveal her past, Cory must make a decision to either stand firm in his convictions or reject them and open his heart to forgive Libby and her father.

Martha’s book credits include the novella, Sugar and Grits and A River Walk Christmas, as well as the historical romance series, Winds Across the Prairie. She has also written seven Bible studies, contributed to various compilations and several anthologies including recently released Blissfully Blended, Devotionals for Step-moms from Barbour. Her latest series is Seasons of the Heart. Book 3, Winter Promise, released in January along with Amelia’s Journey, the prequel to Becoming Lucy.  Martha sings in the choir at her church and is a co-leader for a First Place 4 Health group. She loves to scrapbook when she has the time. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex where they enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and attending football, baseball, and basketball games when one of them is playing.

 

Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and the author of the Winds Across the Prairie series as well as the novella, Key to Her Heart in River Walk Christmas. Summer Dream, Autumn Song, and Winter Promise, the first three books in her new series, Seasons of the Heart are now available. She was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009 and writes a weekly devotional for ACFW. Martha and her husband live in Houston. In addition to her works of fiction, Martha has stories in a number of compilations as well as devotional contributions to several anthologies and writes the weekly Verse of the Week for the ACFW Loop. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex where they enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and attending football, baseball, and basketball games when one of them is playing.

This new release was uploaded by Cecelia Dowdy. Happy reading!

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