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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Gail Gaymer Martin

 Happy writing from Gail Gaymer Martin at www.gailmartin.com

 

Through the years, I’ve watched my friends use different strategies to help their fiction sales grow. Some work and some don’t, but the ones who’ve found success, provides us with lessons so that we might learn from them and try some of their techniques. Obviously sales grow most when your work is in the bookstores and when it is promoted and distributed by your publisher. So this means, mainly working with traditional publishers. Mine put my novels in store—book stores, grocery stores, super marts, and any place books are sold. They also provide them as print books and downloads on sites like Amazon.

But you can also spread the word in a variety of ways.

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Karen2009 Aloha from Karen, CAN Treasurer
A friend who is a promoter mentioned that people can easily do damage when promoting themselves. They may talk too long, push too hard, or sound like a carnaval barker. Listen to ads and what turns you off, as well as what piques your interest in a product. And our talk, as Scripture reminds us, should be seasoned with salt (lightly not forceful selling).

 

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