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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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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Hi all, Pamela Meyers here and back with another installment on what I’ve learned while marketing my debut novel.

When I received THE call aboutPam2011SmallChinFist a year ago telling me I’d sold my first book, I knew right away I had a lot of work ahead of me. Not only did I expect deadlines for edits, but I also knew marketing would eat up some time. Over the past year I’ve learned a lot about marketing my novels, and I’m sharing what I’ve learned with you on the fourth Wednesday of each month.

So far, I’ve covered the prep work required before I wrote the story, what I learned about a successful book launch party, and the making of a book trailer. This month I want to talk about the dreaded (at least for me) video interview.

I really have to start back way before my debut novel, Thyme for Love, was published to a time when I was on the ACFW Board and was to be interviewed on an Internet radio program about our annual conference. Although I’d never participated in an interview before, I’d been overseeing the Mentor of the Year award  for several years and could talk about it in my sleep. No problem.

Boy, was I wrong.

I never met a word I didn’t like to say, and when asked  a question, I gave my answer, and then more, and then more after that. I’m sure the host wanted to tell me less is more, but I probably didn’t give him  time to get a word in edgewise. Suddenly, the interview was over. I’m not sure he even ran it. If he did, it had to have been edited way down. I felt too embarrassed to even try to listen.

This past December when my good friends, Sandra Moore and Lisa Ludwig at the Borrowed Book blog agreed to interview me for my new book, I assumed the interview would be the usual typed questions to which I would type my responses and return them for their editing and posting.

Boy, was I wrong!

They wanted to interview me on video, using a webcam! I was game, especially after I learned I would provide my own questions and give the answers on video in separate segments.

I went into Photo Booth on my MacBook started recording. It felt weird staring at a computer screen of myself while I talked, and it required few takes before I got through the first question without getting tongue-tied. But I finally got comfortable with it and soon sent off the takes to my friends. Done.

Boy, was I wrong.

Like the radio interview I’d rambled on way too long. The segments were so large they couldn’t be opened on the other end! That was when I learned my first lesson in this new medium. Each answer could be no longer than a minute.

It took a few takes to finally did get it tightened, but that wasn’t the end of my education. I also learned I have a quirky habit of rolling my eyes far into my head while I mentally put my answers together. Not a pretty sight looking at the whites of my eyes every other question.

I also found out the hard way that lighting is very important, as is the angle you are to the camera. The closer you are, the viewer will see lines in your face you never even see in your mirror!

I’ve summed up the main tips I’ve learned from this experience short of asking to wear a paper bag over your head while you record.

  1. Know what color looks best on you and wear it. A lot of still photographers will tell you to wear long sleeves, and I can’t help but think that should apply to video interviews as well.
  2. Even if you don’t wear makeup, try to dab a bit of color on your lips and a light dusting of blush. Otherwise, you may appear very washed out.
  3. Try to have the webcam situated so that it is either directly even with your face or better yet, a bit above it. Never have it lower!!!
  4. Be careful to not have lights on behind you, and those you have in the setting should soft in tone, not harsh and bright.
  5. Don’t sit only a few feet away from the webcam, unless you are under the age of ten and have no lines in your face. Experiment with different distances to see which is the most flattering. An author I know set her webcam halfway across the room and the picture showed a full view of her sitting on her couch. Never saw a single line in her face LOL.
  6. Practice your answers ahead of time and time them. If they are long past a minute, you know what to do.
  7. Do a practice run, by actually recording it and look for quirky habits to avoid such as my eye roll thing.
  8. Practice your smile until it looks natural and not forced.
  9. Enjoy yourself!

You can watch the video interview I made at:  http://tinyurl.com/7m7p5mu  My eye roll is still in there in places, but not as bad as it was. I also didn’t do anything about the lighting, but you can be sure I will next time!

Note  in the interview I say that my Summerside Press novel, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, will be out June 2012. That release date has since been pushed back to April 2013.

 

 

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Hi everyone! Pamela Meyers hePam2011SmallChinFistre with my monthly post on marketing your books. Last month I described the inception of my debut novel, Thyme for Love, which released last November with OakTara Publishing. Along with describing how the idea for my story evolved, I also shared ways in which thoughts toward marketing the book materialized as the story took shape.

As soon as I learned my release date of November 14, 2011, my thoughts went to how was I going to celebrate my debut novel and, at the same time, get the word out to people in my local area about the book? What better way than a party and book-signing event? After all, we only have one debut novel in our writing lives.

 

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