Sunday, September 27, 2015

Promo Planning, A Necessary Evil, or is it?



Today I’m pleased to welcome my friend and a terrific author, Marilyn Meredith. You’d do well to listen to her advice about promotions. She has a knack for finding what works. It’s good to hear from you again, Marilyn, and congratulations on the new book. Be sure to read about the "character naming contest" at the end of this post, too.



 Once in a while, I’ll see a post or comment where an author says all I need to do is write a good book, I don’t have to do all this promo stuff.

My answer to that is, really? How on earth is anyone going to find out about your “good book” if you don’t tell anyone about it? Even the big names still do promo—William Kent Krueger who won many mystery awards for his amazing Ordinary Grace still does promo including book tours. 

When you are an unknown or little-know author, you sure better let people know about your book. And you better get your name out there so people have a clue who you are.
Not all manner of promotion works for everyone, and my best advice is to do that which appeals to you and you enjoy doing.

When should you start? Before the book comes out. Yes, that’s what I said. Start posting to Facebook what you’re working on. You don’t need to write much, just enough to make readers curious. You might do the same on Twitter. 

Speaking of Twitter, I know I don’t use it to the best advantage, but for some authors, that’s their main promotion. 

If you want to do a blog tour—obviously one of my favorite marketing tools—you need to begin before the book comes out because it takes time to secure the bloggers willing to host you, arrange the calendar, and then write all the posts. Be sure that each post is unique and has all the necessary information included. Yes, you should get started before you have a cover and links to buy. You can plug them into your posts later. 

Once your blog tour begins, then you have to let people know each day where you are visiting by notifying all the lists you are on, Facebook, Facebook groups you belong to, and yes, Twitter. Be sure to respond to each person who comments on every blog post.
Set up some in-person events. If you have bookstores close by, arrange book signings. For some, bookstore signings are great—for others not so much. In most cases I like to find other venues to sell and sign my books such as giving talks to writer and service groups, book and craft fairs, and holiday events at churches, art galleries, etc.

If you can, go to conferences and conventions, make friends with readers. Sure it’s fun to hang out with fellow writers too, but making a friend of a reader might turn that person into a fan. And because word-of-mouth is powerful promotion, if a reader likes your books, he or she will tell others.

 
So my answer in a nutshell is, yes, promotion is necessary—and it’s not really evil at all.
And of course this blog tour is about promoting my latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, 
Not as it Seems.

If you have other ideas about promotion, please leave a comment. 
--Marilyn Meredith

Sage advice, Marilyn, and thank you for generously sharing your thoughts. Marja

Not as It Seems Blurb:

Tempe and Hutch travel to Morro Bay for son Blair’s wedding, but when the maid-of-honor disappears, Tempe tries to find her. The search is complicated by ghosts and Native spirits. 

Character Naming Contest:

Once again, I’ll name a character after the person who leaves a comment on the most blogs.

Tomorrow I’ll be stopping by Paty Jager’s blog http://patyjager.blogspot.com to tell Why I Write Mysteries and in Particular the Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mystery Series.

Bio:

Marilyn Meredith now lives in the foothills of the Southern Sierra, about 1000 feet lower than Tempe’s Bear Creek, but much resembles the fictional town and surroundings. She has nearly 40 books published, mostly mysteries. Besides writing, she loves to give presentations to writers’ groups. She’s on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association, and a member of Mystery Writers of America and three chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter.

You can check out Marilyn's blog at  http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com/
See her website at http://fictionforyou.com/

~ * ~

CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw's website
CLICK HERE for a quick trip to Amazon.com


21 comments:

  1. I used to dread promotion because I was never much of a "people person", but I find that talking about my books is like talking about my kids... and who doesn't like to talk about their kids??? Great advice in a great post, Marilyn!

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    1. I feel exactly the same way, Amy, that my books are my offspring.

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  2. I try to follow Marilyn's example. It can be intimidating to try a new type of promotion, but then I find it gets fun.

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    1. You just have to try everything that appeals to you, some works, some doesn't.Thanks for commenting, Nancy.

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  3. I;ve had some success with handing out bookmarks to everyone I encounter.. like .grocery store clerks. People standing in line is great because they're stuck there and have to listen to you until you're through talking!! I'm trying a few craft fairs this fall and see how it goes.

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    1. Hi, Elaine, book marks and business cards with you info and book covers work--never handed them out in grocery stores, Good idea!

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  4. I've learned some new promo tips from Marilyn and used them and, by jove, I think she's got it. It takes some time to get people to respond, apparently, but they eventually come through. Marilyn is a wonderful funnel of information for those of us with less experience.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Jackie. I've learned from many others too.

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  5. Great advice, Marilyn! You're an excellent role model for all of us! It is SO important to get our names out there.
    Congratulations on the new book!

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  6. You're right about promoting your book to as many readers as you can possibly reach. Blog tours are great. They get the word out. Sure, it takes time away from your writing, but then why write if readers don't know about your books.

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    1. Indeed, people need to know about your books to even be interested enough to buy them. Thanks for stopping by Evelyn.

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  7. Wise move, I think, to listen to Marilyn! She know what she's talking about! As always, great post, and thanks for sharing Marilyn's wisdom.

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    1. Hi, Madeline, loved seeing you. And thank you for the Route 66 cups, I didn't know you gave them to us until this a.m.

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  8. Great advice. It's fun to promote my books, but I do spend too much time on it. I need to back off a little and get my new book written. And then...an all-out promotion season will be on again. Your new book sounds like fun!

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    1. Hi, Joyce, thanks for stopping by. I'm usually writing a new book and promoting the last one all at the same time.

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  9. Thanks Marilyn for bringing us this good post, and Thanks Marja for hosting Marilyn. And yes, the big sellers do a lot of promotion. Of course, they have more help than those of us who do not have NYT bestsellers. But, if we want to sell books, we have to do promotion. So, I guess I'd better get to work on promotion.

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  10. James, you've got it--promotion is necessary, like it or not.

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  11. Have all her books so can verify her ability to promote.

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