Monday, August 22, 2016

$$ alterNATIVE #marketingstrategy 3 $$


This is on my agenda to work on... I've done small talks at schools in classrooms and when I sub, I tell the kids I'm an author and I always have a copy for them to borrow - some do, it's great!

But a guest speaker, that's big. I'm psyching myself up for it. I'm dreaming big, so I have to go for it. I know other authors who have done it and gotten great results. Word of mouth starts with kids telling their parents, because they HAVE to read in school.

So here's my advice, even though I'm still in the process of setting up talks. This is how I'm going about it...
  1. Put together a presentation
    • I'm a plotter, planner, put-it-down-on-paper person. I highly advise against sending anything to schools without knowing what you're going to say. And having a plan will give you more confidence to present it.
    • In the presentation, you must inspire or teach the kids. You have to relate to them, whether through personal experience or future goals.
    • It doesn't have to be long, but at least 20-30 min.
    • And make sure you make them laugh! Bring on the emotion - don't be a snoozer. They also love to volunteer to come up on stage!
    • Practice it!
  2. Make a list of schools - Being the ultra-organized person I am (though if you came to my house, you'd have serious doubts about that claim) I put together a spreadsheet of schools, addresses, principals, etc, and a column for "sent" and "response." Keep track of who you've already asked or gone to because you're going to be a big hit!
  3. Write a good letter - Introduce yourself, then tell them the gist of your presentation and how it relates to the kids. How will you inspire or encourage them? Why should they let you talk to their captive audience? Don't make it all about your books. (I also include a copy for their library)
  4. Mail them - They won't ask if you don't offer. Keep in mind, schools are busy, busy, busy. They plan way ahead, but sometimes need someone in a pinch. And just like a query letter, you may hear crickets, so don't feel bad if no one calls right away.
Some of you know I put together a SURVEY to find out what beast you are - that was always a big hit in the classrooms. For the bigger stage, I've put together a short talk and a skit for volunteers to help with. I'm excited and scared to go forth and do my first school-wide presentation in front of hundreds of sarcastic, judgy teens. Yikes! And yet, I will try. Why not? If I fall on my face, it will be memorable to them...

I've also done a few on-stage performances. So here's my last piece of advice...

On stage, the lights in your eyes dim the audience. Don't worry about them. Remember, you ARE one of the lights! Shine on!

I'll let you know how it works out!
PS - CRADLE ROCK info coming this week!

Monday, August 15, 2016

** aLtErNaTiVe #marketingstrategy 2 **

Make a Video (besides a book trailer)

This generation loves videos. Well, videos and movies originate from WRITERS! We need to remind folks that reading is a great alternative to watching mindless shows sometimes - they need to exercise their brains with some reading!

And maybe watching a video can bring attention to our books. To show you how easy it is, I put together a video with some advice on how to make one!

One thing I forgot to mention, solicit help from friends - you are not alone!

I hope you enjoyed my amateur marketing video advice and maybe it was helpful! Thanks to all my volunteers - they're awesome! And there's more to come...

Thanks also to those who have volunteered to help with my Cover Reveal and Release of CRADLE ROCK - Again, here's the FORM if you're interested. I'll be contacting everyone soon about the COVER REVEAL on SEPT 1!

Have a great MONDAY! And wish us luck - it's our first day back to school =)

Monday, August 8, 2016

~~~ ALTERnative #marketingstrategy 1 ~~~


Not to make light of true protests calling for attention to real problems - but a fun gathering in front of a bookstore or library - with their permission. Though it's a free country, we don't want negativity associated with our books, so make sure everyone knows it's a positive event to promote reading and a book release or signing. Come up with a cute chant to go with it. And provide some refreshment. I bet Half-Price Books would be thrilled for the publicity and it might even bring some news people! Doesn't it sound fun?

Here are a few slogans I came up with for my books to show you what I mean...

Now, if I could just rally some friendly protestors to help me!

By the way, THE THING THAT TURNED ME Anthology purchase links are just about ready. Poor Randi Lee, she's had one setback after another! But we all understand.

And I'm recruiting helpers for the Cover Reveal and Release of CRADLE ROCK - Here's the FORM if you're interested. THANK YOU! (Here's a cover teaser...)

What do you think of the Demonstration idea?
Come back next week for another unconventional marketing strategy!
Have a fantastic week!