Monday, August 29, 2016

#marketingstrategy A-L-T-E-R-N-A-T-I-V-E 4


Marketing is a necessary evil. My kids always complain about commercials, but I tell them that's why they get to watch their shows. Nothing is free.

So keep coming up with zany, creative ways to get attention to your books! And keep writing awesome stories to keep them coming back for more once they're hooked!

I leave you with some of the constructive comments I received from this month of marketing tips...

"Julie Kagawa's website because it is sectioned off with images to click where you are taken to each of her book series. I read Talon but I got curious enough to buy two books from another series." from Sheena Kay Graham

There were several on video marketing...

"Maybe I'll have to do one with my kid in it. He's much more of a ham than I am." from Christine Rains

"I'm sometimes tempted to create animated ones to promote my comics." from Heather Holden

"I think I need to hire an actor!" from Yolanda Renee

"Maybe, I should just tape my dog?" from Tyrean Martinson

And a couple on school visits...

"I've done school visits through email." from Alex J. Cavanaugh

"I always enjoy school visits. They are a way to really connect with your readers." from C. Lee McKenzie

Thanks again for your valuable time! Have a great week!

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!

Monday, August 1, 2016

A Month of #marketingstrategies

Welcome to this month's IWSG post - writers supporting writers every 1st Wed of the month! The question for August is:

What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

My first piece of writing (and calling it a piece is very appropriate) went through many changes before I abandoned it in a file. It was called One Last Night when I started it. Now it's Jacks & Jills & Jezebels. It's about a group of girls who go bar-hopping in the 90s for a bachelorette party. There's lots of fun, excitement, and of course chick-lit drama. I even started a second story about the wedding and the bad behavior of the bridesmaids...

I had to give it up because it required way too much work, bad writing, no clear theme or direction, just a big mess! I would basically have to start over. Plus, it was based loosely on my twenty-something friends and experiences, but probably too closely for comfort. Not to mention, Chick-lit was on the way OUT!

But it was great reminiscing and growing and learning how to really write, which led me into the writing world and then on to get my first book published.

Meets 1st Wed of MonthMy IWSG worry this month and steadily this year is Should I keep going? Is my publisher going to drop me if my successive books don't sell well?

But I have to keep going. I have goals to reach and make new ones all the time. So that's why I keep coming up with new ways to market. Plus, I'm going to keep searching for an agent who can hopefully help me navigate the deeper publishing waters. I really just want to stay afloat!

My IWSG advice for today is GO FOR IT! If you have the drive, even if you change gears, keep steering for the goal!

And now, here's my BIG NEWS!

I'm counting down to the release of CRADLE ROCK! And I'm ready to start recruiting VOLUNTEERS. I really appreciate the interest some of you have already shown and will be sending some ARCs this week. Now, to get more organized I have a nice neat

You guys are the BEASTLY BEST!! (and if you know me, you know I like to reciprocate and reward my helpers!) And I also have some fun, exciting, creative new ways to pump up the promos - check it out!

The rest of this month, I'll be talking about these and other OFF-the- beaten-like-a-dead-horse-PATH Marketing Strategies. It should be interesting (and possibly embarrassing). You don't want to miss it!

And one more thing - The Thing That Turned Me anthology is set to release Friday!! So many wonderful authors participate in showing how one moment can change a characters life.
Add it to your Goodreads list today!

Happy August! Have a great week! and Thanks for stopping by!

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