The Power of Publicity
Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on March 8, 2012
The Power of Publicity, Part I
Sandra Balzo, Terrie Moran, Joanne Sinchuk, Jerry Healy, moderated by Deborah Sharp
The panelists first spoke about tips for getting noticed. Sandra advises authors to determine your audience and go there. For example, her series is set a coffee shop. So she’s presented at coffee conferences, written an article in trade magazines, and done events at coffee houses.
Joanne, manager of Murder on the Beach mystery bookstore, suggests you start your publicity six months before publication date. Also six months before, begin networking, set up your website, and start participating on the social networks. Understand your audience and target your market. She cautions writers not to send glitter or confetti or chocolate in the mail to reviewers or booksellers. Also, don’t ask every blogger out there if they’ll give you a free interview spot.
It takes 3 to 5 hits to get noticed online. Terrie says to take advantage of opportunities you might not have anticipated. Always be nice. Join MWA and sisters in crime. Criminal element.com is a community website for fans of crime fiction with over 10,000 hits per day, so check this out.
Jerry said you should hit local newspapers. Offer to speak at high schools and libraries. And don’t neglect local cable access TV.
Deborah suggested you develop a thick skin over signings where no one shows up.
And you should be syndicating your blog to other sites.
The Power of Publicity, Part 2
Joanne Campbell Slan, Nancy Cohen, Joan Hartwig, Jeffrey Marks, moderated by Linda Hengerer
We discussed what has worked for us and what has not. Joan has done book fairs and festivals and local book clubs. Jeffrey Marks, who’s written a book on marketing for writers called Intent to Sell, discussed social networking as a promotional tool. Joanne found it fun to run a party on her Facebook author page with guest author spots and giveaways.
Here are the highlights of my recent promo campaign. You can use it as a guideline for yours.
Romance Sells: $200 for an ad, sponsored by RWA to reach 6500 booksellers and librarians. Members only. http://www.rwanational.org
Personal Blog, Group Blogs, Blog Tour–Solicit Hosts; Determine Topics; Write Blogs; Publish Schedule; Prizes for Blog Commenters
Offer Discussion Questions for Book Clubs
CONTESTS and GIVEAWAYS
Goodreads and LibraryThing giveaways
$99 for a Contest on FreshFiction and you get to keep the list of entrants
Personal Blog and Website Monthly Contests
With Shear Murder, my latest mystery release, I’ve been featured in Florida Weekly, Southern Writers Magazine, and The Island Reporter. These came about through social networking or by contacting people I noticed online.
Bookmarks, flyers, postcards, Romance Trading Cards.
We discussed adding QR codes to business cards. People with smart phones can scan these and you can set them to go to your website, Amazon author page, or elsewhere.
Determine Target Reviewers, Write Query Letters, Mail ARCs, Check for Reviews, Post Quotes on your Website; Thank Reviewer.
Facebook, Twitter, Networked Blogs, Goodreads, Pinterest, Google +, and more. Does it sell books? Who knows? But it definitely gets your name out there.
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS & SIGNINGS
Set these up four to six months in advance. Post schedule on your website and elsewhere online.
Magnets, pens, and other giveaways. It helps if they’re related to your book in some manner.
Make sure you add Buy links to your book when they become available. Refresh content often, and include some fun pages like recipes or bonus world building details for readers.
Coming Next: Editors Roundtable