Sunday, May 23, 2010

Marketing the Second Book

I’m trying a couple new things to market my second Mitch Malone Mystery, A Case of Accidental Intersection. I’m not sure if it will work or not but it is worth a try. The first is I’ve written a short story called The Eyes Have It with Mitch and one of the characters from the new book, an endearing senior called Elsie. I plan on giving away the short story as a free download on kindle or as a PDF from my website. My reasoning is if they like the characters in the short story, hopefully they will buy the books. Hook them with a freebie because everyone likes something for nothing.

The other is I’m trying Visual Arts Junction to help with A Case of Accidental Intersection's launch this summer. They had an introductory rate less than $100 for the first 24 people signed on. I think it is a mutual help with other authors similar to what we do with fellow Oak Tree authors but it does it all electronically and that is where I’m sadly lacking. I know there are ways to do things in multiple places but haven’t figured it all out yet. With doing Visual Arts Junction, you must also subscribe to FeedBlitz which manages and signs up people for newsletters, announcements, etc. It is a monthly fee, which I am concerned about, but need this as well to standardize my announcements and info and above all save time. I will report back on my progress as we go through. If any of you have experience with this type of thing, weigh in.

I thought writing the first book and getting it published was a lot of work. The promoting in a virtual world is even more work but the rewards are there. With brick and mortar bookstores closing, the Internet levels the playing field. I can learn it and so can you. Just wish there was a paper manual I could refer to. Hey, maybe we can publish a manual and it will be a huge hit…


W.S. Gager


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

There are a lot of books out there about promoting electronically, but I think you have to find what works for you.

Let us know how this outfit you've signed on with works out.

Also, I do a monthly newsletter on my own--have about 500 subscribers. Have no idea if it results in sales.


BillieJohn said...

Great post, Wendy! And your thinking seems spot on IMHO.

I'm going to check out Visual Arts Junction and see what that is about...and I especially am interested in your comment OTP folk publishing a how-to manual. A similar project has been on my mind for a while, and I threw that out on a comment to a previous post.

Seems like this is a good theme for this month's COLOPHON!

WS Gager said...

Marilyn: How do you keep track of who wants a newsletter? where do they sign up and who holds that data?

BillieJohn said...

Wendy and all...with my email marketing service that I subscribe to, I have the ability to send a newsletter on behalf of the author or title, a variation on the COLOPHON! I hate to see you all pay for this service when I can offer it to you free!

I am going to put details in this month's COLOPHON, in progress now.

Holli said...

I could certainly use some organizational tips in the online promotion department. Sunny has provided good advice time and time again on organizing the promotion end, but I seem to fly by the seat of my pants most of the time and just do not have the gift of organization like she does.

I always think I see a correlation when I post to some sites and with certain tweets and status on Facebook and making sales, but I can not definitively say what it is that made someone buy the book. For all I know, it could be someone I told about it six months ago who finally remembered to buy it.

I would love to see a promotion hand book geared toward the small press author. Something that lets us lower tech people know how to do the things we should be doing, and not just tell us we need to do it.

Holli Castillo

Sunny Frazier said...

Okay, I'm going to ask the REAL question: did you keep track of the names, addresses and emails of all the people you sold the first book to? That little sign-in book at the table is like a sales address book. Every check someone has written me is copied for the address. I did a contest for an astrology drawing--more potential readers.

Did you save the emails of people who showed an interest in your book? Do you have a list of fans? Mine is from The Murder Circle.

Are you a member of Sisters in Crime? They publish a directory of all members. That's where we get addresses for postcards.

There's a computer program called "My Mailing List." Might want to invest a few bucks. Also, I have a site I haven't tried called "Virtual Postcard." It's your bookcover.

Have you thought of a book launch? Ask a friend to throw it for you--more fun than a baby shower! I was donated the yard of the Carnegie Museum, which usually holds weddings at an outrageous fee. Get a cake with your bookcover on it.

A second book is more fun to promote than the first. You have a readership in place.

And yes, I've thought about a marketing manual. AFTER I finish my third book!

Holli said...

Sunny, I've kept the email addresses of every site that interviewed me and every person that reviewed Gumbo Justice, but I didn't think to get the address info from people who bought the book.

I belong to SinC but I wasn't aware they had a member list with addresses, nor did it ever occur to me to send them postcards. I have received postcards announcing new books, and wondered how the writer knew me or knew where to send to card, so you've just not only given me a bit of sound promotion advice, you've solved a mystery. Go Sunny!

Holli Castillo

Aggie Villanueva said...

Wendy, I'm so glad you want to give VAJ Buzz Club a try. I look forward to you signing up! Have the best day ever.