Marketing

Do I have to have a launch party, or can I just send out announcements?

No. You don’t have to have a launch party.

However, book sales are greatly benefited by the human connection—the more you interact with readers on a personal level where they can meet and greet and get to know you, the better your sales. A launch party is a fun way to do this.

If you just can’t do a face-to-face launch party, then get on Facebook and make friends. Blog. Have a virtual launch party with activities and prizes. Do something to let people know you and like you.

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And by “ME,” I don’t just mean LDS Publisher—I mean every single reader out there who accesses the Internet!

If you’re a published (or about to be published) author, you need an Internet presence and you need good solid information about your book(s)!

I know I’ve talked about this before but I think it bears repeating because because a lot of you (especially newly published authors) are NOT doing this. How do I know you’re not doing it? Because I’m googling you!

When I hear about a new LDS author or that an author has a new book about to come out, I google you to find the needed information to post about your book on the LDS Fiction site. I should be able to find you in three clicks. Guess what? Often, I can’t find you in 30 clicks!

Okay, rarely am I that persistent. But the point is, if I’m not willing to look that hard for you, potential readers won’t be either. If they can’t find you in three clicks, they’ll assume you aren’t that good and won’t bother. Lost sale, lost fan.

Sometimes when I do find an author blog, I’m able to determine that yes, the person is an author, and yes, the person does have a book coming out or the book has been recently released. But that’s all. No mention of the title, the release date, the publisher. I know that in our culture, we’re trained not to toot our own horn but there’s a difference between over-doing the bragging and simply providing information to interested parties.

Here is the bare minimum that you need to do:

  • Have a blog or website. They don’t have to be fancy. A simple, visually appealing static blog using a basic template is better than nothing.
  • Have a post about your book. Use LDS Fiction posts as a template. In fact, if your book is listed there, copy and paste it onto your blog, if you want. I don’t care.
  • If you have more than one book, do a post on each book. If you have a series, let us know in what order to read the books.
  • Make sure there is at least one link in that post to a place where readers can buy your book online—Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, Deseret Book, Seagull, BYU Bookstore, your publisher… (the more options the better)
  • With publisher permission, post the first chapter of your book on your blog.
  • Put the book covers as pictures in your sidebar.
  • When you have a new book coming out, get that information up there as soon as possible!
  • If you’re doing a book signing or speaking somewhere, set up a Page on your blog and put a link in your sidebar, with information well in advance of the event. Include date, time, location, complete address, phone number of location (if available), and if you’re savvy, a link to a map of how to get there.

Here are just a few authors who I think do it right. Some of them have fancy websites, others have simple blogs—but they all have good information about their books that is easy to find.

Blogs


Websites

If you have a blog or website that you think is a good example of doing it right, feel free to put your link in the comments section.

Don’t have a blog and need help setting one up? I’ve put some basic info under the label Blogging 101.

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LDS Publicists

October 14, 2010

Do you know? Is there such a thing as a publicist in this LDS literature market? Or marketing specialists? I need some serious publicity and marketing help. Thanks for all you do. I don’t know of any publicists specific to the LDS market. Most publishers have their own publicists—either in-house or those to whom they […]

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Getting Into DB

December 15, 2009

How can you get a book in Deseret Book? Into the catalog? Your publisher or distributor has to do this. Unless you’ve self-published a run-away best seller and people are coming into the stores demanding many, many special order copies of the book (and although rare, I know of a couple of times it’s happened), […]

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Let’s Talk About E-mail

August 26, 2009

If you’re submitting stories, you need a “professional” e-mail address. I was reminded of this as I was sending out e-mails to those who submitted stories for the Christmas contest. Some of you have some really cute and funny e-mail addresses. They show a sense of fun, personality, and creativity. What they don’t show is […]

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Creating the Buzz

July 6, 2009

My first novel was just released and I’d like to get some buzz going (my publisher doesn’t do much) but I don’t know where to start? Any ideas? Can you give me some step-by-step suggestions? If I had a new novel coming out, I’d start with the free/cheap stuff first. I also would have started […]

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Press Kits

June 25, 2009

I’m about to self-publish a book and an author friend suggested I put together a press kit. (And when I say suggested, I mean strongly insisted that I had to have one.) So what exactly is a press kit? How do I make one? Where do I send it? Do I post it on my […]

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Follow Your Bliss

June 17, 2009

Hello LDS Publisher, I am a BYU student and an aspiring writer who loves your blog. [thank you] I have a question: I’ve heard rumors from my friends in the sf&f writing scene here in Utah that most of the LDS publishers (Deseret, Shadow Mountain, Cedar Fort etc) are eagerly looking to acquire, more so […]

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Marketing and Branding Your Name

April 30, 2009

Note: I did not go to every class at the Storymakers conference. Obviously. But I did attend several and was very pleased that much of the information given out was exactly what publishers hope new writers will incorporate into their writing and submission process. I’m not going to give deep details on the content of […]

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Platforms for Novels

July 8, 2008

A platform for a non-fiction title makes sense, but is there such a thing as a platform for a novel? Yes, although it’s sometimes harder to define. A platform is a topic or area of expertise that is used to market your book. Instead of just saying, “Go buy my book because it doesn’t stink,” […]

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More on Author Promotion

May 15, 2008

If an author wanted to get word of mouth out about their book, like you mentioned, what are some ways they can do that, without reflecting negatively on their publisher, who may or may not have tried to promote the book? Although it may be more difficult for you, as the author, you can do […]

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Elements of a Good Book Cover

April 21, 2008

What are the elements of a good book cover? There is only one purpose for a book cover—to make you pick up the book. When someone is browsing in the bookstore, you’ve got a matter of seconds to grab their attention so your book cover needs to be fresh, unique, interesting, and it needs to […]

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Storymakers: Two Panels

April 10, 2008

Notes from the 2008 LDStorymakers Conference Workshop: Publishers PanelPresenter: Chris Bigelow, Zarahemla; Lisa Mangum, Deseret Book; Kammi Rencher, Cedar Fort; Kirk Shaw, CovenantSubmitted by: Shy Submitter The panel began with each publisher telling us what they were looking for.Chris/Zarahemla: provocative, unconventional stories that are ultimately faith confirming.Lisa/Deseret Book: YA, historical with or without romance, beginner […]

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How Much Should an Author Spend to Promote Their Book?

January 29, 2008

Do you think it’s a good idea for an author to send copies of his/her book out to reviewers (in addition to those that the publisher may contact) to help create a buzz about the book? How much should an author spend to promote his/her book? An author should definitely be willing to invest in […]

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