In July, my life as a writer takes on a new and exciting turn. And I will be up to my eyeballs in that dirty word....
My first book, A Hunter’s Angel, book 1 of The Hunter's Dagger Series, comes out on July 20. It’s been a long and exciting road since I first signed the contract in October with The Wild Rose Press. A lot of new things, like working with an editor, getting that first galley and crying when I saw my name on the copyright page, seeing my name on a book cover for the first time—yes, more tears happened here, too--and finally getting that final galley and the release date.
But as the date of my book becomes a reality, I’m beginning to stress. I have a fairly good marketing plan (at least I hope it's a good one) but I wonder if it will be enough. And even scarier, how will I know if it’s working. Unlike with self-publishing, I’ll have no idea if certain things are working and if it’s a waste of time and money.
My plan in a nutshell is a simple one, but hits many different venues—which I hope will produce sales.
1—Promote through a book tour (Bewitching PR) for 1 month. I also have other dates lined up on my own. I’m using several blogging opportunities—interviews, character interviews, excerpt spotlights, articles and hopefully book reviews. For the articles, I’ve actually started writing a series of short stories using my characters and their back-stories. Which for me isn’t that hard since I also have the tremendous myth that I’ve created surrounding my vampires, the demon that created them, and the guardian angel who hopes to save them. I’ve also plan on writing articles spotlighting my favorite vampire romances, like JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood (which I discovered AFTER I wrote my Hunter’s Dagger Series by the way) and Amanda Ashley’s vampires, and how my books are similar—but different.
2—Give aways. I have several things planned here. One of the most exciting being the jewelry I’m designing as prizes for commenting on the blogs. Right now I’m working on angel wing earrings and necklaces, but I’d like to add some daggers in the mix, too, and make some charm bracelets to be up for grabs. I’m also going to give away $5.00 gift certificates from The Wild Rose Press. The grand prize I’m hoping to offer at the end of my tour is a basket with a gift card from either Amazon or Barnes and Noble, candles and other goodies common to Pennsylvania, since the book is set here.
3—Street Fairs. I’m planning to participate in a couple local street fairs. I’ll offer signed cards such as rack cards, postcards, and trading cards all with info on my book. I’m also thinking of doing a book drawing in conjunction with this—especially since the first fair I’m going to will be in June and my book doesn’t come out until July. To be eligible to win the free copy, a person will have to go to my website and contact me through there. Even if only a handful take the bite, it will expose them to my writing/website and hopefully they’ll come back for more.
4—Library talks. This is something I really want to do, but am unsure if it will work out. Our local libraries have had some serious budget cuts, and adult programs have been cut drastically. But I have feelers out and am hoping something comes around.
5—Business cards. The simplest thing that I’ve been doing is giving my business card out to anyone who show any kind of interest in my books. I even gave a bunch to my stepmother to give to the curious folks back home, who have been asking about my books.
So, my question is for you who have published, especially those of you who don’t have the freedoms self-publishing gives you (like giving your book away for free on Amazon)—What have you done that works and what hasn’t? What would you suggest we newbies try? What do you wish you had done but didn’t try?