Tuesday, April 17, 2012

That Dirty Word…Promotion



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....

Promotion.
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?

15 comments:

christine warner said...

Wonderful post Sara! I'm in your shoes at the moment. My book just came out March 23rd and I have no clue if I'm doing the right things and enough of them.

Sounds to me like you have a terrific plan in place.

Good luck with your release, it's almost here and goes so fast!!!

Neecy said...

Great promo tactics, I think you've covered all your bases and I wish you the best of luck with your sales!
Neecy

Nancy Jardine said...

Wow! Sounds like everything's already covered and good luck with the blog month. You've already done loads of work by the sound of it!

Sheri Fredricks said...

Looking forward to the answers from those more experienced than me.

Lynne Marshall said...

Great plan! Since you are writing to a very specific niche - shape shifting - you have some built-in readers/audiences, and that is definitely to your advantage.

I love the idea of library talks, but so many of us writers are introverts and the thought of standing in front of strangers and talking, freaks me out!

I think you're definitely on the right track with your promo, and I wish you all the best and many, many sales.

BTW, I got a headache just reading the title of the blog. Promo. (she shudders)

Kristina Knight said...

I don't have a lot to add - my first book is out in June, so we're kind of in the same boat! - but your plans sound great to me. In fact, I'm doing a few similar things for my release. You know what they say about great minds!

Melissa Fox said...

I haven't got a release date yet for my novel, but I'm soaking up as much information and advice as I can on promotion in hopes I'll be somewhat prepared! SOunds like you have a great plan in place - let us know how it goes!

Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner) said...

I'd be interested in hearing everyone's answers too! Thanks for the wonderful post :)

Karyn Good said...

My romantic suspense comes out in June, so I'm also up to my eyes in promotion, too. Yup, giveaways, readings, and blog tours.

Martha Ramirez said...

You've got an awesome plan going on here. Your angel earrings sound very cute btw! Marketing plans are one of my faves. Can't wait to see what the others will say.
Thanks.

Andrea said...

I have to say that they did an amazing job on your cover. This must be an exciting (and scary!) time for you. I must say that the cover is gorgeous!! It makes me want to read the book right there. I don't have any experience with promotion's to help you. But, the give aways sound good! Best wishes to you. I hope that you will continue to share your journey. -Andrea

Sara Walter Ellwood / Cera duBois said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting... I'm sure I'll let you all know how some of these things pan out over the next few months...

Andrea---Thank you! I'm in love with my cover too.

Mart---I'm hoping they are a hit.

Victoria Adams said...

good luck with book and promo. Yes, it can be a dirty word.

Sharon Cullen said...

That's a very extensive promo plan. I think you hit it all. Good luck!

Jenna said...

At first I misread the title and thought you were talking about a promotion of dirty words!LOL But your post was great just as written. I'm trying different things as well, and will use some of your ideas to suppliment what I'm already doing. Thanks for the ideas and good luck with the book!