Thursday, June 14, 2012

Marketing: What Works, What Irritates by Trisha Wolfe

Welcome back for week 2 of our Author guest post series! The winner of Tiffany King's e-book giveaway from last week is: Kerry
Congrats! *throws confetti*

And for the Larry Brooks e-book giveaway, Congratulations to: Sherlyn
*throws more confetti* *chokes*

And stay tuned for another awesome giveaway at the end of this post, authors and readers alike should enter!

This week's author guest post is from Trisha Wolf, author of Destiny's Fire:

An awesome steampunk/paranormal romance that is a definite MUST-READ for YA lovers. She is here to talk about marketing: an elusive, yet necessary, evil for authors. Check out what she has to say:

Marketing Tips and Ideas: What Works, What Irritates People by Trisha Wolfe

Hi! Now, before I go forward with this post, I want to let everyone know that I’m in no way a marketing expert. Hardly. But what I do know is that whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, you’re going to have to market yourself and your books. Your publicist will help, but she/he wants you to reach out to your readers and promote that book as best you can.

*blank stare*

I know. Promoting your book is hard. It’s not fun. It’s work. And it kind of makes you feel like a tool, like you’re always going on about me, me, me…Well, you can market without annoying people. And what’s more, your readers expect and want you to tell them things. So you can breathe easy that no one thinks badly of you.

I’m going to focus this blog post on marketing before and during your book release. All these things can be done at any time, but I want to narrow it down—try to give you some ideas during your book’s launch.

Stalking. Yup. I hereby give you permission to be a creeper. Follow some of your favorite authors and watch how they talk about their books, characters, writing, etc., and what devices they use to successfully market their books. But from a distance! On social media. Don’t do drive-bys at their home at three in the morning. Or, at least turn off your headlights. 

Book Launch Party. I’ve never attempted this, so I can’t talk from personal experience if it worked for me, but I hear they’re all the rage. Book launch parties don’t have to be at an actual location, you can host them online, too. Get up with one of those authors you’re stalking and ask them some questions about how they organized theirs. What worked and what didn’t, and jot down notes. Google it. And make sure to have plenty of swag and extra books for signing to pass out or mail out. If you’re on a tight budget, add a “send me swag page” to your website or blog with a P. O. Box where readers can send you a self-addressed envelope that you can mail back to them stuffed with fun stuff.

Book Blog Tour. Now here’s an area I do know a lot about. I’ve been organizing tours for nearly two years, and if the author uses their time during their tour effectively, they have a chance to really make an impact on the blogosphere and book community. During your book tour, reach out and chat with the bloggers that are on your tour. Help them tweet, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Follow them and RT their tweets. Host a Twitter chat with a hashtag and ask them to join in the fun. Offer giveaways during the chat. Get as many people involved as possible to help spread the word during your tour. Friends, family, long lost cousins…Long as they want to support you, give them a job. Tell them they’re on your Street Team, and put them to work promoting your book. Having a solid team helping to spread the word alongside your blog tour is a great way to get the news about your book out there even farther. 

Write interesting guest posts! I can’t stress this enough. You’re a writer. Write something entertaining. Show the readers what they can expect from your work if they read your book. Most of the time, the tour host or the blogger hosting your post will help you come up with good ideas. Ask them for help. Once your tour ends, write a thank you email to all the bloggers who participated and ask if it’s okay for you to add them to your contact list. Find out if you can send them information on upcoming books, promotions, whatever, and stay in contact with them. Bloggers are closing their doors more and more as they become busier and their review books pile up. So make that connection and keep it. But don’t be annoying. Only send out important newsletters when it’s actually something, you know, important.

Okay. Break time. I’m going to be honest about something. I know a lot of people say to send tweets and Facebook updates for book buy links a few times a day to reach new followers. But, what about those who already follow you? Those who have been following you a while and get tired of seeing the same tweet and update daily? Here’s my personal opinion. And again, it’s only mine. Chuck it into the river if you want. But I think it’s best to only tweet out buy links to your book when you have a promo going on. Like if it’s on sale for a little while. If it’s not, stop spamming people. Instead, write interesting blog posts and have something fun going on at your blog where you can send them, then have your book covers and buy links on your sidebar. You can do something promotional once a month on your blog (a giveaway of another author’s book, etc.) and drive traffic there that way to show off your buy links. Trust me, they will click them if they want to. Use your Twitter and other social media time to say fun and interesting things about stuff.
I told you above I’m no expert. But I really do hope some of this may help. Best of luck, and happy writing! 

Trisha Wolfe is the author of the YA Steampunk/PR DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific 2012). Her published short stories have appeared in literary journals and Fantasy magazines. UNVEILED is her first novelette and part of the FIREBLOOD series slated to release from Spencer Hill Press in October 2013. She’s written five books in the past three years, and is currently working on sequels and a new Sci-Fi project. She’s represented by Lauren Hammond of ADA Management.
Stalk her here:
Website        Blog        Twitter           Facebook

AP says: Thanks so much for stopping by Trisha! Great ideas for marketing.
To the reader: We *might* have stolen some of them, so you can, too. 

Trisha is offering a giveaway so be sure to enter via the Rafflecopter below. (US only) Giveaway ends 6/21!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Silverlight said...

I totally agree with you on your Marketing tips list. I think twitter is an amazing way to reach readers and bloggers, but like you said spamming is a definite turn off. I don't mind post about selling your books, posting news etc. But when it becomes overdone like every other post on my stream is coming from u then I will definetly unfollow! I had an experience were an author was promoting every review about her book that I got so tired of seeing all those tweets from her it was overkill :( and I own her book and really wanted to read it, but was turned off by the drama and overtweeting.

Also, may I suggest when writing guest post and interviews the #1 thing I find that draws people in, is giveaways, even if it's only an e-book or swag. I have received the largest views from authors willing to do giveaways on my blog.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Trisha Wolfe said...

Thanks, Silverlight! And I agree with you completely! On our book blog, the giveaways get the most traffic. Great input! Thanks for sharing and commenting! =)

Kissed by Ink said...

Interesting thoughts about spamming. I quite agree with you, but never thought of it this way.

Also, writers should make things interesting and fun and promote their work in a creative way. There are a lot of great people out there who can help. Great post!