Thursday, July 18, 2013

10 Ways To Market Your Book

Last Night I attended a writing workshop with Vicki Morrison, a multi-genre author, freelance writer and keynote speaker. There was too much information to post but part of the workshop detailed:-


1              Your own website!

·         It is essential for an author to have their own website.
·         They can be created and hosted very cheaply.
·         It is a great idea to purchase you name as a domain name (not the name of you book. Remember, the book is your product and you are your brand).
·         Your website should be the central point of your on-line presence. Everything should link back to your site.

2)            Press Release  
·         Press releases are good for attracting the attention of media outlets, book sellers, reviewers as well as readers.
·         Ideally they should have a letterhead with an image of your book cover and contact details.
o   Follow this with the books details
o   Author
o   Title
o   Publisher
o   ISBN
o   Distributor
o   RRP (Recommended Retail Price)
·         When sending press releases out you need to research and target them at the right person.
·         Find out the targeted person’s name and correct spelling of it.
o   It’s no use sending a press release and book to a newspaper for a review if they do not review your genre.
o   Or to the purchaser of a bookshop that doesn’t sell your genre.
·         The more targeted you can be the more chance of success you have.

3)            Articles – Magazines and Newspapers
·         Most magazines need at least a 3 month lead time for articles.
·         Newspapers are usually much less.
·         Perhaps try an interview an expert in the field relating to the content of your book.
o   The interview can be turned into an article for a magazine relating to your topic
o   This is a great way of coming to the notice of people interested in that topic
·         Some newspapers, particularly local one are usually happy to do a story on the success of a local author especially coming up to a book launch.

4)            Book Launch
·         Be professional
o   Print up invitations (can be done relatively cheaply)
o   Front (Picture of your book cover)
o   Back (Details of the launch)
·         Invite widely
o   Family and friends
o   Colleagues
o   Media representatives
o   Local book sellers
o   Local names/celebrities
o   For children’s books, local teach/librarians
o   Local member
o   Mayor/Local councillors
o   Other authors you know
·         Try and arrange a special guest to do the official launch of the book.
o   Could be the Local Member or Mayor
o   Well known author
o   Celebrity
o   Someone related to the topic of your book.
·         Everything you do, do it as a Point of Difference
·         Don’t be boring. Think outside the box.
o   There is nothing as boring as a launch where the author reads from the book after a bunch of speeches and then does a signing.
o   Have a video or Powerpoint display.
o   Have someone act out a scene
o   Have giveaways or prizes
o   Display art from the book
o   For kids books, do something hands on related to the book
o   Raffle off the chance to have the winner’s name used for a character in your next book.
·         Make the launch special and memorable.
·         Provide nibbles and drinks
o   Ask around, you might get some donations or at least offers of help.
·         Look professional (considering your BRAND)
·         Most important – ENGAGE THE AUDIENCE.

5)            List the book on Amazon
·         Claim your author page. You can edit it to enhance your brand.
·         Pay close attention to key words
o   Take advantage of common search phrases and choose your key words to suit
o   Make it easy for the Amazon, Google etc. Search bots to find your book. That way it will display closer to the top of the list.
o   Try to get reviews on Amazon. Good reviews increase sales.

6)            Book Reviews Sites and Blogs
·         Try to get as many reviews as possible.
o   Find book review sites and request they review your book
o   Target the sites most likely to review in your genre
o   If they can’t do a review, they may still post an author interview or bio. Ask.

7)            Radio
·         Try and get an interview on radio stations
o   Local radio stations are usually open to these
o   ABC does book and reading segments that might do an interview
o   Have giveaways
o   Don’t just try and sell your book, sell your brand
·         Radio interviews are brilliant in the days leading up to your launch, even the morning of the launch.

8)            Social Media (This is a whole topic in itself).
·         Social media sites can be good for generating word of mouth hype for your book
·         Pick sites you are comfortable using
·         Think about who and  where your audience are and if they use social media you would be stupid not to use it to reach them
·         If they don’t use social media then it is not as important.
·         Make sure ALL your social media sites link back to your author website.
·         Social Media Sites
o   Facebook,
o   Twitter
o   Linkedin
o   Goodreads
o   Pinterest
o   Google +
o   Don’t just spruik your book
o   Get involved in the community
o   Promote your brand (YOU)

9)            Blog
·         Start a blog.
o   A writers blog or
o   Readers blog
o   Keep your personal blog separate if you have one
o   Your promotional or professional blog should be highlighting your brand
o   Approach similar blogs and request to do a guest blog post
o   Comment of similar blogs. This generates traffic to your blog
o   After your books release, arrange a blog tour of sites that your audience may frequent.

10)          Join Forums and Discussion Groups
·         Google groups is a good place to find groups interested in your book’s topic.
·         Becoming involved in these communities could generate interest in you and your book.
·         Again, DON’T be annoying.
·         Goodreads has 12 million members who all love to read books.
o   Join their author Program
o   You can add book excerpts
o   Videos
o   Quizzes
o   Host Q & A’s etc.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Book Review - Sounds Spooky

Sounds Spooky (Picture Book)
Christopher Cheng & Sarah Davis
Random House Australia.

ISBN: 9781864718805

Now, this isn’t a new book. It was first published in 2011 and was chosen as a Notable Book by the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA). The reason I am reviewing the book now is that I took it along to Vacation Care this week to read to the kids and they keep asking me to read it again.

There is no better recommendation than that.

The kids were also impressed that my copy has been signed by Sarah Davis along with one of her delightful 30 second bat sketches.

Sounds Spooky is a twist on a haunted house story where the ghost is being frightened by all the spooky sounds being made by three children who sneak into the old house at night. Christopher’s text is atmospheric and flows musically off the tongue, offering the reader plenty of scope to screech and growl at their young listeners during the story.  "Plinketty Plunketty Plonk Plink Plunk Twang!"

The illustrations by Sarah Davis, my personal favourite children’s book illustrator, have been created from individually crafted 3D models for this book. Sarah even built the entire haunted house set for the characters to live out their adventure.  There is so much detail in each scene that you find something new hidden there each time you read the story. The characters are quirky and appealing, especially the vulnerable young ghost girl.

My favourite scene in the book is where the children are tentatively listening at one side of the bedroom door and the ghost girl is listening at the other. The amount of expression and emotion displayed by the characters fits the scene perfectly.

Sounds Spooky is a delightfully fun book to read aloud to younger children. It leaves the children asking for more. It is also great for newly independent readers.