Monday, October 25, 2010

All About Marketing Our Books

This weekend I had the pleasure of serving on a panel for a Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers program held at the Arvada Public Library in Arvada, Colorado. The two-hour program was well-attended and the discussion was lively and informative.

We were talking about marketing our books, from hard covers to ebooks, in this fast-changing publishing environment. Some members of the audience were unpublished, some published traditionally, and some self-published. There was so much information exchanged in that two hours, it was amazing.

I took a resource handout of articles, blog posts, and books on the subject. I'm going to publish that list right here. But first, let me link to my two panel-mates and our moderator:

Mystery author Beth Groundwater, who also has a blog.

Ron Heimbecher (who might be called a jack of all trades) at Chalice Media and his techie ChaliceMedia Weblog.

Our host and moderator was mystery author Mark Stevens.

One book that is not on my own list was highly recommended by Beth:
Intent to Sell by Jeffrey Marks

And now, here are some of the resources on book marketing I found, including examples of specific author marketing efforts:

Eight Reasons to Love a Virtual Book Launch
By Carolyn Poling Schriber at Roundheads and Ramblings

The book launch party site for Beyond All Price by Carolyn Poling Schriber

Talli Roland’s December 1st Blogsplash for The Hating Game

What kind of book promotion works?
by Sandra Parshall at Poe’s Deadly Daughters (about Bowker/SinC Survey)

Worst Booksigning Ever
By Susan Wiggs at Fresh Fiction

How Publishers are Using Book Trailers to Sell Books by Michael Hyatt

A great list of resources about book trailers can be found at Fiction Notes

And more (with lots of examples) at Book Trailers for Readers

Book Promotion for Creative Writers
By Ginny Wiehardt at Fiction Writing

The Quickest Blog Book Tour Guide Ever at The Ever Project

The Social Media Marketing Book by Dan Zarrella

Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day by Dave Evans

I hope you authors, published and unpublished, find something useful in the list. Promotion is a fact of life for authors, and you shouldn't wait until you're published to begin.


Clarissa Draper said...

These look like great links. Thanks! The library conference looks great.


welcome to my world of poetry said...

Some great links Patricia, thanks for sharing.

Have a good week.

Beth Groundwater said...

Hi Pat,
I really enjoyed being on the panel with you and admire your blogging and Twittering persistence!

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - Thanks so much for these resources!! You are so right about promotion and marketing. We may not always like the fact of it, but it's a reality. It's important to promote and market wisely and make good use of the resources out there.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Good morning, everyone, and thanks for stopping by so bright and early. It's a gray, wet, and windy day in Northern Colorado, the perfect weather to sleep in a bit. So I did.

The panel was a lot of fun. I always enjoy the chance to work with Beth -- we had a lot of appearances together in 2007 and 2008 on a "Mystery Through the Ages" panel when our first books came out.

There are so many articles and blog posts on any subject we want to research, so I always find it nice to see a list like this one to start with. I hope it proves useful.

Karen Walker said...

How wonderful, Patricia. Thanks so much for sharing these links.

Terry Odell said...

Thanks for sharing. Promotion is NOT something they tell you about when you start writing. Bad enough you have to figure out how to get the book sold, but then you have so many other responsibilities to get the word out. (Unless you're Linda Howard who says she NEVER does any self-promotion: that's her publisher's job.)

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Anonymous said...

The key takeaway for me is that you need to think about managing your brand morning, noon and night. You need to do something every day. You need to engage in the community, be a thoughtful voice out there in the virtual and real-world realm. You can't take marketing for granted; it's something that takes organization and work. Thanks for the shout-out, Patricia, and thanks for adding your voice to the energetic panel !

KK Brees said...

The links are great. Thanks, Patricia, for sharing these great resources.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Great links - thanks! Worst booksigning ever sounds scary.

Jax Bubis a.k.a Jaxine Daniels said...

It was worth the drive from the Springs. Thanks for all these links. We authors would much rather spend time with our imaginary people than "work" on marketing. Finding some ways to make marketing fun was great.


Ann Best said...

Great links. I'm in the process of putting them onto my site and directing my followers to them--and to you, again. You always post the most useful information for writers!!

Eric W. Trant said...

That's depressing, thank you Patricia.

So... mostly this blog thing is a bust, eh.


I didn't read through all the sites, but I see it over and over that blogging and other online social communities have little impact on high-reaching sales numbers. FB and blogger may lead to 20 or 30 or 100 sales, but a nice blog won't put you into the +5k sales category, and it will have no impact on your ranking in the bestseller list.

It'll be all that other stuff that really kicks off the sales, not the blogging or Facebook.

But it cannot be underestimated how important the blogging ~community~ is to the author, published or not.

Blogging may not impact sales, but it impacts the author's ego, gives them energy, opens their mind, urges them to persist, and don't those things translate, indirectly, into sales!

- Eric

Patricia Stoltey said...

It's not quite that bad, Eric. The consensus is that books sell by word-of-mouth. In this day of technology and social media, word-of-mouth includes e-mail, blogs, Yahoo! Groups and genre e-lists, Facebook, Twitter, all the reader sites such as Goodreads, Library Thing, Shelfari, and the genre fan sites. Don't underestimate any technique that gets the word out.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Mark -- you're most welcome. And by the way, folks, congratulations to our panel organizer and moderator (Mark Stevens) who has a contract for his second Colorado-based mystery. He and Beth will be guest posting here in 2011.

Margot and Terry -- I was forewarned about the promo part of getting published by a local author who taught the novel-writing class I took way back in 2003. What he didn't know, however, is how fast things would change. There are new opportunities popping up every day. We can't take advantage of every one. There aren't enough hours in the day. Even doing the homework and making choices takes time.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Thanks, Ann for linking here and publishing the list. And thanks to Clarissa, Yvonne, Karen, KK, Alex, and Jax for stopping by as well. Now I'm heading over to do a little promo on Facebook and Twitter.

Kay Theodoratus said...

Will have to check out the links. ... And, I thought I was getting my day under control. Thanks anyway. Your blog is always so useful ... or at least entertaining.

Talli Roland said...

I'm thrilled to see the link to my Blogsplash here, Patricia - thank you so much! :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Kay -- our days are not supposed to be under control, are they?

My pleasure, Talli. We have to stay on the lookout for new ideas, and yours was one I hadn't seen before. I wish you the best of luck, and will be watching for your report.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

These sound like some wonderful links. I can’t wait to check them out.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Jane -- New opportunities are popping up every day. Can't wait to see what I find the next time I go surfing...

Laura Eno said...

Wow! Quite a list of links you've put together. Thanks for sharing!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thanks, some good links! I always need more ammo for my promoting seminars.
Need to put Alex on that list, too.

Janet Lane said...

Thanks for posting this, Pat! I'll post a link to this for my blog readers.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Diane -- We need a whole blog post about Alex. He's awesome.

Hi Janet, and thanks!