April 18, 2013

Marketing as a Professional Author @MargaretRChurch #RLFblog

Today's article is "Punching a Hole in the Literary Universe" by Margie Church.
Thanks for hosting me today, Kayelle. As a marketing professional, I really appreciate your approach to book marketing. A lot of authors don't realize that the moment they sign their book contract (or self-pub their book), that they have opened a small business. For the majority of us, the lion's share of the promotional work falls on our own shoulders. Often, we're really unprepared for this to happen. Even those of us with a significant back list know that we cannot rely on past accomplishments to ensure our future success.
Here's a key sentence to remember:  Plan for success.
What does that mean? You need to create a little marketing plan for your new book to give it the best possible chances of success. Here are 10 tips to help you.

  • Write a solid blurb, no more than 200 words long, to attract readers.
  • Have a 25-30 word version of the blurb ready for Twitter and casual conversations about the book.
  • Put your web/blog/buy links on everything.
  • Hunt for readers in your genre. Conventional thinking is to just sign up for a whole bunch of blogs, give away amazing prizes, and wait for success. Don't count on that. Readers are getting very fed up with having our books and promotions shoved down their throats. Choose your blog locations carefully. Match those blogs to your genre. Write short, punchy pieces that engage readers – remember, they're choosing to spend time on you – don't waste that chance!
  • I don't recommend giving away huge prizes if you haven't squirreled away the royalties from previous months to pay for them. I always determine how many books I must sell to recoup the cost of my prize AND make a profit. I also don't like giving away gift cards that allow readers to buy books that aren't mine. I prefer to give prizes unique to me and my work so they will remember me. This is a business.
  • Don't pay for reviews. Consider how many books you'll need to sell to recover the cost, and be honestly prepared to suck it up if you get a less favorable review. Keep reviews current on your website, with hyperlinks to the full source. Always cite the reviewer.
  • Insert a hyperlink from your book cover to the buy link. Always.
  • Consider an ad, but recognize that ads are passive forms of advertising. Pick your
    Desire's Edge.
    location to match the audience you're seeking. I don't always follow the crowd. If I have a spectacular cover, and the chance to caption that cover or link it to more information, those get stronger purchase consideration from me.
  • Be available. If you post in yahoo loops, Facebook groups, have a fan page, hold a blog hop, etc., show up to say hello and respond to comments even a day or two after your appearance. Spread your announcements out to avoid a morning flood that disappears by evening when many people might have more time to focus on social media. Twitter is a very valuable tool to help share your information globally. Please don't forget to thank your blog hosts!
  • Realize this activity is ongoing. It takes time, patience, and hard work to build a readership.

My newest book, Love's Storm, is co-authored with K.B. Cutter. We used several fun tools to help us reach readers and increase excitement for the entire series. Those included creating a QR code to our Facebookseries fan page, and partnering with a company to feature their product as a give-away item as part of a very sexy prize package. We also did a blog talk radio interview. There are lots of other things we did and will do through the end of May.
Get creative, stay focused, and keep track of your results so you know what worked and what didn't. I bet you'll see some great sales numbers, too.
I'd love to show off our new book now!

About the Books

Razor: Love's Storm by Margie Church and K.B. Cutter
Their delicious, naughty secret is out, and it's open season on Amy and Bryce's decision to add a third person to their marriage.
All the talking in the world can't convince critics that Amy and Bryce's marriage is rock-solid, and there are no secrets between them. Others meddle to undermine Bryce's business and marriage. Even Raine's Master thinks she's making a huge mistake.
With no allies, and scorn coming from every direction, love and determination must lead Amy, Bryce, and Raine through love's storm.
Their journey began in Razor: Desire's Edge and continues after Love's Storm in Love's Reflection.
Margie Church
Love's Storm is the second book in the Razor trilogy. It's a polyamorous love story written for 21st century romance readers. We hope you'll find the premise fascinating and take a chance on this book. You won't be disappointed. It contains strong BDSM elements and plenty of erotic love scenes, but at its core, Love's Storm is a marvelous romance.
Available in eBook and print, get Love's Storm at Amazon and Barnesand Noble Get Desire's Edge, the first book in the series, at Amazon and Barnesand Noble Learn more about our amazing RazorRomances Booty giveaway here.

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  1. I don't think many people realize writing really is a small business. Good tips on promo and advertising.

    1. Hi Allie, thanks for coming by and commenting. If we realized what we were really facing, lots of us would run in the opposite direction. I hope some of these tips are new to you and will help you, too.

  2. You have some wonderful promotion tips. Even though I'm a new writer, I have always stressed that it is a business. Thanks for the post. I tweeted.

    1. Thank you, Ella. I hope they help you. I guess the other big thing to remember is the business landscape is always changing. It's a continual learning process. Good luck!

  3. Thanks again for hosting me. I'll be back. I'd love to hear some of your best/favorite ideas and even flops are great learning experiences. Please share.

  4. Good tips, thanks! It's all those little things that help when planning a marketing campaign.

    1. You're very welcome, Naomi. It's easy to run with the crowd, but sometimes a more methodical approach is best.

  5. Great tips Margie. You're very conscientious. Success in any business takes hard work, and authors have to consider themselves responsible for their own marketing no matter what their publisher does. Love your ideas, and you're always so kind and friendly on Twitter. That helps a ton!

    1. Thank you for visiting, Normandie. Cool name, BTW. I'm glad you appreciated my tips. There are lots of things we can do to help ourselves, and thank you for noticing I have good manners. Enjoy your day.


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