Friday, March 1, 2013

Boat Launch! ER, Book Launch!



I’m taking a new class with Terri, on book launching. You’d think I already know how to do this, but let’s face it, the ‘correct’ way changes every bloody week. So many new and shiny ways to do things.

I was thinking of just popping the sucker into a bottle and throwing it off the ship. You know, let it find a home on its own… I’ve grown lazy and jaded after six books.

If all goes according to plan, I’ll be uploading A Caribbean Spell on Sunday and it will appear magically at all the outlets within a few days. And I’ll do some print copies by the end of the month. It was easier doing it with Decadent, but it’s good to grow and try new things.

I did enjoy putting the cover together, and the class we’re taking may have some real gems to offer. Considering my book will be out there before the class officially begins – I hope – I’m not sure how much it will assist me with that first book. But there are 29 more, so I’ll eventually master it, right?


I did snag a spot on Rene Bernard’s internet radio show, Canned Laughter and Coffee, on Tuesday, March 5th. I figure I can babble for the twenty minutes we have and enjoy myself.

Meanwhile, I have no big splash to make with the new book. I’ve thought about some giveaways…I have this very cool bead I just bought on ebay…


Though I sorta want to save this for the launch of Lorelei’s Song, since there are tentacles in that book!

I also have numerous extra pirate hats, which need a new home…

There are gift cards…or any of my pirate bric-a-brac…but it’s hard to set up a contest anymore. Was much simpler when FB wasn’t such a toad about everything.

I could annoy everyone I know on FB and send them a group invite and just include them in every post I make for the next few days. (This happens to me so much, I’m ready to just scratch some authors off my friends list.)

I have my newsletter, I can announce there…it’s been more than a year since I put one out…

I really don’t know, I’m a bit stymied on this… Tell me, when it comes down to it, what catches your attention with book launches? What would you like to see an author do? Is there anything clever out there anymore that won’t annoy people?

33 comments:

quantum said...

Wow! Miranda has finally made it!

She might need a little help at first but when she is widely known, sales will soar like magic.

My formula for spreading the word:

1) You need a few 5-star rave reviews on Amazon ..... Bosun should enforce a 3-line whip on the pirate crew to get that started.

2) You need to offer the book free for a short period. It will then appear high on the kindle forums free book page. Lots of people scan this with filters set to select the highly rated free books. The UK version is:
http://www.kuforum.co.uk/free_ebooks/latest/?&catID=49

3) After lots of downloads, you set the price fairly low, I suggest less than £1, then as sales pick up you should gradually increase the price to find the market value.

Good Luck Maureen ... With Miranda by your side failure is not an option! LOL

I will be checking Amazon on Sunday. *smile*

Terri Osburn said...

Q has some pretty good ideas there. I'm just trying to focus on where I can reach new readers. I have some guest blogs lined up on really good sites, and I'm also doing that internet radio show (thanks to you!)

I'll chatter on my FB page, which is gaining a couple likes a day. Twitter a bit and hope for the best. I do have the bonus of the Amazon machine behind me. A lot will depend on the reviews I get, I suppose. Fingers crossed those turn out well.

I can say I'm not going to kill myself trying to hit every social media site, nor will I bombard people night and day to buy my book. Those are the things that make me crazy.

MsHellion said...

Hmmm. Internet or word of mouth buzz is what works for me. I recently read a book that had gotten much buzz but I hadn't really planned to read it until about the fifth time I heard buzz about it.

Maureen said...

Q! My wonderful English beta... She ain't going free...not yet. I probably will put her free after I have a few more volumes out... To be honest, I just can't let her go for nada just yet. Let me recap a bit of the expenses first!

I have a few friends who will read her fast and review her fast, so with luck that Amazon review thing will happen...

Terri, I'll do the FB chatter, but not the bombardment. Probably due a pirate party sometime after a week or so, just to make sure I'm not crowing until she's available everywhere...might even wait for the print version so I can give a few away...

Hellion - If only I had a direct line to the buzzinators...

JulieJustJulie said...

When it comes to plottng out marketing strategies ...
The first question you should be asking yourself is "Who is your target audience?"
Once you asertain who your readers are it is much easier to focus on a marketing strategy.
What are your readers hobbies? Is there periodical or newspaper that focuses on them? What kind of organizations do these people belong.
to?
Get in with those organizations , or at least get your work out to members of those organizations whose opinion is respected by it's membership.

Maureen said...

Ah, Jules...my people are the pirate people. They have a magazine, but alas...the cost of an advert there is prohibitive! I'll do what I can on the FB pirate pages, etc...the 'right' sort of pirates...

The boomer lit folks are my demographic...but not sure how to reach them!

Terri Osburn said...

AARP?

Maureen said...

I thought about the 50+ dating sites...looked at their advert pricing...eek!

Terri Osburn said...

Ads in RT are pretty high too, huh?

Maureen said...

Horribly overpriced! The only cheap ads are at the online book sites... Like at the Romance Studio.

Really, the idea of a book in a bottle is sounding better and better!

Be free! Be free to float away and find your home!

JulieJustJulie said...

Let me give you an example of how important it is to talk about your work and get it out there.

Last week I was at one of those once a year "take your spouse to a company meeting" meeting. Lots of sitting around time to not doing a lot for the spouses. What to do? Chit chat of course. Turns out one of the women was a teacher. Specialty was working with high risk students. One of the tools She used to keep them interested in school was books . While I listened to her, it occurred to me that the manuscript I was reading through at home could help her in her work. I told her a little bit about the story, then I asked her if she would be interested in writing out a list of things she was looking for in a book. That way I can work directly with the writer to let him know what his potential audience was looking for. She was very excited about the opportunity .

Maureen said...

I'm great with that, Jules. Conventions, events... I'll have swag and be ready to chitter chat with the best of them. As soon as I have the print out, I'll get it into my local bookstores and set up a signing. I'm thinking a car magnet... I actually enjoy all that part!

I even gave a few books to the photographer on the cruise we were on last year, and she recently emailed me, asking when the next one would be out! Nothing like having someone on a cruise ship who can promote you!

Person to person, I'm golden...

JulieJustJulie said...

Get a book into the hands of the editors, writers, commentators, et cetera. I think yourself as the story that they want to have, need to have in their periodical or newspaper. Don't advertise, and to write a story about you ... And your books. You're interesting person, doing interesting things, and that's the type of thing their readership likes to ship likes to read about.

JulieJustJulie said...

Darn phone ... Well you get the gist of what I'm saying right?
......

Maureen said...

Yeah, and maybe I can get some interest in my local paper...but geez! Even magazines charge you for placing articles!

JulieJustJulie said...

Let me give you an example of how important it is to talk about your work and get it out there.

Last week I was at one of those once a year "take your spouse to a company meeting" meeting. Lots of sitting around time to not doing a lot for the spouses. What to do? Chit chat of course. Turns out one of the women was a teacher. Specialty was working with high risk students. One of the tools She used to keep them interested in school was books . While I listened to her, it occurred to me that the manuscript I was reading through at home could help her in her work. I told her a little bit about the story, then I asked her if she would be interested in writing out a list of things she was looking for in a book. That way I can work directly with the writer to let him know what his potential audience was looking for. She was very excited about the opportunity .

P. Kirby said...

Speaking as a reader, and a cheap-ass reader to boot...

I pay next to no, none, zip, zilch, zero, attention to promos on FB and Twitter. In fact, nowadays, I intentionally ignore them. Most of authors [friends] on FB write stuff that's just not up my alley anyway, so what's the point?

Blog tours are largely pointless, because I only visit about three writing blogs (including this one).

I do pay passing attention to Dear Author because they aren't an icky-sweet review site that only post positive reviews. I.e., Their opinion holds more weight because the reviews are well-reasoned and honest. Along the same lines, I check at Dear Author and Smart Bitches for daily deals and am more likely to buy a book that was recommended by a favorite reviewer.

I'm cover oriented, so, yeah, an advert featuring a great cover might at least generate a click. One well placed ad might be worth the money.

I agree with Q's advice above and also Julie's. Promos at Amazon do generate attention. And I'm way more likely to buy a book from a person who seems interesting, vs. someone who just blabs about their book all the time. (I don't overtly promote my books in fandom, but I've had a few sales when people who've read my fic, asked what else I've written.)

Giveaways, contests, etc., have little no impact on my reading habits. They certainly don't make me want to go out and buy the author's book. Sorry, but they just don't.

On the flip side, anything you do that increases your visibility will probably increase sales. The question is, how much of a loss leader do you want to take? If you have the time to constantly tweet, FB, chat, why not?

Again, as a reader, I don't see much benefit to most of the stuff that authors attempt. It just doesn't get my attention.

Terri Osburn said...

The thing is, Pat, I don't think you're a typical reader. Much like myself. If you're a writer, you just see these things differently. I see a lot of readers (only - not writers) engaging online with authors, though I agree blogs are not what they used to be.

When authors I know have a new book out, I see them flashing the latest blog stop every day and think, I just can't follow them to every stop. But I'm not their target at that point, so I don't feel bad about it.

The trick seems to be to reach people who have never heard of you but might be interested if you put the book in front of them, albeit virtually. I know the majority of my sales will be on the kindle (and I mean like 98%) so that's where author's need to aim.

HOW you do that as a self-pubbed? Not sure, there are a lot of new sites that will tweet/share/buzz about your book if you connect with them. And I don't believe they all charge a fee.

Maureen said...

See? I generally am of the same opinion, Pat. Which is why the book in the bottle idea appeals to me. I'm on fb about me mostly, and not the book and geez, twitter is an almost never for me. I imagine the problem with most review sites is gonna be they generally don't accept self published books for review...

I love to write and I love telling stories, for the most part, that is what I'm concentrating on. I love Miranda and Jake, and have faith that they'll find their niche!

Giveaways are fun, sometimes. I'll probably give away that bead when it arrives...for Lorelei's Song...make sure it's a fun contest...because I like my readers. ;-)

Terri Osburn said...

Mo - Nearly every review site I've seen lately had more self-pubbed books than traditionally pubbed. That roadblock is pretty much gone now.

Maureen said...

It is harder with self pubbed, Terri. I like going on blogs, but as I said, I'm sorta waiting until the print is available to push too much. I don't mind putting out some cash for a blog tour to be organized...

We'll see what that class offers, eh?

Maureen said...

Really? I thought it was still hard as hell to get most reviewers to look at self-pubbed! I'll have to look into it some...

Terri Osburn said...

I'll track down some of the sites I've found lately and send them over.

Maureen said...

Cool!

P. Kirby said...

Oh, I agree, I'm totally not typical because I'm operating with my author goggles on. But...I'm not sure there IS a typical reader. Had this convo with another self-pubbed author recently.

Thing is, there is a whole segment of readers out there who are rather enamored with "the cheap," and who aren't quite as discerning. So for them, Amazon books in the <$2.99 range are the cat's meow. The blog, Twitter and FB thing may reach them, if the price is right.

There is definitely a segment of writers who have a active reader following, and yep, some of that does seem to be the result of endless blog tours, tweeting, etc. I'm not denying that it can work. But most either have a sizable backlist or have somehow managed to get the readership interest in the first place. Kind of a chicken vs. the egg question, there.

If you have the time to invest in extensive online marketing, it no doubt impacts [positively] sales. I just question whether it works for all books and all authors.

It also depends on your reader demographic. Since you mentioned AARP, I'm really wondering if the blog tours and constant FB posts are really the answer. While the older generation is much more connected that they are given credit for, most aren't spending time at various blogs, or waiting with bated breath for the author's next tweet.

Most readers (non writers) I know, including those that are switching to digital media (like my MIL), are still buying off the best sellers' lists or, AGAIN, whatever deal pops up at Amazon or B&N. They are very targeted toward the vendor end of the market.

Maureen's hands-on, face-to-face approach may actually be more cost effective, if you consider time a cost. In the long run, word of mouth is king. If you can get a lucky break, have one high-ish profile blogger/reader recommend your book, that will make a huge diff.

I don't think there's one answer to this question, btw. Just sayin', all the blog tours, endless Tweets, etc. are likely to get lost in the noise. Just ugly reality.

P. Kirby said...

Oh, and even places like Dear Author are starting to review self-pubbled books. You just need a good pitch.

Terri Osburn said...

Pat - If only we could all get a recognizable television personality to insult our books on a morning show. We'd be golden!

P. Kirby said...

Terri: Oy. Tell me about it. Who do I have to piss off to get some attention? :)

JulieJustJulie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
quantum said...

Hilary Mantel (double Booker prize winning author) recently in a public lecture made some apparently deprecating remarks about Kate Middleton. These were interpreted by the media as a slur on the Royals and Kate in particular. We even had the prime minister no less defending Kate against this attack.

Fortunately an eminent historian came on the TV news to explain that the remarks were about the image of royalty created in the media and not aimed at the person of Kate as an individual.

Mud sticks though and I believe Mantel's sales have soared as a consequence of the publicity. Though she was a celebrity in the first place of course.

I think the message here is
1) first become famous in your own right and then
2) create a public scandal to see your sales sore.

To satisfy (1) perhaps you could climb Everest in tennis shoes or something Maureen?
Then (2) would be dead easy! LOL

I think Pat talks a lot of sense.

Terri Osburn said...

I heard about that, Q! It was a clear attack on the media if one bothered to read the entire piece. And all you have to do is turn on the tele or pick up a magazine to see the only thing they ever talk about is her looks and her clothes.

You'd never know the poor woman has a brain!

JulieJustJulie said...

Chucked the phone, found a computer… So where was I and why should you care?
“She was very excited about the opportunity …”
Not only was she interested, she knew of other professionals working with books & readers who would like to talk to me ( and in essence talk to my writer ).There’s one of the keys to marketing … you need impute from impute from potential clients. Establish what their wants are and turn that want into a “need”.
By the end of our conversation this educator and “potential client” was excited about my writer’s product. More important, she was excited about talking about the book to her peers. Also, this woman goes to several conferences a year. One given by the publisher my WriterDude is very interested in working with.
She gets to give impute; I get data from the people I want to market to. Information I can turn into a marketing strategy, information I can use to Show why this guy’s book is both relevant and more important, needed.
Needed, not just wanted. There’s a difference. And that’s his hook.
How does this relate to you? Well … you have encountered someone like my “educator with a need” too. Whether you realize it or not, and IMO, you have already plotted out a potentially successful marketing strategy in this blog.
It’s there.

Maureen said...

I really need a high profile pirate to fall in love/hate with my books. Or with me. I could start berating Johnny for still smoking on FB...Or wax poetically about my abiding lust for Geoffrey...

Hmmmmm...

And I really need to be more active locally...