That was before my time.
I've been published since 2001. Even then an author was expected to invest time and money into self-promotion. Today... let's just say expectations are pretty intense. The average author is responsible for arranging their own interviews, news features, blog tours, newsletters, and booksignings. To order and purchase promo items such as bookmarks, book trailers, excerpt booklets, and (if they so desire) giveaways such as pens, notepads, buttons, etc...
A website is a must and a blog is pretty standard. Presently there's a big push for the author to engage in social networking via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and readers' sites such as Good Reads, Shelfari, and Library Thing. Although I don't know the percentage, I'm pretty sure most of the ads you see in industry magazines and readers' websites are purchased by the author. And I'm here to tell you that can get really expensive.
Kudos to the authors who have the resources and time to cover and keep up with all, or even most, of the above. I truly envy and admire those marketing dynamos. Between working a full time job and writing two novels a year, I've had to learn to pick and choose. I've tried different things over the years. Some promo efforts work for me. Some don't. Presently, I'm convinced that the thing that lifts sales most is 'word of mouth'. I see this at work all the time at the library. One patron tells another about this great book they read and suddenly that person has to have it, reads it, loves it, and tells another person and so forth. Word spreads via blogs and social networks too. A personal recommendation is a powerful thing.
I want readers to talk about me, or rather my books, and especially just now my September release INTO THE WILD. So this time around I'm focusing on stirring up talk by giving away my authors copies. So far I've done this in my personal blog, Twitter, and Facebook. I also have a couple of guest blogs and interviews lined up and I'll give books away there too. Mid September I'm attending an Independent Bookseller trade show and I'll give away probably 30 - 40 books there. It may sound a little crazy because I guess you could consider those lost sales. But I truly believe that giving away books will generate sales... that's if the story is good.
I had a blast writing INTO THE WILD and the fact that it was voted TOP PICK by RT Bookreviews gives me hope that the story will win many a reader's heart. Hopefully, they'll be so charmed by Spenser and River's romantic adventure that they'll say to a friend, "I just read this really great story!"
This is one call she can’t resist…
When River Kane's fiancé abandons her at the altar for being too conventional, she's heartbroken. But everything changes when her estranged archaeologist father sends her his journal—filled with cryptic maps and a note indicating he's in mortal danger. Worried, River faces her greatest fears and flies to the Amazon to find him. But she needs a guide. Someone completely unlike danger-seeker Spenser McGraw.
A charismatic treasure hunter who thrives on risk, Spenser hosts the popular TV show Into the Wild, dedicated to locating lost treasures and mythical icons. But River's father's life depends on discretion, and too-sexy Spenser is all about publicity. Forced to team up, they embark on a jungle adventure ripe with temptation and danger…ultimately discovering a hidden treasure that could alter history—and a steamy love neither expected.
* * *
In an effort to 'get people talking' I'm giving away two signed copies of ITW here at SIS. For a chance to win, just comment and mention one of the last books you read that you think we just HAVE to read!
(winners chosen at random and announced Saturday morning)