Is there a method to your promotional madness? by PJ Nunn

PJ Nunn

PJ Nunn

I find when many authors consult me, whether to hire my firm for representation or to just get an idea of what they should be doing, that’s the first question to ask. Most have an idea that certain things to be done, but if I ask a few more questions, I often find they don’t really know what now? What next? At what point have I done everything (is there such a point?)?

It’s a rare thing to find an author who sits down long before the book sees the light of day and makes a plan for a reasonably effective promo campaign. The good news is it’s not too late. A book is new until a reader sees it, so even if the release date is long since passed, you can still take some of these ideas and make them work for you.

Obviously, we can’t got through the whole process here, but here are a few things that seem to get overlooked a lot. Determine who your target audience is (who do you think will like to read your books?) then start planning ways to get information about yourself and your work in front of them. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Keep collecting reviews. Make it a plan to send out 2 – 3 copies of your book each month so there’ll be a steady stream of reviews coming in. Use them to keep your website fresh, in your newsletters, on your promo material. It’s important that when people take time to stop by one of your hot spots, they don’t find the same thing they saw there six months ago.

Update your photos. I’ll never forget the clutching feeling in my chest when I sent a client for a television interview and she almost didn’t get on the program because the producer took a look around and didn’t see her there. He was looking for the dark haired beauty in the photo I sent instead of the white haired woman in the waiting area. Yikes! I completely understand that when you get a nice photo you hate to give it up, but I too, have bitten the bullet and have two appointments in coming weeks. One at the hair salon, a second at the photographer. Ouch.

Get blogging. How many blogs are there out there that you haven’t read yet? Oh. Millions. True not all of them are appropriate to your book, but let’s face it, there’s no shortage of blogs that might either run a review, an interview or a guest post from you to help you let folks know your book is out there. I’ll give you a hint. If you offer a guest post, they’re a lot more receptive. Reviewers tend to have a backlog, just sayin. Plan ahead and space them out. It sounds easy to write a guest blog two months away but it’ll be here before you know it and you don’t want to do too many in too short a time. Slow and steady wins the race.

That ought to keep you busy for a week or so. I’ll talk more on this topic later. Do you have any thoughts or ideas along these lines that you can add? Or maybe a question? Love to hear from you!

Pinterest for Inspiration and Profit by Neil Plakcy

neil_plakcy_alohaPinterest for Inspiration and Profit

by Neil Plakcy

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social networking sites these days. But it’s all about pictures – how can an author whose stock in trade is words make use of a site like this?

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I write books set in three types of places. Those where I’ve never been –Tunisia and Corsica. Those where I’ve been, but so long ago that I need a refresher, such as Paris, the French Riviera, and Hawaii. I also write books set in places I can visit more easily, including my home town in Pennsylvania, and various sites in South Florida, where I now live.

I use photographs to help in writing about all three places. Sometimes they’re pictures I’ve taken myself, but more often they’re ones I’ve natural_predators_300found on line. They can be photos tourists have taken and posted, promotional shots, or who knows what. I often will capture those images and stick them in a folder, and use them when I need inspiration, or when I want to know what certain kind of building or cityscape looks like.soul_kiss_sneakers

I’ve discovered a second use for these, as well, by posting them on Pinterest. I’ve begun adding them to Pinterest boards, and tagging them with brief quotes from the book that relate to them.  This process also sometimes gets me to find additional pictures, especially when I have a great quote I want to post.

I believe that by posting these quotes, and links back to my website, I can sell books to people interested in those places. Daydreaming about Hawaii? If you enjoy the board I’ve set up, then perhaps you’ll like my books too. Do you love golden retrievers? I do, and I enjoy posting pictures of goldens to my board. And I’ve noticed that whenever I upload a picture of one of my goldens , linked to my website, www.goldenretrievermysteries.com, the sales of books in this series get a boost.

stories_and_novelsI also have a board set up for ‘Neil Plakcy’s Books and Stories,’ and I post my covers there.  It’s another place where a fan can stumble on me and say, “I didn’t realize he’d written other books!”

One caveat: You have to enjoy fiddling around with pictures to get the most out of Pinterest. If you consider it work, you’ll be too caught up in the possible rewards.

To see my boards and pins:  http://pinterest.com/neilplakcy/

Happy pinning!