Sorry, I just had to do it. I don’t often get to play April Fool’s jokes on anyone.
I wish I really could tell you everything you need to know about promotion, instead I’m going to share what I’m doing promotion-wise for my latest book. Perhaps I’ll mention an idea that you can use.
My latest book is #10 in the Rocky Bluff Police Department series, Murder in the Worst Degree. The most difficult thing (but one of the most fun) is planning a blog tour. Of course when you do it yourself, it means you must contact people who have blogs and in my case they should be people interested in mysteries, either readers or writers. The idea is to find bloggers who have different followers.
I also try to find a few who are also reviewers and send them either a PDF or an advanced reading copy, so they can put a review on their blog.
Once I get the bloggers and dates they’ve agreed on, I start writing the posts. Some have given me a subject, others an interview, and a few let me come up with something on my own. Then it’s up to me to come up with something interesting that will keep someone reading and may intrigue them enough to buy the book. I also like to send different photos of myself instead of the same one for each blog.
When the blog tour begins, then it’s up to me to promote each blog everyday on Facebook, my Facebook groups, Twitter, and all the listserves that I belong to. It’s important to check in several times a day and acknowledge those who have commented and answer any questions.
It also helps to have an ongoing contest to keep readers following along on the tour. The contest I’ve had on this and previous tours is for the person who comments on the most blogs to have his or her name used for a character in the next book. (I like doing this better than giving a copy of the book away, because after all, the whole idea of the tour is to encourage the followers to buy your book.)
Yes, a blog tour is a lot of work, but it’s certainly not as much work as doing a tour of book stores, nor is it as expensive. My first week of blog stops is at the bottom of this post.
Moving on to the in-person things I’ve planned, I attended Left Coast Crime in Monterey. Mystery conventions are always fun. I got to see people I haven’t seen for a long while, met some new folks, and handed out many business cards with the cover of Murder in the Worst Degree and pertinent information about the book.
In April, I’m giving a talk at our local library for Library Week, and I’m doing a book signing at a bookstore with the Central Coast Sisters in Crime, and a panel with this group at another library.
In May, I’ll be doing something special with the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime, and later that month, I’m having my official book launch at an Art Gallery. I will be talking about writing an ongoing series.
In June, I’ll be doing another presentation with some of the Central Coast Sisters in Crime in another library. (Do you see a pattern here? Libraries are great places to give presentations about writing and your books—and yes, most of them will allow you to have your books for sale.) Also belonging to more than one chapter of Sisters in Crime is helpful too. Since my Rocky Bluff P.D. series is set in a beach community, doing events with the CC Sisters in Crime works well.
The Public Safety Writers Association’s annual conference is in Las Vegas in July. This is a great place to learn all sorts of information about crimes and criminals, all branches of law enforcement and other public safety fields and how they work. There are panels and a book store. http://policewriter.com/wordpress/
August will find me at a book and craft fair. These are great places to sell books.
September and October I don’t have anything planned—as yet.
November I’ll be spending two days with my books at a holiday boutique being held in the local art gallery. And I’ll also be heading to Bouchercon and besides enjoying myself, doing much the same things I did at Left Coast Crime. (Both events were in California this year and since this is where I live, it was a great time to attend.)
Of course, I’ll be writing posts and hosting authors on my own blog and using Facebook and Twitter.
If you’re interested in following my blog tour, here are the first eleven days:
March 31 http://drusbookmusing.com/
A Day in the Life of Officer Stacey Milligan
April 1 http://thoniehevron.wordpress.com/
Cop Culture Researched
April 2 http://mmgornell.wordpress.com/
April 3 http://www.gumbojustice.blogpsot.com/
Old Guys at McDonald’s
My Life as an Author
April 5 http://gdcamer.com/
Mother Nature and Her Influence of my Writing
April 6 http://evelyncullet.com/blog
Short Excerpt and Review
April 7 http://jwillsbooks.com/ Interview
Why My Characters Won’t Let Go
April 9 http://judys-stew.blogspot.com/
My Critique Group and What it Does for Me
Remember, the person who leaves a comment on the most blogs will have their name used for a character in my next book.
Blurb for Murder in the Worst Degree: The body that washes up on the beach leads Detectives Milligan and Zachary on a murder investigation that includes the victim’s family members, his housekeeper, three long-time friends, and a mystery woman.
Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/n94hmju/
Bio: F. M. Meredith aka Marilyn Meredith is the author of over 35 published books. She enjoys writing about police officers and their families and how what happens on the job affects the family and vice versa. Having several members of her own family involved in law enforcement, as well as many friends, she’s witnessed some of this first-hand.