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Monday, May 25, 2015

Ever Done A Book Cover Reveal Promotion?

A Cover Reveal is a rarely used promotion that can alert an author's old audience to the release of a new book or drum up interest among brand new readers--for a new book or a debut author!  So I was excited that Margaret Mizushima accepted when I asked her to share with my subscribers. I met her through my agent Terrie Wolf of AKA literary, the most nurturing agent and woman I know.  Please notice that this Margaret's first novel and she uses Twitter and Facebook for this promotion but it could be adpated to include other social networks or even all of those you belong to.
 
Frugal Book Promotion

An Idea for Book Cover Reveal

By Margaret Mizushima
 
There are many opportunities to drum up interest in your book prior to its launch, and the cover reveal is an important one. This is the first time your potential readers can see the artwork that captures the tone and other details of your story. My editor, Nike Power of Crooked Lane Books, came up with a plan to create excitement for the cover reveal of my first book: KillingTrail: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery. I’ll outline her idea below while weaving in my own ideas and suggestions.

Months ahead of time: If you haven’t already set up a Twitter and Facebook account, do so at once. Both are available at no charge. Go to Twitter.com, choose your Twitter handle (mine is @margmizu and Carolyn’s is @FrugalBookPromo), and get started. Your goal should be to develop follower connections with whom you can exchange tweets, retweets, and help promote each other’s work. To build your network, retweet for other authors and followers, look for pinned tweets on their profile pages to Retweet, and participate in group Shout-Outs, such as #WW (Writer Wednesday) and #FF (Follower Friday). This may sound complicated at first, but the author network on Twitter is quite active and friendly, and it becomes simple in time; and it’s fun to meet like-minded people from all over the world. Create a list of followers that you can develop friendships with and who are receptive to exchanging tweets; go into this list once a week or so and retweet the pinned tweet at the top of their profile page. Many times, they will return the favor. Be polite, say please and thank you, and welcome others into your network. They will want to participate.

Set up your page on Facebook as well; this can be a personal profile or an author profile. Authors typically have one and sometimes both. The personal profile allows you to choose your connections by asking for or accepting friend requests, while the author page connects you to readers when they click on the Like button on your page. Both are useful.

You can find author friends to grow your networks by researching members in the professional writer organizations you belong to, such as in my case, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Pikes Peak Writers.

One week before your cover reveal: Start tweeting about your cover reveal and post an invitation on your Facebook page. In my case, I tweeted “Pleased to announce cover reveal for #KillingTrail A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery on April 8, pub by @Crookedlanebooks and rep by @AKA_Terrie.” (Twitter only allows posts that are 140 characters long, so you must be frugal with your words.) This gave credit to my publisher and agent and allowed them to see the tweet immediately so that they could Retweet it for me.

Now, the relationships you’ve built on your retweet list will come into play. These authors will gladly retweet for you since you’ve already been helping promote their work. I also posted a similar notice on my Facebook page: “I’m pleased to announce the cover reveal for my first book, Killing Trail: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery, right here on Facebook. Please stop by on [put your designated cover reveal date in here] and join me.” My friends started clicking on Like and making comments right away. News spreads on these social media sites.

The day of your cover reveal: Post your cover on your Twitter profile page in a Pinned Tweet. (See mine at https://twitter.com/margmizu ) Use hash tags accordingly; I’m using #KillingTrail, #amwriting, #doglover and #mystery for many of my tweets. The first one is specific to my title, but the others are ways that authors and special interest groups (such as #doglovers) find each other by setting up a hash tag search. There are many retweet marketing groups that may be useful for you as well (e.g. #IARTG which stands for Indie Authors Retweet Group). Post your cover on your Facebook Page and send out an invitation for your friends to look at it. In my case, we planned the cover reveal day to coordinate with the launching of my Web site www.margaretmizushima.com.

On the Web site homepage, I have the book cover, a brief summary, and a link to Chapter One. There are also links to booksellers that are offered the book for pre-order before the release date. This page will be modified as more sellers pick up the book and as the release approaches, currently set for December 8, 2015.

Book cover reveals are exciting events for authors in general, so we usually support one another in our promotional activity. This staggered approach to posting a cover reveal is a great way to increase interest and it costs the author and publisher nothing but time. I hope you enjoy tweeting as much as I do, and please look me up after you get started. I would love to network with you.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Margaret Mizushima is the author of Killing Trail: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery to be released December 8, 2015 by Crooked Lane Books. It’savailable now for pre-order . Her short story “Hayhook” was selected to appear in the 2014 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers anthology Crossing Colfax. She lives in Colorado with her husband and a multitude of animals; and she can be found on Facebook at Margaret Mizushima Author, on Twitter @margmizu, and on her Web site www.margaretmizushima.com .


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Sunday, May 17, 2015

On Time Magazine, Humorists, and Creative Marketing


I have lots of favorite humorists and I’ve added a new one. I may be behind the times but I read my first humor column by Kristin van Ogtrop in Time magazine recently. Other than a killer (and funny!) voice, she talked a bit about marketing, specifically about book marketing!
                                
It seems the three British guys who have day jobs in advertising are promoting what she calls “personalized books”—whatever those are—and they’re doing it with a Web site (http://3pregnantdads.com). Seems part of their gimmick is to strap on 33 1/2 pounds of belly and boobs to their bods so they can better relate to what their pregnant wives are going through.

33½ Pounds? Really? These guys are British and they measure their money in pounds, not the weight they gain—or lose!)

They didn’t remove their load until March 15, UK’s equivalent to Mother’s Day in the US. Kristin (the Time humorist) doesn’t tell her readers how many books they sold with this ploy or even how well their Web site was trafficked, but, hey! They landed in Time with a whole column dedicated to this gimmick. So, it seems that achieved at least some of what they were after.

The question is, would you—perhaps a less exuberant author—want to do something this crazy? Well, sure. It wouldn’t hurt to have the knowhow of an advertising or marketing executive and power of your firm behind your shenanigans, should you choose to do it. But the real trick to success is that the scheme you cook up must be something that will catch the attention of the media and that fits well with the book you’re selling. And, oh yeah. Be sure you have plenty of time, money, and/or expertise to do the Web site right. In other words, you must coordinate your site with you chosen visually fun or smart or interesting trick and the media releases you send out.

Just so you know, I’m feeling a little less self-conscious about my idea to cover my ancient (1989) Volvo station wagon with 350,000 miles on it with decals advertising my HowToDoItFrugally books. Unlike most who use similar ideas, I want acrylic pockets on the side that will hold brochures or bookmarks that people can just help themselves to. I could send before and after pictures of the automobile to Kristin at Time.

On the other hand, maybe not. I think these guys with their pregnant tummies make my idea look…well, hardly newsworthy.

And therein lies the best lesson of all. Your gambit has to be newsworthy—with an emphasis on “new.”
 
 
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rarely Recommended Book for Writers, Editors, ESL Students

I am having more fun reading Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation. Sooo, I thought I'd leave a quick recommendation for you.

 I am gleaning tidbits from this book for my ESL (English as a Second Language)  tutoring students and recommending it for anyone who loves English, loves how we borrow phrases and words, and generally gets a kick of what some find aggravating.  Or make a living from it--and that would include editors and writers.
 
Hammacher and Schlemmer calls it “the history of English Idiosyncrasies. http://bit.ly/AggravationEnglish. It should make a great gift for writerly types.



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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Authors Forget How Useful Media Announcements Are!



Refresher on Media Announcements


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Here is a mini excerpt from the second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter—just in case you’ve forgotten how handy using a media announcement can be! If it’s been a while since you reviewed a good format for the usual size media (press) release, maybe it’s time you cracked up your old copy of The Frugal Book Promoter (-:.  It gives you everything you need--even step-by-step formatting!




Media announcements or a different version of your release might be faxed or e-mailed a few days after your first release about an event goes out.

So what's a media announcement?  




Media announcements are shorter and sometimes, to the eyes of an editor, sweeter than media releases. They are especially useful as follow-ups, as introductions to a planned media blitz of well-spaced releases (each touting a different angle), or to notify editors of an upcoming event.


Media announcements read like bare bones invitations. They include:


  • The term “Media Announcement” as a header.
  • Contact information.
  • A captivating headline.
  • A pithy lead.
  • Follow up with the place, time, date, and a resource for gleaning more information.


Media announcements are quickies. Don’t put much more than what’s on this list into yours.


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Saturday, April 25, 2015

It's Never Too Late to Promote Your Backlist Books!



I hope you aren’t stuck in the last millennium. In those days it was a given that books were dead after ninety days.

This is the Internet age and you can now reach millions of people with minimal effort to keep old books—even really old books—alive. Rev up your marketing machine. Maybe your new readers aren’t aware of your old titles. Reissue the old one (but don’t call it a second edition!) even though it will have new pages in the backmatter that list all your titles with links and maybe an excerpt from your new book to encourage readers to buy the new one, too.

Here are some other ideas for promoting your old books:  

  • You could also offer an old one for 99 cents when they buy your new book.
  • Or offer it free to your Goodreads or Facebook customers in return for a review (remember they’ll see your ad in the backmatter for your newest book and maybe buy that one, too!).
  • Bundle your new book with an old one at a discounted price that is less than the new one alone and bill it “Great reading for you and for a friend for less than it would cost for just one book.” 

If you have other ideas about how to promote backlist books (the ones you've published yourself or the ones that were traditionally published) , send it to me at HoJoNews@AOL.com with your name, your old book’s title, and its buy link and I’ll publish it as a tip in this blog and perhaps its companion SharingwithWriters  newsletter, too.


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .