Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on James Boyle

James Boyle has been writing fiction and poetry for most of his life. He was born in North Carolina, but lived in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Washington, before his family settled down in Oregon when he was fifteen. He graduated high school there and received a degree in literature and writing from the University of Oregon. In 2003 he returned to Gold Beach, where he now makes his home. For the past five years, he has been a volunteer organizer for the South Coast Writer’s Conference. His debut novel, Ni’il: The Awakening, was an award-winning finalist in both the 2010 Indie Excellence Book Awards and the 2010 International Book Awards, both for horror fiction.  You can visit his website at www.jamesboylewrites.com or connect with him at Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/manage/?act=36902440#!/pages/Niil-The-Awakening/107253385968057.

Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz, James. Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?

Sure. Ni’il: The Awakening follows the police chief of a small town on the Oregon coast as strange things start happening. First dogs start disappearing, and then people begin to be savagely killed. His investigation leads him to the local Sihketunnai Indians and their legend of the ni’il, a type of shaman, or magic user. They tell him that it is a ni’il that’s doing the killing. They also tell him that he too has the powers of a ni’il and he must use them to stop the killings.

What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?

Tell all my friends and family, naturally. Then contacted local bookstores to set up signings. I also posted announcements on my web site and my Facebook wall.

If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you’ve used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?

I’d have to say flyers. I’ve designed and printed flyers promoting the book on my computer and hung them strategically around town, especially at the local grocer, the bank, and at the laundromat. Each has a public bulletin board. My hometown has a lot of tourist traffic in the summer months, so this not only informs local residents but quite a few travelers. Many buy it as a souvenir of their trip.

Do you do more promoting online or offline and which do you prefer?

Over all, I’d have to say I do more online promotion. While I enjoy meeting people and the whole book signing event, most book stores don’t seem terribly interested in them any more. Unfortunately, I am also a better writer than I am a salesman. In addition, online promotions allow me to reach people I could never reach in person, especially with my budget.

Do you use social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to promote your books and have you had any success with it?

I have a Facebook account, a Facebook group, and a page devoted to the novel. Though I have quite a few fans signed up, I can’t really say it has led to a lot of sales. It’s a great tool for networking though. I have met and connected with a lot of writers out there because of Facebook

Do you own a blog and how often do you update it? Did you set up your blog solely to promote your book and what is its effectiveness?

I do not have a blog. I’ve considered it, but I’m not sure I have anything all that interesting to say two or three times a week, much less every day.

Do you recommend authors getting publicists to help them promote their books? Do you have one?

Absolutely. If possible, every published writer should have a professional publicist. They have the connections and contacts the writer does not, not to mention the expertise. Having a publicist would also free the writer to do more actual writing. Unfortunately, publicists are also very expensive, too expensive for me at this point in my career.

If an author prefers to do it alone rather than hire a publicist, where should they start?

Start at home and work your way out. In your hometown, you have a natural sales tool: you’re a local author. Your goal is have everyone in town, whether they read, or not know that you have a book out there. Then move to neighboring towns, your part of the state, then the state, then the region, etc. Remember, anyone in sales will tell you the best advertizing is word of mouth, so your goal is to have as many people aware of your book as possible.

Thank you for coming, James! We wish you much success!

Thank you for having me.

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