Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on M.J. Rose

M.J. Rose, is the international bestselling author of 11 novels including The Reincarnationist, The Memorist and The Hypnotist. The Reincarnationist was the inspiration for The FoxTV series, PAST LIFE . Rose is also the co-author with Doug Clegg of Buzz Your Book. She is a founding member and board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors:

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

An FBI agent, tormented by a death he wasn’t able to prevent, a crime he’s never been able to solve and a love he’s never forgotten, discovers that his true conflict resides not in his past, but in a…Past Life.

Haunted by a twenty-year old murder of a beautiful young painter, Lucian Glass keeps his demons at bay through his fascinating work as a Special Agent with the FBI’s Art Crime Team. Currently investigating a crazed art collector who has begun destroying prized masterworks, Glass is thrust into a bizarre hostage negotiation that takes him undercover at the Phoenix Foundation—dedicated to the science of past life study—where, in order to maintain his cover, he agrees to submit to the treatment of a hypnotist.

Under hypnosis, Glass travels from ancient Greece to 19th century Persia, while the case takes him from New York to Paris and the movie capital of world. These journeys will change his very understanding of reality, lead him to question his own sanity and land him at the center of perhaps the most audacious art heist in history: the theft of a 1,500 year old sculpture from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

An adventure, a love story, a clash of cultures, and a spiritual quest.

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

I don’t start promoting my book when the manuscript is accepted. Eight months before the pub date I update my website and profiles online to include the title. And I ask the publisher for a PR and marketing meeting to find out what they are doing and what they aren’t doing so I can start making plans.

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?

There’s no one thing – everything works. There’s a great saying: 50% of all the advertising you do works- the problem is no one knows which 50%. I’d have to say though starting with – my own company – and getting the word out to more than 3000 booksellers, 10,000 librarians, millions of readers, tens of millions of potential readers and members of more than 23,000 bookclubs is key!

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

Both. Both and everything is the always the answer. Only problem is on line is more cost effective. But off line is also key! Not everyone is on line all the time.

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

I think social networking is a fun tool for reaching out to people who are already fans but not to use to find new readers agressively – people resists and resent being marketed to in social networks – you need to be really careful.

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 have two blogs – one is for my marketing self – Buzz, Balls and Hype and The Reincarnationist for my current fiction series – its a news blog about all things related to reincarnation and tops that relate. I set that up for the books and its effective. I have a group of people attracted to the subject matter who I can promote the books too and keep informed on news about the topic and they enjoy that.

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

It depends on the book and the author. Media is hard to get. Just another good book by another good author will not attract news. I recommend authors really taking a good look at their finances and newsworthiness and never hire a publicist without investing an equal amount of money in marketing with a company like mine. The reason is simple – PR is effort – the publicist tries to get you articles, reviews, interviews but nothing is guaranteed. Marketing is guarantee. We buy the space and when we buy it your book is going to show up. So if you spend all your money on PR and despite the best efforts not much happens – you’re screwed when the book comes out.

If you are famous or the book is non fiction you should have a publicist. If you are writing fiction and going on tour you should have one – you can get regional press in the cities you are going to. If you are self published, I’d be really careful about hiring one. If you are published by at traditional house – talk to the in-house publicist you are assigned to see what they are doing and not doing to determine if you really need someone outside.
I do have a publicist – but my publisher hires her – their in house PR dept often goes outside for certain titles.

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

Buy Jacqueine Deval’s Publicize your Book. And the author should understand publicity is only one part – marketing is the other. Most authors can do much more marketing on their own than PR. So the other book to buy is the one I wrote with Doug Clegg – Buzz your Book (It’s e only and at Amazon).

Thank you for coming, M.J! We wish you much success!

Thanks for having me.

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