Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Chick Lit Author Maya Jax

Loving spy and mystery novels, Maya Jax entertained the idea of being a secret agent and started working at an embassy overseas while doing her master’s in international relations.  During this time, she finished her first screenplay, an action/thriller about spies and nuclear weapons.  She pitched it to a friend in Hollywood, who told her she had talent, but to never – ever – show anyone the script again.  Realizing her love for writing was stronger than her desire to spy and fight crime, she attempted a second screenplay focusing on what she knew best — trying to make it as a writer.  The screenplay turned into a manuscript and the result was chick lit novel Escapades of Romantically Challenged Me.

You can read more about Maya on her website www.mayajax.com.

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

Escapades of Romantically Challenged Me’s heroine, Lelaina Zane, graduated from law school three years ago and headed straight for LA to try making it as a screenwriter.  So far, she only has three years waitressing experience and a ton of rejection letters.  She finally thinks she’s on the verge of her big break, when she’s called back to her hometown because her dad has fallen ill.  It’s a fast and funny read about balancing life and expectations.

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

I organized a field marketing promotion for launch day with girls dressed as superheroes handing out emery boards imprinted with the book’s info.  Lelaina is dressed as Catwoman in the opening scene to get an agent’s attention, so I wanted to use that theme.  It was so much fun — any excuse to walk around in public dressed as a superhero!

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?

Online promotional programs that market directly to readers are great, since the audience is specifically looking for new books to read.  The most effective ones for me so far have been Pump Up Your Book and AuthorBuzz.

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

In my case, since the book is only available through online retailers, I think online marketing is more beneficial, but I find offline so much more fun.  Although, I’m starting to see the fun in online promotion.  Those Old Spice YouTube videos with the ‘Guy on the Horse’ are fantastic.

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

I use Twitter regularly and I like it because you’re limited to 140 characters or less.  That takes skill!  Twitter has also helped me get interviews and reviews, so I’d say it’s been successful.  I’ve been on Facebook for less than a week, so I’m not sure about it yet.

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 a blog through my website and I use it once a month to update my events. My web designer is a genius and knows I don’t like having multiple things to update, so he tried to put as many as he could in one place. He set up the blog to promote my book and because it’s the one thing on my website that changes, it’s an effective way to get people revisiting my site.

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

I don’t have one, but I’m sure it would help!  The more people you have on your team the better and publicists have contacts within the media, which is a big plus.  However, there are a ton of things that you can do on your own.  The internet has opened so many doors for self promotion.

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

Probably something I should have done, but didn’t, was talk to other authors to see what worked best for them. It’s good to learn from the experienced and then turn it into your own thing.  Maybe next time around, I’ll follow my own advice!

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

Thank you!

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