Book Marketing Buzz: Book Promotion & Publicity Tips: How to Promote Your Books is a continuing series to help authors learn how to promote their books. If you would like to be a guest blogger for our book promotion and publicity series, click here.
Today’s guest blogger is Daisy Jordan, author of Love Means Zero (Llumina Press).
I’m pretty sure my first book sale was to my mom. Still, it felt pretty good! It was so amazing to see my work in the form of a paperback. Shortly after my mom bought the first copy, I held a book signing at a local bookstore owned by one of my friends. That was really cool, because my town’s newspaper did a story on me and the book, and a lot of people came out to the signing. The experience was incredibly encouraging and boosted my hopes for greater success.
However, branching out and spreading the word outside the local market of people I already knew proved to be quite difficult. The first move I made was to create a MySpace page dedicated solely to my books. I would then look at other authors’ pages – authors who wrote books geared toward a similar audience – and friend-request their friends.
This was pretty successful; I gained a few hundred friends this way, and at least some of those people actually looked at my page and ended up buying my books. I know because a few of them contacted me to tell me how much they liked the books. That always makes my day, and those experiences talking to readers are some of the highlights of my writing career.
Despite some success with MySpace, I felt I needed a publicist if I really wanted to get the word out there. But for a long time, I didn’t have enough money to hire one, so I kept putting it off. Finally, at some point last spring, something really snapped into place in my mind about how much I truly want to “make it” as an author.
That was when I got really serious about publicity. Through a random internet search for publicists, I stumbled upon Pump Up Your Book. I had considered going with a publicist who could arrange either a regional or national tour for me, but when I read about Pump Up Your Book’s online blog tours, that seemed like a much better idea.
If I were to do an in-person tour during which I appeared in several cities, my major question was how many people were actually going to show up? It seems to me people are way more likely to read a blog than they are to make it out to a signing for an author they’ve never read before.
Around the time my online tour started at the beginning of September, I also created a Twitter account and started updating my Daisy Jordan Facebook page way more frequently. So far I am thrilled with the results of my tour. I have new followers on Facebook and Twitter, I have a ton of reviewers reading my latest book, and, best of all, the word is spreading! More people in more areas of the US and the rest of the world know about my books, and that’s the most important thing.
I have also attended a couple book fairs and done signings there. The first one was Book Expo America in New York in 2007, and just a week and a half ago, I attended the West Hollywood Book Fair in California. These were both opportunities offered to me by my publishing company. While I had to pay up front for travel, registration at the events, and copies of my books, I think these events are really worth it, and I will continue to go to them.
California was a new geographical area for me in terms of circulating my books, and at the West Hollywood fair, I feel I met some people who are going to become true fans and keep following my books. I have already seen sales on Amazon that are a direct result of that fair.
Overall, I think each author has to find the marketing style that works for him or her. It is possible to make blog connections on your own and promote your book by yourself in other ways as well. I did that for a while, and I was pleased with the results I got. However, for me personally, it was way too time-consuming to do regularly. It is much easier to have that publicist or point person who arranges the blog guest posts for me and takes the time to make all those contacts. That way I still have time to write!
But even with someone helping me, promoting my books is still very time-consuming. That’s why I didn’t do much of it for a long time. I have learned that in order to truly be successful at it and see large-scale results, I have to seriously want it and be willing to put in the time. And now that I am, I’m really excited to see what happens from here.
Daisy Jordan is an obsessive tennis fan and wrote this book so she could live out her dream-job fantasy through Hilton. Before deciding to write a book about the tennis tour, she wrote six other books, including Everything Happens for a Reason…, the Spin the Bottle series, and All That Sparkles Isn’t Real Sapphire. Even before that, she grew up in Indiana watching tennis all summer every summer on TV, and even attended a few pro tournaments. She now lives in Denver and religiously fills out brackets for every Grand Slam with her brother Josh.
You can visit her website at DaisyJordan.com.
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