Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on YA Paranormal Author Emlyn Chand

Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit www.emlynchand.com for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!

Farsighted is her latest book.

Visit her at Facebook at www.facebook.com/emlynchand and Twitter at www.twitter.com/emlynchand!

About Farsighted

Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he’s blind. Just when he thinks he’ll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.

Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to “see” the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

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

I knew very early in the writing process that I planned to self-publish. When I signed with my agent for my first (unpublished) novel, a condition of our contract was that I be allowed to go indie with the Farsighted series. I actually wrote a blog post explaining my decision (that’s here). Basically, the publishing industry is not only changing – it’s changed. I’m not really sure there is any benefit to being traditionally published anymore, especially if you’re an author who has the know-how and financial/time resources to A) professionally edit your books, B) get a stellar cover designed, and C) market your work. Another reason I’m all gaga for the self-pub world is because it’s what I preach through Novel Publicity. I spend all day trying to convince writers that the indie path can work for them. By choosing that route for myself, I am showing my belief in that statement; I am practicing what I preach to gain invaluable hands-on experience. If this works out for me; I’m pretty sure I’ll stay indie forever!

To answer your question more precisely, I started gearing up for promotion almost as soon as I started writing by building-up my social media platform. We also began production on my live action book trailer before the book was even half-written. Ditto on cover design. It’s never too early to start promoting!

After that, what happened?

After that, I continued to work on promotional techniques and prep for the long and arduous road of indie publishing. A road that also has an enjoyable scenic view when it’s not storming ;-)

What did your publisher do to promote your book?

Since I am indie, I am the author, publisher, and publicist. I did hire an outside editor and cover designer, but the rest has all fallen to me.

Besides blogging and using the social networks to promote your books, what other ways are you promoting your book?

Oh, man. Marketing Farsighted has been a full-time job on top of a full-time job. I’ve definitely devoted more man power into my campaign, because I have no limits. I’ve spent an enormous amount of time and energy recruiting bloggers for my launch. I’ve also hired 6 other blog tour companies (including Pump up Your Books, yay!) to tour my book over the next couple months—getting buzz early on is crucial. I’ve had a good amount of luck with GoodReads pay-per-click advertising and giveaways too (something I plan to blog in depth later for Novel Publicity).

What’s your opinion on blogging?  Do you see that it is helping sell your book or is it not making much difference in terms of sales?

Blogging is wonderful. Why would any writer choose not to blog? My business, Novel Publicity, has grown like it has because of our Free Advice Blog. We now get over 800 hits on an average day and have become a trusted source for social media book marketing advice. Since people trust us, they’re more likely to inquire in our service offerings. And business has been going great!

I cannot report the same blissful findings for my author blog, but I do get a few sales as part of my efforts. I’m sure of it. I plan to invest much more time in this site after the new year and will even be starting a vlog—video blog—to connect more personally with my readers, er, viewers.

I understand using the social networks to promote your books is also an effective marketing tool.  Do you find it is or isn’t?

Of course, it is. The wonderful thing about social media is that it can turn strangers from the other side of the world into best friends. These networking tools are also great ways to scout out and connect with your exact target audience. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard finding readers was in the days before the internet. Nor do I remember the days before the internet ;-)

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?

Ahw, man! That’s like asking: “If you could only keep one of your bodily organs, which would it be?” I mean, all the marketing tools work together. They support one another and complete the entire organism. In this analogy, the so-called heart of marketing would be the reviewers. Get people talking about your book. Get people reading it. That is the best thing you can do for your little fledgling.

What are your experiences with offline promotions such as booksignings?

I haven’t done any offline promotion yet, other than sending out Farsighted-themed postcards via my website to anyone who requests them. I’ve also done a fair bit of internet radio. Once this hectic holiday season has passed, I plan on doing readings in libraries and book stores. I also have a speaking engagement booked with a middle school that I’m really looking forward to.

Thank you for this interview, Emlyn!  We wish you much success!

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