Suzanne Jenkins is the author of the Pam of Babylon Series. The Greeks of Beaubien Street is a new series about a Greek homicide detective who grew up above the family grocery store in Greektown, Detroit. Jenkins has fond memories of growing up in a Greek American household in the suburbs of Detroit. She currently lives in the west Michigan lakeshore area with her husband, two dogs and two sheep.
Visit her website at www.suzannejenkins.net.
Visit her blog at www.2sheepinthecity.com.
Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz, Suzanne. Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?
The Greeks of Beaubien Street is my fantasy about a homicide detective living in Greektown. Jill Zannos is a no nonsense workaholic with no girlfriends, an odd boyfriend who refuses to grow up, and an uncanny intuition, inherited from her mystic grandmother. It acts as her secret weapon to crime solving success. Her story winds around tales of her family and their secret laden history, while she investigates the most despicable murder of her career. I remember a Detroit before the riots, when a ten year old could take a bus into the city alone. The story is set in a fictional Detroit.
What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?
I’m self-published, so as soon as the novel was finished and the cover decided upon, I made arrangements to have it reviewed. I contacted Kirkus, and also Dan Georgakas, editor of Cineaste Magazine. I posted a request on Facebook for ARC readers and three people stepped forward.
After that, what happened?
My first three books, part of a series, were marketed in a very successful virtual tour at Pump Up Your Books, so I decided to use the service again.
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 crucial for book marketing in my opinion. I feel bloggers are directly responsible for the success of my first books.
I understand using the social networks to promote your books is also an effective marketing tool. Do you find it is or isn’t?
Twitter is absolutely the best as far as I am concerned. I use Booktweetingservice.com to tweet to 100,000 users when I am running a promotion. I’m no expert, but Facebook has its own agenda about who sees posts, so I’m not sure if it’s doing much good. I utilized Goodreads pay per click ads for over a year but found they didn’t make any difference in sales. Also gave away about seventy books in giveaways, but found that the reviews resulting from it didn’t do any good. Readers seemed to sign up for giveaways without researching the content of the books.
Besides blogging and using the social networks to promote your books, what other ways are you promoting your book?
Sites like bookmarketingbuzz.com, Indie Author News, and Digital Book Today are great. Also, I do display ads at Smart Bitches Trashy Books and Chick Lit Club. Haven’t decided yet if the display ads are worthwhile.
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?
Absolutely, I believe Amazon’s KDP promo, in which you are given five days every ninety to offer your kindle edition free. Anthony Wessel from Digital Book Today once told me to plan at least two week in advance to make the most of the giveaways. There are so many wonderful websites devoted to free kindles and I try to contact as many as I can, like ereader on Facebook and Story Finds. They list your book, usually for free but Story Finds will take a donation and Digital Book Today and Indie Author charge a small fee. My last giveaway resulted in 30,000 kindles worldwide.
What are your experiences with offline promotions such as booksignings?
I haven’t had much success with booksignings. I also started a meetup group as a book club and just my friends showed up!
Thank you for this interview, Suzanne! We wish you much success!
- Contemporary Women’s Fiction Pick of the Week: The Greeks of Beaubien Street by Suzanne Jenkins
- Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Women’s Fiction Author Susan Wingate
- Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Women’s Fiction Author Jessica Chambers
- Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Contemporary Romance Author Jill Limber
- Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Historical Fiction Author Cynthia Haggard