Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz. Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?
Soulshifter is a YA urban fantasy about a sixteen-year-old boy, Jack, eager to secure a successful future. After one of his classmates disappears from a family camping trip, Jack overhears the missing girl’s best friend, Natalie, describe the creature that abducted her friend. Although others have written Natalie off as traumatized and delusional, Jack knows the human-stealing hell’s messengers are real. Brought up as part of a spiritual sect, Jack is a soulshifter who can travel between worlds and decides that by rescuing this girl from the underworld he can obtain a future otherwise out of his reach. Jack and Natalie work together on a plan to outwit the ruler of the underworld, but as he stands on the verge of seeing his dreams come true, Jack doubts his ultimate intentions. Yet he can’t back out with a girl’s soul at stake, even if success binds him to a future he no longer desires. So Jack travels to the underworld to face down the dark lord, determined to make good on his word and accept whatever fate has in store for him.
What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?
I decided to have a titling contest. The working title for the book was Escaping Fate which was appropriate for the storyline, but an online search revealed the title was overused. The goal of my website is to have others join in my writing adventures, so I thought why not have readers help me title the book? It was a lot of fun. I posted a story description on my website and collected suggestions. Then my publisher and I chose our six favorites and put them up for a vote. Soulshifter was the winner.
What did your publisher do to promote your book?
My publisher worked with me on the titling contest, promoting it on social media and posting an entry form on the Scribe Publishing website. We worked hard to increase my fan base, via blog tours, giveaways and social media. When Soulshifter’s cover art and layout were complete, my publisher sent out advance review copies and made an eBook version available for review as well. She also had a promotional postcard made which she sent to multiple booksellers introducing Soulshifter.
I understand using the social networks to promote your books is also an effective marketing tool. What social networks do you use and do you find any of them effective?
I find social media very hit or miss. I have a Facebook author page which was fairly effective until their newsfeed change. I also have an Instagram account, just for fun, because people love visual messages.
Besides blogging and using the social networks to promote your books, what other ways are you promoting your book?
I have an email list which I find is a great tool for letting readers join my writing adventures. I share exclusive content like character interviews and short stories, review and recommend books I’ve read, let them know about news and events and update them on my current work in progress. I even share cool websites and resources I’ve found for writing because so many readers are writers too. I also make personal appearances whenever possible at festivals, book stores, libraries, etc…
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?
To date, I’d have to say personal appearances have been the most effective marketing tool for me. But my email list is young and I have great expectations that it will prove to be the most effective tool in the long run.
guitar amp, annihilating the harmonious blend of drums, bass guitar and
electric piano. Jack winced as he fumbled for the volume knob on his guitar,
pretending he didn’t see Tommy, the lead singer, shoot him a furious glare.
Head down, Jack concentrated on the next few chord progressions, until Tommy
launched into his signature vocal screaming. Then Jack stole a glance to his
left and caught the eye of his best friend, Wes, who skillfully delivered the
pulse of the track on his bass guitar. Wes lifted his eyebrows and Jack
answered with a slight shrug and an apologetic frown.
this opportunity for himself, but Wes had talked the band into giving Jack a
chance this summer when they’d lost their lead guitarist to college. Jack
didn’t want to embarrass Wes, or give Tommy a reason to give his friend a hard
time. The singer hadn’t wanted Wes in the band either, but when the other
members heard Wes play and realized he was a wizard on the bass guitar, Tommy
had been out-voted. It had taken two years for Wes to earn the lead singer’s
grudging respect and Jack hated to mess that up.
ducked out of his guitar strap, leaning the instrument against the cinderblock wall
of Fletch’s—the drummer’s—basement. He ran both hands through his thick curls,
for the first time thankful that his mom had insisted he get a haircut before
school started. Shoulder-length for most of the summer, his dark brown mane was
now tamed to a mass of loose curls that ended at the base of his jaw—not as
rock and roll, but certainly cooler.
Tommy. “What’s up with the feedback, Ironwood? We’ve got a gig in two
his head. He noticed John, the keyboardist, give him and Tommy a wide berth as
he beat a hasty retreat. “Just having an off day. I’m low on sleep.”
together by Monday. A lot of people come out to the park on Labor Day, and we
don’t need you making the rest of us look like amateurs.” He spun on his
heel and stomped up the steps before Jack could reply.
“You’ve been playing good all summer. Just don’t choke when you get on
stage.” He laughed, but his eyes were serious.
plastic bottle and cracked the lid open. “I’ll be fine. I promise.”
He took a long drink, letting the slightly salty, citrusy liquid soothe his dry
tongue and throat before bending to put his guitar into its case.
metal sounded from the base of the stairwell. “Ready?”
a bundle of keys into the air and then catching them. “Yep.” He
noticed that Wes had decided to leave his guitar at Fletch’s. They were going
to rehearse again tomorrow, but Jack felt like he ought to go home and get in
some extra practice. He followed his friend out to the minivan, which smelled
like the burgers and fries they’d eaten on the way to rehearsal, and loaded his
gear into the back.
passenger seat and closed the door, Wes spoke up. “Dude.” He drew out
the solitary word and added a sigh, conveying both disappointment and sympathy.
quickly. “I’m not a hundred percent today. Yesterday was my end-of-summer