Billed as Canada’s “Queen of Comedy” by the Toronto Sun (Jan. 5, 2014), Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best when Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich.
Melodie got her start writing comedy. In 1999, she opened the Canadian Humor Conference. She has over 200 publications, including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories and 6 novels. She has won 9 awards for fiction, including the 2014 Derringer Award.
In addition to writing, Melodie has been a bank manager, hospital director, college instructor, association executive, and possibly the worst runway model ever. She lives in Oakville Ontario, where she is lamentably addicted to fast cars.
Melodie is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.
Melodie’s co-writer, Cynthia St-Pierre wrote promotional, packaging and communications materials; penned articles for business periodicals; and a chapter of How to Successfully Do Business in Canada. Currently a member of Crime Writers of Canada, she has one award for fiction and has been a writing contest judge. Best of all for a mystery writer, Cynthia has received a York Regional Police Citizens Awareness Program certificate, presented and signed by Julian Fantino, former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police.
In addition, Cynthia grows vegetables in her backyard, makes recipes with tofu, and speaks English-accented French with husband Yves. Visit Cynthia’s blog (in the voice of character Becki Green) at www.vegetariandetective.blogspot.com
Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz. Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?
The DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle contains 12 complete mystery/thriller novels by award-winning and international bestselling authors: Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Catherine Astolfo, Alison Bruce, Melodie Campbell/Cynthia St-Pierre, Gloria Ferris, Donna Galanti, Kat Flannery, Jesse Giles Christiansen, Rosemary McCracken, Susan J. McLeod, C. S. Lakin and Linda Merlino.
- THE BRIDGEMAN by Catherine Astolfo
- DEADLY LEGACY by Alison Bruce
- A PURSE TO DIE FOR by Melodie Campbell & Cynthia St-Pierre
- CHEAT THE HANGMAN by Gloria Ferris
- A HUMAN ELEMENT by Donna Galanti
- LAKOTA HONOR by Kat Flannery
- PELICAN BAY by Jesse Giles Christiansen
- SAFE HARBOR by Rosemary McCracken
- SOUL AND SHADOW by Susan J. McLeod
- INNOCENT LITTLE CRIMES by C. S. Lakin
- ROOM OF TEARS by Linda Merlino
- DIVINE INTERVENTION by Cheryl Kaye Tardif
With an individual list price total of more than $45.00 and over 640 reviews collectively on Amazon.com, the DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle is a value-packed, rollercoaster thrill ride that takes you from amateur sleuth to detective to paranormal to ancient mysteries set in intriguing worlds and so much more.
Wow! Quite a bundle! Melodie Campbell and Cynthia St-Pierre chatting here. We’re good friends and co-authors of the included A PURSE TO DIE FOR—Top 100 Smashwords and Amazon Mystery bestseller—featuring a fashionista who investigates murder after the reading of a shocking will.
What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?
We gave A PURSE TO DIE FOR away for free! What a crazy concept! Hmm…now that I think about it, we’re practically doing the same thing again with this bundle—digital list price $7.99 divided among our publisher, 12 books, then split again between Mel and me. But the entire point of writing is to reach and entertain readers, am I right?
Cynthia has mentioned what we did when our book first became available. Here’s what I did when we received the contract and before the book was published: I already had a website and blog operating, so I started doing some social media promotion to readers who had bought my first book.
After that, what happened?
A PURSE TO DIE FOR was downloaded more times than we could have hoped for and many readers generously chose to leave reviews. My favourite review quote is “If Agatha Christie wore Armani and Louboutins”.
Cynthia hit it on the head. The big advantage of the free period was the increase in number of reviews. We have 63 now! And potential readers can read these to get a good idea of what others thought about our book. Sort of like getting ‘testimonials.’
What did your publisher do to promote your book?
Imajin Books produced an amazing trailer for A PURSE TO DIE FOR. http://ow.ly/eRnVR
They paid for some advertisement in social media markets, and they tweeted about the book (and still do regularly.) They also hold twice-yearly sales and advertise those sales.
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? If you blog, do you blog often?
I enjoy blogging—I started blogging August 2010, almost two years before we had a mystery to promote. I try to post twice a month. It’s difficult to say whether Vegetarian Detective is helping sell A PURSE TO DIE FOR and/or DEADLY DOZEN, but there have been over 34,000 pageviews of my colourful veggie recipes!
Blogging definitely helps. My personal blog is a comedy blog and has almost 40,000 hits (in 3 years) and I know many of those people have bought my books. But I find guest blogging is quite successful, particularly as you can reach a new market that may not be aware of your book. I’ve done over 120 guest blogs in the past 4 years.
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 network on Twitter, Google+. Effective? Well…DEADLY DOZEN: 12 Mystery/Thriller Novels by Bestselling Imajin Books Authors made #4 in Mystery Anthologies on Amazon.ca (Canada) while still on pre-order! That’s the result of all of us authors blogging and tweeting and Google+ing.
I use primarily Facebook and Twitter, but I’m also on Linked In and Pinterest. Facebook works almost as a newsletter would to my readers. Twitter is where I often attract new readers, who then follow me on Facebook.
Besides blogging and using the social networks to promote your books, what other ways are you promoting your book?
Bloody Words! I’m not cursing, Bloody Words is a Canadian mystery reader/writer conference. Sadly, in June 2014 Melodie and I attended the last Bloody Words to be produced. I was a panelist and Melodie was Master of Ceremonies! By the way, things have come full circle for Melodie and me and the Bloody Words conference. You see, it’s at Bloody Words 2006 that Mel and I first met.
Yes, Bloody Words will always be dear to my heart, Cindy!
I’ve been a presenter at another conference, When Words Collide in Calgary, for two years running. This has brought us some new readers, as I present using examples from A PURSE TO DIE FOR. I teach Crafting a Novel at Sheridan College, and have for years. Some of my students become readers, and they pass the word along. As well, I do lots of in-person bookstore and library readings.
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?
I’d say giving A PURSE TO DIE FOR away for free was most effective. It put us on the mystery map. And now we’re proud to be part of the DEADLY DOZEN! Have you read us yet?
I agree with Cynthia. Next up, I’d say Twitter. It surprised me, but people really do buy books after viewing links on Twitter. When people retweet on Twitter, they expose your book to a whole new audience. So we make a point to retweet other author tweets when we see that they’ve been generous in retweeting ours.
www.fashionationwithmystery.com (our joint author site)