Sunday, April 15, 2012

Feeding the Beast

Or, Marketing 101 and how a brand new Author can learn the best ways to get herself and her book out there when she is somewhat  shy, new to the area, and no-joke broke.

Yeah that should be someone’s book title on Amazon.  I’d buy that eBook if it gave detailed and specific information on exactly what to do at this stage of the game.  Sadly I haven’t found one yet but I’m still looking.  And no, before you ask, I don’t want to write it.  If I knew how to write it I wouldn’t be in this lack of knowledge mess over my own marketing plan right now, you dig?

Anyway, I’m basing my ideas of how to proceed with marketing myself and my book on stuff I’ve heard – go to conferences, blog, guest blog, do a virtual book tour, write a press release, join some writing groups, hire a PR Rep or Marketing Manager, get out and meet people, go on radio/talk shows, get interviewed for the local paper, talk about what you do whenever anyone asks, give out business cards, etc.

Anything and everything on that list of stuff that’s free, I’m on it like blue bonnet.  But here’s the thing, the ‘no-joke broke’ part is certainly me right now.  I write for a living, it’s just that I don’t really make any money doing it – YET – so attending conferences and paying PR/Marketing people is a little out of reach at the moment.

People say you have to spend money to make money.  Well I’ve spent some recently, and I think it’s even been in the right places.

I love being a part of the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers group!  They only meet once a month though so finding another similar group would really be ideal.  And it would be great to find a group just as supportive but who write similar to how I write.  I had no idea but finding fiction writers with a somewhat jagged edge to their wit is actually pretty tough.  Most of the ladies I’ve met write memoir or self-help style books.  They’re brilliant writers but I write Gen X humor love stories.  Yeah.

Fiction, especially genre fiction not about vampires/zombies/death and destruction, is much more difficult in today’s world.  But I’ve always written girl-meets-boy and just because I missed out on the “Sex and the City” wave doesn’t mean I’m going to stop writing what I’m good at!  Besides, interest in vampires/zombies/death and destruction stories will come and go but people will never stop falling in love, so, frankly, I feel I have the long term edge.

Getting my foot in the door at local radio and television stations (or even a local paper) would be great.  But I don’t begin to know what door to knock on so I can insert that foot, so I spend countless hours researching.  Which of course takes away from getting out there and selling my work.  Which in turn means I can’t afford to hire a PR Rep.  Which means I’m back to the vicious square one again.

For now I’ll just work with what I’ve got which is a semi decent social media presence, friends and family who are so supportive I can’t even BEGIN to thank them enough, and a brand new geographic region to explore.  And who knows, maybe I’ll happen across the right contacts in the process.

All of this selling stuff is exhausting!  But if nothing else at least it’s fun trying to learn.

Can't we just get to the rich & famous part?


lettersfromlaunna said...

Keep working on it Jenn before you know it you will be rich and famous. I am curious to see how it all goes for you ;)

nursetommey said...

I have ALL sorts of marketing suggestions for you; email me and lets get together for coffee and some information sharing!
Thomasina Burke

Alice said...

My friend recently Self published a historical fiction novel. Something he does is a book give away on goodreads every couple weeks, hoping to get some good reviews on that site. I think right now it's slow going but his amazon sales are there. One book at time. I do think it's important to request friends to leave reviews on goodreads and amazon and Barnes and noble. When it's available, I'll be happy to purchase and post review.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks so much Launna! Fingers crossed!

Tommey I will definitely email you today, I think it would be great for us to get together more regularly to brainstorm all kinds of writing stuff :-) Thank you so much!

I'll for sure let you know Alice, the projected release date is this Friday so I'll keep you posted...thanks a bunch! A giveaway is a good idea, will have to check Goodreads for how to do that.

Suldog said...

When you say "foot in the door" at the local newspaper, do you mean as a writer or as an interview subject concerning your writing? If the former, which is what I think you may mean, try writing an op-ed or two and submit them. Couldn't hurt. Make sure you address them to the op-ed (or editorial page) editor (best if you have an actual name, of course) and strictly follow the submission guidelines (word limit, etc.)

If they like your stuff, you not only get a paycheck of some sort, but you also have something to put on a resume for an agent, clippings to show people, an actual "in" with a real live editor, and an ego boost. If they don't like your stuff, have you lost anything (aside from the hour or so it took you to knock off the 500 or 600 word opinion?)

Submit to one paper at a time, of course, but if one rejects it, send it off to another. And another. Editorial pages gobble up content at an alarming rate, so who knows when you'll hit an editor who really needs something, even just as filler?

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Jim I'm talking about the former actually - getting interviews about me/the book, submitting press releases for its release or signings, stuff like that. Although getting published in other ways couldn't really hurt when querying for my 2nd book (because I'll tell ya, all the business stuff is making my head spin - must have Agent!). I may just take your advice & start writing some articles that relate to the book or my own philosophy in some way (tie in to my writing) and request to submit. I forgot you write op-ed pieces sometimes...thanks for the advice & expertise my friend :-)