Buzzwords

Welcome to Tuesday’s Secrets of 7 Scribes blog. PJ Sharon here. With only three more days until the release of WANING MOON, Book One in The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael trilogy, I’m super excited! In celebration, I’ll be gifting an e-copy of SOUL REDEMPTION, the short story companion to the trilogy, to two lucky commenters today. In this creepy short story, Lily’s brother, Zephron, must come to terms with his ability to take life with only a touch—while holding on to his humanity—a tough dilemma for a thirteen-year-old. As a prequel to the trilogy, SOUL REDEMPTION is only available through me until its release in mid-October as part of the WG2E Anthology. You can read the first chapter on a cool new site I found to help readers and writers connect, called Figment.com.

So what does an author do to get ready for a book launch? I thought you might like to know what happens during the last week before an indie release.

Last week I took care of sending out press releases, preparing for my upcoming blog tour with Goddess Fish promotions, who did a great job setting up a month-long tour for me on some awesome sites, beginning October 1st. Blogs are listed here as well as on the calendar page of my website. I’ll have active links once the posts go live, and I’ll try not to drive everyone crazy while I’m on tour, but obviously, I appreciate any assistance in spreading the word. A tweet here, a FB share there, and before you know it, I’m on that Amazon Top 100 list. Woohoo!

Which brings me to today’s topic. I spent the weekend going through my proof copy making final changes, I updated my website, and prepared a newsletter that went out today with the express purpose of…you got it…creating BUZZ. That’s right, creating buzz is the name of the game when it comes to a successful book launch. That’s why building a substantial mailing list is so important. We want those inquiring minds to know what’s happening and to spread the word for us. It’s always challenging to strike just the right balance between good self-promotion, and obnoxious spammer. It’s much nicer if other’s sell your book for you, instead of you having to shout it from the rooftops.

Every author seems to have their own approach, but the goal is the same. Whether you plan a Twitter or Facebook party, have a street team kicking down doors for you, or you pay for advertising on the many reader-centric blogs and websites, the idea is to get your name—and the name of your book—in front of as many sets of eyes as possible. If you can reach your target audience all the better.

Street teams are a fantastic resource, but to do it right requires time and dedication. Building and sustaining relationships at that level presents some logistical issues for me, specifically time management. As an indie-published author, I have to pick my battles when it comes to marketing and promoting, so I try to incorporate small, manageable tasks into my marketing plan. For me, running a FB ad all week made sense (thank you Jennifer Fusco for the tip). I could target readers between certain ages and try to catch my demographic. It was an inexpensive, easy way to get more traffic to my FB fan page. In addition to that, I’ve got several other small ventures planned for this week. 

Today, tomorrow and Thursday, I’ll be doing some giveaways on my Facebook page. I’ll ask trivia questions about my published titles, Heaven Is For Heroes, On Thin Ice, and Savage Cinderella, and pick random winners with the correct answers to receive advanced reader copies of WANING MOON, e-copies of SOUL REDEMPTION, or some cool WANING MOON swag. If you want to join in the fun and haven’t “liked” my Facebook page, hop on over now and do so. Go ahead; I’ll be here when you get back.

On Friday, I’ll be over at YA Beyond for my official release party. It will also be my farewell shindig, as I’m leaving my Friday posts behind to spend more quality writing time. But don’t worry; I’ll have my Healthy Teen Tips posted on my website. This is all part of reassessing my strategy for living a balanced writer’s life—a quest as elusive as the fabled unicorn according to most writers. Also on Friday, I’m hoping to create enough buzz with my giveaways and contests to make a significant dent in making enough sales to get me on that Top 100 list. Even if I only land there for a day or two, it can really create a tremendous amount of visibility for the book. 

As part of that push toward Amazon’s brass ring, I’m asking everyone who was planning to buy the e-book anyway, to do so on release day if they can. The trick with top seller lists is to create a high volume of sales over a short period of time. As incentive, I’ll give a signed hard copy to the first 10 buyers to purchase the book at 10 a.m. on Friday the 28th. You’ll be able to find the buy links on my website’s home page and leave me a message on the contest page with a valid e-mail address and the time you purchased the book in the message section. The next thirty buyers after that who register on my contest page, will receive a FREE e-copy of SOUL REDEMPTION, as will newcomers who sign up to my mailing list

Not being one to waste a minute, while I’m here answering comments throughout the day today, I’ll be working on formatting my book for the various distribution channels and should have all the uploads done by tonight for hubby to review before I send them off. It takes a few days to go live everywhere, so I make sure I leave a little wiggle room in case there’s a problem with formatting or I need to fix something before I set my baby loose into the world. Once I have buy links up and running, I’ll spread the word via FB, Twitter, and the various loops I  belong to that allow for promotional posts. There are several FB sites that allow new releases to be posted, so Friday will be a busy day for sure. If you’re wondering what I’ll be doing Saturday, I’d say…sleeping.

 Next week, I’ll share my one year sales numbers with you so you can see where all of this hard work has gotten me. Thank you for all of your support and kind words. I hope you’ll join me on Lily’s journey, and that you’ll come to love her, Will, Zeph, and Sam as much as I do. I’m excited to start on Book Two, WESTERN DESERT…maybe next week.

Do you have any other ideas for release day promotion? Have I missed anything?
 
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28 thoughts on “Buzzwords”

    1. Thank you, Joy. it has been a whirlwind for sure. yes, WANING MOON is perfect for 14 year-old girls. I have a group of aspiring authors at the public library that i meet with each month. Their ages range from 13-16. They are reading an advanced copy and seem to be loving it–even before removal of all the sighs, long, slow breaths, and any other unnecessary respiratory references.

      Jeesh, I hate to imagine what reviewers who got that earlier draft are going to say. I think I must have removed thirty “breathing’ references. Funny how our minds pick a phrase as a filler. When I went through the final edit, I was able to remove them entirely or find much more creative action tags. Hopefully, readers of all ages will enjoy the story.

    1. I have those pre-launch jitters today, making me want to do one more read-through before uploading, and hoping people are going to like it. That is the authors curse! Once i hit send, I’ll have no choice but to relax and go along for the ride. Until then, I’m like an astronaut during countdown! calm and cool on the outside…quivering in my panties on the inside, LOL. Although I’m sure the great Buzz Aldrin would never admit to that:-)

    1. Thank you, marian. Yours is the next on my TBR pile once I have a moment to breathe and read again. They go right up there with eating and sleeping. Going to do work out now. Must fit in the important stuff:-)

    1. LOL, Me either, Huntley. I have no idea how it all gets done in a day. I’m a big one for lists–love the checking off process:-) it doesn’t hurt that I have only myself and my husband to manage and he’s pretty self-sufficient–not to mention incredibly handy and good looking too…oh, and he cooks. Need I say more? i couldn’t do it without him.

      Thank you so much for the well wishes. I appreciate your support and friendship. You’ve been great!

  1. Can you clone yourself? I could sure use you! Wonderful promotion ideas. I’m going to check into a couple you’ve mentioned. I’m so excited for you, PJ. You are doing awesome. Buried in the middle of “On Thin Ice” and loving it. Good luck! See you Friday morning.

    1. Hahaha, I wish I could! Cloning myself would definitely be my favored superpower. The truth is, everything I’m doing has been recommended to me by others. I’ve learned so much from being part of the loops I belong to. It’s a lot of time and effort building relationships and cultivating networks, but I think of it as laying the groundwork. Definitely worth the education alone.

      So glad you are enjoying ON THIN ICE. I’ve gotten mixed reviews, some purists of the story structure model have issues with the many subplots, but it was one of those stories that i couldn’t tell any other way. it was the main motivator for me to go indie. I think there is always a reader for a good story, even if it doesn’t fit the mold. I’d love to here what you think of it when you’re done.

      Look forward to touching base on Friday.

      Thanks, See you there!

  2. PJ, I’m impressed with your well-organized and comprehensive approach to creating buzz ahead of time. I’ve never sent out press releases – do you send them to print media or book bloggers or others? Who’s a good target for these?
    I can hear the buzzing already…dystopian YA from PJ Sharon out soon!

    1. Awesome, Stephanie. Thanks, although I feel I could have started sooner. I would have liked to get a trailer out ahead of time, but my tech-spert has been very busy at his own work lately.

      I have been working with a young man who does marketing. He developed a very nice press release for me and sent me a press list of who to send it to. I sent it out to several large local papers. Boston, Springfield, Hartford. I sent it to several book bloggers/review sites, and sent it to all the local radio stations. We’ll see who picks it up.

  3. This is the THIRD time I’ve tried to post. The cat hit a button and deleted the first and then Gravatar booted me. Let’s hope this works. Digital Book World Discoverability and Marketing conference. On now in NYC. Hashtag #DBWDM, but Bob Mayer and Jen Talty have been blogging good daily summaries. No need to sweat the hashtag stalking. Sorry sounds cryptic, terse and tense. Thank you for the post about your promotion process. Rock on!.

    1. Thank you, Mary. But i assure you, my imaginary organizational skills are not nearly as well developed as my imaginary characters, LOL.

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