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.