Monday, September 3, 2012

Bite Me and Other interesting ways to Market Your Book

I'm just back from the grocery store and something caught my eye. On my way out of the store, I noticed something on the community billboard, amidst the flyers for chinese auctions and weight loss plans. It was an adorable postcard of a dog with wings. Above it the title BITE ME. Since I love dogs (and who doesn't), I took the time to read the few words on the card. BITE ME is a memoir written by a meter reader. Now isn't that clever I thought. Not only the premise but also the way in which the meter reader/author was marketing herself. Now I haven't always been a friend of the marketing aspect of the whole writing world. In the beginning of my career, self-promotion was a downright uncomfortable thing. In fact, when the marketing person at my first publisher invited me to a lunch with a bunch of New York librarians and asked me if the date was good for me, I initially said, "Well, if that date doesn't work for me, you can go ahead without me." There was a pause on the other end of the line at that point and then she proceeded to explain that the luncheon was for me. Well, that freaked me out! As did many other attempts I made at getting me and my book out there in the public sphere. For a shy person like me, marketing has always been as comfortable as putting on a suit made of pine needles.

But since the internet has taken over our lives and turned the publishing world on its ear, marketing has become a bit more palatable for me. I recently had a consultation with Eliza Cross from Cross Media. Eliza is a publicist and an author herself. She maintains four blogs, each one focused on the various aspects of her creative and professional life. She has a bacon blog for her bacon cookbook and a blog for her upcoming contemporary romance. In our discussions, Eliza emphasized that an author needs to be present on the internet. She said an author's first priority should be Having an author page on Goodreads that links your blog and gives your readers an opportunity to interact with you on the one passion we all have in common - reading - is great. Next, she suggested I create a dedicated author page on Facebook. Previous to this, I had my personal FB page, but Eliza said that my author page should be focused on all things writing, rather than personal tidbits. The last thing Eliza recommended was having a Twitter account. I was rather relieved, however, when she said that Twitter should take up no more than five minutes of my day since the stats show that Twitter does not reap a lot of rewards due to the rapid fire pace of the feeds.

So going back to BITE ME. Aside from a great title and a cute picture on the postcard, I loved that the author had the chutzpah to pin the card in a place where I least expected it. I don't know if I'll buy the book, but it has made me curious. And it's that curiosity that we want to spark in our reader because the next step, we hope, is a purchase.

So tell me, have you come across a book in an interesting way and has that way made you want to buy that book?

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