Marketing 101: CWC Session IV (2)


Author Highlight: Lindsay Currie

Often, authors experience the misperception that people already know about a book. People don’t. You need to connect with people to get your book on their radar – and marketing campaigns are a great way to do this.

Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) Tours. These are campaigns where you give free copies to people before a book is published, in exchange for honest reviews. You can’t guarantee the reviews will be good, but you can get more for your money if you follow these guidelines:

  1. Divide Your ARC into Separate Tours. Meaning, run four simultaneous, but different, ARC campaigns – one for each of the following:
    • Bloggers & Reviewers
    • Authors
    • Librarians/ Teachers
    • Readers
  2. Use a Survey to Choose Your ARC Recipients. Using a program like Survey Monkey, ask anyone who wants an ARC to answer these questions:
    • Name & Age. Age will help you get the optimal age range of readers in your ARC tour.
    • Profession/Relation to Industry. See how big of an impact they can have, and which category of the above separate ARC tours they might fall into.
    • Why He/She Wants to Participate in the Tour. This will help you weed out the people who just want free material.
  3. Ask Your Chosen ARC Participants To:
    • Highlight their favorite passages in the book, and initial them or share them with you. These make for great book teasers!
    • Take pictures of themselves with the book and post to their favorite social media. SAVE ALL OF THESE SOMEWHERE SAFE!
    • Post their honest review to Amazon and Goodreads.

Other Marketing Tips & Campaigns

  • Offer ARCs or Signed Copies to Your Favorite Bookstores. A pile of signed books is sometimes enough to get you your own display, or other perks, in-store.
  • Waiting on Wednesday. Try to get on this list to generate pre-publication hubbub for your book.
  • In-Person Tours. Remember: the more attendees, the better. You can advertise an event with all your heart, and still get only one attendee. Consider partnering with places that give advertisements of their own.
  • Newsletters. Send these out rarely, and try to make them not look like spam. Include setting doodles, teaser art-in-progress, character interviews… just fun stuff. This can let people know when your book is out, and help you maintain readerships for a series.
  • Pre-Order Campaigns. Make sure these are very targeted. You can put a great deal of effort, good ideas, and money into them, but only return a few sales. It’s often only worth it if you have an existing readership.
  • Offer Free Content. People love free… but still, this has to be targeted and used wisely, or you end up wasting your effort.
  • Keep it Personal. If there is any way you can give your marketing effort a personal touch, do it. Throw a party at the restaurant you used to work at; use your book postcards to send thank-you notes.

In my next post in this CWC Recap Series, I’ll go over the Making it Real: Character, Dialogue, and the Role of Basic Research in Fiction session from CWC 2015.

Session I Missed: To see this session, I had to miss the Craft of Creative NonFiction session. If you went to that session, consider doing a simultaneous or guest blog to correspond with my CWC Recap!

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