Tuesday, February 4, 2014 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Reducing New Author Angst – 5 Tips For Marketing That First Book

Today, The Write Way Café welcomes Jo Grafford, who shares tips for climbing the daunting slope of promoting books.  Be sure to complete the Rafflecopter form for a chance to win a copy of Breaking Ties!

Breaking into the world of publishing isn’t for the weak-kneed or faint of heart. Let’s face it, almost everyone we know is going to write a book someday, but how many actually get around to it? Writing a book is hard work! For the few of us who succeed in climbing that euphoric peak, we suddenly and shockingly discover there’s a whole new slope to climb. Daunting at first, a Book Marketing Plan is the next and possibly most vital step to growing our writing careers.

A Five-Step Approach for Beginners (much of which I did not know the day my first book was released, so jump in with both feet and start catching up if that is you):

1. Create a Web Site. It’s no longer optional. An author must have a website complete with book excerpts, buy links, a media kit, and contact information. Not a web design guru? No sweat. Use a template where you can just click and drag or cut and paste your content onto the page. Start with FREE options like www.WIX.com or www.WordPress.com. Heck, just Google the phrase “free web site builder” and let the website designing party begin! Need some ideas for content? Visit the website of your favorite bestselling author. Apparently they are doing something right. **wink wink**

2. Schedule a Book Tour. A well planned out book tour will sell books. Make a local tour around your town’s bookstores, book clubs, and libraries. Then blast out a virtual one complete with blog stops, review stops, and giveaways. You can plan your own or pay a marketing company to organize it for you. Try searching online under “planning a book tour” for endless options.

3. Get active on Social Media. Join sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Goodreads and start building relationships with authors, agents, publishers, reviewers and – most importantly – your readers! Make sure you provide links on each of your site pages so that your followers are encouraged to find you elsewhere online. For example, they might discover you on Goodreads, but follow you to Youtube to watch your book trailer, and **fingers crossed** click on your Amazon buy link before moving on.

4. Ask for Reviews. As our marketing rep at Astraea Press once said, “Reviews are author gold.” Unless you are self-published, always check with your publisher first on contractual guidelines. Then search for reviewers online and fill out their e-application or email them a highly polished, personally addressed request. Wait a week and respectfully follow up if you don’t hear back. Be prepared to provide a complimentary copy of your book in exchange for an honest review. Honest is the key word. You have no control over the review. It is what it is. Hang it on the fridge and promote it on social media if it’s 4 or 5 stars. Then move on. No matter how much you may disagree with the review, never engage the reviewer. Negativity can only hurt you. Ask friends to help move a bad review to the bottom of the pile by “liking” and clicking “this was helpful” on the good reviews. Here’s one list of reviewers to get you started: http://www.theindieview.com/indie-reviewers/. There are thousands more. Always visit the reviewer’s site and read their guidelines to make sure your book is a good fit for their taste in genres.

5. Network, network, network! Building relationships is key to your ongoing marketing efforts. When possible: attend writing conferences, guest speak at book clubs, make author appearances at libraries and book stores, join a writers support group or book club, write guest blog posts and do interviews, create joint marketing campaigns with fellow authors, send out press releases, consider starting a marketing street team of your own, seek out high traffic sites and become a regular commenter or contributor, and...yeah…whew! Keep your eyes peeled for new and innovative ideas. Once you try out a bunch of networking tools, then focus the majority of your time and energy on the ones you enjoy most, create the best visibility, and (of course!) generate the highest sales.

It’s a life-long journey not a 50-yard dash. Most authors do not become one-book wonders and do not “get noticed” by the world overnight. It takes persistence to break through the white noise of a market flooded with thousands of new books each day. One last thought. After you establish a book-marketing plan, then get back to the most important task of all – writing the next book.

JO GRAFFORD is an award-winning author at Astraea Press who loves to indulge in marathon showings of CSI, NCIS, and Castle. From St. Louis, Missouri, she holds an M.B.A. and has served as a banker, college finance instructor, and high school business teacher. She is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America and From the Heart Romance Writers RWA Chapter. The mother of three children and the wife of a soldier, she serves as a literacy volunteer for elementary school students.

Contact info:
Website: www.JoGrafford.com
FB: https://www.facebook.com/JoGraffordAuthor
Twitter: @jografford
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360736.Jo_Grafford
Google+: https://plus.google.com/114780404475283292643/posts
YouTube Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/nBB8_qcG-9I

ROSE PAYNE'S world is shattered after a secret betrothal to the duke’s son ends up costing her job as a clerk in his father's household. Without a letter of recommendation, Rose becomes an easy target for recruiters to the Colonies. Desperate for work, she signs up for a risky overseas venture and sails for the New World, hoping for a fresh start and vowing to never again fall for a wealthy gentleman.

Returning from a diplomatic tour in London, CHIEF MANTEO is bewitched by the fiery-haired ship’s clerk and determined to overcome her distrust. He contrives a daring plan to win her heart – one that forces her, honor bound, to serve as a slave to his tribe – a plan he prays will protect her from a chilling conspiracy involving murder, blood money, and a betrayal of their fledgling colony so terrifying it can only be revealed in BREAKING TIES.

SPECIAL NOTE: Based on real people and real events, Breaking Ties is the "rest of the story" of the Lost Colonists from Roanoke Island. Recent laser technology and archaeological discoveries by the First Colony Foundation support the premise of my book - that there were survivors.

BREAKING TIES is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, iBooks, and Astraea Press.


     July 26, 1587 - Roanoke Island
     If it had not been for the barking of the dogs and chattering of the lads who scampered at my side, I might have heard the shot - the low vibration of the string as the thin, wooden shaft was released, the faint whistle of the arrow as it sliced its invisible yet deadly path through the air, the scattering of wildlife as the forest itself braced before the world’s most fearsome predator. Instead, all I felt was the gentle lifting of my late father’s top hat as the arrowhead sank into the aged leather and pinned it to the heart of the oak behind me.
     The men assigned to guard me fired their muskets wildly into the perimeter of trees. For a moment, my ears rang with their gunfire and frenzied oaths. Then the slow burn of anger took over.
     I pivoted to yank the arrow, top hat and all, from the trunk. Separating the two, I jammed the damaged hat back on my head and tapped the lone arrow against my gloved hand. The miss was deliberate, intended as a taunt. Had the shadowy creature intended to kill me, I would already be dead.
     I glared over my shoulder as the gunfire ceased and shouted, “Show yourself, knave!”
     He was still out there, I was certain. Watching. This was merely a reminder that he was the hunter. I was the hunted.

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HiDee said...

We're excited to have you with us today, Jo! Thanks for sharing your Book Marketing Plan, and the excerpt for Book Two. Intriguing!

Rachel Jones said...

Wonderful post! I'm new to marketing - promoting my first novel. This will be a great guide as I begin my journey.

Jo Grafford said...

Thanks for hosting me today, HiDee and Lynn! Glad to be visiting the Write Way Cafe today. :-) How about that snow?!

Jo Grafford said...

Congratulations on publishing your first novel, Rachel! Isn't it the most awesome feeling? I love how you refer to this process as 'beginning your journey.' I'm right there beside you, as my debut novel was just published in October. You will learn so much this first time around. By the second book, you will be amazed at how much more prepared you are to build a dynamite book marketing campaign. Best wishes to you for many sales!


RT Wolfe said...

Great tips, Jo. Best wishes to you!

Charmaine Gordon said...

Thanks for a wonderful generous post. Promotion is a time consuming and oh so necessary in this competitive world. Success ahead for you Jo and I'll continue to follow your advice. I'm 83, writing four years now with six novels and now a series of Mature Romances all published by Vanilla Heart Publishing.Having fun with sexy seniors enjoying life to the fullest.

Jo Grafford said...

Thanks for stopping by, RT. Great to see you on the Write Way Cafe!

Jo Grafford said...

Charmaine, you are my new heroine! Living the dream at age 83 and spicing up the life of your senior friends - OMG! You are awesome. I will have to go check out some of your titles...

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