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#IWSG The Countdown to Publication: When is Your Story Ready?

Welcome to October’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh. Join us HERE


This month’s question:

When do you know your story is ready?

My answer is simple: WHEN MY EDITOR FINISHES! 

I’ve worked with the same bomdiggity editor–Jessica Royer Ocken–for all seven of my novels, and I absolutely trust her ability to polish the manuscript. Then my amazing book designer, Coreen Montagna, swoops in to make it pretty. 

I’m lucky I met Jessica and Coreen, along with my astute critique partner, Nicki Elson, through my publisher. Now that I self-publish, I feel so grateful for the team that readies my story for publication.

I manage to publish one book a year, and 2016’s book launch (Spiked) happened October 1st. Once your story is ready to be published, how do you market your novel? I’ll share a couple of strategies I’ve tried.

Facebook Party. My zesty marketing assistant Mitsy Princell convinced me to host an all-day Facebook release party with over twenty author takeovers. Twelve hours later, with eyes glazed over and butt-cheek imprints on my sofa, I emerged scathed from the experience. But I so appreciate all the support from my fellow insecure writers! And the readers are way awesome, too.

Blogs and Goodreads. I hired a company (Raven Publicity) to run a cover reveal and ARC distribution to bloggers. Seems like book blogs are not as involved as in the past, but Create Space shares some tips for working with book bloggers. I’m gifting review copies at Goodreads’ New Adult Book Club and hosting two Goodreads giveaways. 

Ads. Last year I landed a Book Bub ad that was successful, but this year’s Riffle ad didn’t seem to help sales.

Giveaways. I’m also hosting a $25 Amazon gift card giveaway (feel free to enter HERE.)

What marketing strategies work best for you?

Happy writing!


6 thoughts on “#IWSG The Countdown to Publication: When is Your Story Ready?”

  1. Hats off to you for making it through an all-day Facebook party! I get stressed enough just from my littl 1/2 hour slots (I think I have social-network anxiety). I agree with you about book bloggers – it seems like all the readers have become bloggers, which makes me wonder if there's anyone left to read the blogs. But even if there are, they have to wade through 10+ posts a day at many of the blogs, so authors still end up fighting for attention even though they've paid for a tour. When I crack the nugget on book marketing, I'll let you know. A sale and advertising at a smattering of promo sites (combo of free and inexpensive) has doe all right for me. E-reader News Today is a little more expensive but highly effective. I was having good luck with Facebook ads for a while, but it looks like that may have dried up now that the book is no longer a new release. Totally agree about having a team – and that we're so lucky to have made great contacts through Omni.

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  2. Marketing is tough for me. I had a Face Book party for one of my books recently. A lot of people visited and commented. A couple of authors talked and shared their work. I didn't notice a lot of sales from it though. I've done Goodreads giveaways too. Your idea about the bloggers is good. Thanks for the links. May try them.Best wishes for your success with your books.

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  3. I'm thinking that the word of mouth marketing strategy is still the most effective. I've been encouraging my reader friends to always post a review on books they've read, even if it's just a few words. And, those who get excited about a book and recommend it to their friends has got to be the most effective. After reading Susan Quinn's book wherein she emphasizes the benefits of writing another novel, I've decided to not put a lot of dollars into marketing after the initial launch. Keep on writing another great story, Jen.

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