Author Countdown Series
Some valueable advice from a brilliant writer – I have enjoyed Shani Struthers‘ books, and like all supportive authors, we have exchanged reviews. You can read hers on one of mine HERE. I’d never heard of ARCs, but most of all, I love your final few words, Shani, so important!
You’ve written the book, it’s been re-written (at least a hundred times!), edited, proofread and a glorious cover created to show it off. What now? Do you just wait until launch day and hope it sells a zillion or do you have to think about… that dreaded word… promo. Yep, I’m afraid so. A book can peak at any time in its career on Amazon but around launch time should certainly be a highlight. So what can you do? Here’s five things at least…
- It’s not strictly necessary but do you have a website? It’s a good idea in order for readers to find out more about you and your books. If not, then at least get a blog up and running. Again, in an age of social media, readers like to know they can interact with their favourite authors over and above just reading the book. A Facebook and Twitter presence is also important, create a few teasers for your book, something to peak interest and post them up for all to see. Create teasers yourself (PicMonkey is popular and free to use as well) or rope in the more creative of your friends and/or family to help! Don’t bombard social media with them – remember it’s a networking site primarily – but a few well-placed teasers here and there can work wonders!
- Talking of networking, get to know other authors/readers, they can be invaluable on launch day, happily sharing posts and recommending your book to friends (but make sure you return the favour when it’s their turn!). There are also lots of great groups to belong to on Facebook, readers groups, writers groups, groups that focus on the paranormal, others that focus on romance, pick a few, get to know the people in them. Writing can be a solitary business but actually there are lots of writers out there, popping in to these sites in-between sentences and sharing thoughts, laughter and valuable advice. Listen to the more experienced and what they have to say re marketing.
- In order to create a buzz pre launch day, approach bloggers and ask them if they’d be prepared to run a feature on your book – this would typically include an author’s bio, an interview perhaps and most definitely an excerpt from the book itself. A picture of the author is also usually requested so make sure you’ve got a good one to hand!
- ARCs – those capitals used to mystify me, conjuring up biblical images until I realised they stood for Advanced Reader Copies! If you can, send out ARCs (just trips off the tongue now!) to review sites/interested readers who are prepared to read and leave an honest review on Amazon come launch day. Admittedly, in the case of review sites, some genres are easier to place than others but a review from them is really worth it. Just bear in mind there may be a long wait list, so this is something that needs to be thought about very early on.
- A launch party – you can have a real one, in fact I often do, any excuse for a glass of champers, but think about hosting a Facebook launch party too. These are popular events and again, can help to increase the online visibility of your book and create a buzz. They’re really simple to set up too and all your FB friends are automatically invited. Set a time (taking into account US time zones too, so later in the day is usually best), share teasers, reviews, blog pieces and, very importantly, organise music, games, and competitions, some with prizes attached. Vistaprint is one company you could use in order to have mugs with your book’s picture printed on them, pens too, notebooks, magnets, etc, etc. People love giveaways, encouraging more and more to attend, plus it’s great advertising for you – a double whammy.
There are plenty more things you can do pre-launch, contact your local paper for example as well as independent bookshops in your area to see if you can arrange a signing, but above all, remember to have fun. That’s what this is all about in the end. Oh and breathe, remember to do that too! Good luck!
Facebook Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/p9yggq9
Born and bred in the sunny seaside town of Brighton, one of the first literary conundrums Shani had to deal with was her own name – Shani can be pronounced in a variety of ways but in this instance it’s Shay-nee not Shar-ney or Shan-ni – although she does indeed know a Shanni – just to confuse matters further! Hobbies include reading and writing – so no surprises there. After graduating from Sussex University with a degree in English and American Literature, Shani became a freelance copywriter. Twenty years later, the day job includes crafting novels too. Writing both contemporary fiction and paranormal mystery, she is the author of The Runaway Year and The Runaway Ex, both published by Omnific Publishing. Her paranormal work is published by Crooked Cat Publishing and includes Jessamine and the bestselling Psychic Surveys Book One: The Haunting of Highdown Hall and Psychic Surveys Book Two: Rise to Me. All are available on Amazon.
The Return – published June 2015 – is the third in the Runaway series but can also be read as a standalone.
Coming soon: Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story.