Book Promotion Overwhelming? Pick the Plums Touching Your Nose

“Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.” —Napoleon Hill

 

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Many of us authors dread marketing our books. It’s difficult, time-consuming, and often we’re unsure it works.

The least we can do is open our weary marketing eyes and grab the promotional opportunities directly in front of us. Those ripe plums.

Opportunity Plums

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1.  Fans

When someone tells you they enjoyed your book and why, say thank you and ask them to post a review on various sites. Most, because they enjoyed your work, will leave at least one review. Make it easy for them. Say all they need to write is what they told you about your story. Email them links to the spots to write reviews on online bookstores and reader sites.

2.  “Persons of Influence”

Here are examples of my plums. Notice, in none of these did I seek the plum. Those plums appeared because I worked on friendships or put myself out in the reader world.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

•  A friend in my church invited me to her book club. I thought joining a book club too time consuming, but I accepted her invitation. I learned she wanted me to visit once to introduce me to the local bookstore owner who attended the book club. The owner offered to set up an event for Calculated Risk at her store.

•  I posted about the two women who were the only ones to attend my first local library event. They were involved in eight library book clubs. They suggested I come back. I asked if they’d promote to their clubs a second event. They assured me they would.

•  A few friends asked me to let them know if I ever did a book signing in my former city. I knew I should arrange an event there at a library, a bookstore, or my former church. It seemed overwhelming. Then a librarian friend from my former church emailed me. She wanted to buy a copy of Calculated Risk for the church library. A plum. Who better to help me arrange an event in that city? I asked, and she graciously agreed to help. 

•  A popular author and I have the same agent. Though time-consuming, I’m active in our agent’s email group for her authors. When I announced my contract for Calculated Risk to the group, this popular author emailed me and offered to interview me on her high-traffic blog.

by joncutrer
by joncutrer

3.  Conference Centers 

Many have bookstores connected to them. You pay the fees and do the work to travel to and attend conferences at these centers. Why not ask their bookstores to carry your book. The bookstore rep I called yesterday said they usually carry a few of attendee authors’ books if they asked. And since I’d asked, she’d carry mine.

 

Pluck the promotional plums hanging in front of your nose. Click to tweet.

 So, keep active in writer and reader groups, put yourself into the reader world starting with small events, and be alert to the plums that drop in front of your nose.

 Which promotional plums directly in front of you did you pluck?

How You Can Avoid Burnout

 “Time spent in nature is the most cost-effective and powerful way to counteract the burnout and sort of depression that we feel when we sit in front of a computer all day.” —Richard Louv

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 Pam COF FRONT COVER

My guest today is Pamela S. Thibodeaux. Pam gives practical ways to avoid burnout. Authors handle edit deadlines, marketing, research, and writing the next book while eking out time for family responsibilities. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, burnout is a threat. Pam’s suggestions are timely. Be sure to see more about her new novel, Circles of Fate, following her post.

Pamela S. Thibodeaux: Writing is a solitary profession and, more often than not, writers are alone with only the people in their heads to keep them company. Ask any writer who has done this for a while and they’ll tell you that burnout is more than the dreaded slump, writers block, or a silent muse.

Burnout is debilitating and can sometimes be dangerous.

Here are some signs to look for and things to do in order to avoid getting to that point.

*Unusual sleep patterns: Sleep too much or too little. Wake up at odd hours. Never feel refreshed.

*Lack of Concentration: You sit at the computer and nothing gels; the muse is silent; leaving you to your own devices which seem to have deserted you also. You try to be disciplined but it’s impossible as your mind scatters in a million different directions.

*Boredom: You’re bored with everything; writing, reading, TV, life, and can’t seem to focus on any one thing.

*Lack of Energy/Fatigue: More than just being tired, I’m talking soul-weary, bone-deep, mind-numbing exhaustion.

*Anxiety: Anxiety combined with any of the other symptoms mentioned can be a dangerous thing, often leading to a writer quitting for good.

These are some early signs that something is not right. It’s time to take a break; a hot bath, a walk, read a book, watch your favorite TV show(s), clean out the closet, scrub the floor, something! Journal, write something different or even get completely away from writing for a little while.

Taking a break at the early signs often helps you avoid the inevitable.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

*Depression: You’ve ignored all the other symptoms and now nothing matters at all. You’ve done more than chase away the muse, hit more than the dreaded slump, you’re at rock bottom; smack dab in a pit of despair unlike any you’ve ever known. Depression is usually a sign of deeper problems. Sometimes it’s a physical thing, more often a mental one.

*Apathy: Apathy is way past depression and is never a good thing! This is the point where nothing and no one matters. This is the absolute lowest point a person can reach, and often leads to thoughts of suicide or worse.

The onset of either depression or apathy is the time to seek medical attention.

Burnout is serious and can have debilitating effects; however, it can often be avoided. Taking preventative measures—proper diet, exercise, and rest—are the easiest and best ways to do so.

Recognizing the symptoms and dealing with them early is another way.

Whatever you do, don’t give up…on yourself, love, even writing, but more importantly don’t give up on Life….it is too precious for that!

Pam publicity photo

 

Author bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

 

Links:
Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com
Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux
Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

Book: Circles of Fate
Logline: With intriguing twists and turns, fate brings together a cast of characters whose lives will forever be entwined.

Blurb: Set at the tail end of the Vietnam War era, Circles of Fate takes the reader from Fort Benning, Georgia to Thibodaux, Louisiana. A romantic saga, this gripping novel covers nearly twenty years in the lives of Shaunna Chatman and Todd Jameson. Constantly thrown together and torn apart by fate, the two are repeatedly forced to choose between love and duty, right and wrong, standing on faith or succumbing to the world’s viewpoint on life, love, marriage and fidelity. With intriguing twists and turns, fate brings together a cast of characters whose lives will forever be entwined. Through it all is the hand of God as He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Purchase Links:
Kindle: http://amzn.to/13b6qCG
Print: http://amzn.to/1zfEzNH
Create Space: http://bit.ly/1qRN3cb
Nook: http://bit.ly/1ySeQqJ
B&N Print: http://bit.ly/1wA6DsH
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/136qK7n

Your Author Event Was NOT a Failure

“One fails forward toward success.” — Charles F. Kettering

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I share the story of my meet-the-author library event for one purpose:

Don’t bemoan the poor response to your author event; look for the hidden successes. Click to tweet.

Act 1 – The Setup

 

I called a library. The event coordinator detailed impressive ways she promoted author events. She said the library was dedicated to helping authors. According to her suggestion, we set up a weekday date from 11AM to 1PM.

Image courtesy of zirconicusso at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of zirconicusso at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Later, I delivered my press release content and book cover poster, which the coordinator displayed at the entrance. It would greet patrons for a month.

We checked whether my MacBook Air would work with their projector. Too iffy. I’d bring my large-screen desktop.

 

The head librarian said 4 to 12 attended these events. No surprise to me.

Act 2 – The Preparation

 

I wanted to add activities different from the normal ones. Of course, I’d wear my Cisney costume from Calculated Risk’s cover with yellow stickies dotting my suit.

Calculated Risk by Zoe M. McCarthy

Cisney3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I prepared and timed activities to fit a 90-minute period, leaving time to settle in and chat. Here’s the schedule titles:

1.  Doughnuts. Bring enough for participants and library staff.

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2.  Writing journey with a twist: A String of Nevers. Perform my journey using catchy titles for each journey stage. Raise a NEVER sign each time I utter “never.”

3.  Story behind the story. Keep it to a few entertaining stories.

4.  Story tidbits. Tell about 12 story-related items from my story basket. End each blurb with an intriguing story question.

5.  Scene 1. Give a dramatic reading.

6.  Book Trailers. Ask for feedback on Calculated Risk’s two trailers.

7.  Q & A

8.  Bird of Paradise Napkin. Invite participants to fold a book-related napkin fold.

9.  Drawing. Give away a copy of Calculated Risk.

Act 3 – The Live Event

 

Sometimes, discussed promotion fails to happen. Such was true for this event. But I set up everything and was ready.

Image courtesy of Daniel St.Pierre at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Daniel St.Pierre at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By 11:00, no one had arrived.

At 11:15, I enjoyed a doughnut, telling God everything was fine, I trusted him no matter what.

At 11:25, I told the mortified-for-me coordinator we’d try again in the spring. I packed up.

A woman came in: “I hear you’ve packed up and will return in the spring.” We chatted. Another woman arrived disappointed I was leaving. So we went on with the show.

 

Successful Reviews

 

1.  For trusting God and refusing to lay blame for no attendees, God blessed me with two women.

2.  The two ladies are active in eight library book clubs. They told me to come back, and they’d promote the event using their connections. They recommended a bookstore where local authors do well in book signings. And they both bought a book.

3.  I’ll use my preparation for this event for future ones. Rehearsing to two women is far better than to my mirror. I’ll tweak my presentation, and I’ll be ready for the next event.

4.  The head librarian recommended the same bookstore the women did and supplied names of contacts.

5.  I had fun.

What blessings have you received from an author event?