Diary of a Book Marketing Plan-Final Entry-Reviews & More

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This is the final series post in which I share tasks and progress on my book-marketing plan for my second book. Gift of the Magpie came out August 15, but all my diary posts share my activities from two weeks in the past.

Among other activities, my prior posts covered my setup, recruiting influencers, guest posting, a book launch party, a newsletter, blog interviews, Facebook parties, Ask David Tweets and a Goodreads Ad.

Today, I share all my promotion activities and my evaluation of each thus far.


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Two thirds of my fifteen influencers posted reviews so far. I’m told I need 100 influencers to “gain any traction.” Wow. I’m still asking my faithful few to promote events, such as the multi-author Facebook party. About 25% of my influencers have been super active.


Newsletter: A better than average rate of subscribers opened my email (52.5% mine vs. 23.6% industry average). Clicks for the industry average is 2.6% clicks; mine were 4.9%. Hard to track sales.

Email list: I’m working on growing my 280 with people I know are readers. 

Authors Cross Promotion/Reviews

I’ve received requests from 17 readers/reviewers for my book through this service. I sent preliminary emails to make sure the people wanted the Kindle e-book version, and 53% responded. So far, 5 wrote reviews. I’m confident I’ll receive a few more reviews. I like this service; I’m building my email list and relationships with these readers.

Vessel Project

I purchased this service, which keeps my book in front of readers in my genre for a year. Hard to track sales.


Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon ads are exposing my book to many people. I don’t know how effective they are for sales, though. My ten-day-old Goodreads ad has had 36 views but 0 clicks. Not so good. But I only pay for clicks, and readers are viewing my book. My publisher has placed an Amazon ad, but results aren’t in.

Ask David Tweets

I’ve published half my 60 tweets. On my evening tweets, I’ve received 0 – 7 retweets and 0 – 2 likes. Ask David suggests I retweet and like my tweets after they post them. Using good hashtags for my audience is important. Hard to track sales.

Guest Blogs/Interviews

Five blogs have hosted me, and two more are scheduled. I enjoyed interaction with commenters. Hard to track, but one sale was verified. My influencers promoting these posts helped me reach more people. Choose blogs that have high traffic. I prefer to do interviews because they better expose the book.


I signed up for the October giveaway for Sweet Romances with Authors Cross Promotion. This will significantly grow my email list with more readers. I’ll give away three e-books. 

Facebook Party

I’ll host a half-hour slot on a multiple-author Facebook party. So far, 48 people are going and 39 are interested. Although its hard to track sales, this gives me an opportunity to build relationships with readers.

Book Signing

After concentrating on online promotions, I’ve now scheduled a book signing at the local bookstore. I sold 11 copies of my first book there, which is around average. My basket giveaway signup grew my email list. I’ve also scheduled a spot at a retirement center’s craft fair.

Book Launch Party

I mailed 120 invitations to my book launch party this week. I’m looking forward to sharing my talks and visiting with my friends and acquaintances.


I’ll lead a workshop at the Virginia chapter’s American Christian Fiction Writers Annual Conference – another opportunity to pay forward the help I’ve received, meet people, and expose my book.


I plan to schedule talks with women’s groups. I’ve scheduled a library workshop for 2018 to promote my non-fiction book on writing, but I’ll also offer this book.

Book Marketing Diary–Final Entry: Reviews & other actual promotion activities. Click to tweet.

Authors, how do you encourage reviews?

Amazon Link

Amanda Larrowe’s lack of trust sabotages her relationships. The English teacher and award-winning author of middle-grade adventure books for boys has shut off communication with friends and family to meet her January 2 book deadline. Now, in the deepest snow accumulation Richmond, Virginia has experienced in years, Camden Lancaster moves in across the street. After ten years, her heart still smarts from the humiliating aftermath of their perfect high school Valentine’s Day date. He may have transformed into a handsome, amiable man, but his likeability doesn’t instill trust in Amanda’s heart. When Cam doesn’t recognize her on their first two encounters, she thinks it’s safe to be his fair-weather neighbor. Boy is she wrong.

Tips to Ensure You Have a Happy Book Signing

“I always do book signings with the same blue pen. That way, if I add a personalised message to a book I’ve already signed, it’ll be in the same colour as my signature.” — John Grisham

Chapters Bookshop
Chapters Bookshop

These tips are from research and from book signings I’ve done in small bookstores and at events. They’ll help you walk away from a book signing pleased.

 Book Signing Tips:

1. Schedule your signing as soon as you have your book’s release date.

• Schedule a face-to-face meeting with the manager, if possible.

• Give the manager one of your promotional postcards with the information necessary to order your book and contact you.

• Ask which are high traffic days and schedule your signing accordingly.

• Obtain the contact information of the person you’ll work with.

Drawing: Basket of Book-related Item
Drawing: Basket of Book-related Item

• Ask what they provide: table, table cloth, table location near traffic, press release, flyers, announcements on their website and social networks.

• Ask if you may bring such items as: banner, poster, a basket of book-related goodies for a drawing, candy, cookies, flyers, and bookmarks.


Between you and the store, provide a welcoming, customer-drawing book signing area. Click to tweet.

2. Promote your signing. Do what you can afford.

• Use your postcards as invitations to readers.

• Print flyers for the store to stuff into customers’ bags several days before the signing.

• Take your flyers to nearby businesses, such as beauty salons. Ask them to display one or keep a stack at their counter.

• Put interesting press releases in local newspapers.

2" x 3.5" Ad
2″ x 3.5″ Ad

 • Purchase a newspaper ad. Example from Calculated Risk.

• Check whether your publisher announces events on their media networks.

• Announce the signing on your website and social media networks.

• Announce the event at gatherings, such as book clubs.

• Ask friends to also do the previous two activities. 

3. Be active at your signing.

• Bring the staff doughnuts or a cake, thanking them for hosting you. Because you remembered them, they may recommend your book.

• Invite customers to an activity at your table, such as a drawing for a basket of goodies.

• Provide candy—chocolate and hard candy.

Dressed as Character from Book Cover (photo by Vie Herlocker)
Dressed as Character from Book Cover (photo by Vie Herlocker)

 • Dress as your character to start conversations. Include your headshot on your banner so customers know you’re the author.

• Stand in front of your table and hand out bookmarks. Invite customers to your table to enter the drawing, to enjoy a cookie or candy, or to take a giveaway.

• Listen to those who want to chat.


• Invite a friend to join you, one who has read and enjoyed your book. She’ll praise your book, hand out bookmarks while you’re signing or chatting, run for more books, and keep you from resembling a wallflower.

  4. Be active after the signing.

• Help clean up.

• Pay for leftover books the store would normally return to your publisher. Publishers may forbid returns if they receive too many.

• Be content with your sales. Even if you sold nothing, you’ve gained exposure. You’ve learned more about signings. You have fodder for your blog. You did the right things.

• Send the manager and staff a thank-you note.

 Even low-selling book signings can be a happy success. Click to tweet.

What tips can you share with us?

Delight Your Readers and Your Guests at Promotional Events with a Fun Activity

“Without promotion, something terrible happens…nothing!” —P. T. Barnum

by ARTG33K74

Many authors delight readers with recipes. Not a cook? How about a fun craft.

Delight your readers and guests at your events with a book-related craft. Click to tweet.


  • The activity offers your craft-loving readers who visit your website’s “For Readers” page free directions for something they like to do. They’ll return for more. Give them more. Just like the recipe idea.
  • Organizers of fairs know people like to participate in activities. So they provide face painting, games, and crafts. LEGO® is great at this idea at its LEGO® events. So for your events, offer a take-home craft for your guests.
  • A simple craft will draw people to your book-signing table.
  • Participants will have something to help them remember you and your book after they leave. They’ll have something to show others and talk about your book.


Your promotional craft should relate to something that’s in your book. Click to tweet. 

Image courtesy of hin255 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


In Calculated Risk under the throes of being dumped by her boyfriend, Cisney rashly accepts Nick’s invitation, given in a moment of compassion, to spend Thanksgiving with his family. On Thanksgiving Day after receiving a new tablecloth, Nick’s mother asks Cisney to re-set the table to use the new tablecloth. Cisney folds the napkins into birds of paradise. To Nick’s chagrin, the folded napkins are a hit with his female relatives.

I learned to fold napkins into birds of paradise when I volunteered at Bible Study Fellowship headquarters in San Antonio during a training session. The fold was simple to do and dressed up the setting so nicely. I used them at home for a dinner gathering.

Napkin Step 8So in addition to using my personal experience in my story, something I talked about in a recent post, I use it as a promotional activity. I share the activity on my website with step-by-step photos. I’ll also have a table for napkin folding at promotional events.

Added Benefits

  • Three teens will host a table of folding birds of paradise at my book launch party. A perfect way to involve young ladies. Hopefully, they’ll enjoy helping guests fold the paper-napkin flowers. The teens will make extras that people who don’t want to fold napkins can take.
  • Guests will learn a way to dress up their table settings at home. I hope the birds of paradise will also help guests remember Calculated Risk after they leave the party.
  • I plan to offer the activity at my upcoming book signing. The folded birds of paradise will give me something to talk about with customers who stop by. This activity will be in addition to the giveaway basket of book-related goodies I talked about in a recent post. 

From the last book you read, what might be used for a craft to share with readers?