Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Publisher's Take on Book Marketing

A Conversation with Lida Quillen

Publisher and Founder of Twilight Times Books


Dora Machado


As you may remember, for the past few weeks, we've been talking to Lida Quillen, independent publisher and founder of Twilight Times Books, about a variety of topics. So far, Lida has shared with us how she became and independent publisher, what her day is like, how she makes publishing decisions, which books deserve publication and her best advice for new writers seeking publication. Today she shares with us her views on book marketing.

Hi Lida and welcome back! This is a one question post: Let's talk marketing. When it comes to book promotion, what are the basic elements that an author has to have in place in order to support a novel's publication? What kinds of promos do you recommend to your authors and which ones do you think have the most impact on sales?

The reality in today’s publishing environment is an author not only has to write a great book, they must have an author web site and be active on social media such as Facebook, email lists, forums, Twitter, etc.

We provide new authors with practical promotion plans that include no-cost and low-cost promo ideas as well as a step-by-step marketing plan. The marketing plan outlines what the author needs to be doing several months prior to the release date, three months prior, one month prior, etc. Fortunately, there are a number of no-cost and low-cost ways in which to promote a book.

For example, I’ll share an excerpt from Practical Tips for Online Authors:

Online promo action plan
All of your promo efforts should be part of an overarching plan of building an “author platform.” That is one of the first questions the major NYC print publishers will ask. Does the author have a following? And then they might ask, is the book well-written?

Have you set up an Amazon.com author page? A Facebook page? Have you placed announcements in online forums or web sites that are open new release announcements?
It might be helpful if you put your tasks into separate promotion categories:

Online (reviews, Virtual Book Tours, interviews, etc)

Local media (local papers, radio)

In-person events (signings, presentations, visits)

Social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc)

You might consider including in your promo plan a few, but not necessarily all, of the following suggestions:
• Set up an Amazon author page

• Create a Facebook Fan Page
• Set up an author page on Goodreads (lots of book bloggers hang out here)

• Twitter campaign (you can pre-schedule your tweets in advance and keep them going)
• Include freebies in your newsletter/website for readers (short story, reader’s guide, book club guide, etc)

• Schedule several radio interviews. Links to all interviews should be on your web site/blog.
• A podcast and/or series of podcasts where you could read excerpts or talk about the writing of your books. Readers love to hear authors talk, learn what’s inside their minds. A video would be even better. This could also go on YouTube.

• Target Amazon top 10 reviewers
• Have everybody you know ‘like’ and ‘tag’ your book on Amazon

• Make sure you have at least 50 people review your book. 100 would be even better.
• Enter awards competitions

• Put an “Amazon Short” free on Amazon with links to your books. The short story should have a nice cover and be available for download on your site/blog as well.
• Be active on the Kindle forums and boards. According to Karen McQuestion, who has made close to a million on Kindle, this was one of the secrets of her success.

• Create a book trailer.
• Hold contests periodically

• Goodreads book give-away
• Send out press releases every time there’s news. A great way to bring traffic to your web site. Press releases should be sent before release, at the moment of release, and as a follow up when reviews or award nominations start coming up.

• Publish articles, excerpts, book announcements, writing essays, etc. in appropriate online forums such as Gather.com.  Broadcast to Gather Broadcasting group and send email to “friends” on Gather.
• Be sure to comment BACK on other writer’s pieces. Make sure it’s not a one-way street!

• Join Bookblogs.ning.com, Productreviewplace.ning.com to find blog reviewers.
• Write reviews for other authors to get your name out there

Virtual Book Tour
Solicit hosts to provide reviews, interviews, book excerpts, or various creative venues to promote your book on a weekly basis. Provide books free to these hosts in exchange for the promotion. Make sure your tour includes radio interviews and perhaps audio and video podcasts. Plan at least 3 one-month virtual book tours during the first year of publication.

Place announcements online in appropriate venues such as
Author’s Den
Book Bloggers
Carolyn Howard Johnson’s Sharing with Writers
Compulsive Reader newsletter
Fran Silverman’s Book Promotion newsletter
NING book promotion groups
Writers Gazette, “Writers Brag Board”
Yahoo “My Book’s Out” group
Yahoo Online Authors groups

Note: credit goes to Aaron Paul Lazar and Mayra Calvani for the above promo tips
The more techniques you use the more recognition you and your book(s) will receive which should result in more book sales!

Wow. Lots of great suggestions.  Thanks again. And to our MB4 readers, next week we'll conclude our conversation with Lida Quillen by discussing some of the hottest trends in the market and Lida's views on the future of the publishing industry. See you then!
About Lida Quillen
Lida E. Quillen is an author, editor, publicist and publisher. She is the founder and owner of Twilight Times Books, Paladin Timeless Books and Twilight Times ezine and current owner of Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine.
About Twilight Times Books
The mission of Twilight Times Books is to promote excellence in writing and great literature. TTBooks is dedicated to enhancing the prospects of getting great fantasy, historical, literary, mystery, science fiction and Young Adult books into the hands of readers.
Submission Information
Twilight Times Books will be open to submissions from February 15th to March 5, 2015. Send a cover letter, synopsis, first chapter and marketing plan in the body of an email message. The subject line must begin with ttb or ttbooks.
Contact Information:
Lida E. Quillen, Publisher
Email: publisher@twilighttimesbooks.com – or – publisher@twilighttimes.com
Dora Machado is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books. She is one only a few Hispanic women writing fantasy in the United States today. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories.
When she is not writing fiction, Dora also writes features for the award-winning blog Murder By Four and Savvy Authors, where writers help writers. She lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats. 
To learn more about Dora Machado and her award winning novels, visit her at www.doramachado.com , email her at Dora@doramachado.com, find her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.



Barb Caffrey said...

Very, very interesting, Dora. Thank you so much for this.


Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Hi, Dora and Lida. The only changes I'd make since we discussed this a year or two ago is that Gather.com is not what it used to be since they sold it (most folks I know have given up on it) and that the newest, best way to reach lots of readers is to go through the eBook mail lists, such as Bookbub, Book Gorilla, Kindle Books & Tips, Book Sends, etc etc. They places cost money, but the results are usually pretty good. ;o)