Monday, March 16, 2015

Marketing and Promotion

Promotion and marketing are key to any enterprise. They are especially critical in the highly competitive world of publishing.

When our first book came out in 2005, we had no idea how much of our time would be spent promoting it. The time crunch got worse with every additional book—especially since they are in so many different genres!
We were fortunate to have heard marketing expert, Penny Sansevieri  (, speak at one of the first conferences we attended. She outlined the basic marketing requirements if you are an author:
Website—This establishes you as a professional, so it must look professional. Our son-in-law is a pro and volunteered to design and update ours. We think it’s AWESOME!
Facebook—You need both a personal profile and an author page. Larry and I each have separate profiles. Some people create pages for each of their titles. This is probably overkill, but, in addition to our author page, we have one for our book 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park, so we can target our Japanese friends and coworkers, and another for our Aspen Grove Romance Anthologies. I share this one with my co-writers, and it targets readers of romance fiction.
LinkedIn—This is a business site. When we were working at other jobs, we both had accounts here. As we began writing, we added writing, our books, and other associated activities to those profiles.
Twitter—I admit to being a complete twit when it comes to this. I have an account, but I never quite got the hang of using it. Nevertheless, I have linked my LinkedIn feed to post to Twitter at the same time. That way, I am continuing to post even without going directly to Twitter.
Blog—This also increases your visibility. I try to post at least weekly to mine. I write about the writing business as well as other things of interest to me—and hopefully to others as well.
Goodreads—This is a site for both readers and writers. Larry and I each have profiles.
Book Trailers—I have made video trailers for each of our books. We post them to Facebook, our website, and Goodreads. They can also be found on YouTube. Click the link to see my latest for Larry’s new book, The McGregor Chronicles.

Pinterestthis is the latest hot site. I post things I like as well as the covers of our books and links to the trailers to my page.

We do other things for promotion as well.
  1. Several years ago I ordered 500 nice pens from National Pen very inexpensively. Promo codes are available on the web for great discounts. These are great as handouts or extras when people buy your books. They’re great advertising because people keep them.
  2. You MUST have business cards if you are to be taken seriously as writers! We include, at minimum, our website and contact email address on ours. The theme reflects us as writers. (Since we are our brand, we want to hint at who we are.) We get free ones for each new book from VistaPrint to hand out pre-publication and to give away with the book afterward. You only pay for the shipping, and the quality is very good. With so many people going to ebooks, a card is a great memory-jogger for when they're ready to upload it. We also write “Thank you” on one and leave it with the tip whenever we dine out. It’s a small gesture and inexpensive as well.
  3. We’ve also purchased brochures, postcards, signs, etc. from VistaPrint. They always have free stuff like business cards, t-shirts, etc. You only pay for the shipping, and the quality has been excellent. Get on their mailing list for notice of their extra special offers.
  4. For other SWAG for giveaways, Oriental Trading Company is the place. This is where we get the chopsticks we give away when anyone buys a copy of our book 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park. We also bought mini-compasses to glue on the business cards for out book Directions of Love. They really worked, and people loved them!
  5.  For personal appearances, you might consider custom M&Ms. We had some made in aqua with “31 Months in Japan" on them. Get on their mailing list for notice of extras & Specials.
  6. For Local Author and Autographed stickers, try Earthly Charms or print your own on sticky paper.

Being noticed is all about promotion and marketing. What ideas have you seen or used?


  1. Great ideas. I've never given any extra gifts--but I love doing blog tours.

  2. I haven't done those. They require an amazing amount of planning- and writing! You are awesome!