Hi! I’m on the SavvyAuthors blog today, talking about the ways we can harness the visual power of Pinterest to storyboard, inspire, research and engage your novel.
And BTW – I’m teaching Branding for Authors starting Nov 14th!
Following in the footsteps of Christopher Keelty and Dannie Morin…it’s time for the annual #PimpMyBio blog hop for Pitchwars Contestants!!!
This is just for fun, for mentees and mentors to get to know each other better. I repeat, this is NOT mandatory…but I know some mentors use it to
stalk get to know contestants better.
STEP ONE: Create a post on your blog. Tell us all about yourself! And please add a link back to this page (the main blog hop page).
Here’s a link to last year’s bios, so you can get an idea of what to write. Make friends & comment on other’s bios! 🙂
To GIF or not to GIF…that is the question
STEP TWO: Upload the link to said post via the Linky widget below, where it says “Click to Enter.” Your “Link Title” should be your name.
STEP THREE: Watch the #pitchwars Twitter feed maniacally, waiting for your first choice mentor to drop hints about their faves.
This Blog Hop is open NOW, and closes on August 3rd.
Aaand…don’t forget – this year, you can get two extra entries if you decide to donate.
REMINDER: Your “Link Title” should be YOUR NAME
IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE: email me at booksboozescotland @ gmail
Fun: I’ve been in marketing for 15+ years…so yeah, I know booze. Scotch Whisky & Wine, to be exact. My corporate background means I’m familiar with branding, PowerPoints, deadline, and spreadsheets! Exciting, right?
More fun: I teach Pinterest for Authors and Branding for Authors 🙂
Most fun: I live in NY with my 5 year old, black lab puppy, and Scottish hubby.
(This one’s from my wedding)
Maggie Stiefvater – ALL THE BOOKS especially The Scorpio Races
Sherry Thomas – Elemental Trilogy
Cassandra Clare – Clockwork Angel series
VE Schwab – ALL THE BOOKS
I’m attending the @madcapretreats in August with Kiersten White, Tessa Gratton, Natalie C Parker…can’t wait!!
currently obsessed with B0RNS, Troye Sivan, El Vy, and always, The XX.
LOVE 8tracks.com…the ultimate book playlist!
Anything on BBC America & SyFy. Whedonite. GOT.
And, I’ll admit,
some many of the Bravo programs.
Awkward, I know. Sorrynotsorry.
MOM, I MARRIED A HIGHLANDER is a YA Time Travel, set in the present. Think of it as a YA OUTLANDER, in reverse.
Here’s my Twitter Pitch:
Abby’s extra credit report is derailed when a Highlander from the past jumps into the library. He’s bleeding,dirty &…hot #YA #F #PitMad
It won the 2015 Golden Claddagh RWA contest, and finaled in the 2015 Windy City and the 2016 Great Expectations RWA contests. Recently, it finaled in the 2016 Maggie contest.
# of queries sent: 0 I want to get it all shiny first!
I’m looking for someone to guide me through developmental editing, specifically pacing (vs grammar etc). Tips on balancing humor vs. plot a bonus!
I will work hard! I know enough to know that there’s a lot I don’t know.
Critiques: I have several awesome CPs and we are tough with each other.
So bring it! I have my big girl panties on, I can take it.
Yeah, the MS has whisky in it. I just got back from Scotland to here’s a few droolworthy shots.
And that’s about it!
Check out other Pitchwars bios here.
Today we’re talking to Beth Teliho, author of Order of Seven and all-around funny gal.
Order of Seven is FREE for 2 days only – Feb 26 & 27 – so download your copy now! It’s a Young Adult supernatural suspense, written for all ages.
Hi Beth! I know you recently ran a free book promo for your first book, Order of Seven (which I enjoyed BTW!).
Why did you decide to use this promotional tactic?
I’ve heard a lot of differing opinions about free promos. Some authors are against them, because why give something away for free that you put so much money and effort towards? Valid point, and I agree…to an extent. Order of Seven had a great start last year for the debut of an unknown author, and I’m thankful for it, but at around the nine-month mark, I had exhausted my reach. I feel like my top priority now should be discoverability. I’m a speck in an ocean of books; I need more readers to know it exists. I’ve done 99-cent promos before, but my highest number of downloads was 84. That’s fine, but I wanted way more than that.
What hurdles did you face?
I submitted to the king of all ad sites, Bookbub, and was rejected, so that was a tad bit disappointing, but that’s okay. I’d rather score them with a 99-cent promo another time so I’ll make some money back. Still a disappointment but to a lesser degree was a rejection from ENT (Ereader News Today).
Two bigger sites that couldn’t do my first date range did commit to my backup dates, so it’ll actually be free again February 26 & 27. That may seem strange to offer it free again so soon, but it’s an experiment to see how well these other ad sites deliver on downloads. This way, I’ll know if I’d like to use them again for a 99-cent promo. I’m just having fun with it because I won’t do another free promo unless I’m using it to market my next book.
What did you want to accomplish with this promotion?
I concentrated my goals on the first date range because that one had the most marketing associated with it. My goal was to get at least one thousand downloads. I also wanted to hit #1 on Amazon in my sub-category and place in the top 100 in free downloads, both of which I accomplished. Yay!
And the results were…staggering! 5000+ downloads? Why do you think it was so successful?
Yes, 5,313 to be exact, and more to come 2/26 & 2/27! First, I must give huge props to my incredible cyber-street-team and their willingness to promote for me! All in all, it was hugely successful because I spent some money on it. I doubt a free promo with a budget of $0 could result in that many downloads, unless of course it was a very well known author.
I didn’t spend a ton of money, but I put a little where it counts. I boosted a Facebook post about the promo, and I also ran a contest on that post. Anyone who liked, or commented, or shared automatically had a chance to win a signed copy of Order of Seven. The extra traffic due to the contest was great!
Here’s a rundown of which sites I used and how much it cost:
For the 2/9 – 2/11 promo:
For the 2/26 – 2/27 promo: (not doing any Facebook or other hardcore marketing for this one because I want to see the results of the ad sites on their own)
Total investment for all promo days: $228 (including the cost to ship a book to the contest winner). For the results I saw, it was worth every penny!
Any other suggestions for fellow authors who want to try this tactic?
I would use a free promo when you have exhausted your reach and need the discoverability, or to pump up interest for another book release. Don’t give it away in the beginning (much like with dating- ha!) because interest will be high amongst your reach at first…let them pay for it so you make money to budget for future promos.
If you want the most for your effort, budget a little money toward it. Free ad sites – although it certainly doesn’t hurt to use them – result in little to no downloads so don’t rely solely on them. Schedule as many paid ads for your promo as you can afford and then market all over social media. Have your friends (or street team) market too. Boost a Facebook post if you can – even a $5 boost helps way more than you’d think. Most of all, don’t stress! Have fun with it. It’s all an experiment, and one that results in more readers who might’ve never known about your book otherwise. In my humble opinion, it’s a win-win.
Today we’re talking to Author CM McCoy, who is an author, tippety-tapper, and PR Manager at Inklings Literary Agency. Her first book, EERIE, was recently released to much fanfare.
1,087 guests…250 prizes…one epic Facebook party.
Wow, CM! You had an EPIC facebook party for the launch of your first novel, Eerie. Where’d you get the idea from?
Hi Lana! Hey, thanks for thinking of me. Oh my word, yes, the Eerie Facebook Release Party was quite the undertaking. When it comes to parties,we have this saying in our family: go big or go home.
This book launch was a huge deal to me, and I really wanted to share it with all my friends in an enthusiastic way. Since I’m in Alaska, and since most of my friends and family are not in Alaska, I decided to forgo a “real” party and focus on a Facebook party, which my friends from every corner of the world could attend.
I had a couple author friends who were kind enough to let me participate in their FB release parties prior to the Eerie release, which is where I learned:
a) what a FB party was
b) how one pulls off such a party and
c) how one promotes such a party
As a debut author, I obviously didn’t have a fan base outside of my friends and family who had beta-read Eerie for me, so I knew I’d have to do some heavy promoting and call in a few favors to get the ball rolling. I reached out to my favorite authors to see if they would be interested in participating in the release party, some of whom I’d never met personally. I told them my plan for some epic giveaways, including a Coach purse and $100 gift card, and I offered to do some pre-party promo for their books. Most responded with a resounding yes! A few declined. Only one or two never responded.
Even Andy Weir responded (Yes, I wrote to the author of The Martian.) He declined, but his note was personal, genuine, kind, and quite obviously from the man himself. I won’t go into detail, but I did print it out and hang it on my wall.
In the end, we hosted over 1,000 guests, and my novel reached #717 on Amazon’s list of Best-selling Paranormal Romance on release day.
How long did it take you to assemble all the authors / prizes? It sounds very time consuming…
I started planning the party a couple months ahead of time, and had a 14-hour party fully staffed by take-over authors 3 weeks before the party. I had started assembling the prizes in the summer, picking up things here and there.
My first post was a $100 gift card giveaway. I posted it 2 months and 2 days prior to the party, shared it on Twitter and FB groups, and asked my authors to share it with their fans when they signed on for a takeover. We hosted 1,087 guests.
Including myself, thirty authors participated in takeovers over two days. Each author posted at least one giveaway. My agent gave away close to 20 books. Add to that the 57 giveaways I posted plus the two separate online scavenger hunts with even more prizes in December, and we ended up sending out almost 250 prizes.
It was extremely time-consuming, but the connections I made with fans and other authors have proven priceless. The people who discovered Eerie through the Facebook party had so much fun there, they continued following me after the party. They do promotion for me by retweeting teasers, sharing FB posts, and they even nominated Eerie for two awards from a blogger on Facebook (both of which Eerie won because of their awesome support)–these fans have helped me spread the Eerie word online as well as in book clubs and libraries.
Looking back, do you think it was worth the effort? Would you attempt to do it again, for your next novel launch?
Yes. It was absolutely worth the effort. I would do a Facebook party for the next one, but I’d do a few things differently. This worked well for a debut, but I think I’ll do something fantastic and different from the normal FB party for the next one. You probably want to know what that is, but I’m not telling…yet. 😀
Any last words for new authors trying to promote their debut?
Yes. Two things:
1) Whatever you do promo-wise–you get out of it what you put into it. I don’t mean money, I mean enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is contagious. And the purpose of a FB party is to make individual connections with readers to share your enthusiasm. Sometimes you don’t even talk to guests about your book, but about dogs or toddlers eating crayons or whatever. You may not see an immediate return on your effort, but people remember authors that connect with them.
(Or Pickles, in CM’s case…but please continue…)
2) If you’re a debut author, ASK other authors for help. It’s an amazing community. There are folks that can help with teaser images or setting up FB parties or setting up effective Rafflecopter giveaways or strategies for starting your own FB group. Ask whoever you know, and if you don’t know anyone, ask me on twitter: @eerie_o 🙂
Check out CM’s book here: