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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

IWSG - Did a Book Tour Work For You?

Aloha,

Where has the year gone already? It feels like someone is stealing my months!
(Doesn’t it feel like it’s only been 15 years, eight months and two days since Y2K freaked us out.)
And, while that global cyber non-crash meant our $15-a-month AOL accounts and chat rooms remained up and running, just know it’s still *okay* to freak out the first Wednesday of each month. (Yes, younger reader, the oldies initially paid for the privilege of dial-up email :)
Anyway, where was I... oh yes, it's Insecure Writer’s Support Group time again!
 
 
Founded by Alex. J. Cavanaugh, who has a very special IWSG-related announcement—breaking today—so please head over and see what’s going on.

I’ll wait, (this pretentious $5.35 coffee is too hot to drink anyway.)

Welcome back (See, I told you!)

My main insecurity is probably similar to anyone who’s a couple of months away from the release of their book [cue dodgy horror music]: Marketing.

REVIVAL: The Donald Braswell Story comes out Nov. 3, and while my plans are percolating like a well-needed carafe, I’m starting to second-guess myself.

I’m not planning a cover release, and only a limited book tour, (mainly because I don’t think either work as well anymore.) But do they?

If I don’t use the usual routes (a plastic coconut bra/pen set giveaway will get me only so far…) how do I get the word out via the road less travelled?

Let me ask: Have you tried something new/different – and if so, what worked for you?

Happy IWSG to one and all – and don’t forget to check in with Melissa Maygrove and she where she’s ranking this month :)

 

22 comments:

Yolanda Renee said...

Lexa's post has lots of good information, mine on marketing is mostly a bitch session. I have no answers otherwise I'd be a best seller, just get in there and do what's comfortable for you. And remember to have fun with it - otherwise it will steal your joy too!

Elephant's Child said...

Whatever works for you. From the outside looking in, I would suggest mixing it up a bit. I tend to turn off when I see cover reveals and the same blurb time after time after time...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark - it's about getting exposure and you'll certainly do that ... and starting out is the most important - then you can move on to other things ... there are some good thoughts out there .. so good luck - it's such an uplifting story ... cheers Hilary

Deborah Hawkins said...

I don't know if they've STOPPED working, but I don't know if I see them as much anymore. Revive them! ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think the tours still work, but not cover reveals.
Have you set up a Thunderclap campaign? I had some good results from my first one earlier this year.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I hate marketing and have no good ideas for you. I've had fun with Facebook parties before, but I can't say for sure how effective they are.
Good luck! :)

Kristin Smith said...

I've always said to myself that when I do publish a book someday, I'll hire one of those book tour companies like Xpresso Book Tours. I think tours definitely work! I especially love it when each blog has something different, like maybe one features an excerpt and one an interview, and another maybe a guest post. It really puts your work out there! Good luck!! :)

Melissa said...

My book tour fell through at the last minute. (The owner of the site just vanished - her social media venues frozen in time.) It was upsetting because it's not easy to find a tour company willing to promote Historical Western Romance. It turned out to be a good thing in the long run, though, because I ended up using the money for a couple of new release ads instead. One of them got me enough sales to rocket my debut to #1 in it's genre on Amazon. The rest is history.

In your case, I think a professional tour might be helpful. You have a celebrity MC, and tons of people love America's Got Talent.

IWSG #119 until Alex culls the list again

Melissa said...

:P
I just noticed your final comment.

Yolanda Renee said...

Came back because I left a bit of a negative comment before. My apologies. What I remember when I first started this journey was the fun I had meeting folks during book signings. That's where the joy is. Put yourself and your book out there, shake their hands, and get them in a conversation - it will be fun. Be careful of the flirting though! :)
In my opinion, people to people book tours, oh yeah, on the web - I say go for it there too - you'll lean a lot and may even come across some exciting new opportunities!
Remember what works for one won't necessarily work for everyone, but you'll find your comfort zone, and someday you'll be teaching others about how it all works!
Have fun, it is an adventure!
Congratulations again on the release of your book - want to do a guest post on my blog? I'd love to have you!!!!!

Charity Bradford said...

Ug, marketing is the bane of my existence. My third book won't come out until next year and I'm already dreading it. The first one came out when blog tours actually helped, but I fear you're right. They don't do much for sales now days. I know there are still ways to word marketing magic without a lot of cash, but who has the time?? I need to be writing the next book, not spending 8 hours a day trying to reach my audience. *sigh*

If you find any "magic pills" that make this easier, please share! :)

Carrie-Anne said...

I've heard a lot of folks complaining about cover reveals, book tours, and release day blitzes. I'm rather gun-shy to try a tour (assuming enough people would agree to host me), since I haven't seen any sales from the guest posts I've done. Why waste all that time and effort if I only get congratulations but no sales?

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've done limited tours, five to ten blogs spread out over the course of two to four weeks. My books seems to pick up sales after they've been out a month or more. Marketing is the greatest mystery in the business.

Susan Says

Tyrean Martinson said...

I highly recommend a book blog tour - either two weeks or a month, with 8- 10 blogs, and then maybe some "extra" guest posts once a month after that for as long as you can get them. I didn't necessarily have sales pour in with each post or anything like that, but my best book sales numbers in a month were from my one "big" book tour I did with my first book. Get your name out there with ongoing guest posts, and I think that helps too. So, I would be happy to post you the month your book comes out or the month or two after that. Just let me know.

Crystal Collier said...

I think a targeted tour is always a good idea. What I mean by that is a tour that hits sites where you find your audience. (Not necessarily just writer's blogs.) Review sites tend to get some good exposure too. Melissa may be on to something there. The hard part is figuring out where your audience is and being there.

Lisa said...

Tours seem to work well for our Ninja Captain... I will do one with my next novel, next year... I'm well on my way through Donald's story and I'm hooked!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

You are already doing it Mark. Get people interested in you by sharing your hobbies, thoughts and fun times. Respond to people when they talk to you online. I have bought books after finding out someone I chatted with online was an author both because I liked the book when I found it and also the author from before. Shannon Messenger is a perfect example. She finds the time to respond to so many fans and I met her as a blogger before I checked out her work. Which I luckily fell in love with. Just keep going Mark and never let insecurities become weights holding you back. Much love.

lilicasplace said...

Like Sheena said, being yourself is most important. That's how you snagged me in the first place. Remember dude? :D I do very limited cover reveals now, and only for a select few. They don't have the same oomph anymore, but I've found a new book/author based on a cover reveal. You just never know.

Love ya dude.

S.P. Bowers said...

I'm not a huge fan of the book tour, unless, as crystal suggested, you hit sites that work for that genre/story and not just writers sites. You need the larger exposure. Of course I've never had to promote a book yet, so what do I know? Good luck.

dolorah said...

Happy IWSG day Dude. I don't have any marketing experience to share, so I'll just read what others have to say :)

Jo said...

Alex's book tour seemed to work well Mork, but I agree, I tend to turn off a cover reveal. Stop worrying. It's a good book.

Cynthia said...

Hello Mark,
I don't have a book out, so I don't have the experience of trying what works. But as a consumer, I can say I've bought books simply from seeing them mentioned on the author's blog.

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