Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Marketing Books

on December 14, 2011

One of the things I quickly discovered is the marketing of a book can eat your time at incredibly fast speeds.  I’m not under contract to produce another book by a set deadline, but I do have things in the works. Musa has expressed an interest for a Jasmine Book Two which would be the romance of Cole and Jasmine. I have a draft of a middle grade boy book that I’d love to get back to and send out to Sarah Cloots for a critique. I have a draft of a memoir that I’d love to be working on and shaping into flash fiction pieces. And, a few weeks ago, I won a critique of thirty pages by a romance agent. I did manage to get those thirty pages of a romance novel off to him, but I’d like to be able to pitch the full manuscript to him at RWA in Chicago in April.

And… here I am, right in the middle of releasing two books in the next four months where there is an awful lot of marketing that has to be done for both.

So, I had to have a little writing meeting with myself and say, Okay, let’s do some prioritizing. I had to get out the yellow tablet that my Dad always made lists on and make some lists of weekly marketing  goals and monthly marketing goals.

The first thing I had to remind myself was that the e-book contract is for three years.  Unlike a traditionally published book, I don’t have to do a huge push of promo before the book comes out. In fact, I’m discovering that it’s really better to wait until all the buy links are ready at the big on-line bookstores. And, this doesn’t always happen on “Release Day.”

The next thing I had to learn was that marketing in the on-line world is about connections.  And connections happen slowly and gradually.

Then, I had to sit down and make a list of what I needed to do every Monday. Here is a check-list. I hope this will help other authors who are promoting books:

  • Facebook Book Pages--“Like” similiar Facebook Pages to my story’s themes. I have had a great time doing this one. For STAINED GLASS SUMMER, I go through and find other Facebook Fan Pages that deal with arts, creativity, education, and stained glass. I make sure to “like” these pages using my login for my book page.
  • Facebook Book Page Updates--Again, this is something I’m really enjoying. I can update with all those little details I learned about stained glass, the Pacific Northwest islands, and writing and art contests for kids. But, I am also updating by “Sharing” some of the posts from the  Facebook Fan Pages which I “liked” and relate to STAINED GLASS SUMMER.  People can access the Book Fan Page whether they are on Facebook or not, so pop on over and visit! STAINED GLASS SUMMER Facebook Book Fan Page.
  • Twitter–Okay. I’ll admit. This is really my least favorite. I feel like I don’t understand the status updates half the time. I don’t get “hashtags” and it’s just overall confusing. But, what I did do was link my Facebook Book Pages as well as my Blog to my Twitter account so those feed out to Twitter. I also spent some time finding others who might be interested in STAINED GLASS SUMMER. The one thing I notice is that a lot of writers find other writers to tweet to. I’m not sure this works. Other writers are really not the audience for STAINED GLASS SUMMER. Tweens and teens are the audience. But, I don’t think they are on Twitter. So, instead, I find and “follow” art teachers, middle school teachers, and counselors, and middle school librarians. These are the people who would read STAINED GLASS SUMMER and recommend it to the kids!
  •  Blogs: Reading and Commenting– There are a couple different parts to blogs. First, there are the blogs I read and comment on. I read about 15-20 blogs. Not all post all the time. Most of the time, I read the posts while I’m waiting for my coffee to brew and the dog is poking around outside in the morning. If there is a blog I want to comment on, I’ll do it when I log onto my computer after coffee hour.  The blogs I read include librarian blogs, writing blogs, and art blogs.  I often cross link a post to my book’s Facebook Page, twitter or blog.
  • Blogs: Posting--A few months ago, someone showed me how I could write my posts in a group and then schedule them for the month. Ah! So, on Mondays, I often sit down and write a handful of blogs posts which then get scheduled throughout the next few weeks. This saves me from having a morning when I can’t get to my  blog and can’t post something new. One downfall to blog postings is my article writing has gone way down. I think I’m posting my ideas as blog posts and not writing them as articles. This isn’t necessarily bad.  Sometimes a blog post I wrote attracts the attention of a blogger with a much larger following who then cross-posts me and viola…instant promotion. But, I am missing some of the income I made writing articles, and may need to look at how I can go back to writing a few here and there again.
  • Blogs: Guest Blogging–Gone are the physical book tours, and now it’s about blog tours. This isn’t bad. I can do it in my PJ’s. But, it can become very time consuming. Sometimes bloggers contact me and ask to interview me. But most of the time, as a new author, I am searching for blogs I can guest post on.  It’s actually a fun process finding new blogs. Besides providing places I can do interviews, searching for new blog is also giving me new authors to interview on my blog!  There will be a whole flurry of my guest posts in January on various blogs. (Most of these were written and sent to the blogger a week ago). Some of the fun ones are: Tasty Tuesday on Musa Blog where I talk about Dishwasher Fish, a character interview on the Musa blog where Jasmine talks about HER side of the story, and a great interview with my mentee and I that Musa is going to post as well as the YA Euterpe blog for January’s National Mentoring Month.

Then, along with marketing, there is also the set up my author page on various reading communities such as Goodreads, Library Thing, Shelfari, Authors Skype, Kindle Autograph, and Maniac Readers. This part I have delayed most of until the book is released. These are communities where reviews will start showing up or where readers can find me to request autographs or Skype Visits. Most of these things will happen after the book is released, and the good thing is that once these pages are set up, then WEAVING MAGIC can simply be added in April when it is released.

So, that’s it!

Oh, and did someone mention it was also the Holidays…..right, well maybe next year! Just kidding….


3 responses to “Marketing Books

  1. GREAT advice for all of us regarding marketing. Thank you.

  2. Jen says:

    You can always give bookmarks as stocking stuffers and books as gifts . . . ;o)

  3. Mindy Hardwick says:

    @Jen–Bookmarks are coming in Christmas cards………

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