A Prepublished Novel in the Process of Revisions and Rewrites

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Please Welcome my guest and good friend, Pam Ridley, author Lies Too Long

Spreading the Word (literally and figuratively) or Marketing Basics

The last time you read a book by an unfamiliar author, what was the number one motivating factor triggering your selection?

I was going to ask this question in a survey, but the answer seemed too obvious to bother. Subject matter. The book’s subject was an area of interest. Beyond the genre being of interest, to sustain a reader past the first few pages, the characters must be engaging. In the midst of their dramatic circumstances they have sparked enough emotion to make us care what happens to them.

But here’s the big question for an author whose work hasn’t been discovered by Oprah or a big name publisher: how do I get my well-written, emotion packed book into the hot little hands of the reader?

Dayana offers the following suggestions:

(1) Keep a blog and website updated.
(2) Contests are a big way to get your name out there.
(3) Business cards, magnets, bookmarks plus brochures to offer with prize bags, baskets, and promo packages are all good ideas.
(4) Networking. Get active with peers, loops, writing groups, community; anywhere to get your name and brand(that's clearly another subject) out there.

Author Sharon Wildwind (www.sincguppies.org/authors/a.wildwind.html) shares what works for her:

(1) Since my books have a veterans' theme, I do a targeted post-card mail out to all military
libraries, veterans' hospitals' patient libraries, and a list of people who have said, "Let me know when the next book comes out."
(2) An Internet presence through lists, a blog, a web site, etc.
(3) Donations to conventions and to individuals. This is where I combine art with promotion. There's always something hand-made with the book, even if it's only a card. The things I make most frequently are tea cozies, book bags, and decorated pencil tins.

So what strategies will I personally pursue in advance of my new book coming out in December 2009? Who exactly is my target audience? Readers of romantic suspense, yes, but I decided to take a more careful look and came up with this answer to who would want to read this book:

Read Another Memory if you believe the lines between this world and the next can blur. Read this book if you believe life can steal every shred of joy, and still the human spirit refuses to give up hope. Read this book if you believe our elders teach us to celebrate life. Read this book if you believe in love.

Now my audience is even more defined and
(1) I can direct my advertising dollar accordingly, which would be largely devoted to an Internet presence; ads, guest blogging, writing stories for sites and ezines that will link to my site, as well as making a book trailer.

(2) I will keep in touch with my fan base who read my previous books and trust they would want to read this one.

(3) It’s always a good idea to keep copies in the car trunk because you never know when an opportunity will present itself. I have no problem giving away copies because the important thing is that the book gets read to support word-of-mouth advertisement. That’s the best way to spread the word.

Pamela Ridley


  1. Great advice!
    I'm still waiting for the release date of my upcoming American Civil War time travel romance, Erin's Rebel. I've already established an Internet presence as well as promo loops, but it's always good to hear new ideas of how to market.

  2. It's another full time job isn't it?
    Good advise, really appreciated.

  3. Sometimes promotion takes more time than writing. Great advice. Thank you for sharing!