Kat's Blog

Kat's Blog

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 20!

Today my guest is Ginger Simpson. So jump out of the pool, there are sharks circling anyway. And perk up those ears for Ginger!

Being new to the publishing industry can be quite confusing. I rememberl having a million question marks hovering over my head but having no idea how to formulate the words to ask what I needed to know. I'm certainly not the 'queen of facts' but perhaps I can share a little information that helps clarify two terms that confused the heck out of me.If you consider you have a product to sell, the first thing you want to do is PROMOTE it. Promotion is about getting people interested in your work...sharing excerpts, posting teasers, garnering book reviews. These things all speak for you and allow people to acquaint themselves with said 'product.' It's sometimes hard for some of us to sell ourselves. I know I have a hard time praising my own work, so if I can garner good reviews, the words of others can be shared to my benefit. Most promotion costs nothing but time and energy.Once people know about you, then you need to find ways to sell your product. MARKETING is often more expensive than promoting because it can entail paid advertising and mass mailings. Beware...before you spend a ton, expect that you might not get a great return on your investment. The first year I marketed myself, I spent three times more than I made. I've backed off since then, purely for financial reasons. For example: When I published my first book, I took out an ad with some other authors in The Romantic Times Magazine. The cost was prohibitive to doing it frequently, but I felt it would get my name out, and connected with the review done on my historical novel, it was money well spent. At the time, RT was extremely hard on e-published authors. So when I received a four-star review, I can’t explain my joy. With a debut novel and a great review, I was inspired to continue writing.I've consistently ordered postcards featuring my book covers from Vista print, and I have exchanged them with other authors to create a packet of different promotional items. This way, more than one of us is marketing the works of several. We mention them on loops and mail them to whoever requests them. I do the same with bookmarks. Vista print always has quite affordable sales...sometimes free items with paid shipping and handling. There isn't a big demand for these items, but they are also pieces you can leave in doctor/dental offices, banks, restaurants, anywhere there's a counter. I also carry pens with my name and website on them and usually leave one with each waitress or waiter I meet when I dine out. You know how people love to steal pens. *smile* I know several authors who have done mass-mailings to libraries and press releases to local newspapers. These are two more ways to market your work. Another innovative friend held Book Parties, similar to Tupperware, where the hostess earns gifts for hosting and more for sales. Just put on your thinking cap and see what ideas you can concoct. Participation in local street fairs, craft shows, car shows…any place where people gather can be a great marketing experience. It's often fairly cheap to purchase a table or booth where you can set yourself up to display your books. For those who do only ebooks, then purchase downloads and put them on CD for sale, as long as your contract allows. One of my publishers encourage this practice, but they require a share of the profits. You just want to make sure you don't infringe on your contract in any way. I've not done many personal appearances, but I have compiled a notebook that holds categorized copies of all my reviews, interviews, and any sort of testimonial to my work. I'm prepared when I do attend an affair. Like I said...I have a difficult time tooting my own horn, so I prefer to let my notebook do my bragging for me. :)I hope this was helpful to some of you. If you can think of other things to share, please leave them in the comments. I'm always happy to learn new things.

Thank you for being here Ginger and giving us some helpful tips. I always enjoy reading what you have to say.


Lin said...

Ginger is always a wonderful source of the ins and outs of this world we have all stepped into and hope to swim in...despite the sharks.In my short time at this, I have learned that sharks DO come with this business just as they seem to swarm around in all interactive businesses.

Ginger is one of the wise dolphins though that lead us to safer, calmer waters because she has already navigated those turbulent waters. That she is generous enough to want to help us minnows avoid as much of the unrest, is without a doubt a sign of a winner who does not mind sharing the seas she swims in.

Thank you Ginger and Kat for placing this guest post here for the rest of us to learn from. You are truly fantastic ladies, both.

MuseItUp Publishing said...

Ginger, like always, you brought the positive aspects and MUST DO things a writer has to begin in order to get the word out on their books. Bravo!

Ginger Simpson said...

Thanks for having me at your "Summer Bash", Kat. You've had a great lineup of authors and I'm honored to be one of them.

Jannine said...

Promoting is the hardest part of writing. At lest for me it is.

Great tips, Ginger.

Brenda J Weaver said...

Loved the pool party but I have to admit...some of those sharks were really cute lol...great job Ginger...its not easy for any of us to sell ourselves but in this business thats what has to be sold first...our work second...you gave some great tips. Let's not forget that word of mouth is the fastest way to get known and the cheapest :)

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Ginger,
Great advice as always.

Diane M. Wylie said...

Great and informative post, Ginger. You do a wonderful job as always. The ability to share wisdom with other writers is why I love my fellow authors so much!

Larion aka Larriane Wills said...

good words of wisdom there.

Angela Kay Austin said...

Great post, Ginger. I think so many authors write, and have no idea of where to begin. This gives a ton of ideas to anybody reading it.