Okay, so my last post was kind of a downer because I talked about “what not to do.” That’s always sobering. Today is the day before Turkey Day in the US, so I wanted to post a few positives going into the long weekend.
I want to talk about what one new author is doing RIGHT… and doing very, very well.
First, I want to mention that this is a brand new, never-before published author. A newbie. The kind of author VT specializes in. So everything I’m saying here is meant to truly inspire you, because she is just amazing.
This is a gal who started in her writing career when the last kid flew the coup and went to college. She wrote a very funny general fiction book (dark humor — gotta love it!) about how easy it is for people to get stuck in day-to-day routines and ruts to the point where they can’t see any other way to do things… or even why you might want to consider doing something differently.
As soon as the book was available for purchase, she contacted her local newspaper. They did an interview with her that appeared in the paper just before her first book signing at a local bookstore. She sold out all the copies the store had ordered in the first 15 minutes… and they asked her to come back and do a second signing. She said yes, and it’s all set up for this very busy shopping weekend. I hope the bookstore ordered a lot more copies, because this lady can sell!
She’s done two other interviews with local papers (one was in a lcoal college newspaper), and she contacted a few stores to see if they would carry her book. Not bookstores, mind you, but gift stores.
Her mother lives in Denver, so she contacted a bookstore there to set up a signing for a few months out, when she goes to visit her mom. Knowing how she operates, I’m confident that she’ll also contact the local newspaper(s) there to get interviews to plug the signing in advance… and she’ll sell a lot of books. She’s looking at other places to set up signings, too.
On the “general promotion” front, she just set up a website using her own .com name through a barter swap (she’s trading for web design services by providing assistance with something she can do).
She asked me to help her get some reviews, so I contacted a few places and found one that’s agreed to look at her book. She also asked for marketing materials, so I set up posters at Cafe Press, some bookmark artwork and some flyer artwork. She can order posters for about $6 to give to stores and such; the bookmarks are $55/1,000. She can print the full-color flyers at any local copy shop as needed.
VT doesn’t charge authors for creating marketing materials and artwork for promotional efforts, so her only expense was/will be to print materials as needed. I also sent her a PDF of the official VT launch press release to hand out/email out as needed.
As of this writing, her book has been out in print for about 3 weeks. A quick look at some early distribution reports shows that she’s sold a couple of hundred copies so far, all on her own efforts. Now I know that doesn’t qualify for a NYT Bestseller mention, but keep in mind that she’s just getting started and that she has no other books in print — she is a total unknown to the reading public.
Also, her book is also available in eBook form, and for whatever crazy reason, it was selected to be featured in the Fictionwise customer ezine “new release” section. So I’ll be looking out to see how the eBook sells as well.
After her latest order of books, I told her that I think she is amazing and that I want to bottle her up and give her to some of our other authors for inspiration. Her response? The way she sees it, this may be her only chance, so she wants to make the most of it.
With that kind of attitude, she can only be on the way to bigger and better things.