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Discussions > Book Promotion: What Works and What doesn't

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message 1: by Claude (last edited Nov 15, 2011 06:24AM) (new)

Claude Forthomme (claudenougat) | 23 comments Book promotion is the hardest thing to do for self-pubbed authors and I believe that even traditionally published authors are not finding it easy these days as publishers tend to reserve their firepower to their Big Game authors...

Some things apparently work wonders, like the "loyalty transfer" marketing tool that John Locke used in such a masterful way - selling one million copies of his books on Kindle within just a few months.

Did anyone here use "loyalty transfer"? If so, how and with what results?

Any other "tricks" in book promotion you'd like to share?

I'm looking forward to the discussion!


message 2: by Jane (new)

Jane Rowan (janerowan) | 1 comments Thanks, Claude. I love the loyalty transfer idea! It makes to much sense to blog about someone I admire and whose writing is close to mine and then let that lead people to my own book.

Are you the same Claude who wrote the terrific article I found when I Googled? http://claudenougat.blogspot.com/2011...

I am going to try this!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Wow, I never ever heard of that before so I will definitely be trying that. I also find building a personal relationship with people through twitter, facebook and my blog helps sells book. You have to start on this while your working on the book though. People see you as an individual and not just someone who sells books.


message 4: by Claude (new)

Claude Forthomme (claudenougat) | 23 comments Jane wrote: "Thanks, Claude. I love the loyalty transfer idea! It makes to much sense to blog about someone I admire and whose writing is close to mine and then let that lead people to my own book.

Are you th..."


Yip, that's me! Thanks for the comment and I'm glad you liked that post!


message 5: by Claude (new)

Claude Forthomme (claudenougat) | 23 comments Janiera wrote: "Wow, I never ever heard of that before so I will definitely be trying that. I also find building a personal relationship with people through twitter, facebook and my blog helps sells book. You have..."

Absolutely right! You have to CONNECT to people, let them see you're human with your foibles too! Twitter can be dangerous because you can get carried away with the idea of accumulating lots of followers (a big following is SO gratifying of course) but you also need to find time to interact. I know I always answer direct messages and mentions and thank for retweets. But like everyone I think I'm sometimes guilty of not starting a conversation thread when I should...

Internet can be so tiring sometimes. I know that at the end of the day I don't have my eyes in front of my holes - as the saying goes in French...Don't know how to tranlate that but I love the image!


message 6: by Agent (new)

Agent S.D. | 151 comments Mod
Shane wrote: "Guys under no circumstances ever ask people on goodreads to share the link to your book on their twitter/facebook accounts. I did after I had written I full length ebook as a way to spread awarenes..."

Oh no! I'm so sorry. I was wondering why you had a different account...


message 7: by Claude (new)

Claude Forthomme (claudenougat) | 23 comments Tough place, Goodreads! But I guess they want to focus on reading and keep it for readers - and no self promotion allowed. Still, it's regrettable if you don't know the rule. So sorry...


message 8: by Suki (new)

Suki Michelle (sukimichelle) | 2 comments It's really nice to have a group devoted to authors. I'll be following avidly. GR is totally reader-friendly and (ironically) views authors with a bit of suspicion. Many readers have been spammed relentlessly, which kind of ruins it for the rest of us.

Question for you all - my co-written novel was published by a small press. All, and I mean ALL, marketing is up to us.

Our contract has a "Right of First Refusal" clause, which means for the sequel, we are contractually bound to present it to our present publisher first. If they refuse it, we'll be free to query agents and other publishers.

SO the question is . . . if we self-publish the sequel, does that bypass the right of first refusal, since we would be presenting it to no one before we present it to them?

It's a tricky question. We'll ask the lawyer when the time is right. We really really really want to self-pub the sequel because the first one is doing well.

Anyone know the answer?


message 9: by Claude (new)

Claude Forthomme (claudenougat) | 23 comments Suki wrote: "It's really nice to have a group devoted to authors. I'll be following avidly. GR is totally reader-friendly and (ironically) views authors with a bit of suspicion. Many readers have been spammed..."

I don't know the answer to your question and you should definitely ask a lawyer before moving on to self-publish. Perhaps it's a question you could ask Passive Guy (his blog tends to focus on legal questions - he was an attorney). My impression is that you'd still need to present it to your publisher before you go ahead and self publish. But there may be other ways to break free - so really a lawyer should look over your contract...


message 10: by Doc (new)

Doc (doc_coleman) | 55 comments Suki wrote: "Question for you all - my co-written novel was published by a small press. All, and I mean ALL, marketing is up to us.

Our contract has a "Right of First Refusal" clause, which means for the sequel, we are contractually bound to present it to our present publisher first. If they refuse it, we'll be free to query agents and other publishers."


I am pretty sure that you cannot self-publish a sequel when your small press publisher has the right of first refusal on the original property. Double-check with your lawyer, of course. But you're not avoiding publishers, you're becoming a publisher and violating the rights they've purchased.

Just my opinion, not admissible in court.

Doc


message 11: by Danger (new)

Danger (danger_slater) | 3 comments Suki-

I have a few possible solutions for you:

1. What if you don't call your sequel a "sequel", but rather, an independent story featuring previously introduced characters that just happens to take place in the fictional world of the first novel, just chronologically later.

2. Just ask them if you can self-publish the title. I know I have a good personal relationship with my publisher. He's an author too. I'm sure they'll understand.

3. This is more of a question than a solution, you'd rather self-pub than go through a publisher? I understand that they're not helping much with the marketing (a good deal of my marketing I've been doing myself too) but I feel that the other authors they publish and I are in a sort of club. We share a similar style and sense of humor. We're all fans of each other. We share each other's posts on facebook. Maybe you should reach out to the other authors published under the same press as you and see if you can team up and cross promote and start building a community.

Just a few ideas.


message 12: by S.A. (new)

S.A. Partridge (sapartridge) | 3 comments Regarding book promotion. The South African book market is very saturated with authors (all good authors!) but the buying public has a tendency to favour international titles from more established names like James Patterson etc. It's becoming increasingly important to take on the roles of promotion and marketing yourself.

What works well: regular blogging; opinion pieces in local press; Twitter and Facebook accounts; public readings; book "events" such as launches and causes; book fairs; and blogger reviews.

Just two cents from a small fish in a very big pool :)


message 13: by Claude (new)

Claude Forthomme (claudenougat) | 23 comments I support everything said by S.A. above.

I would just suggest you navigate to my blog where I've just reviewed the pitfalls in self-publishing...of which there are many!

Perhaps publishers don't give out as much marketing help as they used to, but they still have a clout indies just don't have (for example, access to NYT critics or the Pulitzer Prize...) And there are other points I go over in that post...


message 14: by David (new)

David Santos (authordas) I've heard so much about Twitter and Facebook, we get it, but what we don't get is what to SAY on twitter and Facebook. I've been on Facebook for some 5 years I think. What am i to do now, as an author, that I haven't done the past 5 years as a regular member?


message 15: by Suki (last edited Nov 22, 2011 05:43AM) (new)

Suki Michelle (sukimichelle) | 2 comments To Danger, Doc, and Claude - thank you so much for your input and suggestions. We're faced with many decisions! I think we'll just have to ask our lawyer what to do if we decide to self-pub. I never thought of asking the publisher directly. That might be the simplest way to go. I suppose we're in a good position - either way, the book will be out there.

As for publishing it as a stand-alone, that's interesting too, but I think they own the rights to the STORY, not just the ISBN. Another thing to investigate.

I had a really obtuse thought - we submit a REALLY CRAPPY MS to our publisher and they respectfully decline. Then we clean that sucker up and go for it! Oh - evil - ick!!!

What an adventure!

Thanks again, everyone. Great thread!


Suki


message 16: by S.A. (new)

S.A. Partridge (sapartridge) | 3 comments Facebook and Twitter are all about relationship building with potential and existing readers. So its not really what you say, but how you say it. If people show interest in your work, then start a conversation. Start a dialogue rather than post updates. Social media shouldn't be about one-way communication.


message 17: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Clarke (sjclarke) | 3 comments Great conversation.

Suki, since your publisher knows the quality of work you are capable of I don't think a crappy ms will fool them. (Nor will similar tactics like suddenly becoming a difficult author to deal with lol)

It's a tough call, but I'm in favour of approaching the publisher directly with the question. They want happy authors on board. Also, they helped you get that first book to the success it is at now. Loyalty has to count for something. I'm in the same boat with the right of first refusal clause. I've just finished a stand alone book, and plan to use it to pursue an agent. My (5) sequals to my first book will be offered to my original small press publisher first. I'll just continue to write further independant books to sell eleswhere as well. The more books the merrier.

Good luck with your decision. And let us know what you finally find out. I'm curious to know the answer you get, either from your pub, or legal counsel.

Sandra


message 18: by Claude (new)

Claude Forthomme (claudenougat) | 23 comments Suki and Sandra, I agree with both of you. Going to your publisher first sounds best and certainly if he's treated you right, he deserves some loyalty and fair treatment. Now you know to kick out that clause in your next contract!


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