By Jennifer Hallmark
The time had arrived. My debut novel, Jessie’s Hope, would be released into the world. A book baby that was years in the making. Was I totally prepared for the marketing that would follow?
Now before you say anything negative, I had prepared somewhat. But when it’s a brand-new, never-done-before, kind of something, preparation is scattered at best.
What do I mean?
Marketing seems to change every day. One day, an idea may help, the next day, it may not. I thought I’d share five resources/ideas I tried and my thoughts on how they helped me.
(1) Blog tour-I started with a two-week blog tour on release day, then two months later had a week-long review tour set up by Paige Boggs. I’m also planning a one-week tour the first week of December to hopefully add Christmas sales.
- My thoughts: It helped my sales somewhat, but being on seventeen blogs in fourteen days was too many. I survived, but emerged worn out. The review tour was helpful in that it reached a lot of different people.
(2) Facebook party-I shared a Facebook party (set up by Paige Boggs) with another Lighthouse author Hope Bolinger a week after the release. Hope and I both enjoyed it and I sold several books, mostly e-books. Plus made some new friends…
- My thoughts: I would definitely do this again. It was a high-energy, fun party. And sharing it with Hope made it even more fun…
(3) Jessie’s Hope Book Launch Celebration-I held a celebration at our church fellowship hall and invited all my friends and family to share the joy with me.
- My thoughts: I really had a blast. Over fifty people dropped by, and I sold quite a few paperback books. Worth every penny I spent on it for the encouragement I received that day.
(4) Book signings and speaking engagements-I had a library book signing, spoke at two book clubs, and addressed a women’s church group. I also had a book signing at Coldwater Books during the Helen Keller Festival. I have another bookstore signing planned in a few weeks.
- My thoughts: Speaking is nerve-wracking, but I made it through okay. I sold over forty books at these events and it was a good experience.
(5) Ads-I purchased Book Bub ads and Facebook ads. I also tried Goodreads ads.
- My thoughts: I had a lot of looks on Book Bub and really moved my book when it was offered for free for a week. I would have done better if I’d had another book to sell with it. I had several clicks on my ad on Facebook and sold a few. Goodreads had a lot of views, but no clicks. They’re in the process of redoing their ads so maybe it will be for the better. I changed my ad often as an experiment and moved more books with a quote from my book than with the tagline.
I would suggest you try all of these (maybe in moderation) and see what you think. I’m learning new things every day about marketing and tweaking my social media and email newsletter also. Spending money on an email newsletter has been a good investment for me also. I’d highly suggest it before your book finds its way into the world. Try some of these ideas and see your book release go to another level…
Writing Prompt: Go to Pinterest and check out book release party ideas. There are so many. Here’s my board.