3 S.R. Johannes: November 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Marvelous Marketer: Hayley Gonnason (Publicist at Tricycle Press)

"Thanks for Following this Turkey" contest!

Thanks to everyone who played in last week's contest. The winner is TESS!!!!

Tess, please email me offline to schedule your free consultation and choose your book. :) Congrads!

Marvelous Marketer!

Today we have Hayley Gonnason, a publicist from Tricycle Press.

Hi Hayley! Thanks for joining us today. I am sure everyone is excited to hear from a publishing publicist. But first, tell me a little about yourself, your background/experience, and your role as a publicist.

I got my start as a publicity and sales associate at a small publishing house called Northland Publishing/Rising Moon/Luna Rising, which has since closed. I’ve been a publicist for Tricycle Press, the children’s book imprint of Ten Speed Press, for just over three years.

First let me ask, do you see a difference in publicity vs marketing in the publishing industry?

That’s a pretty difficult question to answer because marketing and publicity often go hand in hand here at Tricycle. A simple way of looking at it is that with marketing we’re spending direct money to promote a book and with publicity we aren’t. My job as publicist is to promote Tricycle Press books to the media to create buzz and make people want to buy our books.

As a publicist with Tricycle Press, can you give us some insight as to what happens in your typical day?

One of the nice things about my job is, there is no “typical” day. I always have to be ready to shift gears. We recently had a book launch party and there was a miscommunication and books were never ordered for the event. When I found out, I had to drop everything to make sure the books were there in time for the event. In the end the launch went off without (as far as people attending knew) a hitch but little things like that come up all the time. When I’m not dealing with stuff like that, I’m working on creating publicity plans for upcoming books, establishing and obtaining relationships with media contacts, and arranging events for authors and illustrators.

What types of publicity do you do for your authors (ARCs, blurbs, signings, materials, collateral)? And, does your role vary by author or is there a set standard of publicity that all authors get?

At Tricycle,the marketing and publicity dept. covers everything you mention above. We create sales materials, arrange events, create collateral to promote the events, solicit blurbs and early reviews, and attend trade shows—and that’s just to start. As publicist I pitch books to the media and if authors/illustrators have a platform that makes for an interesting/newsworthy interview, I pitch them for features.

Lately, I’ve been working to promote one of our fall books by offering interviews with its subject Maggie Gee, an 86-year-old woman who flew with the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) in WWII. Barack Obama passed legislation last summer that honored WASP members with the Congressional Medal of Honor. It’s a highly topical subject.

In your opinion, what are the top 3 things you think your authors should do to promote their books?

We encourage authors to set-up their own websites so that anyone interested in obtaining more information about them and their books, can get to easily.

We advise authors to get on social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter. These are also great ways for anyone to get in touch with the author/illustrator. We figure once you build contacts here, it will develop into a way of networking and promoting themselves and their book(s), ultimately leading to sales.

We also encourage authors to participate in school visits and/or book signings. This is great for meeting people in their community and familiarizing booksellers with their book(s). Often times if they’ve met you in person, they’re more likely to recommend the book to potential buyers.

What things do you expect an author to do on their own?

We don’t expect authors—especially first-time authors—to know how to promote their books on their own but we really appreciate them when they try. Some easy and inexpensive ways that authors can spread the word about their new book is to tell their friends, local bookstores, and anyone else who will listen. Many authors are now blogging about their books which is cool. One of our authors travels the country speaking at schools and conferences and she always mentions her books in her presentations and they do very well because they she’s constantly promoting them. That’s not to say that a book won’t be successful if you don’t have a platform but it helps.

What are some creative things you’ve seen your house or authors do in terms of marketing and publicity?

We’re very fortunate in having such creative authors and illustrators who are interested in promoting their books as vigorously they can. When they have a great idea, we do our best to assist them in making it become a reality. For example, last spring we published a great summer read Brand-New Emily and the author mentioned how much she loved Bonne Bell and how fun it would be to do something with them. Running with her idea, we did a joint-promotion with Bonne Bell’s Lipsmackers Lounge where the book was included in a special summer giveaway they were doing. We also arranged several other beach-themed giveaways on websites like Cheerleader and Girl’s Life Magazine. And needless to say, when word got out that the author was giving out Lipsmackers at her events, they were a huge hit!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing some insight with us!

Thanks Shelli!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Meme

If you want to enter the "Thanks for Following This Turkey" contest for some free marketing stuff, be sure you are a follower and that you comment on the official Contest post.

I was looking through last year's Thanksgiving Day post and decided to do something different this year.

If you decide to do this, let me know and I will create a link of Thanksgiving Day posts at the bottom.

1. How will you be spending your Thanksgiving this year?
We are going to my mom's house.

2. Will you be cooking or are you just an eater?
I am in charge of dessert and entertainment (JK on the entertainment!)

3. Do you watch the parade every year or football!!
We watch star wars or Indiana Jones - dont ask me why!

4. Whats your favorite float?
I like the santa float b/c it reminds me of xmas coming.

5. Dark meat or white meat? Dark

6. What is your favorite dish besides the turkey?
Duh Dessert! who ever says green beans is totally lying!

7. Homemade cranberry sauce or cranberry sauce from the can?
My mom's only

8. Do you decorate for Christmas on Thanksgiving day?
No we start xmas stuff on Dec 1st. I need to breathe in between holidays.

9. What are some special family traditions?
So we dont argue with inlaws about who goes where when - we do Thanksgiving together. That means, we trade off every year between my sister-in-law's mom and my mom. That way we only travel every other year.

10. Pumpkin pie or pecan?
and pumpkin please. Twice! :)

11. What is your favorite thing to do with the leftovers?
What else is there to do but eat them! Wear them?

12. How long will you spend eating your thanksgiving meal?
Probably 30 minutes (what can I say - we have 6 kids under age of 6 between the families so dinners dont last too long) ...but we try to spend hours talking after the meal.

13. Are you worried about putting on weight this Thanksgiving?
I expect to put on weight over the holidays and then make a resolution to take it off in the new year. It's the American way!

14. What do you normally eat at Thanksgiving?
Turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, rolls & pie. Lots of pie!

15. What will you be thankful for this Thanksgiving?
Oh gosh, where do i begin. My family and my renewed health. My agent. My friends. My writing. I'm grateful for every thing I come across, including all of you.

16. What is your best Thanksgiving memory?
The Thanksgiving before I got married. Our wedding was on Nov 30th. So my husband's family came over from UK for 2 weeks. It was nice to have all the families together and it was exciting knowing I was only a week away from marrying my man. :)

17. Will you be waking up early to hit the sales?
Yes, budget is tight this year.

18. Are you planning on going shopping the day after Thanksgiving?
Yes! We are n a budget so this year I am dragging my butt out of bed for Black Friday. It better be worth it b/c I am not a morning person.

Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Other Thanksgiving Day Memes! (please put your link in the comments and I will create a list)

Lisa Owens

Catherine Denton

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Thanks for following this Turkey" Contest!

I've changed it up a bit this week. Tricky right?

The "Marvelous Marketer" series will start up again next Monday after the holiday.

Why? Because today is my "Thanks for following this Turkey" Day.

In honor of Thanksgiving week, I wanted to thank each of you for reading my blog, commenting, giving me encouragement, and for actually coming back :) My blog has evolved over this past year and would not be what it is - without all of you.

But for some reason just saying "thank you" didn't feel thankful enough. It didnt seem to capture how much you all mean to me.

So... I wanted to thank you by offering something. Something more personal. Maybe send out some more of that positive Karma LILA forked out a while back. :)

Yes it my "Thank you for following this Turkey" Contest!!

To win, you must do 2 things:

1. You must be an official follower of my blog. Sorry but only loyal followers are eligible. If you are just stopping by, you can sign up on the left hand side. I do have a 30 day guarantee. If I dont' make you laugh or smile in 30 days - you can unfollow me.

2. You must add a comment to this post telling me one thing you are grateful for that relates to writing. yes it has to be about writing. Maybe a rejection, a critique partner, a book you just read. Its time we show thanks for one good thing that has happened in our writing process. W all have at least one! So Share it!That's it!

I will leave the contest open until midnight Pacific time on Wed night. I will draw a name on Thanksgiving Day and post the winner next Monday.

The winner will get a one hour free marketing consulting session and a book. Now, I want to do something that appeals to unpublished and published writers to be sure everyone is included.
  • If you win and are an unpublished writer - You will get an hour with me to brainstorm on pre-published branding, creating a platform, or get a query letter review on how to better market your book to agents. You will also get a copy of Christina Katz's book: Getting known before the book deal."
  • If you win and are a published writer (have a book out or coming out) - You can get advice on branding, marketing, social networking, marketing plans. You will get a copy of The Complete Guide to Book Marketing
Thank again and good luck :)

Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What a difference a Year makes

I was going back over my posts from last year and realized how far I have come in my writing journey in just a year.

Last year, around this time, I made a serious commitment to myself and the writing process. Prior to that I had dabbled, quit, returned, dabbled, and quit again. (oh yeah, I also quit a big time corporate job, had 2 kids, helped my hubby through a major back surgery, and had 6 months of vertigo)

But, last fall, I learned my writing buddy, Lindsey Leavitt, signed the final contract on her Princess for Hire deal (that went to auction!).

Her deal and journey made me realize something. "I can do this!"

You see Lindsey and I for a long time were in a similar space. In 2007, I had met her at her first SCBWI conference, which was the first conference I was also speaking at. We were reading the Twilight series at the time (along with a few BILLION other people.) So when her book sold to Hyperion, it was the first person I knew to get a real book deal.

I thought, "Wow! You mean this really happens? To people I know?" That was a HUGE eye opener for me.

Last October, I met her for coffee/chit chat after a SCBWI conference. She gave me some praise, some great advice, some pointers and most of all, hope, that it could happen for me. She really got me back on track.

So without Lindsey - and my critique group - I would not be here today. (Yes Lindsey, it's true. Stop shaking your head at me. Don't be so modest!)

After shelving one book along with many many rejections and working for 4 years to get published, last November, I finally queried my second novel "Grace Under Fire" to agents for the first time. I also rededicated myself to learning the ins and outs of the publishing business as well as jumpstart my blog again.

Here's everything I have done in just one year:
  • Met my first Blogger Buddies: Carrie Harris, Casey McCormick, Chandler Craig, and Corey Schwartz, Sherrie Solvang, Suzanne Young, Plot This girls (BTW - Happy Bday Katie! :)
  • Reignited blog - 0 followers
  • queried "Grace Under Fire" for first time
  • got full requests
  • got vertigo
  • got my first gray hair - ok third but whos counting
  • First Marketing Blog interview with Chandler Craig -
  • got rejections - including a personal one from Alyssa (my agent)
  • started marketing series on my blog - about 50 followers, only about 2 comments a day
  • got more rejections
  • had hubby cit me off from having a 3rd baby. dolls will have to do.
  • ran a Commenting contest - followers increased to 100
  • started Facebook and Twitter
  • pissed off my hair dresser and got banned from the salon
  • Started "On the Bright Side - initially a YA
  • joined Publishers weekly and Publishers Marketplace
  • personal rejection with opportunity to resubmit
  • revised Grace's entire plot
  • another gray hair - obviously my old hairdresser's fault
  • Resubmitted to agent who asked for book to be redone
  • Changed On the Brights Side to MG/tween - wrote 100 pages
  • requeried all agents who gave me personal rejections - all said yes and asked for a partial of Bright as well
  • ran Follower Contest - followers increased to 200
  • changed my diet
  • vertigo went away - thank the lord!
  • made tons and tons of wonderful blogger buddies
  • Got an offer for representation- What!
  • Another offer- What?
  • a couple more offers - Shut up!
  • Chose Alyssa!!! yay!
  • Went to LA and got requests from editors for books
  • Hung out with Katie and SF
  • Met my now soul sister Kimberly Derting who I adore to death!
  • Shelved Grace and wrote rest of Bright
  • Revised bright at least 10 times
  • Just went out on sub to publishers
  • Just had my 40,000 visitor on my blog and 350 followers.
Last year, I never thought I would be here today. I wondered if I would EVER get an agent! I never thought I would write another book in less than a year.

Who knows where I will be next year.

So hang in there and stay positive! You have to keep going. Especially if you love to write as much as me.

Because by this time next year, you will be so much further than you are today.

And who knows where that will be!!!!

Here's to another great year and many more successes!

Here's to your dream!

I hope one day, someday, I can give back to each of you in some small way. Even if it is by giving you the hope (like Lindsey did for me) that you too - can reach your writing dream.

Good luck! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Marvelous Marketer: Kaylan Adair (Assoc. Editor at Candlewick Press)

Hi K
aylan! Thanks for stopping by today. Can you tell me how you got started in the publishing world?

I started my career in publishing as an editorial intern at Barefoot Books in Cambridge, MA, where I fell in love with children's books. I worked as an editorial assistant at Tuttle Publishing in Boston my first year out of college, and then was hired as an assistant editor at Candlewick Press.

That was five years ago. I'm now an associate editor and work on a range of projects, from picture books through young adult novels.

You can visit us at our company website. We've also just joined the exciting world of Twitter . In addition, we have separate websites for some of our key properties like: OlogyWorld.com, JudyMoody.com, TheNightFairy.com, TheMagiciansElephant.com, and so on.

Regan Castle, our marketing services coordinator, is our corporate Tweeter and does a wonderful job of keeping the world updated on all things Candlewick. We're actively exploring ways to promote ourselves and our authors online and are very excited by the opportunities out there for reaching large audiences.

Yay! We love when publishing houses join the Twitter bandwagon! In your opinion, how important is it for an author to have an online presence.

I think an online presence of some kind is invaluable (for authors as well as for publishers). More and more people turn to the web for information about books and their authors, and the web is a great resource for reaching your target audience. And in this world of reality TV, paparazzi, and instant gratification, fans and consumers are expecting to have more access than ever before to authors -- and these social networking sites can help to satisfy that demand.

That said, I would caution authors not to spread themselves too thin (by signing up for any and every site/space/feed/etc.) or bite off more than they can chew. An inactive blog or Facebook page or Twitter account can be a big turnoff. If you don't have the time to send at least a couple of Tweets each day, Twitter may not be the best tool for you. If you find yourself spending all of your creative energy on your blog posts and having nothing left over for your WIP, then your blog may be doing you more harm than good.

Think long and hard about your schedule, lifestyle, and commitments before you jump into a new online presence and make sure you'll be able to satisfy the demands of your followers.

In addition to having a meaningful online presence, why is it beneficial for authors to team up and promote books as a group?

Absolutely! As marketing budgets are spread thinner and thinner, more pressure is put on authors to do whatever is in their means to market and promote themselves. One great way to make a school visit, book signing, or tour more affordable is to team up with other authors. You can carpool, share hotel rooms, and use the combined powers of your online presences to draw bigger crowds and make the events more worthwhile for all involved. Plus, there is something very comforting and rewarding about networking with people who are in the same boat as you.

Since you feel strongly about an author's online presence, when evaluating whether to take on an author or book on, do you ever google them?

While I'll never turn down a project if an author doesn't have a website, one of the first things I'll suggest they do after signing them up is start a website. If an author has an online presence that I feel is lacking (maybe they have a blog they only update every few months) or inappropriate (perhaps the content of their website or blog isn't appropriate for their book audience), I'll discuss ways in which they can more effectively or appropriately manage their online presence.

It's unrealistic to think that fans of your books won't be able to find your old blog or MySpace page or Twitter account, and so I think it's important for authors to be thinking about their readers even before their book is published.

As an editor, what things do you expect an author to do on their own?

This varies from author to author and book to book, but I think every author ought to have an online presence of some sort. A website is a must (and I'd recommend the website be for the author and not the specific book, though there are exceptions to that) and should include information about your book, details about any public appearances you'll be making, and a way for fans to get in touch with you. I also think a presence on MySpace or Facebook or Twitter (etc.) can be a great resource for keeping your fans up to date on your schedule, your projects, and so on. But don't just throw up a website or blog or join a social networking site for the sake of claiming an online presence; treat it as a legitimate part of your work and set aside time to keep it current and relevant.

Online presences aside, we absolutely encourage our authors to be creative and enthusiastic in the ways they promote themselves and their books. Some authors choose to make and distribute postcards advertising their upcoming releases. Others get in touch with their local schools and bookstores to set up visits or signings. Some make an effort to attend regional conferences and promote (and even sell) their titles while there. Authors should let their publishers know what they're planning and what they're up to, but really we encourage them to be as active in the promotion of their books as they're comfortable being.

Thanks Kaylan for taking some time out for us today!

Thanks so much for having me, Shelli!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Elana did it and so can all of you!


Another blogger buddy is agented.

Congrads Elana Johnson - you deserve it!

I can't stand the excitement and have no idea how to put into words how rewarding and wonderful it is to watch writers I've been blogging with for the past year or so finally take another step towards their dream/.

I mean, it feels like it's happening to me all over again!

Cant wait til more book deals start coming through :)

Because I know the party's not over yet! I KNOW there are more of you out there getting ready to take your next step in this crazy journey. I can feel it! And if/when you do, PLEASE let me know when you do so I can do my dance for you too! :)

For now, here's to Corey, Lila, SF, Katie, and Elana! I'm so happy for you all and this dance is for you!

P.S. Congrads to LK Madigan, AprilLynne Pike, Cindy Pon, Maggie Stiefvater, Laini Taylor and more for being nominated for "Best Books for Young Adults (by YALSA)". Check out the rest.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Word for the Day! Faith

To be honest, I just didn't feel like doing a marketing round up today. Something else is on my mind. Stay tuned until Monday for your regularly scheduled program.

Faith is not always just about God or your beliefs in something superior.

We forget the other meanings. The personal meanings.

Faith is the "firm belief in the integrity, ability, effectiveness, or genuineness of someone or something."

Faith is "the obligation of loyalty to a person, promise, engagement."

Faith is "adherence to something to which one is bound by a pledge or duty."

Faith is the "confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing."

Faith helps you overcome insecurity, build confidence, let go of fear.

No matter what you belief in your own spirituality, faith is about believing in more than what is in front of you.

Have faith you are where you need to be, you are going where you are supposed to go, and you will be who you ought to be.

Have faith in your writing.

Have faith in yourself.

Have faith in something more.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Marvelous Marketer: Bestselling author Alyson Noel (Immortals series)

Hi Alyson, I am so excited (and all geeky nervous) you agreed to stop by.

**pause for the gooby starstrucked feeling to pass**

So before we get into marketing, let's pretend as if no one knows who you are and tell us a little (or a whole lot!) about yourself.:)

I’m the author of ten novels for adults and teens, including the bestselling THE IMMORTALS series, which you can read more about at my author web site or the series web site.

In addition, I run a blog

Psst!!! In case you didn't notice, Alyson is being very modest about her bio. In addition, Shadowland, releases on November 17th and is already getting rave reviews. But what did we expect :)>

So how was your road to publishing? Did you start any of your platform or marketing prior to getting an agent or selling your book?

Well, the embarrassing truth is, I was as green as they come. Seriously, there was no one as clueless as me. And while I wanted to be a writer since I read my first Judy Blume book back in sixth grade, I didn’t get serious about it until late 2001, just after 9/11 happened and I was working as a flight attendant in NYC and figured it was as good a time as any to go after my dream. So I started writing in whatever spare time I had, on layovers, on flight delays, on cocktail napkins, you name it, I was determined to get it done.

The moment I typed “The End” I bought a copy of Writer’s Marketplace, jotted off a query letter, and sent it directly to a long list of publishers, mistakenly thinking I didn’t need an agent (I can’t even begin to stress how very wrong that is). And while every one of them requested the full, they all rejected me in the end. Still, they were the nice kind of rejections, the kind that welcome you to resubmit if you choose to revise.

So I enrolled in some online writing classes, and through one of those classes I met a fellow student who referred me to her agent. He read my mss, loved the voice but told me my structure was a mess (it was!), and suggested I read STORY by Robert McKee. I bought it straightaway, read it in two days, took the next three weeks to ruthlessly revise my mss, sent it back to him, and a few days later he signed me. And several months later he sold my debut novel, FAKING 19, to St. Martin’s Press in a two-book deal (this happened in Feb 2004).

But even with the book deal in hand, I still had no idea what I was doing marketing wise, or how publishing even really worked. I didn’t know any other writers, and was sort of living and working in a bubble. And aside from my website (at the time crafted from an Author’s Guild template), I didn’t blog, or join any professional writing organizations until my third book, LAGUNA COVE, was already on the shelves. It was through my memberships with SCBWI and RWA that this whole new world opened up and I realized that simply crossing my fingers before each release does not a publicity plan make! So I spent the next several months getting a blog together, joining a slew of social networking sites, and generally playing catch up.

Hate to say this, but it's kinda nice to know you got rejections too. Gives me hope :) As a bestselling author, I'm sure you do a lot of marketing. What are the top three things you think every author should do to promote their book?

While I think it’s extremely important to find a way to connect with readers, whether that be blogging, myspace, twitter, facebook, or all of the above, I’m also a big advocate for doing only the things you truly enjoy and scraping the rest. Because the truth is, keeping up with all of those sites is a major time suck, and if you’re not enjoying them, then it’s a colossal waste of energy that’s better used for writing!

I think the number one most important thing an author can do is to put together a nice website to showcase themselves and their books. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and you don’t have to spend a ton of money, just make sure it’s professional, inviting, easy to navigate, and a fun destination for readers and potential readers to learn more about you and your books.

If you like blogging and can keep it going and keep it fresh, then by all means, have it. It’s a great way for people to get to know you and your writing style. But if you don’t enjoy it, and can’t provide regular content, it’s probably better to skip it and find another way to reach out—or even join a group blog where you don’t have to post as often, and can cross promote with other authors and poach off each other’s readers.

Thank you for emphasizing that it is important to market your book the way you feel is best and the way you like to do it the most. In addition to blogging, how important is social networking to you?

I’ve found it to be a great way to stay in touch with readers, and I really enjoy keeping up with my Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter pages. I also keep a bulletin board on my site where I answer questions and chat. And while I’m a member of GoodReads as well, I admit that I rarely visit, I have super tight deadlines to meet and I had to draw the line somewhere!

I notice you team up with other authors on various projects. Do you feel it is beneficial for authors to promote books as a group?

Yes I do. I’m a member of two group blogs: The Teen Fiction Cafe and Living Your Five. I’m a huge advocate of the group book signing, because the reality is, unless you’re a huge, name brand author, it’s hard to fill up a room by yourself—especially when the majority of your readers are teens who can’t even drive yet. Not to mention, after you’ve released a few books in a row, it’s hard to get even your own family members to show up and look excited (not that I’ve had that experience or anything—mom, dad, are you reading this?!).

A group signing not only attracts more readers, but it’s a great opportunity to cross promote, which is why I’m especially excited about the Smart Girls Kick It Tour—the brainchild of Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong that’s kicking off in fall 2010. When they asked me to join them I was beyond thrilled. Most tours are set up by the publishers, meant to promote their own stable of authors, but this is something different—this is purely an author generated, grass roots effort, that is sure to be not only successful but fun!

I cannot wait for the Smart Girls Tour. If it does not go to Atlanta, I'll have to find one to road trip to :) Sounds like you do a lot of different types of marketing: blogs, group tours, signings. Can you give us any insight into what your publicist and marketing department does for you and how you two work together?

I’m lucky to work with such a great team at St. Martin’s Press—and it really is a team effort, a whole collaboration from the front cover design to the back cover copy to publicity and marketing, etc. They’re always brainstorming fun, new ways to promote the books, and they really knocked it out of the park with the Immortals website they created and the “overheard in Summerland” audios are amazing! Every time you click on a tulip (an important symbol in the books) you can hear a scene not included in the books—I was stunned when they came up with it!

On my own, I make bookmarks and bookplates which I send to readers who send me a SASE, I also make sure to blog about each new release and announce it on all of my social networking sites. And I always hire Circle of Seven to put together a trailer because they do a great job and they have the most amazing distribution (it’s all about the distribution!), then I pretty much hope for the best, and get to work on my next book! Because the truth is, while my efforts have merit and make me feel like I’m doing my part, it’s nothing compared to what my publisher can do. They have much bigger reach, far more resources, and much deeper pockets than I—and their efforts make a much bigger difference than mine ever could.

So in addition to signings and your publisher's marketing efforts, what other creative things have you done to promote a book?

While I’m not sure that they’re particularly creative, I’ve made bookmarks, bookplates, done blog tours, made trailers, bought ad space on reader centric Internet sites, signed stock in bookstores both near and far, Myspaced, Facebooked, Twittered, (yup, they’re verbs now!), taken part in group signings at bookstores and book festivals, given presentations at libraries and schools, all of which, no doubt, helps to get my name and books “out there.”

The truth is, and this may not be wildly popular but I believe it to be true—the absolute best thing you can do to market yourself as an author is to write your next book! At the end of the day, that’s all your readers really want from you anyway. And with books getting such a short shelf life these days, the best way to ensure yours books maintain their space is to keep ‘em coming, to build up a nice backlist for your readers to explore and for bookstores to reorder with each new release.

Thank you so much for joining us today and good luck with Shadowland! (not that you will need it! :)


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Follow the LiLA brick road

Leave it to LILA to come up witha hot new contest (AKA wonderful "bribe" to get all of us to pay more attention to their hilarious rants! tee hee ;).

They are giving away a KINDLE next week to one of their followers! (and don't worry, it's not too late to become one. Go! Join the fun!)

While you are there - be sure to congratulate them on their book deal! :) No wonder they don't "need" the Kindle. Now, they can afford several! They can purchase so many they have to "give" them away for free.

I want a book deal too! :)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Friday Five/Marketing Round Up

Side notes

I have received several awards recently. Thank you so much and I promise to catch up on passing those on this week. :)

Marketing favs for the week

Marketing: the Snowball Effect - Elizabeth Dulemba interview on Cynsations talking about marketing as a two-phase process. There’s general marketing (getting your name out there), and then there’s specific marketing (focusing on a particular title).

Social Media Marketing Plan - From social media networks to blogs, widgets, tweets and hot mobile apps marketers are faced with more choices than we ever could have imagined.

Writerpreneurs - ">Creating multiple writing gigs is one way to accomplish that. Another way to add a stream, while building your writer's brand, is developing a product line.

Helping those who Talk Less Get heard More - Currently winning our race for most intriguing book title of 2009 is the oxymoronic "Self-Promotion for Introverts" by Nancy Ancowitz (McGraw Hill).Ms. Ancowitz clearly has mastered what an introvert needs to know about self-promotion.

Turn twitter friends into real friends -
Your Twitter brand should have both personal and professional elements to it. In order to create real relationships your Twitter friends should trust you.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Woot Woot for LiLa!

My fabulous friends, Lisa and Laura, got their first book deal this week for A Kate Lowry Mystery: THE HAUNTING OF PEMBERLY BROWN.

After a long 5 month submission process.

They have fulfilled one dream in a long line of many. And Im so happy I've have been on this journey with them.

And of course to make it really official - here is the PW announcement. See it is real!

Lisa Roecker and Laura Roecker's A Kate Lowry Mystery: THE HAUNTING OF PEMBERLY BROWN, a quick-witted mystery starring a private-school sleuth with attitude and pearls, who receives an email from her dead best friend, to Daniel Ehrenhaft at Sourcebooks, for publication in Spring 2011, by Catherine Drayton at Inkwell Management (NA).

Go to their blog to congratulate them and to get the dirty scoop on their publishing journey so far!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Marvelous Marketer: Wendy Loggia (Delacorte/RHCB)

Hi Wendy, thanks for joining us today.
First, why don't you tell us a little about yourself.

After the requisite liberal arts degree, I began my career in the managing editorial group at Grosset & Dunlap/Putnam, and for the past fifteen years have been with Delacorte Press, where I’m an executive editor working primarily on middle grade/tween/teen fiction. Delacorte Press is an imprint of the Random House Children’s Book group; there are five editors including myself, three assistants, and our vp/publisher, Beverly Horowitz.

I’ve also written a number of books for young readers—series fiction, movie tie-ins--which I like to think makes me a more empathetic editor. Revisions? Criticism? I've been there.

We have a web site we’re quite proud! Please check us out at Randomhouse Kids and Random Teens.

We also have an active presence on Facebook. You can check out a few of RHCB books on Facebook:
You can also keep up to date on all the latest news from Random House Children’s Books by following us on Twitter, where we tweet about author events, awards announcements, and new book reviews:

In your opinion, how important is social networking?

Very important. We find that our authors who have a real online presence are making important connections with educators, parents, librarians, and readers, which translates into good book buzz and sales. Kids live online and writers who write for kids want to live in that world as well. Some websites/blogs are reaching out to adults and others are more kid-driven—both serve a purpose. It also helps in the acquisition process to gain insight into a potential author—read their blog, see what type of content they’ve created, what kind of community is responding to their work.

The writing must always come first, though.

Do you feel it is beneficial for authors to team up and promote books as a group?

Yes, especially new writers. In fact, we have a program at RHCB called IT’S A FIRST that’s geared to grouping together and cultivating and nurturing new talent, promoting our new fiction writers together through a cd & brochure—it’s a sales hook that made perfect sense to us, a way to pull together a group of talented authors with diverse styles, sharing the common theme of “debut novelist.”

It’s terrific how writers are helping each other, through blogs like yours, through joint events (signings, appearances) . . . fans of Author X may show up at X’s event, get a book signed by X, and be introduced to Author Y and decide to check out that author too. It’s a great way to introduce readers to new authors/books. And of course it can be helpful to have “likeminded” authors teaming up as their fan base is likely to overlap.

The Class of 2K8 and Class of 2K9 groups are shining examples of pooling efforts to help fellow authors succeed—they’re an incredibly polished, professional, and focused group of authors. And while it’s inevitable that writers “compare notes,” it’s important to stay positive and focused on your own writing. Each book is a unique entity in the marketplace.

And while it’s inevitable that writers “compare notes,” I think it’s important to stay positive and focused on your own writing. Each book is a unique entity in the marketplace.

When evaluating whether to take on an author or book, do you ever google them to see if they already have a web presence or platform?

Absolutely! Working with a writer on a manuscript is a true partnership, and I want to know as much about my potential partner as possible. I’m not looking necessarily for a fan base or platform, but rather to get insight into how they think/feel/respond/connect with their followers/readers, etc. and to get a sense of how I think we could/would mesh and work together.

What are you looking for? What are you interested in?

Something I haven’t seen before. Like most editors, the voice is what immediately hooks me. A fast-paced plot doesn’t hurt, either. Think women’s fiction—for teens, a la Sarah Dessen, Meg Cabot. Would like a great paranormal—I just read Evermore and can see why it’s so popular with girls. Commercial + literary is a win-win for everyone. Wry humor.

Books that take me to another world, like The Hunger Games. Escapist books like the Pretty Little Liars series. Books that kids living in 2009 can relate to. Books like When You Reach Me that remind me of how much I loved reading as a kid—this is a book I would have adored.

I’m looking forward to reading Along for the Ride , Winter Girls, and the next Luxe book . . . and all the revised manuscripts that are due to me in the coming months. I’ve worked with some amazingly talented writers and they’ve set the bar pretty high.

Thanks for spending some time with us today.

Thanks Shelli!