3 S.R. Johannes: Marvelous Marketer: Aprilynne Pike (Bestselling author of Wings)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Marvelous Marketer: Aprilynne Pike (Bestselling author of Wings)

Aprilynne Pike has been spinning faerie stories since she was a child with a hyper-active imagination. At the age of twenty she received her BA in Creative Writing from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. Over time, she completed three novels and queried countless agents, seeking representation for her writing

Soon, Jodi Reamer agreed to represent Aprilynne's work. When interest failed to manifest, Aprilynne started her fourth book--her first attempt at Young Adult fiction--and completed it just a few weeks before giving birth to her third child. Discouraged that, after years of work, she had yet to achieve publication, one November morning in 2007 Aprilynne convinced herself that she was pursuing a foolish dream. Neither she nor her husband were sure how they could afford to pay for his final year of law school and keep their children fed. So Aprilynne resolved to teach childbirth classes again, this time for a fee, and actively seek doula clients in order to make ends meet. This would leave very little time for writing, but she decided it had become an unrealistic and impractical pursuit and the time had come to let it go.

That same day, indeed that same hour, as Aprilynne was sorting through her doula kit and childbirth education literature, the phone rang. It was Jodi; Aprilynne's Young Adult manuscript had interest. Within days it was acquired in a pre-empt by Tara Weikum under the HarperTeen imprint. After so much effort honing her craft and paying her dues, Aprilynne finally achieved her dream. Wings debuted at #1 on the NYT bestselling list.

Hi April, thanks for joining me today!

Thanks for having me Shelli. :)

Congrads on your success and the release of your new book, Spells. Can you tell us about it?

Spells is the continuation of Laurel's adventures from Wings! Laurel is summoned to the Academy of Avalon to learn how to be a Fall faerie in the summer between her sophomore and junior years. While there, she learns more about both Avalon, and her old friend, Tamani. However, when she comes back, she must use all her skills to protect her family and friends when an old threat rises up and the possibility of a new one looms.

In your opinion , what are the top 3 things every author should and must do to promote their book? (web sites, blogs, tours etc)

Have a blog! I love my blog and I think it is a great way for readers to get a little peek into my life!

Get to know the staff at your local bookstore. Chain or Indie, I guarantee these people have access to resources you don't even know exist!

Do everything your publicist asks you to. Your publicist is on your side! If you are hard to work with, they won't go out of their way for you, and trust me, you want them to!

I know you do a lot of group signings with Harper. Do you feel it is beneficial for authors to team up and promote books as a group? Why?

I LOVE group events! Power in numbers!! It also takes a lot of pressure of you for bookstore events in particular. A bookstore will think an even with fifty people in attendance is successful regardless of how many authors it took to get them there. And trust me, it's really hard to get them there all by yourself!

On top of that, the camaraderie is priceless! Writing can be a lonely occupation, but email buddies make everything better!

Tell us about the summer Supernatural Tour. Who organized it and how did it work?

Harper Collins organizes the Supernatural Tour and chooses who participates. Then one person is selected as the spokesperson (It was Kelley Armstrong last year) and they get the ball rolling introducing us, etc. and then act as mediator as we take questions. I like it because with so many authors, there are always plenty of audience questions and we don't have to fill time with things like reading (often boring) or trying to pitch our books (embarrassing!) It was the highlight of my year last year and I am SO looking forward to doing both the US and Canadian Supernatural Summer events this year!

I am to because I know you are coming to Atlanta! :) If you could go back a couple years ago before you were published, are there thing you wish you would have done to market yourself? Any lessons learned?

I would have joined Twitter earlier!! Not necessarily for marketing purposes, but because I think it's really fun! I also would have used it to Twitter tour locations more. Even on a publisher sponsored tour, you still have to mostly bring in your own audience.

Thanks April!

Thank for having me Shelli! :)

For more, visit April at her website, twitter, Facebook, or blog.


Candyland said...

WOW. So, never quit. Yeah. Definitely needed that today.

M Pax said...

Great story of your success, Aprilynne! Congrats! Well deserved. I slog through the bogs of rejection-love knowing it takes time and tenacity. I wish you continued success.

Ann Marie Wraight said...

Aprilynne and Shelli - that was a REALLY brilliant and encouraging interview. I'm always amazed when I read about successful people and see that the prize wasn't awarded over night...I think we just assume that success happens almost immediately...that was quite a story of persistence.

You have an unusual and very pretty name Aprilynne - may I ask why your parents called you that? It makes me think of blossoming flowers in an orchard ....feeling romantic today Shelli.

Am going over to follow your blog.


Shawntelle Madison said...

I love your story! How sweet!

Virginia S Grenier said...

What a great interview. I'm a writing mama and know how hard it is to raise a family and write.

Thanks for sharing.

Jemi Fraser said...

Awesome interview. I love the 3 pieces of advice - words to live by for sure :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great interview. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story Aprilynne, especially about the group signings.

Rena Jones said...

Great interview. Thank you!

Vonna said...

Wonderful, inspiring post! The Supernatural Tour sounds fantastic; wish I could have seen it.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

vonna - its coming in 2010 - go to web site for dates! :)

Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

I love multiple author signings.