In June, Danielle Barclay of Barclay Publicity was the guest speaker at my RWA Chapter meeting. She talked about how authors can build a strong digital footprint to support their marketing efforts.
Hearing her made me realize it’s time to put on my marketing hat. Before her presentation, I hadn’t given any thought to hiring someone to help publicize the release of my debut novel, The Demon Always Wins, which will release on Amazon on September 1st. I'd figured on a more grassroots approach:
Releasing two more books within six months of my debut to keep myself visible to the Amazon algorithm.
Asking for reviews via my newsletter and my FB author page.
Entering the book in every published-book contest I can find. It did well on the unpublished-book circuit, so getting it in front of potential readers in the form of judges seems like a good way to gain visibility.
Being patient and trusting that my funny, satisfying, off-beat book will gain an audience.
Then I listened to Dani Barclay talk about the things one should do to promote a release (and a career) and realized how naive I was. The above list wasn’t going to be nearly enough to give my book any chance of being seen and read in a world where thousands of books are released on Amazon every day.
The thing is, because I’m busy working on the next two books, doing the things I need to do to promote The Demon Always Wins will be a challenge. Especially since I don’t actually know what those things are. So, after some conversations with Dani and with the Keeper of the Budget, aka Old Dog, I decided to hire her firm to do a single title release campaign. This includes:
Two week review and excerpt tour on book blogs to include no less than 30 genre-appropriate blog sites.
A Rafflecopter giveaway campaign to promote social media likes/follows and newsletter subscriptions.
Three to four additional “first look” promotional dates at high profile sites like USA Today’s romance blog and other notable women’s romantic fiction reader-author-centric sites.
Media buys and ad designs
Facebook and Amazon advertising support as needed (ad costs extra)
In addition, she gave me tips on growing my following on my Facebook author page and my Twitter account, so that when I use them to promote my book, there are actually people there to hear the news. Using their suggestions, I expect to double my author page likes/follows before my book is released.
All of this may or may not be enough to gain traction for my book. Given that approximately 5,000 new titles are released each day just on Amazon , probably not, but I still have Plan A (being patient and trusting that the universe holds good things for me) to fall back on.
The real reward I expect to reap from this effort is mastering the basic promotional learning curve more rapidly than I ever would on my own. During this engagement, I will learn how to structure book release promotion and also, I hope, the base skills to set up ads on Amazon and Facebook.
The contract is set up to run from September 3rd to 14th. I’ll let you know how it goes!