An Open Market: Back on the Chain Gang

So someone needs to start off the next round for the blog chain gang.

So all of us on this blog chain gang have worked feverishly on what needs to be done before a novel gets published. Some of us are quite close to publication, including the next link in our chain, Jessica Verday whose debut novel The Hollow will be released later this year. But lately I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to the work that needs to be done during and after publication.

Besides writing new stuff, of course.

Specifically, I’ve been thinking about marketing.

Now, many aspiring authors I’ve encountered dread the idea of marketing. So you might think I’m getting ahead of myself, but I see this as sort of like wedding planning.

I mean, after all, I’m going to notify all my family and friends of the date when I’ll finally be able to walk down the aisle (of the bookstore) and hold my handsome love (whom I’ve been seriously involved with for a year or two) in my arms.

So why wait until I’m officially “engaged” to start planning?

But seriously, I don’t think it can possibly be too early to start thinking of ways to market your project. Although certainly a publisher might have different ideas and choose to go in another direction, but it can’t hurt to have your own plan developed and ready to go.

So, blog chain buddies…

What plans do YOU have to market your novel? How will you make sure the public finds your work?

(Pssst, gang… this would be an ideal time to show us your book trailer, if you have one)

Naturally, I plan to use the tried-and-true marketing methods (guest blogging, conferences, maximizing my online presence, bookmarks, etc.), but I also have a couple of ideas I’m very excited about that are specific to The Edge of Memory.

First of all, my novel features a silver charm bracelet, which my protagonist discovers with the hidden letter from her birth mother. For a contest prize, I would like to create a similar bracelet. I would also have some less pricey prizes available. To enter the contest, people would have to view my book trailer.

Speaking of book trailers, I already have a mock-up one:

When the time comes, however, I will produce a professional version. And I’m especially excited about that, as my diverse group of test readers includes photographers, actors, musicians, make-up artists/stylists, and an amazing videographer. They might even give me a discount. 🙂

But the idea I’m really excited about doesn’t involve flashy trailers or prizes. It involves a concept I think will help generate interest with a specific group of readers: book clubs.

Book clubs usually involve three main activities: reading the book, discussing the book, and EATING. So all the better if I can create a food connection to my novel, right?

My protagonist Beatrice cooks when she’s stressed… and I gave her a lot to stress about. So there are a few dialogue passages where she’s preparing a meal during the conversation.

A friend of mine runs a fabulous cooking blog (seriously amazing… more drool-worthy pictures than most mortals can handle) and has graciously agreed to some guest blogging with recipes for the meals my character prepares.

How much fun is that? I’m anxious to cook them myself.

Anyway, I’m excited to hear how the rest of the gang envisions themselves marketing their novels. And our next blog chainer will have extra cool insights, since marketing her debut novel is not just a fantasy for Jessica Verday.

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13 Responses

  1. Oooooo, I got scared for a second and then you got to the book trailer part…. 😀 I am going to revamp my book into a YA, so I’m thinking a new trailer is in order 😀 I love me some procrastination projects! 😀 Being one of those writers who is a little intimidated by the whole marketing thing, this one is going to be tough for me 🙂

  2. Ooooh…good topic! I like your ideas of the bracelet giveaway and the recipe tie-in.

  3. Love this topic..how funny, too, as I was just writing tomorrows post for my blog regarding branding yourself as an author….great minds and all that. Nice topic. I LOVE you book club ideas.

  4. Oh. Crap.

    Good ideas, though, Heather. This one’s gonna take an extra-large thinking cap. Maybe I can call in sick… 🙂

  5. I love marketing. In fact, I’m looking forward to it. If you want to see the marketing plan (well, the official one, it keeps growing) for my NF project, I’ll have to email it to you — it’s long.

    I’m sure I’ll have no trouble making my blog post plenty long enough. 😉

    Love your tie-in ideas, especially the cooking ones. So clever!

    This will be a fun chain, maybe I’ll get even more ideas. *rubs hands together and cackles*

  6. Yay, marketing ideas for the future! I’m starting a list that I know will be full by the time this chain is over.

    And, I really liked your book trailer. Now I want to read your book!

  7. I loved the trailer. And the charm bracelet and food? That’s so cool and (not to sound cliche or anything but) outside the box.

    Good topic Heather. I can’t wait to tackle this one.

  8. Wow, great topic idea, although this time around I think I will be getting more information from everyone with not as much to contribute myself. Or maybe it will force my brain to start thinking about this and come up with some ideas. Either way, it will be interesting.

  9. Heather, cool topic! It is fun to daydream about what you will do… And recipes, right up my alley babe! 🙂

  10. I look at the online world as a combo platter – connections/friendships/marketing. I don’t befriend anyone, comment or critique soley for the purpose of marketing, but since I’m online, it’s the residual effect. You meet someone, they want to read your blog. They read your stories and articles and you have someone else you can “tell things to” every step along the way. I feel so fortunate to have it all wrapped into one.

    I’ve been accumulating marketing ideas since I started writing my book – I have a file – so I won’t have to start from scratch and don’t have to try to keep them all in my head.

  11. One possible concept of interest (YMMV), is the notion of 1000 True Fans.

    http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/03/1000_true_fans.php

    -b

  12. […] will be posting after me. If you’d like to read the chain from the beginning, start at the Heather’s […]

  13. Oh wow…this is gonna be a hard act to follow! You seem to have all your ducks in a row already.

    🙂 Terri

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