Thursday, August 25, 2011

Andrea Boeshaar: 3 Keys to Successful Promotion

30 Days of Promo Goodness continues today with author Andrea Boeshaar!

Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar has 26 published novels, 8 published novellas, and a host of collective nonfiction under her belt. She knows the peaks and valleys of the publishing industry and loves to share her experience with other writers. She was an agent for more than 10 years, but is now writing full-time and is represented by the Steve Laube Agency. Additionally, Andrea is a certified Christian life coach. She is presently taking classes to be certified in Christian counseling. Andrea is a cofounder of ACFW. She’s taught at several of the organization’s conferences as well as the Oregon Christian Writers Conference, Write-To-Publish, and Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

Take it away, Andrea....


Although I’ve been a published author for fifteen years, promotion is not my strong point and never has been. Therefore, I work extremely hard at it. In my earlier career I wrote for a mass-market romance line. The publisher promoted its line, not the authors. But, generally, the books did well. Then I published in the general Christian market (trade paperback). I didn’t do much in the way of promotion and felt horrified when my sales numbers were considerably less than my previous books. So when my latest series was purchased, I knew I had to hop on that proverbial band wagon and let all the world know I had a new book releasing.

But how to do that – promote?

It’s the million dollar question. Literally! Certainly writers can hire publicists and leave all the dirty work to them. The plan might work well for the author getting paid a large advance and/or one who receives large royalty payments. But for the rest of us -- *smile* -- it’s boots-on-the-ground publicizing and that means digging in our heels. I’m a hard-worker so no problem there, but I’m also a simple person. I need the basics before my creative juices start to flow. So, after brain-storming with several trusted friends and reading oodles of articles on promotion, I’ve boiled the whole process down to three basic, but successful, principles (or “keys”).

1) Web Promo

A) Get yourself a website. I’m always amazed when I hear about published authors who don’t have websites. In today’s techno-world, a website is crucial. I would suggest not creating one yourself, either, unless you’re a professional web-designer. My website was created by – and is hosted by – KMK Enterprises http://www.kmkenterprises.com/ . I’ve been extremely pleased with its skill and service, and I would recommend the company.

B) Establish yourself on social networking sites like Facebook. Get your name out there!

C) Invest in a Facebook Ad. This is a reasonably-priced option, as you’re charged per click and you can decide how much to spend and how long to run your ad.

D) Create a blog – and keep up with your posts. There’s nothing worse than clicking onto an author’s blog and seeing his or her latest post is from six months ago. (Which reminds me…)

E) Guest blog on other authors’ web sites. This is great way to introduce yourself to new readers.

F) Peruse online radio programs, like those on Blog Talk Radio http://www.blogtalkradio.com/. Hosts are always looking for interesting guests (like authors!).

G) Write an e-newsletter. If you choose not to blog, a monthly or seasonal newsletter might be an option to keep in touch with readers. Even if you’re not currently contracted, it’s important to remind readers that you have novels available for purchase. I’ve learned that readers aren’t always current on our current projects. One sweet lady stopped me in church a few weeks ago and said a friend just gave her my book Wisconsin Weddings (the 3-in-1 story collection was released in 2007).

2) Hardcopy promo

A)Write a press release, announcing your new book and fax, mail (or email) it to local magazines and newspapers. Local media enjoys write-ups about hometown talent.

B) Magazine and Newspaper Ads. These are sometimes costly, but an ad in such magazines as Romantic Times or the Romance Writers Report (if you’re an RWA member) can be advantageous.

C) Send out postcards. I like to use VistaPrint.com. The printing is fast and affordable. What’s more, it’s user-friendly. Even I managed to upload all four book covers in my series. Then I mailed them to bookstores and readers across the country.

3) Personal Appearances

A) Contact book clubs and writers groups. Schedule times when you can speak to these organizations in your area to encourage books sales.

B) Contact the producers of local morning shows. Again, the hometown talent thing goes a long way.

C) Book signings. Contact book stores and let them know you’re available to sign copies of your novel. Sometimes bookstore owners will ask you to do a short talk about yourself and how you began your writing career.

D) Attend writers conferences. This is an important piece, as there’s nothing like face-to-face contact with other writers. Remember, writers are readers too – and they do things like write book reviews.

So there you have ‘em – three basic keys to promotion. They are as simple as building blocks. However, these keys are vital to opening the way to top-dollar book sales.


Thank you, Andrea! Readers, if you'd like to know more about Andrea and her books, visit her at www.andreaboeshaar.com. And tune in tomorrow more a peek into her latest book release....

3 comments:

Kathy Otten said...

Sounds like great advice. I do most of the things on the list, but I never know what to speak about at a library or book club presentation.

Debra St. John said...

Hi Amber and Andrea,

Great promo tips. I know when I first got published, the promo piece was very over-whelming.

And I agree...Vistaprint is an author's best friend!

Judy said...

Excellent post! I blogged about marketing today also and will link to yours. I'm at http://www.judythewordplace.blogspot.com
We all need all the help we can get when it comes to marketing! Thanks!