Monday, August 22, 2011

Michele Hart: Big Time Promo

We continue 30 Days of Promo today with author Michele Hart. Michelle writes high-action Paranormal/Sci-Fi Romantic Adventure, seared with a little erotic suspense. Mind control, doomsday machines, prison breaks. Diabolical villains. Dangerously sexy, unstoppable heroes. Angels and demons and lasers, oh, my... Explore the 5-star reviews of her latest release, Vigilant.

Take it away....

Hi, Amber and friends! I’m thrilled to be here.

One of the first things you learn as a new author when you pass through the gate that is the contract is, it’s not enough just to write a good story these days. An author who wishes to be successful (don’t we all?) must learn to market and promote like a pro. You really must hit the ground running. Learn some Big Time Promo now that evolves your promotional strategy.

Luckily, so many authors are stepping up with ideas to help you, thanks to Amber, 30 Days of Promo Goodness, and The Cozy Page.

Are you awaiting your first release day? Here are a few things to do to create and/or broaden your promo strategy:

a) Have you branded yourself?

Branding is a powerful thing. We humans are such visual creatures. Consider the Golden Arches. When you walk into Micky D’s, nearly every surface you see has the Golden Arches on it. If you’re a fan of fast food, when you get hungry, chances are, you’ll list Micky D’s in the first five restaurants you’ll think of. Even if you don’t like the restaurant. That success is due, in part, to their corporate branding strategy.

You can do that, too. Very advantageous to give your writing a “look”, a “feel”, a “mood” that sets you apart from other authors. If you write humor, make everything you do for promotions funny.
Make your web site, blog, tweets funny. If you write dark and suspenseful, give your promotions the dark feeling that imbues your writing. That will draw the audience you’re aiming for and seduce new readers who didn’t think they were interested. Give the world of your writing a “character” for readers to follow to your books.

Create an eye-catching logo, have business cards printed, and put them where your audience is. The more people see your logo, the quicker they’ll recognize it next time, the sooner it’ll come to mind when they’re looking for a good read.

Having business cards with your brand on it is invaluable. Put them on billboards, leave them in tips with a personal thank-you for servers at restaurants. Jot notes to people on the backs of your business cards. Put them in fishbowls at businesses with your brand visible to the customers. (You might win something!) Find smart--and respectful--ways to leave your cards.

b) Are you targeting your audience? I mean, really targeting your audience?

Do you write Historicals but hang out at review sites that showcase a large array of Romance subgenres? Sure, hang out with them, but have you sought out groups devoted solely to your sub-genre? There are reader sites that specialize in your sub-genre: Historicals, Contemporaries, Futuristics, and Paranormals. Go where your specific audience gathers. That’s where the future lovers of your books await you. Build your presence at these places as well as the more general web sites.

c) Someone has just asked you about your book. What do you do, what do you do?

It’s not easy for most of us to chat up our books, at first. Most authors are introverts who spend a couple of weeks and months at a time alone and typing out stories, so you aren’t unusual in feeling anxious But the ability to pitch your books to readers and editors is an essential tool for a writer who wishes for a sale, so buck up, new author, and sharpen this must-have skill.

You have a listener captured, author. Give them something to hear, see, and do. Tell your listener about your book with enthusiasm, confidence, and brevity. Have something to hand to your listener: a bookmark, an excerpt, a coupon for a free read. Make sure they walk away with something that has your brand on it. That’s an invitation to your web site. It’ll stick in their minds, and that’s what you want. Practice your pitch with a friend.

d) Consider some Big Time Promo...

Do a group event! It’s not as hard as it looks and the pay-off could be large. All you need is a few motivated author-hosts/hostesses. An eye-catching ad, a place to party, and a few (thousand) invitations to readers later, you have a fun bash with interested readers ready to see what you’ve got up your sleeves. Chat away with your readers. Hold some contests. Offer free books. Share recipes, jokes, and excerpts. Readers buy books from authors they’ve “met”.

e) Ready to build a book trailer?

Windows has Movie Maker built into the later versions. It’s easy to learn. A book trailer is excellent passive advertising. You get that baby made and posted on YouTube, and you have a commercial for the length of your book contract.

Never hurts to start thinking of your book trailer in advance. In fact, it’s advisable. Start thinking about it when you finish your book, when you’re writing your blurb. You really can’t put a lot of text in a book trailer, so we’re only talking about a paragraph or two, tops. Build a book trailer as soon as you receive your cover. In fact, you will not go wrong if you plan your book trailer as part of your writing package. Story, blurb, synopsis, book trailer. Or whatever order in which your process leads you. It’s much easier to write the text of your book trailer when you are in the creative swing of things for that story, as opposed to months later when you are already working on your next story. You may find it very difficult to switch gears. It is also a trial to find the pictures you want on a moment’s notice, let me tell you. It’s a true challenge. Searching for pictures over a span of time is much more relaxing.

That’s nearly a thousand words of strategy for thought. I hope a few dozen of them give you a foot up in promoting your book. Happy Start of School, everyone! Even if you don’t have kids. Let’s get the world reading more! How about a sssexy and dangerous shape-shifter escaped from a prison-planet for your summer affair? Can I interest you in a brawler with a badge who can read your mind? How about a risky adventure with the CIA as your adversary? Feel like fighting the Mob today? Do you desire to be frightened by demons, rescued by angels? Would you like to be trapped on a space station with your high-school crush? A gangland hit man named Heretic awaits you… Discover passion, dare, and adventure under all-new moons and stars. Investigate Michele Hart:!

Thank you, Amber, 30 Days of Promo, and The Cozy Page! Peace and good day, everyone.

Thank you, Michelle! Readers, check back in tomorrow for an excerpt from Michelle's latest release, Vigilant!

No comments: