Tag Archives: advertising

Sticker Advertisements Work!

It doesn’t take much to peek someone’s curiosity. While spending money on advertising is important, for those of us on a slim budget it can become difficult to advertise and market when the payoff is not as big as we’d like. However, I found a good conversation starter: stickers!

Yes, stickers. And buttons, or anything you can slap on a purse/bag/coat that people will see. Mine says “Ask Me About My Novel”, and you know what? People do ask! Whether I’m waiting in line at the grocery store, going for a walk, or hanging around a coffee shop, it’s not unlikely someone will bring it up and ask me about my novel! Below is my sticker, I ordered a few on Vista Print and found the quality to be very good. A little ratty from being on a purse, but it’s not going anywhere!20170413_124700

You never know when you’ll find someone interested in talking about writing or someone who wants to buy a copy. Today, an amazing thing happened. I was in a play place with the kid I nanny and a mom asked me about my writing. Turns out, she and her business partner are opening a children’s book store in Evanston! They both have young children so their picture book collection is great, but they want to expand to a wider range of ages and genres. I write MG fantasy, so she was very excited to talk about her business and how she wants to get local authors to come to her store. I gave her a book and a business card (ALWAYS carry business cards and books when possible) and she said she’d read it and get back to me. I see her at this play place frequently, so I know I’ll run into her again at some point.

It just goes to show you never know what could happen. Little advertisements start a conversation, and even if you don’t sell a book that second, you never know. There are readers out there looking for books like yours! Let them know your book is out there.

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Getting Back in the Marketing Groove

I’ve really been slacking on advertising The Healing Pool lately. With graduation, moving, new job, and life in general, I got a little distracted. However, since I’m working part-time I have time to read. Yesterday I finished the book 250 Ways to Promote Your Book by Patricia Fry. I’ve read her books before on publishing and I like her style. She’s honest and realistic, but is also reassuring that as long as I keep up with marketing I will be successful. She is a great reminder of how much work needs to go into each book, and that push has gotten me excited again.

The one flaw I found with Fry’s book was that most of her suggestions were geared towards non-fiction book. Tips like selling your cat book at a pet store or doing a cooking demonstration for a cook book. As a middle grade fantasy author I need to find fantasy places to get into. I’m thinking about trying to get a table at a comic con or perhaps doing a book sale at a comic store? I know The Healing Pool is not a comic book, but I’m trying to think of as many ideas as I can about where my book can fit in. Especially since my characters are not traditional fantasy characters (ie. no dragons, dwarves, or fairies etc.)

I’ve written several times that I am a “shameless advertiser” and that part of me is coming back. While I’m having trouble getting into things now to advertise I’m doing my best to plan ahead. I took Fry’s advice and decided to invest in promotional material. I ordered some new business cards and 3 different styles of buttons to give away at book signings and such. I’m getting excited! Now all I need to do is make positive connections and get my name out there.

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Sample Audio Book Fail

So I’m trying to compile a sample audio book of The Healing Pool to post on the interwebs, but I’ve run into an interesting problem: I sound so bored!

Let me explain: I do not believe my book is boring. I do not believe reading is boring. I think the process of reading my book for the 1000th time while noticing the little grammar errors I missed is throwing me off! Also, the idea that I need a recording that is free from messed up words/sounds/etc. makes for several start-overs and reading again. And again. and again….

I wish that an audio book could have a “live” version, kinda like how some musicians have live recordings of their songs on CDs and such. I wish there were kids oohing and aahhing in the background or something to give it that extra punch. I don’t think it works that way though…

Any tips for recording an audio book to make it sound as awesome as I want it to be? My recording equipment is not stellar, but then this is a sample audio book. I’m not trying to sell this or anything, I just want people to get interested and excited! Any advice on how to sound interested or excited while reading would be great to hear please.

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Marketing Madness!

The marking madness continues for “The Healing Pool”! At the suggestion of the APL youth librarian I made a youtube video. It’s not what I would consider high art, but hopefully it is a positive portrayal of myself and my book. I used the video not only to showcase the book, but also to discuss my favorite thing about writing: naming characters! I want this little video to get the attention of teens in 2 minutes and hope that they are also interested in naming characters whether it is a fun process for them or a stressful one. So far the video has 10 views! Woo!

My second book signing is coming up! March 12th I will be doing an author visit at the Appleton Public library. This book signing is super exciting. I will finally be in an environment with (pre)teens who want to read the book! Since “The Healing Pool” is aimed for middle schoolers it will be nice to get a few young people there. I’m also excited to talk to and sell books to people I don’t know. The hardest thing about this business is selling books to people who don’t know me. The APL has been great so far for helping me advertise. They provided flyers for me and they have secret tips to getting teens to come (AKA snackies). The APL already has “The Healing Pool” on the shelves so hopefully a kid or two will be interested in picking it up.

My biggest project so far has been putting together a sample audio book. I have a handy voice recorder and a basic knowledge of Audacity to help edit the files. I’m hoping to finish recording the first 10 chapters of the book today and perhaps begin splicing and stapling the recordings together! Hopefully there’s not too much background noise…

In the mean time, enjoy my silly youtube video! I love feedback, please let me know if there’s anything you want to see me talk about!

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Unexpected Opportunity!

I contacted the youth librarian at the Appleton Public Library (APL) to schedule a book signing/reading with the young-ins.  I met with her on Friday, and I thought our meeting would be rather short. She would look at the book, check for the big No-No’s (drugs, sex, violence, etc.) and then we would pick a date and time. It would be easy and brief.

Our meeting did not go quite as planned. It was much, much better.

She looked through the book while I told her about myself and a little about The Healing Pool. (Apparently she can read, listen, and process all the information at the same time.) After she finished flipping through the book, she turned to me and said:

“You know, of the author visits I’ve done, this book is one of the best I’ve seen. You’ve got great flow, good dialog. Do you have any representation?”

Naturally, I was shocked and thrilled at the same time. I told her the book was self-published and that I tried the traditional querying route but it didn’t work for me. She looked at the book some more, and then asked if I would be interested in any representation. Apparently she has connections with Random House and will be seeing her friend at the end of the month at the ALA conference. At this point I am dumbfounded. I handed her a thick stack of my business cards and she put them in some good place to remember them. I can’t believe what just happened.

Of course, she has not read the book yet so nothing might come out of this. Regardless, I am excited for the chance to maybe get connected with Random House or some other agent! And, as a bonus, our meeting got even better. She led me through the library and told me the writer magazines I should look into. She also told me what to bring to the author event and that she might put me with another author (who is backed by Disney) to do a duo-author event. We discussed how to make a sample audio book to get people interested and maybe a little video to get the kids interested. According to her, they like an author’s personality over the description of the book most of the time. If they like me, they will come.

So, I have work to do! Soon I will be making a sample audio book, maybe reading the first few chapters, and a little promo video to put on the APL facebook page. And my page and website as well, of course! My book has only been out for 9 weeks! Based on everything she was telling me, I feel so behind! I know that’s not the case, but now I know some solid, exciting marketing strategies to get people to notice me. The hardest thing about being a new, self-published author is getting people I don’t know to read the book.

Who knew one little event could make such an impact!

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Fun with Marketing!

This week has been crazy! It is the first week back at Lawrence and classes and rehearsals are taking over my life again. I miss being able to bum around at home, but duty calls!

Despite my insane school schedule I have been able to get a few things nailed down. I will be having my first official book signing and Q&A in a couple weeks at my school library! I had fun making a poster design today. I will post it below! The Mudd library bought a copy of the book without much prompting, but I initiated the idea of the book signing. They were more than happy to host me, and even suggested one of the nicer rooms to hold the event in. Now the fun part: getting people to come. I know a lot of my friends have rehearsal that day, but I can sell them books anytime. The key is to get other students/faculty I don’t know excited about the book.

I also have an appointment with the youth librarian at the Appleton Public Library. She wants to meet with me to discuss the book and whether it “fits their demographic” before we set a date. Personally, I think a middle grade fantasy will be a big hit. I do not anticipate any issues with that. I will let you know when that event is too! I’ll probably cheat and use the same poster template though. Sorry! 😉

In the mean time I have been carrying books around with me everywhere I go. I have sold 6 copies on campus doing this! Accessibility is key. It’s also fun to walk around with the books and shamelessly advertise to my friends!

Let me know what you think of the poster! What other marketing strategies do you like to use?

Poster The Healing Pool

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Shameless Advertising

I began my career as a sales woman at the age of 10, selling wrapping paper and tubs of cookie dough to my mom’s unsuspecting friends so I could earn enough money to get the best prize in the little catalog my elementary school gave me. I never earned thousands of dollars to get the super-expensive remote controlled cars or anything, but I did reach my goals and got some cool stuff! I learned in those days how to politely get in people’s faces to get them to want the product. Being a cute little kid did help some, but I was also good at getting people’s attention.

My hidden talent and joy in selling things has come in handy in the past couple of weeks. Of course it is relatively easy to sell books to friends and family, but getting other people to buy them is much more difficult. However, I did manage to sell both of my doctors books! I brought my proof copy (ready copies not delivered at the time) and some bookmarks. Once I hooked them with the proof copy I gave them a bookmark with a picture of the cover on it and they promised to buy books to support me. While I did not see them buy books for myself, I want to believe that one of the numbers of sold books on createspace is one of them.

I know that I will have to deal with plenty of uninterested faces and rejection in the near future when it comes to selling my book, but in the mean time I am taking advantage of my resources. I will be carrying my “book bag” with me with a couple extra copies of the book. I am not completely afraid of telling people about the book and asking if they are interested in buying one from me. While I can’t see myself selling books in an elevator to strangers, if the opportunity strikes I will likely bring it up.

I do not want to sound pushy or brash, I just want to sell my book. I want to make a living off of my writing one of these days so I need to do whatever I can to get my name out there. Linnea Garcia is not a name that the world knows about. Even if I don’t sell a book to someone at a bus stop or while waiting in the dentist’s office, I can at least mention it to people and hopefully they will spread the word. I don’t have a little catalog of toys motivating me this time. My motivation is to be successful and to survive on my writing if at all possible. For this book my goal is to break even. I put a lot of money into this project between the editors and the cover artist and other expenses. I need to sell about 1000 books. I have a lot of friends, but not quite that many. I need to start my advertising work now so that, hopefully, once the second book comes out more people will recognize my name and be excited to see my work.

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Filed under advertising, Self-Publishing