Comment Your Butt off point updates:
Good questions and I have added some additional points based on your suggestions.
- 2 extra points if you friend me on Facebook (left side)
- 2 points if you become a Follower of my blog (left side)
- 2 points if you follow me on Twitter. (left side)
Email me and let me know when you add me.
Ok funny people!!! if you comment, they cannot be repeats. Remember - your comments need to be meaningful to the post or chit chatty to me! You can do back posts if you like too.
Don't forget it goes through March so you'll have to keep visiting me :) We'll see who can keep it up. Keep in mind - this is for us to find new bloggers and get some to practice commenting. I know the prize is great but keep that in mind when you are posting.
Marvelous Marketer: Andrew Karre (Editorial Director, Carolrhoda Books)
Hi Andrew. Thank you so much for joining us today. Before we get into marketing, tell me a little about yourself.
I’m the editorial director at Carolrhoda, Lerner Publishing Group’s trade children’s book imprint where we publish picture books, Middle Grade and YA. I was previously the editor at Flux, Llewellyn Worldwide's young adult imprint.
Do you/your agency/your house have a website/blog? When did you start it and who manages it?
I started blogging at Carolrhoda.blogspot.com when I started here in October. I provide most of the content.
In your opinion , what are the top 3 things every author should and must do to promote their book?
a) Be honest with yourself about what you’re good at and focus on that.
b) Do whatever you can to make your local bookstore, library, and school communities aware of your book shortly before it comes out.
c) Make sure you’ve done the basics online well and thoroughly but that you’ve spent no more than a hundred bucks or so, if anything. By basics, I mean: you’ve a simple web site at yourname.com (could be just redirecting to your Blogger or Wordpress blog); you’re networking and commenting on well-trafficked blogs at least as much as you are posting to your own; and you’re reading critically everything you can about what’s going on in your genre or niche.
In your opinion, how important is social networking like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, GoodReads etc.
They’re very important if you can use them well and if they don’t distract you too much. I am not a fan of MySpace. I don’t think debut authors need to do anything beyond pulling their profile names for later use. Facebook is better, though mostly for networking with gatekeeping adults at first. I find Twitter a useful way to follow news, even though I don’t tweet much. I don’t yet have an opinion on Goodreads.
How important is technology to an author’s marketing plan?
It’s as important as it needs to be. You don’t sell more books because you used the most tech. You might sell more books because you used the right tech for your book effectively.
Technology is an amplifier for your book, but not every technology is a good fit for every book. A flashy, expensive web site can be a very loud amplifier, but if you’re trying to promote your literary YA debut, I don’t think anyone will be listening. On the other hand a free blog as starting point for a disciplined program of pithy commenting on well-trafficked librarian and reviewer blogs can get you out loud and clear to the right people for almost no money.
Bear in mind that almost no one has anything beyond anecdotal evidence of efficacy for any of these strategies.
What other advice do you have for authors/writers regarding marketing?
Don’t waste your time on a generic marketing plan. If you can’t come up with a marketing plan that doesn’t include the words “Oprah” and “book tour,” then you don’t have a marketing plan—and that’s fine. Spend your time getting to know the online community for your genre. I’m vastly more impressed when I recognize a writer as commenter on a favorite blog than I am by a generic marketing plan.
When evaluating whether to take on an author or book, do you ever Google them to see if they already have a web presence or platform?
Yes, always. I’d rather see an active blog than a flashy website any day.
What things do Publishers offer in contracts in terms of Marketing? What does the average author receive or is it different, depending on the book?
In my experience, almost nothing in the contract. It varies hugely, book to book. Keep in my mind, my experience is all with small to midsize indie publishers.
What things do you expect an author to do on their own?
I expect authors to make a sincere effort to make the most of their promotional opportunities. I do not expect authors to spend their advances on freelance publicists or to go into debt. I expect them to be good partners and to tell us honestly what they think they can do (And be willing to stretch that a little).
Thank you so much for joining us today and sharing your marketing strategies as an editor!