3 S.R. Johannes: Mardi Gras Tuesday! How to do Frugal Promotion!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras Tuesday! How to do Frugal Promotion!

Mardi Gras Updates

The winner of Monday's Daily Prize drawing is ...

Jemi Fraser!

You win a LOT of Meg Cabot books (3 Hardbacks and 1 Paperback): Sweet Sixteen Princess, Pants on Fire, How to be Popular, and The Boy Next Door.

Please email me your address. Congratulations and thanks so much for following me and participating.

Reminders on how to Enter
There are 3 different ways to win! You must Follow me and Elana (who is also giving away agent critiques!)to be eligible for any prizes
  1. Daily prizes - Comment on each daily post (random drawing, awarded daily)
  2. Follow Prize - Follow me by Thursday night 12 PST (random drawing, awarded Friday)
  3. Two Grand Prizes (1 agented, 1 unagented): Answer Scavenger Hunt question on FRiday and Fill in Friday's form.
  4. You can get extra entries by doing these things.
  5. For rules and schedule, go here.
  6. You do not need to email me or comment and include all the links you are doing for extra points. Be sure to come back on Friday and fill out the mandatory form to be included in the Grand Prize Drawings. BTW - This is on the honor system.
  7. These prizes are for agented authors AND unagented. You both can win!
Note: To all winners of this week's contest as well as The Fabulous Follower Contest held last week. All prizes will be mailed out by the end of NEXT week.


Frugal Marketing for Authors (Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of The Frugal Book Promoter)

Remember:
  • A big prize will be awarded to a post commenter (you must also be a follower): A copy of her two ebooks: The Frugal Editor and The Frugal Promoter. You must comment by 12 midnight PST/3am EST.
  • Clue #2 for the Marketing Scavenger Hunt will be hidden in the post

Hi Carolyn! Thanks for joining our Mardi Gras Party this week. Tell me about yourself and your books.

I'm really a fiction writer and poet at heart, but I started writing my HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers because I wanted other writers to avoid the same potholes I fell into.

I run The Frugal blog that provides tips on how to do your marketing frugally as well as a Sharing Writers blog that was named one of "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites".

I am also the author of The Frugal Promoter (How to do what your publisher wont), The Frugal Editor, and my new book, A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions just hit stores in paperback.

THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER tells authors how to do what their publishers can’t or won’t and why authors can do their own promotion better than a PR professional. It gives authors hundreds of nearly free promotion ideas; they may then pick and choose those that fit their pocketbooks and their personalities.



Can you fill us in on your top 5 practical tips on how authors (nonfiction and fiction) can best market their books without spending a great deal of money?

That's easy. Online. Online. Online. Online. And #5 is publicity. Publicity is what you get free from newspaper editors (primarily) when they need material for current events or feature stories. It is not...ahem! PAID advertising.


What made you decide to advocate “do-it-yourself marketing and promotion”? Why do you feel it is important?

I mentioned those potholes. I fell into them in spite of marketing and journalism backgrounds. That is, I knew what editors want, what they need. All that stuff. What I didn't understand were the kinks, creases and folds of book marketing. The biggest, ugliest wrinkle was that publishers don't do it for us authors anymore.


How can an author successfully manage time for both creative writing and marketing? What is your advice on how they can do a little marketing a day to save time for writing?

Do a little at a time. Small doses. But keep at it. Publicity and promotion build. Persistence is a magic word.


If you were only allowed to give one piece of advice to a writer about marketing or promotion, what would it be?

Persistence. Oh, you want another one?

Don't listen to all the stuff other authors tell you about book promotion on the Web. Well, OK. Listen. But evaluate the source. What do they know about marketing? Is what they're repeating hearsay or from practical experience? How might they have misinterpreted their experience?

I'll give you an example. Many authors are mad as h--- at Amazon and will have nothing to do with them. Consider this. Amazon provides lots of opportunities for writers. Be mad at them. But if you want your book to be taken seriously, it had better be on Amazon. By the way, there is a chapter in The Frugal Book Promoter on using Amazon to your advantage. Some say it is easily worth the price of the book.

Here's another one.

You'd better know enough about editing, format and the pet peeves of gatekeepers that you can do a great query letter, one that won't tick off an agent, publisher or, host or editor. You'll learn how straight from the mouths of helpful agents in The Frugal Editor.

(Clue #2 - the word is "Your")

What advice do you have for authors doing their own marketing and having a tough time during the low points?

Quit thinking of marketing as selling books. Marketing is about building your career. Don't judge the success of a promotion on how many books you sell. Promotion is cumulative. People don't buy much that they haven't seen or been introduced to about seven times.

Thanks for joining us today!

Thanks Shelli!

Don't forget to comment on today's post to be entered into Tuesday's Daily Drawing!



91 comments:

Valerie Ipson said...

Great interview. Such helpful tips!Thanks so much!

I'll definitely be checking out the websites and books.

Lois said...

Wish I had had this information and the tools back in 2000 when my first book was published. Great tips.

Christina Lee said...

GOOD STUFF! My favorite line :Quit thinking of marketing as selling books. Marketing is about building your career. :)

shannywriter said...

Thanks for the great help to store for later!

Kirk K said...

This blog continues to be a gem as I work through my first novel. Thanks for offering such helpful info, Shelli.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the great advice. I'm going to check out your website & books too. It's really helpful to know the pitfalls to avoid.

Agyw said...

A friend of mine recommended your contest, and I'm happy I've checked this out. Great interview, Shelli! I will have to spend the next couple of days becoming acquainted with your blog, it looks rich in information and inspiration (yah, I got the perspiration part, tee hee).

Nice to meet you!

Agyw said...

A friend of mine recommended your contest, and I'm happy I've checked this out. Great interview, Shelli! I will have to spend the next couple of days becoming acquainted with your blog, it looks rich in information and inspiration (yah, I got the perspiration part, tee hee).

Nice to meet you!

Lee Wind said...

Great interview - I'm surprised to hear the 7 times exposure before buying - I hadn't heard it was that high (I think I'd heard 3 times) but I guess by hearing good things the 7th time I'd be way more likely to buy something! Also, I love the bit about "Marketing is about building your career." That's right on!
thanks and
Namaste,
Lee

Angie Ledbetter said...

Nice writerly contest y'all have going on.

Happy Fat Tuesday! Laissez les bon temps rouller!

Anissa said...

Another great interview! I'm filing it all away...

Nisa said...

I'm all about frugal! That was a great interview!

JenSwan03 said...

Awesome advice, Carolyn. I"m off to buy your book right now. Can't wait to start reading it and using all your fabulous tips!

Jennifer

Kristi said...

Great stuff! As the CFO of the household, I'm all about frugality -- I'm off to check out the website. Thanks!

Robyn Campbell said...

VERY COOL INTERVIEW. I love what Carolyn said, "Quit thinking of marketing as selling books. Marketing is about building your career." Perfect advice. Because I have often thought if marketing as selling books.

And the Amazon thing too. She's right. So right.

Thank you Shelli (your awesomeness =)) and Carolyn. Great advice that I will remember from now on. =)

Dreamstate said...

Very interesting! This is such important advice when you know that you will have to do a lot of your promotions out of your own pocket (yikes!).

JosephDMMiller said...

As a poor writer... I like advice on being frugal. ;)

Karen said...

Another great guest post! Thanks! Hubbykins and I were talking about marketing this weekend, and she hit on two points I was trying to convey....getting more bang for your buck and marketing **you** rather than just your book.

Heather Kelly said...

I think I missed yesterday's drawing since I commented this morning! This interview is a bit of a teaser--I'd love to know a bit more. Thanks again for the amazing contest!

Robert W. Leonard said...

As always, another great interview! :)

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Great tips, thanks Carolyn!
Shelli thanks for such unique interviews!

I love a good Mardi Gras fiesta!

Elana Johnson said...

I love that persistence is the key. I always feel hopelessly behind, but I can do a little every day. Thanks Shelli and Carolyn!

Stephanie McGee said...

Very interesting interview.

Congrats to yesterday's winner!

The book sounds great. I'll have to track it down when I get to query stage.

Crystal said...

WONDERFUL INTERVIEW, Shelli & Carolyn! These are all great tips to ponder. I'd definitely get this book even if I don't win it here. Thanks for holding this contest, Shelli! :)

Alissa said...

Perfect post for a frugal one like me, and thanks to this and other advice I shall henceforth cease to think of marketing as selling books.

Jackee said...

GREAT interview. Thanks!

And look at you, Shelli! You've even passed up the 600 follower mark now. Huge, lady, huge.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Yay to Jemi and to Carolyn and Shelli. My favorite advice is to think of marketing as building career.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Great interview! Shows how important it is to get your name out now and not the week before your book hits the bookstore shelves. Looking forward to check out Carolyn's book and blog. :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Great, great interview! I love the confidence behind Carolyn's advice. My favorite paragraph was the advice about Amazon - spot on! :-)

JenE said...

"Promotion is cumulative." It's important, especially for me, to remember that people have to see something so many times before buying. I know it's true; I'm the same way. It's hard not to want immediate results, though.

Alli said...

"People don't buy much that they haven't seen or been introduced to about seven times."

That is very, very true! Great interview Shelli and Carolyn.

Hilary Wagner ~ Writer said...

Yes! Building our careers slowly, but steadily. It's not easy, but the payoff is priceless!! Great post Shelli and Carolyn!!

xoxo -- Hilary

Scott said...

Congrats to Jemi!

Am I the odd duck that impulse buys after first hearing about something? Great, just great.

One of my English Comp teaches once told me about writing an essay: tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them. It's the rule of three for essay writing. Trust me, we got points off if we didn't follow those three steps in her class.

I guess the Rule of Seven is what works for selling things. Who knew? I didn't! Thanks for the great info.

S

Kristi Faith said...

Great interview. I especially appreciate the advice of knowing how Amazon can help your career. I was one of those mad as hell writers that it really didn't affect, so I shouldn't have been. LOL Oh, we live and learn. :)

Thanks!

Rachelle said...

Carolyn and Shelli--thanks for the valuable Q&A. Great tips! I'd love to win this book. :)

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

This is such a good angle!

Kayeleen said...

I like the idea that promotion is cumulative. I'm starting my self-promotion right now by being out there and learning my way around the online world. Thanks for the great tips!

Cheree said...

Thanks for another great interview.

Kim Kasch said...

Fun interview. I love being on-line, on-line, on-line :)

Falen said...

best line - "Quit thinking of marketing as selling books. Marekting is about building your career"
Lightbulb!

Janet Johnson said...

Good advice. Perserverence is the theme song for writers on more than one level.

VR Barkowski said...

Excellent interview Carolyn and Shelli. So often air time is given only to the overnight successes, writers begin to feel like failures if they don't achieve that lofty goal. It's refreshing to read about the importance of persistence and building an audience over time - it gives us hope!

Oh, and CONGRATS to Jemi! :)

laurapauling said...

Great advice. Super contest! Thanks Shelli.

laurapauling said...

Great advice. Super contest! Thanks Shelli.

Kat O'Keeffe said...

Yay another awesome post and another chance to win!

PS- The scavenger hunt thing is brilliant! I love it!

DL Hammons said...

Congrats Jemi!!!!

Once again, a wealth of useful information.

Corey Schwartz said...

More great advice! I'd love to read her whole book.

Bish Denham said...

Another great interview. In this day and age (in any day and age) we writers need to know how to be frugal. Gotta stretch our dimes as far as they will go.

Victoria Dixon said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Carolyn! I will check out the book - I can use all the help I can get! LOL

Also, Shelli, I've done all the extra points stuff and I became a fan of yours on facebook, but that's the only way I seem to be able to find you?

beth said...

Hmmm....I'll have to check out the book. I am def going to look more into marketing and book promo, but I think the answer isn't entirely online. There's a lot to be said for something in a potential buyer's hands...in some ways, I think bookmarks and bookplates may be more important than, say, a Twitter account. Which will result in sales?

Yat-Yee said...

I guess I have been thinking about marketing as selling books. (Is that one of the pot holes you mentioned?) But I should have learned from my experience that building relationships is the true value of networking.

Seven times, huh?

Kelly said...

Fab interview and that sounds like a book that every author could learn a lot from!

Sarah said...

Great Interview. And thanks for running this.

Jennie Englund said...

Another plug for being online!

Steena Holmes said...

Great interview! I especially liked the comment 'stop thinking about marketing as selling books' - so true!

Joy said...

Great marketing tips. The comment that people don't buy something until they hear about it seven times was an eye-opener!

Serenissima said...

Thanks for the good info, Carolyn! And thanks Shelli for the great interviews!

Jemi Fraser said...

Yippeeeee!!! I'm so excited :)

I didn't even read the rest of the post - I'll go up and do that now!!

Thank you so much!!!

Francesca said...

This was an excellent interview -- and had much food for thought and even better, it was comforting because it makes the whole marketing/publicity thing sound manageable, and not like some secret Masonic society ritual.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Shelli,
Everything you're doing this week is so helpful. Thank you.

Off to check the links you've mentioned.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Wow! What a bunch of great followers you have, Shelli. I love being here. Who doesn't want to know about the top five things to do first?? Ha!
Best,
Carolyn
Tweeting @frugalbookpromo

Gayle said...

I think I especially needed the advice "Quit thinking of marketing as selling your books." Wise words.

Marybeth Poppins said...

Great Interview. Loving all these Marketing Tips!

Nichole Giles said...

Great post and good advice., Thanks for sharing with all of us.

Nichole

Larissa said...

Wow! Great advice! Thanks Shelli and Carolyn!

David said...

I suppose being online only helps if I'm not playing computer games ...

Tami said...

I love the idea of marketing as building a career. It reminds me that successful authors are the ones who are in it for the long haul!

Kimberly Job said...

Great tips.

Katie Hines said...

Loved the article. That's the thing I like about Carolyn - she's clear and concise and doesn't leave the reader wondering.

storyqueen said...

I might have to buy the Frugal Promoter....some great ideas there!

Shelley

Katie Hines said...

That's the thing I like about Carolyn - she's clear and concise and doesn't leave us wondering.

Lisa said...

I agree with Heather several posts up...this interview whets my appetite and piques my curiosity...now I'm curious about the idea of using Amazon...

Clearly I need to read the whole book!

Thanks for being thought-provoking, Carolyn & Shelli!

Paul Greci said...

Great tips. I'm going to check out her blogs. Thanks!

Deb Salisbury said...

Congrats to Jemi Fraser!

Thanks, Shelli and Carolyn.

Feywriter said...

Thanks for the tips! I like that persistence is key. Not money, or connections. Persistence. That sounds like something I can do.

Kelly H-Y said...

Fabulous tips! Thanks!

lisanowak said...

Sounds like a very useful book!

lbdiamond said...

Great post! Frugal--LUV it!

Susan Fields said...

Great interview - thanks for the tips. I especially liked the part about thinking about marketing at building your career. That makes a lot of sense.

kimysworld said...

Thanks for the great post!

CL said...

I'd love to get this book--- sounds so helpful!

Christina Farley said...

Great interview. Very interesting about the 7 points of contact. I believe it!

deowriter said...

I loved the tips in this post. Fave tip: "Quit thinking of marketing as selling books. Marketing is about building your career."

deowriter said...

I loved the tips in this post. Fave tip: "Quit thinking of marketing as selling books. Marketing is about building your career."

Kimberly Lynn said...

"Quit thinking of marketing as selling books. Marketing is about building your career."

Love that!

Tabitha Bird said...

Cool contest and thanks for the interview.

Sherry Dale Rogers said...

Frugal-to avoid waste. I love that word,its something I need to practice in all parts of my life.

Great interview, thanks for sharing.

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Wow, this was a popular post! I thought I'd never get to the end of the line of comments. I have her marketing book and it's wonderful. Of course, like anything else, it's only as good as your commitment to following THRU on her advice. Time to pull it back out!

Rebecca Knight said...

Thanks for this! :D

Pamela said...

Great interview with great advice. I really like that you point out the need to evaluate the source of the tips you are receiving. I feel this is so important in everything we do. The internet is making getting to information so easy that people are forgetting to evaluate sources. Thanks for the great tips and reminders!

Meghan Ward said...

Shelli - I liked your question about time management because, as the old adage goes, "time is money" and it takes a LOT of time to blog, tweet, comment, facebook, etc. so online marketing isn't really "free." I AM looking forward to reading the sample chapter of The Frugal Book Promoter, though - what a great title!