Today, Hilary Wagner (author or Nightshade City. (and yes Rick Riordan blurbed it!!) stops by today to discuss some marketing ideas.
Nightshade City summary: Deep beneath a modern metropolis lies the Catacombs, the kingdom of remarkable rats of superior intellect. Juniper and his maverick band of rebel rats have been plotting ever since the Bloody Coup turned the Catacombs, a once-peaceful democracy, into a brutal dictatorship ruled by decadent High Minister Killdeer and his vicious henchman, Billycan, a former lab rat with a fondness for butchery. When three young orphan rats--brothers Vincent and Victor and a clever female named Clover--flee the Catacombs in mortal peril and join forces with the rebels, it proves to be the spark that ignites the long-awaited battle to overthrow their oppressors and create a new city--Nightshade City.
"Fans of Redwall and the Warriors series will love this heroic tale of good versus evil in a subterranean society of rats." --Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series ^
I met Hilary over a year ago in an online writer's group. It's been so exciting to see her embark in this journey and I'm so happy for her.
Hey Hilary, before we get started, tell everyone about you.
I write middle-grade and young adult novels. I love brilliantly written, colorful stories, which leave me still thinking about them the next day--a touch of creepy doesn't hurt either! I live in Chicago with my husband Eric, our seven year old Vincent and our two year old Nomi. We also have a neurotic Italian Greyhound, Louie, who is adorable, but very whiny! ;)
Okay, now tell us about your amazing new book.
I'm cheating on this part!
Here is the summary from my publisher and there is a lot more on the official site. From Holiday House, "This enthralling animal fantasy, in the classic tradition of Redwall and Watership Down, encompasses timeless themes of honor and loyalty, family ties and lost love, alliances and betrayals. Readers will respond enthusiastically to this surefire page-turner, by a talented new novelist, set in a brilliantly imagined world filled with easy-to-root-for heroes and villains they'll love to hate."
You can view the trailer on the Nightshade City website!
What do you feel is the key message of your book?
There are a few, but I have to say the key message is never letting a few decide the fate of many. Don't ever let anyone tell you you're not allowed to live a good life.
In promoting Nightshade City, what creative marketing is planned for your book?
Let's just say, I'll be passing out a lot of gummy rats! I think a big thing for me is word of mouth. Marketing can be very organic and writing friends have been fabulous spreading news about the book. My publicist is targeting blogs from everything to fantasy book lovers to animal lovers! I learned so much about rats by contacting rat experts! They've been great and gave me valuable info, not to mention graciously spreading the word about Nightshade City. Rat lovers are good people! Holiday House has deep ties with educators and librarians. Every time I see a school or library ordered my book, I can't help but get a happy, cheesy grin!
As a new author yourself, what advice do you have for authors promoting their books?
Gosh, it can be tricky! You want to promote your book on Twitter, Facebook, etc, but then again, you don't want to seem that that's all you post about, which can be tricky if you have a job, spouse, kids, et (I have all of the above, plus the neurotic dog). I think you need to balance postings about your book, while connecting with others. I love the people I'm connected to--there is a fabulous network of writers out there who want to see you succeed. It might sound hokey, but I'd like to think as writers, we are all in this together. With promotion, you really need to think beyond the obvious. I love animals, so writing a book about rats and connecting with rat lovers, ratteries, etc., only made sense for me--it helps my book, but it also helps me, I've met a lot of generous caring people! So, two things I suppose. First, think outside the normal realm of who might buy your book. For example, if you write a book about a teenage girl who has physic powers, find groups who truly believe in the clairvoyant. I'm sure they love books on the topic and not just the non-fiction kind! Second, give a little to your on-line community and you'll get a lot! People are truly amazing!
NIGHTSHADE CITY is available at Barnes and Noble stores nationwide, Indie Booksellers, Amazon and more.
You can also follow Hilary on her blog, Facebook, or Twitter.