Today I have a Theory on Thursday that’s a little bit different. I’m welcoming Nas Dean to the hot seat – I’ve asked her some questions about her book promotion business. I know a fair few authors who are choosing to use a book promotion service now to arrange blog tours for them. I haven’t done so myself yet but am curious as to exactly what it entails, etc, so I thought others might be too. Feel free to leave questions for Nas in the comments section too.
Me: What is yourofficial job title?
Nas: Idon’t know! But recently I had some cards made with “Promoting New Release Books and Authors” under my name! Our localpapers pick up my reviews for their Sunday Magazine so I needed cards. Can Ishare a secret? I’m in talks with our local TV to feature my authors and theirbooks. Maybe interview via skype but this is all in the very stages at themoment.
Me: How longhave you been operating a book promotion business?
Nas: I’mfairly new at book promotions. I have abackground of Financial Management and Marketing after which I did some furtherstudies in Information Systems while living in Auckland NZ. ComputerProgramming and Data Processing doesn’t really prepare you with proper English!But my passion has always been reading, so when we semi-retired to Fiji, Istarted reading to fill my time as there was no job available to someone withmy qualifications in my age group. Then I got into online writer’s groups andinto Harlequin community.
ActuallyWendy S Marcus first suggested to methat I would be good at Marketing and Promoting books, using my marketingskills with a slightly different objective. Here I’m targeting readers. And not just online. I do it in my local bookshopsand libraries as well, by distributing authors bookmarks and cards. This isactually a novelty here as there are readers but no authors. So our readersdon’t even know what an author signing is.
Me: Whatservices do you offer to authors? How do you promote a book? What mediums doyou use?
· Nas: I create Author Pages with Buy Links for books and social medialinks for the author. A dedicated author page linked to my site, Romance Book Paradise, which has veryhigh romance reader traffic.
· I arrange BlogTours to coincide with new release books for the authors. In recent timeswe had many successful tours, starting with Wendy S. Marcus, Kate Walker, Christina Hollis, Helen Lacey and still ongoing are Lynne Marshall, Louisa George and Emmie Dark.
· Then I create Author and Book Pages on Fresh Fiction, Goodreads,Shelfari and Library Thing etc. I also make Romance Wiki page for my authorswith separate pages for their books with excerpts and linked to their websites.
· With subsequent books I offer Banner Spaceand Books Space linked toauthor’s book pages/Amazon on my very high reader traffic sites.
Me: Why do youthink author’s benefit from hiring an outside party to do their promotion?
Nas: Youmust know how hard an author works. And when they are engrossed in writing theyare often absent minded. So how can they do their marketing? And if they dotheir own promotion, who will write their subsequent books? Mostly they areunder deadline to complete books. And setting up a tour is a time consumingjob. All the scheduling needed and liaising with various blogs for an author toappear there. Authors are busy people,they are not in contact with reader blogs as I am. Think of the tour as a BookSigning not around the country but around the Globe- wherever your books aresold without leaving your home or the associated expenses. Authors’ names are‘Out There!’ by going on a virtual tour. So it’s easier on subsequent books aswell.
Me: Do youpromote e-books and self-published writers?
Nas: Yes,recently I promoted Tracy Sumner,who was re-releasing her Historicals as eBooks (self-publishing) and Nina Jade Singer who has an eBook out.
Me: Do youbelieve that authors who connect with readers via Facebook, Twitter and othersocial media are more likely to get reviews for their books?
Nas: Themost rewarding part of writing, second only to holding your books in printshould be connecting with readers. An author should connect with her readersvia social media. This interaction is which make a reader pick up a certainauthors’ book in the bookshop. And readers would say if they liked a book. So an online verbal review on social mediacounts as much as a written review. Anything once written online is saved thereforever. It won’t fade. Just Google a sentence and it will come up again.
Me: What is yourTop Do and Top Don’t for authors who are being promoted?
Nas: Answerand comment back at every commenter who reads your posts. If authors don’tcomment, it feels like these commenter’s are being snubbed. Have yourBlogger/Wordpress profile with your proper name and a photo which readers canfocus on. You can’t comment back with a cute tag such as ‘sweet babe’. No. Youhave to have your author name out there.
And get the posts ready as soon as theschedule goes up. Some blogs ask for posts early up to two weeks in advance asthey have newsletters or early promotion to do.
Me: How longbefore a book comes out do you start planning an author’s book tour? How longin advance do you need for someone to sign with you?
Nas: Eightto six weeks in advance. Some sites are booked up to three months in advance sowe need to be prepared.
Me: Is selfpromotion frowned upon?
Nas: First,most readers recognize that authors need to market their books and promotethemselves. No one begrudges a writer who talks about her book. In fact if youcheck an authors website and find nothing on their books or buy links, it isright to question that author’s professionalism. Not only readers toleratemarketing, we expect it! But there’s a fine line between self promotion andself absorption. Authors are in otherauthors and writers community not readers, so talking about their books comes acrossas ‘Me and My Book!’ Consider this, when we, as readers say this is a newrelease book so all readers out there listen. We are generating interest foryour book as readers.
Haveyou heard someone say, ‘If your book is good enough, you don’t need to marketit?’ Well, this isn’t the case unless your name starts with “J” and ends with “ling”!
Anddon’t expect me to work wonders and shoot your book on the chart buster lists.We must do our best and work hard. The biggest and most obvious key to sellingbooks is garnering exposure for the book and the author personally. The goal ofmarketing is to expose your book to as many people as possible in an exciting,cost effective and entertaining way. Guest blogging can achieve that goal.Blogs are archived, so your posts become and often are viral, spreading fromsite to site. That is LEVERAGE! You are leveraging your internet presence andduplicating yourself with every blog stop. Your Blog Tour is working for youeven while you sleep. Try doing that at a bookstore or library signing!
ThanksRachael for giving me this opportunity to do a bit of self promoting! I’ll bearound to answer questions.
Thanks Nas – please bombard Nas with any further questions while she’s here.
And I’d also love to hear from any authors who have used a service like Nas’ – how did it work for you?