HandofGod2

From now through the end of Halloween night, my publisher, Hydra Publications, will be offering both The Hand of God and The Watchers for only 99 cents. If you’re looking for books to keep you up at night, there’s no better time like the present to pick them up. You can find them on sale at Amazon.com

TheWatchers2

Yesterday I was invited by the Northwest Ohio Writers Forum to give a talk on book marketing. The event was held at the 577 Foundation in Perrysburg, Ohio, up near Toledo. Instead of the usual conference room, set up, well had a seat in the home’s library, leading to a discussion which was more conversational. The members who attended were engaged in the topic and asked great questions. I would like to thank Judy and the staff at the 577 Foundation for taking very good care of us.

IMG_1459 IMG_1463

James O. Barnes, owner of Loconeal Publishing was also on hand to keep me out of trouble. It worked. Barely.

IMG_1462

For those of you who were not able to attend, here are my tips for book marketing. Keep in mind, they are not the end all be all of how to market a book.Yet if you follow these suggestions, you will be well on your way to becoming the New York Times bestseller you hope to be.

Social Networking, Social Networking, Social Networking

 

There are many things self published and small press authors can do to market their books, but the first step is social networking. Social networking includes blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and more sites than I have the time or desire to list.

I believe every author should have a blog. Will each blog post sell books? No. But having a blog, where you post at least once a week, does help you connect with readers. Posting once a week will also help increase your search engine results. You don’t have to post about your books in each post. Research shows it is better if most of the posts on your page are NOT about your book. Blogs give you a chance to show your personality. If possible, try and get your name as your web address. Mine is Tonyacree.com. I recommend using WordPress.com to create your blog. It is the easiest to use and set up. And it is free! (You can pay $99 for more freedom to change the looks of the page.) Blogger.com is another site you can use to create your blog.

If you currently have a Facebook page for personal use, make a separate author’s page. People who read your books might not want to read posts about your aunt Bernice and her newest apple pie recipe. I use my Facebook page to promote my events (using the Create an Event feature).

Twitter is great way to engage your fans in a conversation. One of the biggest hurdles in Twitter is how to obtain followers. NEVER pay for them. One way to gain new followers is find another author who writes in a similar genre and follow the people who are their followers. Most will follow you back. Also, research shows following thousands of people who are not likely to buy your books is pointless. For instance, if you write romance novel, there is little point in adding people who only read zombie novels. Unless you have a zombie romance, of course.

Goodreads is another way to connect with readers using giveaways. Keep in mind Goodreads members tend to be tougher reviewers than your average review. I carry a 4.7 out of 5 rating on Amazon. The same book on Goodreads carries a 3.9 rating.

 

The one drawback to social networking is the time involved. Social networking, not done properly, can consumer all of your free time. I recommend using programs which allow you to schedule your Tweets, Facebook and blog posts. I use Hootsuite. I can sit down on a Sunday afternoon and schedule all my social networking posts for the week. Bufferapp and Tweet Deck are two other options, among many. They will cost you a monthly fee for full use (Hootsuite charges me $9.99 a month) but they are worth the cost.

 

Amazon

Amazon is the nine-hundred pound gorilla in the room. But love ‘em or hate ‘em, they are the largest book selling site in the universe. Amazon offers each author a personal webpage on their site called Author Central. You will find it at AuthorCentral.amazon.com You will need an Amazon account to claim your page. Author Central will allow you to post a biography, list your books and link to blog posts. Have fun with your bio and do not be afraid to show some personality. Claiming your author central page will allow readers to find all your books in one spot.

Amazon offers authors the chance to join KDP, Kindle Direct Publishing. I have mixed feelings about KDP. I have tried it both ways and I prefer NOT to use KDP. A year ago, my answer would have been different. But changes to Amazon’s algorithms dealing with free promotions, makes KDP less appealing. The advantage to KDP is the ability to run sales promotions inside the Amazon framework. Once you choose KDP, you are not allowed to have your eBook available anywhere else for 90 days. The great thing, if you try it and don’t like it, you can change your mind in a few months.

 

Promotional Sites

Now that you have started your social networking dominance, claimed your Amazon Author Central Page, you are ready for the next step. Promotion. If you use Kindle Direct, they offer the chance to run free or discounted prices for your books for a certain period of time. Even if you do not use Kindle Direct, you can lower your costs for a brief 99 cent sale, or free giveaway.

There are sites you can use to help promote your work. Several will do so for free, others charge for their services. The top pay sites, in my experience are:

Bookbub.com

EReadernewstoday.com

Getting Bookbub to pick up your book can be tough, but if they do, you will sell a ton of books. EReaderNewsToday.com recently changed their pay model from a percentage of sales to a flat fee.

Both Bookbub and ENT will also run promotions for your free giveaways.

If you are running a free sale, I would suggests PixelOfInk.com. Goodreads is also a great site for book giveaways.

 

 

 

Promotional Items

 

If you go to a book sale event, you will need something to hand out to the people who stop by your table, but do not buy a book. I use 4 x 6 post cards. It allows me to put the cover on one side, and book information on the other. If you go this route, make sure to include the book blurb, the ISBN number, and your website address on the backside. I also include a Q-code which will take people directly to my Amazon Central page. Google Q-code generator and there are plenty of free sites which will create one for you to download and include on your cards.

Many other authors use bookmarks, magnets and other items. I always get eBook sales post event because I hand out my cards. If you do not, you are missing out. Sites to use to create your cards or bookmarks:

NextDayFlyers.com and VistaPrint.com. They often will run sales, so watch for them and take advantage of the discounts.

There are more expensive options. I use banners. Mine are 80 inches tall and 33.5 inches wide. They run around 200 dollars. There are less expensive ones, but a great banner will bring in people from across the room. I use DiscountBanners.com You can also get them at places like FedEx Kinko’s, but I’m not as thrilled with the quality.

You can also create posters and banners to promote your books. DiscountBanners.com can do these as well, but you can also print them at Costco or Walgreens.

 

Book Signings

Everybody thinks of the Barnes and Noble book signing. And if your book is listed in their systems, then they will consider having you. Many authors attend conventions. But there are other places you can have signings. I have held signings at Starbucks, grocery stores with book sections and other no traditional places. Do not be afraid to ask. All they can do is tell you no.

Good friend and fellow author, Mysti Parker, has a series of new books based on her time as a desk clerk at at nearby hotel. Part fiction and part demented mind, I have no doubt they will be worth your time. I’ll let Mysti tell you about her new series. Take it away, Mysti!

The Roche Hotel Cover_Final

The Roche Hotel

Season One

A serial romantic comedy by Mysti Parker

After her husband ditches her for a blonde actress wannabe, Jane Seymour needs a job that pays the rent. The struggling Roche Hotel needs a miracle. With the former owner’s wife butting her nose into the renovations and new owners who are in way over their heads, Jane may be the answer to their prayers. Sure, she can handle The Roche Hotel’s quirky staff. But, can this skittish divorcee keep it all together when handsome Henry the Donut Guy makes his first delivery? This collection of serial fiction stories is a Tudorific romantic comedy that will leave you laughing out loud and hungry for more.

 

****

The Story Behind the Stories

THEY say a lot of things, don’t they? Like don’t wear white after Labor Day or don’t fry bacon with your shirt off (that’s probably good advice, come to think of it). Most of what THEY say goes right in one ear and out the other. But, in terms of writing, when THEY say “write what you know”, it makes a lot of sense. So, that’s where The Roche Hotel got its start—from my own experience working in a hotel way back in the ‘90s.

Many of these first 10 episodes are based on some very real incidents that happened during my days as a front desk clerk in a little mid-priced hotel. Sure, a lot of stuff’s made up purely from my crazy imagination, but there were 5:00 AM donuts—delicious being fresh from the bakery. Henry the Donut Guy—not real, but I wouldn’t have argued one bit if he had been! Among the many other true-to-life items that appear at the Roche Hotel are a popcorn machine, a Muzak (think elevator music) that never played at the right volume, at least one “lady of the night”, and a dead body.

To discover all those things for yourself, from now until release day on October 15, you can pre-order your copy of The Roche Hotel, Season One for just $0.99 on Amazon Kindle! After that, the price goes up to $1.99, so make your reservation now and save a buck!

Click HERE to Pre-Order The Roche Hotel, Season One

The Roche Hotel Promo

Because I like parties, I’m also inviting all of you to the release day party on Facebook, October 15 from 6-9 PM EST.

You’ll get a chance to win a hotel-themed gift basket which includes:

  • Robe
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Lotion
  • Tiny soap bars (so cute!)
  • Ghirardelli chocolates
  • Signed postcards

We’ll also have some fun and games, so I hope you’ll join me. And please bring a friend!

Click HERE to Join the Facebook Release Day Party!

Thanks so much for your support! Happy reading! ~Mysti Parker

10502403_758809714176340_3560427799146999586_n

Mysti Parker (pseudonym) is a wife, mom, author, and shameless chocoholic. She is the author of the Tallenmere standalone fantasy romance series. Her other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, Christmas Lites II, The Darwin Murders, Tasteful Murders and EveryDayFiction.

Other writing pursuits include serving as a class mentor in Writers Village University’s seven week online course, F2K. She finished her first historical romance this spring and has one children’s book (Quentin’s Problem) soon to be published, with one more waiting for illustrations, and many more stewing in her head.

Another Archon is in the books and I had a blast. Jay Reyes and I sold a ton of books and thanks to everyone who bought one or took a card to buy the ebooks. If you have not yet bought Jay’s Dragonfly Warrior novel or the sequel, Shadow Warrior, what are you waiting for? They are steampunk genius. High marks to the Archon staff as for taking good care of us this weekend. However, if you see several of them standing together, don’t call them a Staff Infection. Just don’t. I am already looking forward to next year. The people in St. Louis love their cons and when a guest there tells you they will come back and buy your book, they come back and buy your books.

 

And what would a post about Archon be with out cos player photos.

IMG_1891 IMG_1894 IMG_1895 IMG_1896 IMG_1897 IMG_1898 IMG_1899 IMG_1900 IMG_1901 IMG_1902 IMG_1903 IMG_1904 IMG_1905 IMG_1907

 

How about a before and after?

IMG_1892IMG_1743

Today at our Archon table, Jay Reyes and I were joined by his lovely wife, Janet. Better known as the “Booth Babe”. When she was at the table, Jay’s sales took off. When she was gone, they slacked. Janet is a blast to have around and she keeps her husband in line.

IMG_1726 IMG_1731IMG_1734

Quite a few people who promised yesterday to come back and buy books, did so today. We thank you! We made many new friends. From Alicia and Nathan to Ashlee and Samantha, and who could forget Luther? Not a chance. Thanks to all who stopped by our table and we look froward to finishing off the con tomorrow. And for course, more pictures for your viewing pleasure. If you are one of the people in the picture, make sure to drop me a line and let me know in the comments so I can tag the pictures properly.

IMG_1736 IMG_1737 IMG_1738 IMG_1739 IMG_1740 IMG_1742 IMG_1743 IMG_1744 IMG_1745 IMG_1746 IMG_1747 IMG_1748 IMG_1749 IMG_1750 IMG_1752 IMG_1753 IMG_1754 IMG_1756 IMG_1757 IMG_1758 IMG_1759 IMG_1761 IMG_1763 IMG_1764 IMG_1765 IMG_1766 IMG_1767 IMG_1768 IMG_1769 IMG_1770 IMG_1771 IMG_1772 IMG_1775 IMG_1776 IMG_1777 IMG_1778 IMG_1779 IMG_1780 IMG_1781 IMG_1782 IMG_1783 IMG_1784 IMG_1785 IMG_1786 IMG_1787 IMG_1788 IMG_1789 IMG_1790 IMG_1791 IMG_1793 IMG_1795 IMG_1796 IMG_1797 IMG_1799 IMG_1800 IMG_1801 IMG_1802 IMG_1803 IMG_1804 IMG_1805 IMG_1806 IMG_1807 IMG_1808 IMG_1809 IMG_1811 IMG_1812 IMG_1813 IMG_1814 IMG_1816 IMG_1817 IMG_1818 IMG_1820 IMG_1821 IMG_1822 IMG_1823 IMG_1824 IMG_1825 IMG_1826 IMG_1828 IMG_1829 IMG_1830 IMG_1832 IMG_1834 IMG_1835 IMG_1836 IMG_1837 IMG_1838 IMG_1839 IMG_1840 IMG_1841 IMG_1842 IMG_1843 IMG_1844 IMG_1845 IMG_1846 IMG_1847 IMG_1848 IMG_1849 IMG_1851 IMG_1852 IMG_1853 IMG_1855 IMG_1856 IMG_1857 IMG_1858 IMG_1859 IMG_1861 IMG_1862 IMG_1865 IMG_1867 IMG_1868 IMG_1870 IMG_1871 IMG_1872 IMG_1873 IMG_1875 IMG_1876 IMG_1877 IMG_1878 IMG_1879 IMG_1881 IMG_1882 IMG_1883 IMG_1884 IMG_1885 IMG_1886 IMG_1887 IMG_1888 IMG_1889 IMG_1890

And here is a before and after!

IMG_1815 IMG_1880

The great thing about attending a con for the second time, is you know the ropes. This weekend find me near St. Louis, Missouri for Archon, the largest scifi convention in the area. This time I avoided standing in the registration line and went to the vendor line. This time I knew where to park to load up and where to find my table. I felt like an old pro.

I am spending the table with Jay Reyes, the talented author of the Dragonfly Warrior steampunk series. (I highly recommend you pick it up.)

I got to meet Glen Cook, author of the Black Company series, one of my favorites. Tomorrow I’m picking up some signed copies from Mr. Cook.

IMG_1190

 

And of course, there are the Cos Players. Enjoy!

IMG_1632 IMG_1633 IMG_1631 IMG_1630 IMG_1629 IMG_1191IMG_1722 IMG_1723 IMG_1720 IMG_1719 IMG_1718 IMG_1717 IMG_1716 IMG_1711 IMG_1712 IMG_1713 IMG_1714 IMG_1715 IMG_1709 IMG_1706

IMG_1634 IMG_1707 IMG_1704 IMG_1703 IMG_1702 IMG_1701 IMG_1696 IMG_1697 IMG_1698 IMG_1699 IMG_1700 IMG_1691 IMG_1692 IMG_1693 IMG_1694 IMG_1695 IMG_1690 IMG_1688 IMG_1687 IMG_1686 IMG_1681 IMG_1682 IMG_1683 IMG_1685 IMG_1676 IMG_1677 IMG_1678 IMG_1679 IMG_1675 IMG_1674 IMG_1673 IMG_1672 IMG_1671 IMG_1666 IMG_1667 IMG_1668 IMG_1669 IMG_1670 IMG_1661 IMG_1656 IMG_1657 IMG_1662 IMG_1663 IMG_1658 IMG_1659 IMG_1664 IMG_1665 IMG_1660 IMG_1651 IMG_1652 IMG_1653 IMG_1654 IMG_1655 IMG_1650 IMG_1648 IMG_1647 IMG_1646 IMG_1641 IMG_1642 IMG_1643 IMG_1644 IMG_1639 IMG_1638 IMG_1637 IMG_1636 IMG_1635

 

Here is the cover to the next Victor McCain novel, The Speaker. We are shooting for the end of November for a release date, but wanted to share the cover now. My thanks to the incredibly talented Karri Klawiter for yet another kick ass cover. At Imaginarium this past weekend, person after person remarked how our covers didn’t look like small press covers. Most of the covers at the table were Karri’s. If you are an author looking for a great cover, contact her. But be willing to wait in line. She is booked into the new year. Drop me a line in the comments section and let me know what you think about the new cover.

 

TheSpeaker_ebook_Final