A.F. Stewart is the author of Chronicles of the Undead
The following is based on A.F.'s vast experience on marketing and promoting on a budget.
This is an essential tool; post writing articles, excerpts from your books, character interviews, and important book updates. Add links to your book to these posts, and/or a picture of the book cover. You can also write book reviews, short pieces of fiction or a serial type story.
Don’t forget to promote your blog: Add it to site directories that list blogs and join a site like Feedburner to try and increase your blog traffic. Also, comment on other people’s blogs, add a blog roll and follow or subscribe to blogs you like; you never know who will reciprocate.
The key to good book promotion is interconnecting with your social sites, and not over extending yourself on too many sites. You want to interact with writers, editors, publishers, readers; attend online events, join and create groups, comment on discussions, etc.
• MySpace: A great site for connecting with e-zines, editors, small publishers, authors, promotion companies; many of these services have budget friendly prices.
• Facebook: A Facebook fanpage is great promotion for an author.
• Twitter: Short updates, great way to remind people of events, news, or to say hi.
• Squidoo.com: Create a lens on any topic (I have a page about writing fantasy novels), make a page about your book, or write about yourself (in the SquidWho section).
• Ning.com: This network has dozens of social sites for writers and great interaction.
• WritersCafe: A writer’s site. You post stories, poems, books and sample chapters, get feedback from members.
• AuthorsDen: A great place for an author profile, complete with your books, news, excerpts or stories. It’s free to join, with reasonably priced upgrades.
• Gather.com: A nice place to find fellow authors, books, and to post articles.
A Press Release:
The best way to get the word out on your new book. Basically you need a catchy headline, followed by a one or two line description, then two detailed descriptive paragraphs (if you have any good review quotes, add them) and a good closer. Add a short author bio, contact info and a book link.
Check out these links for complete details on writing a press release:
There are two types of press release services: ones you pay for and ones that are free. The paid service will get a wider release, but the free services are effective; I use the free online press release services Sanepr and PRlog. You will need a press release for each book, and you can also send out releases for book events, the launch of your website, for winning awards, etc.
The Virtual Book Tour:
A Virtual Book Tour or Blog Tour is a series of guest posts, interviews, and/or book spotlights on other people’s blogs; it is an excellent way to promote a book and yourself as an author. There are several places on the internet that will organize a tour for you for a small price; Pump Up Your Book Promotion being an example. But if your budget does not allow the extra expense, you can organize your own tour.
• You will need a list of articles on writing to use as guest posts (you can use your book to illustrate your topic in examples, or discuss your process in writing the book). I would say five or so is a good number, but it will depend on how long your tour runs, so if you want to write more go ahead; you can always post leftovers on your own blog later.
• Be prepared to answer interview questions. Some hosts will want to do an interview and will supply you with a list of questions. If you are unsure what to expect check out other interviews. You can also do a Character Interview, where you answer questions as a character from your book.
• Some of your tour stops can be Book Spotlights. You will need a snappy book synopsis, a small photo of your book cover, book links, and possibly a book excerpt. The blogs Authors Promoting Authors and Authors and Their Books offer book spotlights on a regular basis.
• Have at the ready an author photo; some blogs will want one, some won’t; it never hurts to have a short author bio handy as well.
Once prepared, you have to find your hosts, so send the word out on your social networks. I simply wrote a post stating I was thinking of organizing a blog tour and asked if anyone was interested in hosting me. Before I knew it kind and generous people were offering. Try keeping to a manageable level of hosts, in a set time period, say a month or so.
If you want to participate as a host in someone’s blog tour, just do one of the following: offer to let the author guest post; offer an interview, either an author or a character interview; spotlight their book.
You can get a professionally done book trailer, (there are inexpensive options) or make your own. Windows Movie Maker or similar programs can be used to make an imaginative promo; all you need are photos that relate to your book, music or narration, intriguing captions and patience.
Your trailer should be around 30-50 seconds long, have an ending credit sequence featuring your book title, a book link and any photo or music credits. You can make elegant credit and title sequences with Powerpoint, by saving individual slides as Jpeg’s.
If you use your own photos/music or have permission to use a friend’s, you may use your discretion as to crediting the owner. If you plan to use anything from the internet, check the copyright! Royalty free does not mean it won’t cost; a photo or music clip is only free to use with a Creative Commons License. Even then you generally must give the owner a credit for the copyright.
Check carefully though, sometimes free means only for personal use and not for commercial purposes. You can find free-to-use photos on Flickr and free-to-use music clips at Soundsnap.com
To sum up, good promotion needs capable planning, commitment, and a working knowledge of Google.
Narrated as the personal journals of Samuel, Edmund, and Charlotte Harrington, CHRONICLES OF THE UNDEAD tells three stories of temptation, vengeance, and redemption. The plot unfolds as the lives of this family unexpectedly intersect with two vampires. Find out who succumbs to the seduction of a vampire, and who struggles to combat this evil influence that permeates their lives. Adult content.