Wednesday, June 3, 2015

IWSG: Ask PZM June 2015 - Promoting Your Book


It's that the first Wednesday of the month, which also means it's Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Thanks to our noble Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaughit's time to share our fears and insecurities, or support and assistance. Doesn't matter which.


If you'd like to join Insecure Writer's Support Group, click hereBe sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Our hashtag is #IWSG

The awesome co-hosts for the the June 3 posting of the IWSG will be M. Pax, Tracy Jo,Patricia Lynne, Rachna Chhabria, Feather Stone, and Randi Lee!

Please stop by and thank them for their time. Yay co-host/minions!





Ask PZM:


Q: For the summer reading season – do you have any ideas for cross-promotions for books?

This is a topic I have been discussing with children’s book author Susan Chodakiewitz, who two years ago did a joint picture book project  – “Master Davey and the Magic Tea House” – with the international company Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Inspired by that conversation, I am going to discuss some ideas that might work for you.

Benefit events:

At first blush the idea of giving away a large number of your books might not seem appealing.  Yet let’s imagine a scenario where this could be a good strategy:

You have published a nonfiction book about exercises to do in bed and you are about to publish the sequel to that book.  Meanwhile a local cancer organization needs to raise funds for research. 

You go to the organization and offer to do a fundraising event where you will demonstrate the exercises.  In addition, you will give away to all attendees the ebook version of your first book while selling physical copies of your new book at the event (and giving 10% of sales to the research project).

The organization agrees to publicize the event, including promoting your new book, and you get exposed to attendees who might spread the word about your two books. (And you can capture email addresses on the landing page for downloading the free ebook.)

Now put on your thinking cap and consider all the places that might be a good cross-promotional fit with your books.  Do you write about animals?  Think zoos.  Do you write about dance?  Think dance companies. 

And remember, every event in which you participate is an opportunity to get global recognition for your book titles by utilizing social media such as Twitter and Facebook appropriately (share not sell).

Reading programs:

Perhaps you write children’s Middle Grade and picture books.  Does your local library have a summer reading program?  What about donating several physical copies of your books for the library to give to the children who do the most book reviews? 

The library agrees to display one copy of each of your books all summer as part of the reading program display.  And then at the end of the program the library announces which children earned which books.

As part of this program you could offer to do an author reading.  And for more publicity opportunities you could offer to do a writing workshop for a “Write Your Own Book” event at the library.

Note that this idea could also work for children’s theaters.  You could give a short reading before a performance and give away several physical book copies via a drawing for attendees.

Planning for back-to-school in the fall:

Would your nonfiction – or even your fiction book – be good as part of a subject curriculum?  If so, you could work on preparing the curriculum and perhaps approaching teachers before the hectic start of the school year.
 
Yes, you may have to agree to donate the books for the first class that utilizes your curriculum.  Yet after that first time, with public praise of the program, you could promote the concept to other schools as a buy-the-book program.  And, if you want, you could even participate in the class discussion in person or by skype.

For an example of a subject curriculum based on a book, see the high school curriculum for my novel “Mrs. Lieutenant” at http://www.phylliszimblermiller.com/mrs-lieutenant/teach-us-history/mrs-lieutenant-lesson-plan/

And although no school has yet to take me up on this offer for my book “How to Succeed in High School and Prep for College,” I state at http://www.phylliszimblermiller.com/how-to-succeed-books/high-school-and-prep-for-college/ :

SCHOOL OPPORTUNITY: If an elementary or high school buys books for an entire class, I would be happy to have a complimentary skype call with the students. Email me at pzmiller@gmail.com
(Note that I put my email in this announcement even though my email is also elsewhere on my author site.  I want to make it as easy as possible for people to contact me about this offer.) 

Local book clubs:

Summers are probably when local book clubs plan for their fall reading schedule.  Do you make available – and promote – book discussion questions for your fiction or nonfiction books? 

If you do not know of any local book clubs, check out www.meetup.com for your local area.  You may be surprised at the number of local book clubs that you find.  (And you may also be surprised at the local groups that you might want to join.  For example, I attend numerous Los Angeles tech meetups, most of whose events are free.)

For an example of online book discussion questions as well as an explanatory video for “Mrs. Lieutenant,” see http://www.phylliszimblermiller.com/mrs-lieutenant/book-discussion-questions/

In conclusion, now that your creative juices are flowing on this topic, what prospective ideas can you come up with for your books?  Perhaps share some ideas or actual promotions in the comments below.  (And do think about joining together with other authors for shared cross-promotional opportunities.)



Phyllis Zimbler Miller blogs on book-related topics at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com and her Amazon Author Page for her fiction books is at www.amazon.com/author/phylliszimblermiller



On a personal note, I've decided to take a 2 month hiatus from my online presence. For some time now I've been bothered by my lack of enthusiasm for everything writing-related, plus my scarcity at visiting other blogs on time and leaving a decent comment. It's not my style to be elusive and self-absorbed, so I'm off to find my muse. Hopefully 60 days is enough time. Phyllis, Hank, and I will be back in August. Take care, everyone. 

51 comments :

  1. Enjoy your break - may you and your muse find inspiration, productivity, and fun, fun, fun!

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  2. I hope you enjoy your time away. I find planning or thinking of book promoting to be seriously stressful. But these are great ideas.

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  3. I love her ideas for cross-promotions. There are so many connections authors don't think about.

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  4. I hope you return from your break refreshed and ready to rock and roll once more! =)

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  5. Those are awesome ideas! I'll have to look up local book clubs when I publish my first print book. :)

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  6. How an wonderful, restful, sabbatical, Joylene.

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  7. Great promo ideas. I'm making notes. :) Enjoy the summer!

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  8. I think more writers of YA and MG could find promotional opportunities in school. Schools are always looking for people to do free programs.

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    1. Makes for an awesome day for the kids. Thanks, Susan.

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    1. Actually, Alex, you could anything and succeed. Honestly.

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  10. Those are great suggestions, and I know a number of writers who've had success with them. My situation is harder because I write horror and live in a foreign country. My own fault for choosing such an unusual niche, but it's what I love!

    Have a great break, Joylene! I hope you find your muse. :)

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    1. Thanks, Lexa. I hope you'll blog more about your adventures in Egypt. Fascinating, I bet. I know I'd like to hear more.

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  11. Wonderful promo ideas. Everyone needs a break now and then. Enjoy the break.

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  12. Great suggestions, PZM.

    And I hope you have a relaxing hiatus, Joylene.

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  13. Hey Joylene,

    You deserve a break and gather your thoughts. Blogging can be a difficult balance. So much so that I've tried to get my momentum back and that has meant me doing nothing but commenting for two days. Hell, I haven't even done my own latest, eagerly anticipated by my zillions of fans, post.

    Phyllis is a clever, informative lady, even if I haven't got a clue what's going on. As for that Hank, I really haven't got a clue what he writes about....

    Soon, we shall be welcoming you to this time zone, eh!

    Gary :)

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    1. I hope you get your momentum back, Gary. Your blog is appreciated around the world. I hope you realize that.

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  14. Good ideas and post. I agree with another the poster the thought stresses me. Hope you catch your muse and enjoy the chase.

    Juneta at Writer's Gambit

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  15. Everyone needs to unplug sometime. Go breathe and be. See you on the other side! :-)

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  16. Great suggestions PZM. Joylene enjoy your 2 month long break. I feel I too should take a break to get my writing groove back.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

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  17. You deserve the break. Take care. I'm planning to have one soon, too.

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  18. Thanks to everyone who said nice things about these suggestions. Meanwhile I agree that it is often hard to get up the momentum to actually do things!

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  19. Enjoy your break and I hope it recharges your creativity and writing.

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  20. Great promo ideas, thanks for sharing.

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  21. Phyllis, these are wonderful and timely ideas. Thanks so much for the inspiration. Joylene, thanks again for being the gracious hostess!

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  22. These are such excellent ideas! I especially like the idea of notifying your local library and having them display your book (and give it away as a prize to young readers). Thank you so much for sharing!

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  23. You have such great ideas for book promotions. I've thought of doing something locally myself. Since I live in a rural area, I've thought that next time I sell chickens at the local Fur & Feather Swap (a swap meet for small livestock) I'd bring copies of my books and peddle them. I might not sell any--- but maybe it would help me sell more chickens.
    Thanks for visiting my blog at: https://myantimatterlife.wordpress.com

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    1. Nissa -- One thing you might do when selling chickens: Ask people to fill out a slip of paper with their name and email for a lottery drawing to win a copy of your books. This might help bring attention both to your books and your chickens!

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  24. These are good ideas!

    There's nothing wrong with taking a break. I did it and came back refreshed and ready to write.

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  25. Getting schools to add a book to a summer reading program is excellent advice!

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  26. Some really good ideas!
    Enjoy your hiatus, Joylene!

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  27. Hope you enjoy your break. Rest, relax, recharge. See you later. :)

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  28. Thanks for these super great suggestions! Now that home and yard are in sync, the urge to return to the keyboard and write is gaining momentum.

    Thanks, Joylene, for your super great comment. *blushing* You're a dynamite gal!

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  29. Hi Joylene ... summer is sort of here - we're getting the rain too! But can quite understand the need for a break - hence my time out ... while I do some catching up and 'sorting' life.

    Promoting books locally ... creativity in thought and generally getting out there as much as possible, without over-egging the situation should bring some dividends ...

    Cheers Hilary

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  30. Great ideas. Recently I was searching for book clubs in my area, not to give books away, but to join and I couldn't find any. Need to get to the local library and see if they have listings.

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  31. Gotta take time to recharge. Here's to finding the right plug.

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  32. You have big exciting milestones to celebrate this time, Sounds like a great blog idea indeed. Great cover too.

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  33. Great ideas. Recently I was searching for book clubs in my area, not to give books away, but to join and I couldn't find any. Need to get to the local library and see if they have listings. best friend quotes

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