Book Marketing Schedule

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I’m learning a lot from this experience of seeing a book through from contract to tour. Hiring a publicist and book tour manager has not been cheap, but I feel I can earn my money back over the next few years in book sales (fingers crossed!). The education I’m getting in the meantime is priceless.

For instance, there’s an order of operations to things: pre-release, official release, Buy Day, then ebook advertising. The pre-release happened last week (hopefully everyone reading this received an email from me and has ordered the book!). Pre-release is basically the stage of book publication where it is available to the general public, but not necessarily in many stores yet or officially announced in the literary world. The official release is a newsworthy event, and that’s what any good publicist builds up to and helps make a success. That’s when the book will start appearing in more stores, and even more reviews will be coming out (fingers crossed, again!). Official release for Flashes of War is Memorial Day, May 27th, 2013 at Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville.

Buy Day happens roughly three weeks after official release,
and the point is to get everyone who has purchased the book or everyone in my contacts list to a) rate the book on Amazon, b) buy the book if they haven’t already, and c) share a link about the book on their Facebook and Twitter feeds, recommending it. The combined effect is that authors can see a spike in their ratings on Amazon, and this, in turn, can alert others to the book who may not otherwise have heard about it. It’s something that large publishing houses organize and orchestrate from within (they have the marketing and people-power to pull it off) without necessarily having to rely on their friends. But the smaller university presses (like mine) and indy publishers have to go about this using a grassroots effort. Buy Day for Flashes of War is going to be June 21st.

Finally, I’ll be investing in an advertising campaign through Kindle Nation for the ebook of Flashes of War (which happens to be available RIGHT NOW, in fact, through this link for Kindle, etc.). Despite its name, Kindle Nation isn’t actually affiliated with the Amazon Kindle e-reader. My publicist informed me about them and here is what I learned: “During the past few years we have built the community that we call ‘Kindle Nation’ into the largest and most influential independent
community of Kindle enthusiasts and ebook readers on the web. We are in
touch with over 147,000 Kindle owners every day via web posts, email
blasts, Facebook, and Twitter. With our sponsorship programs, we
are offering you the opportunity to connect directly with our readers.” Yes, it’s a pitch, but it’s a darn good one! I’ve saved enough to invest in a low-tier ad campaign through them and once that’s said and done (three weeks after Buy Day, according to my publicist), I’ll be able to exhale a little. Why exhale? Because by then I will have done all that I can do in terms of the initial marketing and publicity push. Phew!

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