Tag Archives: online book publicist

What Your Readers and Book Buyers Want to Know About You and What You Need to Know About Them

tootyourhornEvery now and then, I’ll have an author ask me what they should write about when asked to write guest posts or what emphasis they should concentrate on when answering questions in interviews or just what they should do to create the most impact on their book buying public without becoming overbearing, pompous or downright horn-tooting obnoxious.

The first thing I tell them is get out of the mindset that you’ll be getting on peoples’ nerves with all this horn blowing and get on with the matter at hand. You are out to sell your book. Without you tooting or someone else you pay to toot for you, you might as well kiss your book sales goodbye.

Good publicity relies on these things:

  1. Perseverance
  2. Hard work
  3. Dedication

I’m sure that you know this and I’m sure you’ve got all three of those qualities going on for you, but good publicity also requires this:

  1. Knowing what common sense rules to follow when promoting your book
  2. Realizing that researching your subject in off before, during and after it’s published leads to successful promotions later
  3. Networking, schmoozing and generally getting your fans to adore you

Knowing what common sense rules to follow when promoting your book takes practice and experience. Unless you are out there noticing how other authors are promoting, you probably haven’t a clue. Are those emails coming from a certain author, publisher or publicist who has added your email to their email lists getting on your nerves by their promotional email blasts? Number One rule is never sign up anyone to your email list without their permission. I know no one is going to heed my advice but when this happens to me, I’m quick to delete and hit spam. However, if it is someone with whom you have connected in the past, they’re open bait and if they wish to unsubscribe, delete, hit spam, that’s on them but the odds are in your favor they’ll stick with you.

Researching your subject after the book has been written sounds a bit confusing, doesn’t it? Let me explain. Joe has written a book on fly fishing while Mary has written a romance novel. Both Joe and Mary have elected to promote on their own. Joe goes about the normal promotional procedures like putting up a website and/or blog and wishing for the best, but Mary decides she’s going to put her book subject in Google Alerts to find out what others are talking about relating to her book. Mary also loves to blog so she has elected to visit blogs that concentrate on her genre. Mary also has decided to pick out certain topics, locals, etc., within her book and researched them to find other like-minded people out there blogging about the same subjects in her book. Joe feels all alone in his self-promotional journey while Mary has made lots of friends, which has resulted in lots of sales.

Networking, schmoozing and generally getting your fans to adore you rounds out my third point which ties into researching your subject. Once you have found the many people out there who absolutely loves your work and loves to hear as much as they can about your book and you, treasure them like gold nuggets. These are your fans. These are the people who follow you like shadows on a moonlit night. These are the people you need to nurture. These are the very people that you must pay close attention to and never let them feel you’re just another name on another book. They are your book’s lifeline.

When you can find that happy medium between what your book buyers want to know about you and what you should know about them, book promotion gets a little bit easier.

Dorothy Thompson is CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book promotion. Visit us at www.pumpupyourbook and let us take you to the virtual level!

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Interview with Mary Carter, author of My Sister’s Voice

MARY CARTER is a freelance writer and novelist.  My Sister’s Voice is her fourth novel with Kensington. Her other works include:  She’ll Take It, Accidentally Engaged, Sunnyside Blues, and The Honeymoon House in the best selling anthology Almost Home. She is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, which is part of the Rochester Institute of Technology. She has just completed A Very Maui Christmas, a new novella for Kensington that will be included in a Christmas of 2010 anthology. She is currently working on a new novel, The Pub Across the Pond, about an American woman who swears off all Irish men only to learn she’s won a pub in Ireland. Readers are welcome to visit her at marycarterbooks.com.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Mary. Can you tell us what your latest book, My Sister’s Voice, is all about?

It is about identical twin girls, one is Deaf, and the other is hearing, who are raised separately and don’t learn of each other’s existence until they are 28-years-old.  One twin wants to be instant best friends, the other, when she finds out her biological parents gave her up but raised the other twin, wants nothing but answers.

Q: Is this your first novel?  If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?

This is my fourth novel.  Each book I write is very different, and like any parent who has more than one child will tell you, each one is very unique.  That said, I have learned a little about the process of writing a novel, and I believe my skills are improving with each book.

Q: How difficult was it writing your book?  Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?

Writing a novel is very difficult for me when I am on the first draft.  In fact, I’m miserable until I have something to work with.  Unfortunately, it takes a long time to get the first draft done, and so I spend a good deal of writing time feeling sorry for myself.  I am trying to learn how to write a first draft faster, like sketching a drawing, so that I can get to the part I love—rewriting.  When I feel like I can’t do it, or that it isn’t any good, it’s always during that first draft dread.  I don’t have a choice, I have to plow on, and I just try and quiet my inner critic, and write—even if it’s only a few hundred words.  I remind myself that first drafts are allowed to be awful, and that anything and everything can be fixed, as long as you have something to fix in the first place.  This is also where an outline can be a lifesaver.  It gives you a place to go when you feel stuck.

My Sister's Voice by Mary Carter (click on cover to purchase at Amazon for only $10.20)

Q: How have your fans embraced your latest novel?  Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?

I wish I had done a virtual tour of my last novel, Sunnyside Blues. I think it had a quiet start, although all the reviews have been very positive, and it was just released last summer, so momentum may build on it yet.  I guess the funniest story is that my friend Desiree pointed out that I used two of her ex boyfriend’s names in the book for the heroine’s love interests.  It hadn’t dawned on me that I’d done that, and I’m not sure that’s why I chose their names, but it’s possible.  The mind is a mysterious place.

Q: What is your daily writing routine?

I still work a day job so I’m not the type of writer who has a set writing schedule.  I work freelance so my day job hours vary and then I try and write around them.  I’m never without paper in my purse and if I can squeeze in some writing while I’m at work, I try and do that too.  With my last novel I tried to set a goal of at least a thousand words a day.  When I found out Stephen King writes two thousand words a day, I tried that too.  Some days it was easy to do, other days I was lucky to get two hundred.  I find there is always a certain turning point where I’m thinking about the book non-stop, and that makes it easier when you actually sit down to do it, because you’ve already played the scene out in your head.  I’m hoping to reach that point soon with my new novel, because as I said in a previous question, I’m always stressed during first drafts.

Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?

I have a favorite local Irish bar that has a ton of fun people and has live music on the weekends.  I also like to eat, and go to Broadway plays, and hang out with friends.  I would say I exercise or do yoga, or meditate, but that would be a lie.  Although I do TRY and exercise, but I’m always falling off the wagon.  I walk a lot though, I think most people who live in New York City walk a lot. I love farmer’s markets, and coffee shops. And I love to read, and go to movies, there are a few television shows I’m addicted to, and I play piano, so I guess there’s never a lack of things to keep myself amused or relaxed.

Q: What book changed your life?

Ayn Rand’s, The Fountainhead, and Herman Hesse, My Essays.  There was also one book that I read that was so bad it made me say—I could do better than that—which led me to write my first novel, but unfortunately, I don’t remember what the book was.  Actually, maybe it’s fortunate I don’t remember, for I wouldn’t use this forum to disparage it either.  But it was instrumental in launching my own writing career!

Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?

Mary Carter would like her first grade teacher to know that the nickname Messy Mary was not very nice and it hasn’t stopped her from becoming an international best selling novelist, and to her third grade teacher, she wants you to know that she hasn’t forgotten that you never took her for that hot fudge sundae she won for being the first to memorize her times tables, and even though her mother took her for one, it still doesn’t let you off the hook.

Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”

I’m a international woman of mystery.

Thank you for this interview Mary.  I wish you much success on your latest release, My Sister’s Voice!

Mary Carter is on virtual book tour to promote her new book, My Sister’s Voice.  If you’d like to follow her tour, visit her official tour page here.

Question of the Day:

How would you feel if you found out you had a long lost sister or brother you didn’t know about?

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Interview with high school teacher turned author Christa Allan

Christa Allan is the mother of five adult children and the totally smitten Grammy of two granddaughters. She and her husband, Ken, live in Louisiana where she teaches high school English. Her debut novel, Walking on Broken Glass, will be released by Abingdon Press in March, 2010. She has essays in Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Divorced Soul, The Ultimate Teacher, and Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Special Needs. You can visit her website at www.cristaallan.com.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Christa. Can you tell us what your latest book, Walking on Broken Glass, is all about?

My debut novel tells the story of Leah Thornton, a woman whose life looks pretty from the outside; she seems to “have it all.” But appearances can be deceiving because she’s a mess. She drinks to numb her pain and, until her friend confronts her with the truth, she thinks no one else has noticed. Leah admits herself to rehab, and the novel-told from Leah’s point of view-follows her through her recovery as she attempts to discover who she really is and what she’s willing to sacrifice to find out.

Q: Is this your first novel?  If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?

Yes. The first novel I wrote, and the first novel I sold.

Q: How difficult was it writing your book?  Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?

The most difficult part of writing my novel was the intrusion of Hurricane Katrina. My husband lost his job, so we moved to another city three hours away. For two years, I didn’t write. So much change was going on around us with jobs, housing, finding a workshop for my daughter Sarah who has Down’s Syndrome to attend during the day, and generally feeling “out of sync” with ourselves. I simply chose not to write during that time. Two years later, we moved home, and I sat my butt down and finished.

My first reaction to writer’s block is tears! Then I get control of myself because I know I can’t cry over the keyboard, go outside and pull weeds until I relax.

Q: How have your fans embraced your latest novel?  Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?

The novel released February 1, so the feedback is just now making its way. Overall, the reviews indicate that readers appreciate the topic of alcoholism being addressed in Christian fiction, and that the novel balances seriousness with wit. So far, no funny or unusual experiences!

Q: What is your daily writing routine?

Being a high school English teacher sucks the creative energy out of me. I tried a daily routine and found that didn’t work. So, I hammer down during the summer, breaks during the school year, and weekends.

Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?

Sleep! I read, rediscover my husband, have dinner with friends, and try to lounge in the tub without drowning.

Q: What book changed your life?

At the risk of seeming a proselytizer, I know that my life changed when I rediscovered the Bible, and viewed it as a dialogue, not a monologue.

Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?

Queen Noor already used this one, but it’s so fitting; Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life.

Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”

I don’t always feel as confident as I pretend to be!

Thank you for this interview Christa.  I wish you much success on your latest release, Walking on Broken Glass!

I appreciate your introducing me and my novel to your readers.

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Interview with Hasta la Vista, Lola!’s Misa Ramirez

Misa Ramirez is the author of the Lola Cruz mystery series: Living the Vida Lola (January ’09) and Hasta la Vista, Lola! (2010) from St. Martin’s Minotaur. A former middle and high school teacher, and current CEO and CFO for La Familia Ramirez, this blonde-haired, green-eyed, proud to be Latina-by-Marriage girl loves following Lola on her many adventures. Whether it’s contemplating belly button piercings or visiting nudist resorts, she’s always up for the challenge. Misa is hard at work on a new women’s fiction novel, a middle grade series, is published in Woman’s World Magazine and Romance Writers Report, and has a children’s book published. You can visit her website at http://misaramirez.com and her blog at www.chasingheroes.com.  Connect with her at Twitter at http://twitter.com/misaramirez and http://twitter.com/chasingheroes or Facebook at http://facebook.com/misaramirez.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Misa. Can you tell us what your latest book, Hasta la Vista, Lola!, is all about?

Hasta la Vista, Lola! is the 2nd book in the Lola Cruz Mystery Series.  The first, Living the Vida Lola, came out last January.  I’m working on the third book, Bare Naked Lola.  The series follows Dolores (Lola for short) Cruz as she solves crimes and struggles to balance life and her culture as an American woman.

Hasta la Vista, Lola! deals with one of America’s most prevalent crimes: identity theft.  It’s Lola’s identity that’s been stolen, and when the woman who stole it turns up dead, Lola has to discover which one of them was the intended victim.

Q: Is this your first novel?  If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?

This is the second book in the series.  Hasta la Vista, Lola! came much faster than Living the Vida Lola.  My children were older, and though I was still teaching, not having an infant made it a lot easier to write!  Plus I know the characters so much better now that I understand them, know how they’ll react and what they’ll do in certain situations.  That definitely makes the writing a more fluid process.

Q: How difficult was it writing your book?  Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?

I have so much fun writing the Lola books that I barely consider it work!  That’s not to say there aren’t challenges; there are.  But I wouldn’t say they’re ever overwhelming or difficult beyond reason.

I don’t usually get ‘writer’s block’, but if I do I spend a lot of tiem mulling things over.  I just think and think and think!  I used to walk, but just had knee surgery, so no more walking!  I’m going to start bike riding after my recovery, so that will be my outlet and thinking time.  The writing process is different for everyone.  For me it does not come quickly.  I have to really work through problems, and often end up changing key elements along the way as I discover new or better plot points.

The wonderful thing about Lola Cruz Mysteries is that I now know Lola so well that she comes quite easily.  I like to say that she’s my alter ego (if I were a sexy, sassy, Latina private eye!).

Hasta la Vista, Lola! by Misa Ramirez (click on cover to order at Amazon)

Q: How have your fans embraced your latest novel?  Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?

When I received my first fan email, it was such a thrill!  To know that someone (who I don’t know) loved my book enough to email me and tell me so was astounding.  The response to Living the Vida Lola has been wonderful, though it takes time to build a series.  I anticipate that fans of the first book will absolutely love Hasta la Vista, Lola!

Q: What is your daily writing routine?

Once my kids are off to school, I make my own version of a mocha and head through the backyard to the office.  That’s where the magic happens!  I waste too much time with emails and such, but when I get into the zone, it comes quickly and I just love it!

Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?

Of course I love to read.  Go out with my friends, the Margarita Mamas, to unwind with our favorite drink.  Spend time with my kids and husband.  Watch Project Runway.  And Supernatural.  Yoga.  LOVE yoga, though I’m waiting for my knee to heal right now.

Q: What book changed your life?

Probably Gone With the Wind.  That’s the first book that I got so wrapped up in that everything else went by the wayside.  I was in high school and read every waking moment until I’d devoured it.

As an adult, I felt that way about The Joy Luck Club.  The relationships in the book struck a chord with me that I still treasure.

Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?

Ha!  Some Kind of Ordinary.  My life is nothing thrilling!  Though my mother would call it Pioneer Woman of the 21st Century because I’m a go-getter and a doer.  I’ll tackle almost anything (with the possible exception of dealing with snakes).

Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”

Oh, wow, that’s tough!  I don’t think I have many bits of myself hidden away.  What you see is what you get, so I think people pretty much understand me.

I guess, if I absolutely MUST answer, I’d say that I wish people would understand that my motivation is usually centered around my convictions, what I believe to be right and best for whoever or whatever is at stake.  I’ve learned over the years that I have to be willing to stand up for what I believe.  It’s been a hard lesson at times, but one that is worth learning and putting into practice.

Thank you for this interview Misa.  I wish you much success on your latest release, Hasta la Vista, Lola!

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