Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Fiction Day - 7 Months Before Release Date - I Want to DO SOMETHING

Edits aren't hardly started, the title isn't set, and the cover is far from decided. I'm anxious to get this ball rolling to launch my novel, but it's in the hands of Bell Bridge Books editors for the moment. Any day they'll engulf me in line edits, but for now I'm  . . . bored. So what can I do in the interim with all this pent up energy to prepare for the February 2012 release of my Carolina Slade suspense?

Make a List of Reviewers

I'm active on Twitter. Not only do reviewers crow about a good book they've reviewed, but the authors brag about receiving them. As they do, I make a list. I visit their blogs then note the other reviewers on their Resource list. And if they have a sign up or subscription feature, I sign up so I can become accustomed to what they like, how they write, and if they take guest posts.

Make a List of Potential Guest Post Blogs

I follow many blogs. Some accept guest posts. And yes, I'm making a list. While some may be interested in topics I cover in FundsforWriters, others cover fiction authors. Either way, I'll pitch them an idea in a few months.

Design a New Website

This one frustrates me because I need a cover design to best create the feel of a new author website. So, in the meantime, since my FrontPage program is rather dated, I'm teaching myself MS Expressions and becoming familiar with CSS. I took two online classes about websites which helped me understand the program a little better. The domain name (my name) is reserved and parked, awaiting me to touch it with whatever magic I decide to use. I'm still not opposed to hiring someone to design it, but this far haven't found someone who suits my fancy and my pocketbook. For now, I scribble designs and make notes about author sites I love.

Websites, Newsletters and Magazines

Another list, but this one requires I write articles - for websites, newsletters and magazines. Whether writing about writing, FundsforWriters, horticulture, wildlife or fiction, I'm seeking places to pitch freelance features. Until I have the title ironed out, I can't pitch, so I make a list to poise myself for when I have a green light. And, I'm making a list of topics to write about.

Book Trailer

I've been studying book trailers a bit. Took a seminar, read an ebook, studied a blog or two to learn how to put one together.

Independent Bookstores

I've listed indie stories in my region. Since my book is regional, I'll connect with Southern stories to promote the book.

Conferences and Appearances

I'm booking speaking engagements for 2012 conferences. So far, I'm confirmed for Oklahoma City, Jackson, Mississippi, Wadesboro, NC and Bonaparte, Iowa. I'm being considered for eight others. Once the calendar is ironed out, I hope to stop in between to see pockets of FundsforWriters readers. NOTE: If you have a writers' group that would like an appearance, email me and we'll try to make it happen.

People, Friends and Places

I have friends and acquaintances who've offered to help me speak and sign in their towns. I'm toying with making a trip to Phoenix where I have many old friends, new friends, and multiple writing group connections. Heck, the local Hooters has offered to sponsor a book signing for me in Columbia!

Lining up Blurbs

This is hard, but I'm contacting a few folks and asking for blurbs. Not easy to do this early since the book isn't edited or in arc form yet.

List of Extra Promotional Stuff

Postcards, a banner, an official hashtag - I'm wracking my brain for new ideas. Each one is posted in my little notebook of self-promotion I keep at my side. When time comes to catch fire and start the machine, I don't to question where I kept this list or that name. Oh, I think I'll offer a free TOTAL subscription to those who post a review on Amazon. Ooh, what about a Twitter party? Oh yea, new photos.

So, if you have your own book to promote, or want to take notes for when you do one day, feel free to use my list. Of course, I don't mind if you have unique ideas of your own to add! All comments welcomed! All writers group, guest post, book review offers will be seriously considered.

When they said writing the book was the easy part, they weren't kidding!


Julia Munroe Martin said...

Lots of work to do, wow! I will look forward to (hopefully) reaching that day, too. And I will then hope/plan to be as orgaznized as you are. Great post with clear steps! And EXCITING!! :)

Sioux Roslawski said...

What about creating an easy-to-do video about your novel and posting it on this blog? It could give us a little view of your day to day life as a writer (the hook) and would entice us to buy the novel as well?

Hope Clark said...

Ooh, a reading online. That's so cool, Sioux. Good idea to add to the list. Thanks.

D.G. Hudson said...

Good planning, Hope. I like to be prepared like that, so enjoyed the list you shared with us.

I do book reviews on my site, and recently reviewed Nathan Bransford's book (a MG book), and have reviewed others in the past (Don Maass books in the current one, and James S. Bell in another). If you want bloggers to review your book, I'd be glad to.

Just a warning, though, that a lot of blog readers seem to take exception when the author asks on their own blog for reviews to be done. One blog offered an incentive (which was taken to be bribery) for reviews. This was fairly recent, but I don't want to identify the blog or the author for reasons you can understand. IMO, you ought to be able to publicize your own book on your own blog, but not everyone agrees.

Gad, we writers have to tread carefully.

Sylvia Ney said...

Hope - I would like to offer you some coverage on my own blog. We can do an interview, guest post, book blurbs, giveaways, whatever you want or need, keep me in mind.

Hope Clark said...


I'll add you to the list. Thanks!

Kathleen Ewing said...

You gotta get back to Phoenix. Arizona misses you!

Wren Andre said...

You're right on target Hope. Having an organized, early promotional plan in place will be the difference between your book disappearing or rising to the top. Thanks for the list - I will add some of your ideas to mine. Awesome as always!