Saturday, November 29, 2008

Adventures in Advertising

Greetings everyone,

I've started to float downward since receiving my cover art...then I kind of plopped to the ground. I realized that now that I have cover art and a release date, I'd better promote this story of mine or it will be pretty but won't sell any copies. Panic!!!!

This past week I've been looking for ways to promote my work. In some cases with success, in others-not so much. Here's what I've learned so far. 100 4x6 prints at your local Walgreens only costs about $15.00-20.00 and then (if you're published in e-format) you have little covers to hand out in order to promote your book. I handed my first one out to the girl who printed the photos for me. She reads books from EC and thought it looked interesting. Cha-ching!

You can even sign the lovely prints - but be sure to get some of those paint marker thingies. I had a meeting last night with the program committee of my local RWA group (we were planning the group programming for upcoming year). They all knew I had my cover and someone had asked, we'll if it's an e-book how can we get you to sign it for us. Soooooo, I brought my 4x6 prints and signed copies for everyone. My first ever "book signing". It was VERY fun.

So I stopped to think about what else I could do to promote myself and my book. I already have a Web page I adore designed by Stonecreek Media. Another good promotion location is MySpace, so I asked someone I know at PI, Emma Petersen, to redesign my MySpace page. I'll probably get a redesign of my personal blog page too in the near future, but for now it works okay.

Another great promotional tool is a bookmark. Now that I have cover art, I can move forward with a bookmark and a fresh design for a business card. Friends at PI highly recommended Croco Designs and so I went to Frauke's site to look over her design work. Tip: ALWAYS review the design portfolio of whoever you intend to hire in order to confirm they know what they're doing and you like their style. I really liked the designs so I'm having both a bookmark and business card created.

Frauke recommended an online printing company called GotPrint and I'll be using them. I've used VistaPrint for business cards in the past, but they don't offer bookmarks right now. VistaPrint is a good place to start out though and I was satisfied with my business cards from them. When I went to the RWA National conference two years ago, I needed a few hundred business cards in a hurry. They put them together and they looked good. Now, I want something more personalized.

I've also started buying advertising on a couple of high traffic Web sites: The Raven Happy Hour, Erotic Romance Writers, and I'm trying to get a spot with Romancing the Blog. However RtB sent back a response that they won't be taking any new advertising until January. I will have to check back though.

So what else can I do? I'm trying to decipher how to run a virtual book tour. I have no idea how to conduct one of these things. If anyone has suggestions, please (and I mean PLEASE) post in the comments area. Any and all suggestions, comments, and commiserations are highly welcome!

So that's where I am. A solid thump in the bottom after the floaty phase. I'll let you know how it goes!


  1. It sounds like you are diving into the promotional experience :) In my area CVS has great discounts on color prints - sometimes buy one/get one free - you might want to check that out.

    I also recommend that you download my free virtual blog tour ebook at The box is in the top left corner of every page. I give away many of my "secrets" in the ebook, but not all of them :)

    I also have a blog where I posted quite a few promotional articles - and the link is in the right margin. That site also has a link to my free promotional blogs that authors can use.

    You can also take a look Book Promo 101 - and Book Promo 201 is going to my publisher tonight. LOTS of useful promotional information for author who are getting started or who want to home the skills they already have.

    Nikki Leigh

  2. Nikki,
    Thanks so much for posting. I'll be visiting your sites in the near future so I can learn more!


  3. Great tips Fransesca (and Nikki too). Hopefully I'll have need of them in the near future. *G*

  4. Wow, Francesca,
    I think I can learn a lot about this publishing stuff from you. Thanks.

  5. Let me know when you get stuff from that new print place -- they look good! I have gotten my book covers on VistaPrint postcards, but s&h always adds up, so the glossy photos might be just as nice. You just can't print on the backs like at VP.

    Unless you printed out address!

    Jody W.

  6. Thanks for commenting everyone. I've booked a sitting with a local photographer for a new "author" photo and I bought in on an ad through my publisher, Ellora's Cave. My book will appear in an ad in the April/May issue of Realms of Fantasy magazine. Wooooo Hooooo!

  7. When your website or blog goes live for the first time, it is exciting. That is until you realize no one but you and your. photos alimentaires