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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Promotional Question #1 from Martin Bartloff

I met Martin Bartloff at the VA Festival of the Book in March 2009 and we have conversed on Twitter several times since then. His first book is being released soon by my good friend Karen Syed at Echelon Press. He has some promotional questions, so I suggested that he send them to me and I'd post some answers here. Anyone else is welcome to do the same thing. You can reach me at nikki @ nikkileigh.com

Here is Martin's first question -

I don't want my novel to be like other books I see--being eaten like small fish in an ocean full of books. How should I market my book sufficiently, beyond twitter, myspace, facebook etc?

This is something that many authors wonder about. With over 250,000 books being released each year (and that could be higher now) - we all want to make our book stand out in the crowd.

I would start by making sure the book is being promoted sufficiently on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook - and other appropriate social sites. Sufficiently is a subjective word - what I consider to be sufficient may be over board for another person. I've talked to people who have an old profile, no pictures and a couple dozen friends and they think that is sufficient. I know this will shock people - but I don't think that's sufficient.

Here are some bare necessity things I would do with these platforms --

1 - Have a well developed profile page on each of these sites
2 - Make sure you give a good amount of info about you and your book(s)
3 - Include some pictures of you - at book events is good and definitely your book cover
4 - Check the applications on these sites and see what would be beneficial. You want people to be able to interact with you, you want to be able to post book trailers (if you have any), you want to post pictures, a link to your blog (which you need), a link to Twitter, updates on your social profiles, and much more
5 - I do not think you need games and other distractions- although I have some of those myself
6 - Are you updating the "status" area on these sites regularly?
7 - Are you actively gathering friends -- and potential readers?
8 - Do you share book related events that you have coming up in the future?
9 - Do you have a fan page and/or a group on Facebook?
10 - Have you promoted these pages?
11 - Are these pages complete?

These are just off the top of my head - but will get you started. IF you have all these things on the social sites mentioned above - these are a few more things.

Have you written a press release about the release of your book?
Did you circulate it? (There are articles about writing and distributing PR on this blog)
Are you blogging?
Do you share interesting and relevant info on your blog?
Do you blog regularly?
Do you ever ask people in you can guest blog on their blog?
Do you invite other to guest blog on your blog?
Do you have a book trailer?
Is the trailer posted on all relevant video sites? (I'll warn you there are more than you think :)
Are your books in local bookstores?
Is there any group in your community that you could partner with to do a fundraising event that you could tie into your book content?

The last in more creative, but can be a lot of fun and great exposure for you. It is also a lot of work - so be sure you know what you're getting into.

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. What ways have you used to promote your book? And, how did they work for you?



  1. Nikki, Thanks for posting my question. Reading your advice assured me I'm very well on my way doing the right promotion for my YA novel. Some has to wait until "Torn from Normal" is released. That will take place in June this year.
    I will also have a YouYube contest where participants can win prize money.

    I'm already guest blogging and I'm open for any author if they like to be a guest on my blog. Including you :-) Here is a quick link now in case some of you can't wait and like to head over to my blog now. http://martinbartloff.blogspot.com/

    For me publishing a book is a whole new world and I wake up excited about it everyday anew.
    I have a very strong personality and I think that gives me a natural advantage on the market. I see a lot of authors who are great writers, but seem insecure. I live my novel, talk about it as if it was a true story and as if my characters exist in real life. Karen Syed has taught me a lot and I couldn't think of a better person to be working with. I will keep tuning in to answer question if there are any by other readers. I prepared some links.

    Here is an unedited except with comments from awesome authors: http://martinbartloff.blogspot.com/2009/04/excerpt-torn-from-normal-by-martin.html

    My website, (about to be updated) http://www.MartinBartloff.com

    My twitter link: http://twitter.com/MBartloff

    Nikki, thank you so much for having me here, I truly appreciate your effort.


  2. Nikki,

    Here is a few more questions.

    Cover art, publishing a YA book, I strongly aim toward a real picture for the cover art of "Torn from Normal." Animated covers rarely lead me to take a closer look, unless of course the title has gotten me hooked. What would be your take, I know you like images of lighthouses.

  3. I like lighthouse pix for my books for many reasons, but primarily because each of my novels is set at or near a lighthouse. I am a fan or real pictures or pictures that look real. Animated pictures seem to me like they are better suited for video games -- but with young adult books - it could work. You should pose that question on MySpace and see what sort of answers you get :)


  4. Excellent so we're on the same page. Now I wonder how one casts for front cover art? Karen will have the answers, but I have some of my own ideas.

    Wait there is one, Hard cover versus paperback, which do you prefer?



  5. Thanks for bringing some good ideas to the table. I think we can all learn from this discussion.