Tales in Publishing: Marketing

Tales in Publishing: 

One of the reasons I'm not self-published is the marketing knowledge necessary to be successful at it. During the school year, I just don't have the time because I teach and in the summer my kid is home so he takes up my free time. I lack the understanding of the nuances of marketing books. I got the basics, but no tricks of the trade down. I'm just not a salesperson.

So going with a traditional publisher was key for me. I do have to partake in some marketing, as all publishers expect these days, but these things I can handle and do--promote via blog, social media, word of mouth. Eventually, if I'm lucky enough to publish a standalone book, I will need to do book launches and book trailers, but for my story I'm enjoying this experience of getting my feet wet.

Here is my first experience with marketing. A marketing rep asked for the following things:
The Selection
1. Brief blurb on your story--A book blurb is usually what appears on the back of the book or inside cover to let the reader know what it is about. They tend to include the premise, main characters, the conflict, and a cliffhanger. First, it is so freaking hard to limit it down to a paragraph for books and not be too detailed and still entice the reader. We writers are used to doing this for query letters, so it gets easier. However, the rep did not say how long, the word "brief" having quite some wiggle room. Since it was for a short story, and I knew there would be seven other stories included, I went with three sentences, probably a third of what would be needed for a full-length novel.

2. 1-2 line teaser from your story--This is so hard to choose! We want to give you a feel of our writing style without only using the first line but not giving away the ending. We want to give you something to get you enthralled but not ruin any surprises. The premise behind all stories in this anthology is they have to begin and end with a kiss. So my teaser is a couple lines surrounding that first, more innocent kiss.
3. Your author pic, bio, and social media links--I didn't have enough time for an official headshot so had to alter a phone pic. I'm not a huge selfie taker unless it's with my kid, so I only had about two pics from the last year to choose from. However, they were taken on SnapChat using a filter. Thankfully, by using Instagram, I was able to alter them to look less filtered and now the photo I sent in looks real. Note to self, take some author headshots! The bio had already been done for the editor needed it to put in the book itself. Back when I wrote that, it was difficult to sum up yourself, in third person, and let the reader know the important and interesting things about yourself in a very short space. I already beefed up my social media presence in the past in anticipation of trying to become published and I revamped this blog so I had links for them.
Kiera Cass
Kiera Cass    


Kiera Cass is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Selection series and The Siren. She is a graduate of Radford University and currently lives in Christiansburg, Virginia, with her family. You can learn more about Kiera’s books, videos, and love of cake online at www.kieracass.com.

4. Any bloggers you'd like to be included on the promo distribution--This is a fail for me. I had no clue that authors were to also search for quality blogs and websites that review books. After some searching, I found a few resources to help me find some, but then you have to send them the book and see if they will have the time or inclination to do it. I still think I need to research this a bit further and I need to get reading more blogs about books (not just motherhood and special needs sites which have taken all of my focus as of late). Considering it is a story, I can excuse myself. But if I'm lucky to get a book deal, before the ink is dry on a contract, I will be finding bloggers. It wasn't mandatory, but leaving something blank feels like a failure to me.

I'm eager to see what they will do with all our info and how they will promote it. So far they've done a cover reveal and a couple book trailers. The release date is July 20th! I'm super excited about this because I'm actually getting published but also because this experience is teaching me all I need to know about the industry so if I get a book deal one day, I won't be a novice.

This is a consecutive, yet stand alone, entry. To catch up from the beginning see these entries (Acceptance, Contract, Cover, Editing 1 and 2) and stay tuned.