BY GUEST BLOGGER RAJDEEP PAULUS, author of Swimming Through Clouds
Life is about give and take. My mom taught me this at a very early age. We learn this on the playground: “Give me a push on the swings. Now your turn.”
But as we grow older, we get confused. We don’t always know what we want. And we’re wary of those who offer to give us something in return for anything. How much will they expect? Will the return be worth the effort? We can all think of a hundred better things to do with our time. Time is limited, after all.
So as a newbie author navigating the torrential waves of marketing, I have decided that I’ve tried sailing, kayaking, and snorkeling with the likes of blogs tours, twitter parties, and spray-painting Swimming Through Clouds across NYC brick walls in the best view of passing subway riders. I suppose the latter is something I only dream about but some day…
Anyway, the most success I’ve personally had at spreading book news has been with the A-MAZING dessert party put on by the fabulous Amanda Luedeke (of “Thursdays with Amanda” fame, although lately…) and her partners in crime, Chip and Sandra. You can read about all the fun here at Playlist Fiction or here on Chip’s Blog!
Although I like to say life is one big par-tay, the truth is, most of us can’t afford to party Monday through Friday and on the weekends. That’s just not reality.
So back in my little boat, swimming through ideas of how to get the word out about my book and all the fab titles over at Playlist Fiction, I ventured out and researched what other succeeding Indie YA authors were doing. Stumbled upon a new writer who is tearing up the charts with her New Adult book, and one major thing she’s doing differently that I hadn’t seen before is hosting a Giveaway that never asks you to buy her book, but politely asks for Amazon Reviews. Honest, short, and helpful feedback so she can become a better writer and shape her sequel into the strongest follow-up book ever. Brilliant, right? I know. Why didn’t I think of that?
Well, I thought about it more, and I realized I wanted more than that. I feel blessed that quite a few of my first readers have jumped on my Facebook page to say something super encouraging about my first book. That totally rocks my world. I get giddy and do a cartwheel in my living room. My kids laugh when I fall on my face. Then I go back to writing.
But I want MORE. In my ideal, think Inception-sized dreaming, world, I’m thinking the domino effect—when word of mouth becomes word of mouths becomes California-sized forest-fire reach and beyond.
So how do I go about getting that?
I feel pretty confident that if people read my book, they will love it. So thinks every author out there, I’m guessing? And, if they love it, they will tell people. If the people love it, they will tell more people. But the hardest hurdle I’m discovering is how do I invite strangers to read it? And how do I even, as Amanda says, “Tell the world I have something they need to read?
I’ve come up with my newest dive into Marketing with a Fall is for Falling in Love Mega Giveaway! [Try saying that five times in a row with popcorn in your cheeks 😉 ]
The prizes are pretty nice. $50 Amazon Card. $25 Starbucks Card. Candy, Post-its, Main Character-Themed Gift Bag with lots of lovely blue things, since Blue is Talia’s color, although she usually wears green… It’s Complicated. No spoilers, of course! The free java alone should lure in all the coffee addicts that get wind of the fun.
And I’m all about saying thank you to my readers when they do something for me in addition to reading my book. That will help me spread the fire and lead new readers to Swimming Through Clouds. With 15 prizes and 50 chances to Enter in the contest that runs from October 18 through November 14, and sharing the Contest Info through lots of Blogs and Social Media, hoping to start a fall bonfire so big, they’ll see it over at the New York Times Book Review headquarters. Or Oprah’s house. That works too. Yep. I’m that dreamer. Everything starts with a dream. Gotta dream.
Enough about me. What are you doing this fall to market your book, product, brand? What has worked? What have you discovered that you just have to share with us? And when was the last time you made a huge pile of leaves and jumped in it? Did I mention my Leaf Thief history? Time to rake the leaves! Gotta live!
Don’t forget to live!
Happy swimming, all.
Rajdeep Paulus, YA Author of Swimming Through Clouds is a chocoholic, Bulls’ fan, coffee addict, and surviving Tough Mudder. She hangs out @rajdeeppaulus on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Blogs weekly at rajdeeppaulus dot com.