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So You Want To Be A Bestselling Author? Part 12: The Blog Tour or Blog Hop

bannerStarting today (Oct. 1) and running until Oct. 14, some of our Lachesis Publishing authors are going to be highlighted on various blogs throughout the blog-o-sphere.

 

We worked with Sparkle Book Tours on this tour.

I’m loving all the graphics they’ve created for the tour, which I will be passing on to each author for their own use. Talk about some great takeaway! 🙂

Here are a few samples of what they created for every book that’s featured on the tour:

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There are a lot of blog tour companies out there – and you may try a few different ones just to see how they work out. But here are some points to consider when working with a blog tour company:

1. Find out the kinds of blogs they work with and the kind of audience the blogs have. It doesn’t have to be a huge audience but certainly the “right” audience for you. For example if you’ve written an historical romance you want to be featured on blogs that primarily write about historicals and have a loyal fan base of historical lovers.

2. Are they going to “package” your post? Whether it’s a promo for your book or spotlight of you or an article you’ve written – how will the tour company “present” your post on the blog tour? Will they include graphics? Will they format it in a particular way?

3. Who does the uploading – do you send the tour company your post or do you send it to the blog directly?

4. Cost! Ask about their different packages and the costs involved.

5. Social Media: Does the blog tour company have a facebook and twitter account with substantial followers? Will they be promoting your blog on their own social media pages?

6. Time: How long is the tour going to last and how close together are the bookings? Hopefully the tour company is open to arranging the tour to work with your schedule. I think a good tour should be done over a period of days or weeks blocked together to build momentum and create more buzz.

7. Create a variety of different posts for the tour. You don’t want the exact same post for each blog. Perhaps four or five different posts that you can spread out.

8. Don’t be afraid to check out the blogs ahead of time. You want to make sure that those blogs are appropriate for your tour and what you are promoting.

9. Word of mouth! Ask your author friends what tour companies they’ve used and what they thought of them.

10. Giveaways! Don’t forget to give something away for each post. Usually a free book. But if you want to get creative go for it!

Blog tours can be very useful and helpful in promoting your books. The idea is to get readers interested and excited in your books and hopefully generate some new fans!

Here two articles I found online that go through some of the blog tour companies and actually rate them! Here’s one in the Self-Publishing Review and one from The Book Designer.

Have fun!

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So You Want To Be A Bestselling Author? Part 10: Give It Away!

7-Key-Things-Every-Great-Facebook-Contest-NeedsSomething I’ve noticed about authors who do really well. They give stuff away. Books, swag, their time, etc . . . Many authors who are bestsellers run regular contests and giveaways. Yes, it gets people to pay attention because who doesn’t want free stuff? Especially free books! But what it also does is show us how important readers are to that author. A contest is an opportunity for interaction with readers or potential readers. It’s a way for the author to connect with and stay in touch with people who are already devoted fans. But it’s also a great way to welcome and encourage new readers. That’s why contests and giveaways are great.

So, as an author what do you give away? Easy enough. Start with your own books. Or, if you’ve been to a conference lately you’ve most likely accumulated swag (other books, book marks, hats, bags, pens, etc . . .) Yes, you can give away books written by other authors. But isn’t that counter-productive? Nope. If you are familiar with those authors and you’ve read their books it shows good will and you still get to interact with your readers because you are running the giveaway.images

What if you want to try something different? No problem. Go to your local thrift store and look for some interesting trinkets that either connect with your book or series or relate them to something you love like antique pill boxes or spoons. Or go to a used book store and find some well-loved (dog-eared) copies of some of the books that first got you hooked on romance or sci-fi or horror and give those away as part of a “nostalgia” contest.

You can also give away your time. Offer up a “coffee date”  for one lucky reader and perhaps two friends if it’s a city you will be traveling too or a fan conference or event where readers attend. Yes, you’ll be footing the bill for the coffee and treats. 😉

If cost is an issue – give away the name of a character in your upcoming book – name that character after a reader! Give away a skype session with you and your fans! Ask your reader who they want the next hero and/or heroine to be in your ongoing series. The winner gets a mention in your acknowledgments! There are a lot of things you can do that are different and unique and bring you that much closer to your fans as well as intrigue potential new readers.

The most important thing about contests and giveaways? Do them often! Once a month is great but at least a few times a year. And especially when you have a new book coming out! When you have a new release out – give away the previous book you’ve written or the first book in your series. But do it regularly! That’s it for today! Remember – everyone loves a giveaway!

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100_4277Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing Inc. She loves Cinnamon Dolce Lattes, contests, and giveaways!

Remember, in celebration of our 9th Anniversary, Lachesis Publishing is offering 50% off all our books (except for the .99 cent titles and the freebies of course! 😉 ) Check out our great titles!

 

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So You Want To Be A Bestselling Author? (part 3 of an ongoing series)

How to Become a Bestselling Author: The inside scoop from a personal assistant to the romance writing all-stars.

10003159_10152282263439854_5663918089959658826_nKim Castillo is personal assistant to New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author Eloisa James. It’s fitting that these two ladies work together since they are both fabulous and amazing.

Kim has worked with many talented bestselling authors over the years, so if there is anyone who knows the inside of this biz, it’s Kim!

What is it like working for Eloisa James?

Bliss! Imagine meeting your idol, then finding out that they are even more fabulous than you thought and then getting to work with them every day. That’s what it’s like.

ELO_Ugly_DuchessEloisa is just so incredible. Don’t get me wrong, she is tough and a perfectionist, but she’s also the most amazing teacher and is open to hearing everything. I go to her with any idea I have no matter how big or small. We toss it back and forth and then decide together if we want to go forward. Lots of times she’s all for it but she has shot me down a few times. Like this graphic I made for The Ugly Duchess, it was rolling around in my head for weeks. Finally I put it together, sent it to her and asked for her thoughts. She loved it and posted it to her Facebook page and that thing went wild! It was shared online tens of thousands of times, it was crazy. When she doesn’t love an idea, she tells you in the best way. She never makes you feel bad at all. She gives the best constructive criticism.

We have a great time chatting on the phone and brainstorming ideas. I can’t go into detail but there is an aspect of her upcoming novel, Four Nights With the Duke, I can’t wait to see. It came out of nowhere during one of our talks and she just flew with it. Readers are going to love it!

Together we do everything we can to make Eloisa’s books the best they can possibly be and to make her releases as successful as possible. She lets me feel very much a part of her magic. When she won the RITA for Seduced by a Pirate, I felt . . . there aren’t enough words to describe the feeling, but it was pretty amazing! We celebrate her successes wildly and when things don’t go as well as we plan, we go over it bit by bit. We try to pinpoint what could have been done better, what should have been done and even what shouldn’t have been done.

To sum it up, working with Eloisa is very satisfying. She allows my creativity to soar. If anyone had ever told me I would be this happy in a job, I never would have believed them.

What can a personal assistant do for an author in terms of helping to build his/her career?

Have initiative. People always ask me to help them become an assistant, they want to do what I do. It’s not that easy. There isn’t a formula to this. You have to have great instincts and be in tune with your author. I don’t care where Eloisa is in the world, I know if she’s not feeling well or is having a very rough time. I know her and I know what she needs. Most importantly, I take care of what she needs.

For myself, I can’t make a decision to save my life. Honestly, anyone who’s gone out to dinner with me can attest to this. But when it comes to Eloisa James Inc., I make decisions in an instant without hesitation. Going along with that you also have to be accountable. You have to say “yes, I made that call” or “crap! I missed that”. With Eloisa, I have the luxury of knowing she isn’t going to rail at me.

More specifically, learn social media. Pay attention to the trends of the moment. Your author will get the most benefit of being in on a trend from the beginning, not the end. I get a lot of my inspiration from current celebrities. Taylor Swift has given me more than one brilliant idea.

Do everything you can for your author so she has time to write and focus on the stories she needs to tell.

For the authors who can’t afford a personal assistant – what are some key things that every author should do to promote her/his books?

Social media. You don’t have to do it all. There are so many! Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Do what you enjoy, but do it well. Be genuine and converse with your readers. Trust me on this, readers will know in a second if you’re not being yourself or if you’ve hired someone to do your social media. Don’t talk at them, talk to them. No matter what platform you’re on you need to treat it as if you’re with a group of friends having coffee and fun.

Treat your booksellers kindly! When Borders and Waldenbooks closed, it was the independent bookstores that stepped up. They are on social media, they have author events and they believe in you so much that they are hand selling your books. If you are traditionally published, send them bookmarks or other swag to share with their customers. Get to know them and ask them what you can do to help them do their job. It is up to us to support these small businesses. They truly love what they do and that deserves our help.

Given your experience working with so many authors over the years what are some of the stand-out qualities that many successful authors have in common?

Kindness. The most successful authors I know are just plain kind and supportive. They give back, they don’t take success for granted. Look at the workshop line up for any writing conference. You will see some of the biggest names imaginable sharing what they’ve learned. Karma, baby! You get what you put out there.

Self-awareness. A good author knows their writing process, how long it takes them to write a book, etc. They also surround themselves with good people who are supportive and accent them.

Where is the first place you go when you want to look for a new author or something new to read?

Eloisa! She reads at an incredible speed and shares what she really loves. This past spring she completely glommed Abby Green and Kresley Cole. We love to talk books but I can’t keep up with her at all. She’s got bionic eyes or something.

It is every author’s dream to be a huge success and at the top of all the bestseller lists. As an author, you need to drive yourself towards that in the best way possible for you. Most of you are perfectionists and the thought of handing off something to someone else makes you break out into hives. Get over that! Everyone can use help even if it’s just asking your teenager to teach you how to use “the Facebook”.

For the authors who feel that they can’t afford help, think again. When I started out, I charged $11 an hour and was available for any amount of hours. If you only needed two hours a month, that was fine with me. Look around, I’m sure you can find something in your budget.

One of the best pieces of advice I got when I started out was from Jeanne Adams. She helped me create a mission statement. I encourage all of you to do that. Put your goals on paper, print it out and tape it above your desk. Keep focused on those goals.

CHALLENGE: Let’s work on that together today. Share one of your writing goals and how you plan to achieve it.

Connect with Kim Castillo on facebook. You can see some of Kim’s wonderful marketing ideas on Eloisa James’s facebook page.

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Filed under Best-selling authors, Bestselling Authors, ELOISA JAMES, Lachesis Publishing