Monday, August 26, 2013

How to Market and Promote your Self-Published Book

How to Market and Promote your Self-Published Book

My debut novel, Culture Shock, was released on March 26, 2013. I've worked very hard to get my book out there and to spread the word. It has received many great reviews on over 20 different blogs, on, Amazon and B&N. Below are the different avenues I used in the past months to get noticed.

  • Blogging: Blogging has probably been the best avenue of promoting my book. All my posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. all lead back to my blog where you can purchase the book and find all the viable links to purchase it as well. I write not only posts about promoting my book, but posts that will draw people in. Writing Tips, Author Spotlights, Read and Reviews of books I personally read, and of course my favorite Random Topics which seem to be off-the-wall at times, but that's me. You can really grasp the sense of an author's personality from their personal blog.

  • Website: My website is a static platform on the web and nothing else. It has all the book's information, buy links, biography, etc. I titled it after my name like most authors do:

  • Facebook: I have my own author page which boasts upcoming events in the life of Culture Shock, funny tidbits about writing and reading and general ups and downs of my life. In only 3 months I was able to hit over 200+ followers and that number keeps rising.

  • Twitter: I use Twitter as a sounding board for everything going on with my book and blog. I post every article on my blog and the price and link to buy my book. Sometimes I even use a popular quote from my book and the link to buy. Anything to draw the reader's attention.

  • Pinterest: Of course the picture of the book cover is up there and my bio pic, but I also put up images of the setting of the story. It takes place in North Central Florida and partially in NYC, so I like to incorporate pics of both settings. My pics have been shared, liked, and re-pinned numerous times.

  • Probably my favorite. Goodreads has allowed me an audience of 20 million avid readers and a networking platform with authors, bloggers, and readers alike. It's an online community of all things 'books'. I've joined tons of groups where I've met awesome people, have done guest posts, interviews, read and reviews, etc for the people I've met which only boosts my exposure. I'm also a goodreads author in the author program which allows me a blog through goodreads and I am able to do giveaways which have skyrocketed the amount of people adding my book to their to-be-read list.

  • YouTube: I'm fairly new to YouTube, having missed the craze of it. It wasn't that popular when I was in high school. I've only done one interview video and have had my book on a few podcasts and YouTube videos done by others, but not much else....YET! I have grand plans to make some funny videos that will draw in a lot of people. It just takes some planning, but I plan to read excepts from my book and have some silly things happen. You know what? You'll just have to check me out in a month or so on YouTube. Nanny, nanny, boo, boo!!! LOL.

  • Blog Tours: Now these cost money, but sometimes it's well worth it. Make sure the touring company you go through has quite a following. Cover reveals are important before your book is released to drum up some anticipation for your book. It's the first introduction to your book that most people will see and if your book cover is any good, it will stick with most readers. Cover reveals are fairly cheap. The review tours and book blasts are a little pricier but well worth it. They usually offer read and reviews, interviews, guest posts, and spotlights on 15-45 blogs (depending on how much you pay) and some of these blogs have hundreds and thousands of followers. Sometimes it's well worth it. You'll have to weigh the costs since it will cut into your bottom line.

I'm trying to hit the local market now with book signings and trying to snag some radio and podcast spots, etc. If anyone has any advice in those markets, please let me know. I hope these marketing and promoting points can help guide you.

Happy Reading Y'all!!!

Jeanette Pekala is the author of Culture Shock. A witty take of mystery and romance with a large helping of southern hospitality.

CULTURE SHOCK is a witty tale of mystery and romance with a large helping of southern hospitality.

Macy Holmes is a seventeen-year-old socially-isolated introvert since her best friend's death a year ago. When her family decides to move from Manhattan to the quaint country town of Bougainvillea, Florida, Macy finds she's in a completely different world. Macy is no longer the outsider hiding behind designer clothes when she is sought out by three strange students, one of whom she is particularly interested in. The more time she spends with Chad the more things don't add up. When his true identity is finally revealed, Macy is pulled into a supernatural society with its saturation of inhabitants residing in Bougainvillea.

You would think she has enough on her plate, but no, then her dreams become infiltrated by an external magical force, Macy and her band of supernatural misfits must find the culprit behind the magic-induced nightmares. They must dodge zombie assassins, shifty shape-shifters and high school bullies in order to stop this perpetrator before Macy, her friends or her parents pay the ultimate price. Especially when Macy has the sneaking suspicion that these dreams are reality...

Friday, August 23, 2013

After Forever Ends : Review

After Forever Ends by Melodie Ramone: Review

Orphaned by her mother and brushed off by her dad, fifteen year old Silvia Cotton had lived a lonely life. That is until 1985 when her father moved the family from the Highlands of Scotland to the Midlands of Wales. It is there she was enrolled in Bennington, a private boarding school, met the charming and rebellious Dickinson twins, Oliver and Alexander, and her regrettable life was changed forever.

Locked into a fierce friendship with Alexander and lost to a whirlwind romance with Oliver, Silvia found herself torn away from everything she thought she knew. Married too soon, she moved with Oliver to a rustic cabin deep in a Welsh wood and embarked upon a life she'd never planned for, surviving on hope she never knew existed and faith she never knew she had. She made her way through university and onto a career, only to surrender her ambition to raising her children and living a life that was strikingly "normal". But what is normal? Certainly not what ensued in the wood.

True love, faeries, friendship, loves lost and gained. Old magic, fate, doubt, strength and courage, Silvia's story could belong to anyone, but it is her own. Simple yet extraordinary, told in retrospect with wit and candor, Silvia recalls a life of joy and sorrow, laughter and tears. As she unravels the tangled web of her days, she reveals the secrets that exist in an ancient wood, how hearts given freely can become the stuff of magic, and how true happiness was never any further than her own back garden.

My Review:

My first introduction to After Forever Ends was through a blog roll. I noticed a post from an author explaining why she wrote the book she did, After Forever Ends. I remember reading that post and thinking one word: PASSION. This writer has put her all into this book. Just from the way she wrote that post on her blog persuaded me to put After Forever Ends on my To Be Read list. Not long after that did I have the pleasure of making the acquaintance of the lovely author herself, Melodie Ramone, via social networking and that just projected me further to purchasing the book.

After Forever Ends follows the story of a girl from Scotland who moves to Wales as a teenager and meets these identical twin boys at her new school. It follows the progression of her life from about age 15 to 85. There are many ups and downs along the way. It kept me hooked from beginning to end. I absolutely loved the characters. I felt as if they were friends/family/lovers in my own life. Silvia and Oliver's relationship reminded me very much of my own with my husband. Always laughing/being silly and deeply in love. We make our friends sick. Even though Silvia and Oliver's relationship drew me in, it was Alexander (Oliver's twin brother) that I had the hots for. It's gotta be that bad boy image. Gets me everytime. I'm such a sucker.

You really get pulled into the world Silvia, Oliver, and Alex create in the wood. You start believeing in faeries. You laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry. I was emotionally torn by this book toward the end. I won't tell you what happened but I will tell you that someone dies and I was so broken up about it that I had to put the book down for a couple of weeks. I actually felt like I had lost an actual family member--not a character in a book. I tried picking it back up after those few weeks, read two sentences and started bawling again!!! I eventually finished and was very glad I did. What a great read.  

I had the pleasure to connect with Melodie Ramone (how cool is her name?), the author of After Forever Ends, via social networking. She and I swapped emails back and forth and I have to say it was her passion for her story and her overall personality that gave me that extra push to purchase and read After forever Ends. In no way, shape, or form did meeting her online encourage this excellent review. The story speaks for itself.

5 out of 5 Stars!!!!

Happy Reading,

Jeanette P