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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Tips for Authors

Using Tech for Book Marketing

Kate Gingold from Sprocket WebsitesKate has been building websites with her husband Don since 1996 for all sorts of clients, including authors.

Kate regularly writes about online marketing for Sprocket Websites and provides tips and techniques for entrepreneurs and small-business owners. Since being an author today is not really different from being an entrepreneur with a small business, most of those tips are just as useful to authors.

Kate is an author herself. She writes books on local history, including the award-winning "Ruth by Lake and Prairie," a fictionalized account of the true story of Great Lake pioneering to the shores of Chicago and beyond to found Naperville, Illinois. 

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Ruth By Lake and Prairie

Tips for Author Marketing

Book Tours for Indie Authors
Kate Gingold Host
/ Categories: Author Tips

Book Tours for Indie Authors

Even if your book is traditionally published, the chances that you will be sent on a book tour are probably slim. Let’s face it: Travel isn’t cheap. So unless your publisher is pretty sure you will be selling a whole lot of books, you won’t need to pack a suitcase. Still, we all have that fantasy of jet-setting from city to city, being wined and dined and reading a few paragraphs from our latest novel to an admiring crowd. To see what being a book tour is really like, read this article by science fiction writer John Scalzi.
 
Recently I was traveling, a combination of business (from my day job) and pleasure (sight-seeing and family visits). To do the business part, I frequently work in local libraries. In more than one library, I saw posters for the Southwest Florida Reading Festival which included headshots of the authors who would be at the Festival. I was surprised to recognize one of the faces as an author from back home – Sonali Dev. A look at her website, however, shows that, in fact, Dev does a good bit of traveling.  
 
Dev is published by William Morrow Paperbacks, part of Harper Collins, so maybe her publisher is picking up her travel tab, but does that mean other authors don’t do book tours? Not at all! Let me share some stories I’ve heard from other writers. 
 
One often-shared story is about Joe Konrath, a very successful writer of mysteries and thrillers.  In his earliest days, he filled the trunk of his car with books and drove across the country on his own author tour. He spent the summer stopping at libraries and bookstores along the way and introducing himself and his book to whoever was in the room when he was. Konrath created a nation-wide audience, eager for the next book in his series.
 
I just stumbled on a group called Indie Author Book Expo that sets up book events in different midwestern towns. There is a fee to take part, comparable to craft fair fees, and you could be part of an expo near where you live or travel to some of the other locations and get in front of a new audience. 
 
Another possibility is virtual book tours in which you are the guest of bloggers or podcasters. There is a lot of information online about what this looks like, especially advertising for services an author can buy. I am always wary of spending more than you make on book sales, so I’m not recommending anything and remind you to do your due diligence. I plan to look into virtual book tours in great detail in the future. 
 
As old-fashioned as it seems, people do like to meet an author and have that personal connection, so book tours of some kind will no doubt continue and you could benefit from the exposure. If you have tried a physical or virtual book tour, I’d love to hear about it!   
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Full disclosure:  Writing for Sprocket Websites is my day job, so if you have questions about digital marketing, I'm happy to help!

 

Marketing Author Interview

Following a presentation for In Print Professional Writers Group, Kate's husband (and publisher!) Don was interviewed by author Louise Brass for WBOM Radio. During the conversation, Don shared many of the marketing tips from his presentation. You can listen to it online here.

The Sprocket Report

The Sprocket Report is published every other week with Internet marketing tips, tools and techniques. The archive features articles from 2011 up to the present. You are welcome to read how business owners are using technology to market themselves and apply those tips to your author business.

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