3 Steps to Marketing your Book without Breaking into Hives

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by Cara C. Putman

This spring has been a whirlwind of book marketing. With novellas in January and May and a trade in April, it’s taken a lot of time. A friend recently called me a networking superstar, and I almost spewed my sweet tea across my computer monitor. When it’s time to call for help marketing a book, I still would rather do just about anything except maybe walk across hot coals. So what’s an author to do? Especially in this environment that necessitates an author taking an active part in marketing?

1) Consider the people you know across many different parts of your life. I bet you know more people that you think who would love to read your book and possibly write a review on Amazon or another online site. However, unless you ask, the idea won’t cross their mind. So spend half an hour and think of the different areas in your life. Church. Homeschool groups. Work. Neighbors. Then write down at least two names from each group and ask if they’d help. I bet you’ll be surprised.

2) Now look at your writing circles. This is where we often start, and it is important. I belong to several marketing oriented groups. Pre-write a few tweets and Facebook posts for the release of your novel and ask them to post for you. When you prewrite, it makes it so easy for them to help. Here are a couple examples of tweets to get you started:

o Lovers & Lawbreakers collide under the cherry trees in Cherry Blossom Capers from @Cara_Putman. Read excerpt here: http://bit.ly/Arrv1S
o Mackinac Island: perfect refuge til love/murder collide. Excerpt @Cara_Putman’s A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island http://bit.ly/xC4CAm

3) Schedule blog stops and giveaways. But be sure to spread the word through your networks and others. Then take notes of what happens at those stops. Track who gets a book and how many comments they get. Was it a valuable stop? For example, Sarah Forgrave hosted me last week and did a great job tying the topic of the interview to the setting of my book A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island. Then she does a fantastic job interacting with her commenters. They were also new to me, so it was a valuable stop. You can see how she made it such a great stop here.

One final tip. Don’t be afraid to hire help. I knew I wanted to reach new circles with A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island, but didn’t have a lot of new ideas or the time to figure out how to do the new things like podcasts. So I hired Jeane Wynn. There are so many people out there who are skilled in these areas. Talk to them and don’t be afraid to spend money if that will help you reach new audiences.

Cara C. Putman lives in Indiana with her husband and four children. She’s an attorney and a teacher at her church as well as lecturer at Purdue. She has loved reading and writing from a young age and now realizes it was all training for writing books. She loves bringing history and romance to life.

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