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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

fingers on keyboardYesterday, as I basked in the perfect summer weather of southeastern New England, I browsed the news app on my cell phone. At the bottom of the list, I found a section devoted to my town of Norton from various sources in the surrounding area.

When I clicked into the ‘Patch’ news article, I noticed an offer to send breaking local news to my cell phone or desktop, and registered my email address.

Upon receiving the first news-bite, another offer popped up to advertise an event electronically to all the surrounding towns who have their own version of the Patch.

Well, I submitted my registration request, received my log-in information this morning, and have posted my participation in Local Author Day at the Ugly Dog Books in Attleboro, MA, on July 30 at 4pm.

How easy! And FREE!

Check it out…you may have a similar marketing opportunity in your hometown.

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TUG Front Cover OnlyOn Tuesday, July 12, at 6:30 pm, come join me in the clubhouse ballroom at the Oak Point Active Adult Community in Middleboro, MA.

The evening’s event is my author talk titled ‘The Ins and Outs of Writing My Debut Mystery’. I will share my writing adventure, from research to writing groups to publication.

I hope to make you laugh at the funny things that happened along the way.

After a short reading from my story ‘The Uninvited Guest’, I’ll answer questions from the audience, and gladly autograph copies of my book.

If you or any of your relatives live in this complex, please stop by, say hello, and stay a while!

 

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audience-clipart-lecturer-3During the past few months, I’ve been presenting my author talk titled “The Ins and Outs of Writing My Debut Mystery’ to the libraries, garden clubs, and senior centers in my immediate area. And having a blast doing it!

Having exhausted those local venues, I broadened my search for new audiences. Finding the activities director at an active senior complex is not always easy, but persistence pays off. As a result, three have scheduled my presentation during the next few weeks. And there are many more to approach.

It’s quite possible that some of the attendees will have already read my story that they have obtained through Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or from one of the local bookstores that carries ‘The Uninvited Guest’. Those readers will no doubt ask questions about the characters, the setting in an old village library, or the plot twists.  This exchange will enhance their experience and encourage others to ask questions as well.

Book signings will wrap up each event. When I ask the reader to choose the ink color for my autograph, a light sparkles in their eyes as they check the array of pens, putting a smile on my face as well.

You go, seniors!

 

 

 

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images…when your next speaking engagement will pop up!

The past few months have been filled with author talks at libraries, senior centers, and retirement communities, both here in Massachusetts, plus my home state of Delaware, nearby Maryland and Pennsylvania.. As the schedule thins out, I’ve pulled out my file of venues contacted, but unresolved, to stir the pot for additional speaking opportunities.

What I’ve found as I’ve been regaling audiences about my journey as a first-time author, is that invariably, one of them approaches me afterwards, and suggests another group that might be interested in hearing about my writing adventure.

Just the other day, after speaking at the senior center one town over, a lady came up to me and mentioned that the Red Hats meet in that same room the last Tuesday of every month, and might be interested in hearing my author talk. This lady was reluctant to actively pursue the idea on my behalf, so I approached one of the COA administrators, and she has agreed to pass along my contact information to the Red Hats leader during their meeting at the end of this month.

To that end, I’ve created a new flyer with an image of my front cover plus author photo, a description of my author talk, plus both email address and cell phone number. I’ve printed off several to carry with me.

When the next person makes a suggestion for a new venue, I will hand her…or him…a copy of this flyer plus my bookmark that teases a potential reader about my story.

Who says marketing has to be a chore?

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audience-clipart-lecturer-3During March and April, I’ve been fortunate to give my author talk at libraries here in Massachusetts, PA and DE, plus a senior complex in MD. Some have been well attended, others not so much. Regardless of the amount of PR efforts, there’s no way to predict the number of readers who will make the effort to hear an unknown author speak. I try not to take it personally, but simply appreciate those who do show up, and share my writing journey with all the enthusiasm I can muster.

What I need to keep in mind is that the next person who will request my author talk for their organization might be sitting in the audience!

I have found that if I speak about my ‘story’ rather than my ‘book’, sharing my writing experience is not only easier, but more palatable to the audience.

Several talks to closed groups are scheduled in the coming weeks, but it’s time to make follow-up phone calls and emails to potential venues who did not respond to my initial inquiry. I’m also planning to contact the 55+ active senior communities in the area.

All in all, it’s been a delightful spring for ‘The Uninvited  Guest’. I’ll continue to encourage audience members to try their hand at putting a story on paper.

 

 

 

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book club at tableAfter the successful author talk and book signing with the local garden club, the Ugly Dog Bookstore, and a private Girls Night Out last month, I dove into chasing down additional events. Friends were anxious to advise their connections of who to ask and where to go to share my story! Most organizations need a speaker for an upcoming meeting, and have been glad that I dropped into their laps!

To entice the program director of non-bookstore organizations to schedule me into her events calendar,  I offered 15% of books sold during her event. Not only will I cost them nothing as a speaker, but they will receive a small donation as a result of their book sales!

Not every contact gets back to me on a timely basis, requiring a follow-up email or phone call. But the results have been quite satisfactory. Here’s a list of interviews/author talks/book signings scheduled for the coming weeks:

Feb 26… ‘Books and the World’ cable interview, Cape Cod, MA

March 16…Allentown Public Library, Allentown, PA

March 19…Brandywine Community Library, Topton, PA

March 22…Kutztown Community Library, Kutztown, PA

March 31…Ames Free Library, Easton, MA

 

Am I supposed to be having this much fun?

 

Happy reading and writing!

Debi

 

 

 

 

 

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Dec 2015 Box of BooksNow that my novel is published — as evidenced by the ten boxes of soft cover books stashed in my closet — I’ve been contacting various organizations to schedule author talk/book signing events. Lots of groups are seeking speakers for their monthly meetings, so this part of the marketing plan has been quite satisfying.

The local garden club scheduled me to speak at their March meeting, but when their January speaker broke her kneecap and had to cancel, the club’s organizer asked if I could step in at the last minute. Of course, I said ‘Of course!’

To prepare, I created a list of points to address and reviewed it with my writers group. With their additional suggestions, I rewrote the topics onto colored index cards, which kept me organized as I moved from one card to the next. I strayed only a few times when a funny anecdotes came to mind.

On that cold and windy night, seventeen club members braved the elements to attend, sitting entranced as I spoke about the reason I decided to write a mystery and the source of my initial idea. I explained the various stages of digging into research, developing the setting, creating the characters, firming up the plot, working with an editor, and the final steps of publishing. Of the 14 softcover books that I brought with me, only three were carried back home. I consider that a success for my first time out!

With additional author talks in the planning stages, here are a few already written on the calendar:

…end of January, bookstore in Attleboro, MA

…mid March, my sister’s library in Topton, PA [working to schedule other venues that same week while I’m in the area]

…end of March, library in Easton, MA

…early April, library in Mansfield, MA

…end of April, Friends of Senior Center, Norton, MA

In addition, I’m waiting to hear from Women of Today groups, senior centers, other local libraries, the women’s link of my local Chamber of Commerce, and a private book club. Also, the past president of a national mystery book exchange club has suggested me to her local library in Cranberry, NY, which may end up as a summer program. Plus a member of my writers group introduced me to her friend from Schenectady, NY, who has put me in touch with her local bookstore for a possible summer event. And finally, I’m waiting for a response from the director of my hometown library in Smyrna, DE.

As each organization moves from a potential venue to a scheduled author talk, my excitement mounts.

How much fun is this?

 

 

 

 

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