Wednesday, November 14, 2012

GUEST BLOGGER TINA PINSON: MARKETING 101 (and Giveaways!!)



Rise and shine ... or maybe I should say "rise and groan" ... because for authors and those aspiring to be, it's a new day in marketing. Julie here, and I happen to think today's blog is one of the most important we've ever had because it addresses the elephant in the room when it comes to that dreaded subject of promoting one's books. And today's guest author -- and good Seeker friend -- has not only been there and back, but she's gleaned some valuable information from other authors as well that just may save you some time and angst. So, without further ado, I give you my good friend, Tina Pinson ...

Hello Seekerville,

First I wanted to say thank you to Julie for the invitation to visit again. I also want to thank her because her help was invaluable when I did the Marketing 101 posting on my blog. She reached more people than I ever could, and truly is the personification of the Seekerville Manifesto to help other writer along.

Now without further ado, let's take a trip…

To the Market…

This little writer went to the market.
This little writer should have stayed home.
This little writer had dreams of big book sales.
This little writer had almost none.
This little writer went wah, wah, wah all the way home.

Okay, so I killed a nursery rhyme. I have mad skills. But when it comes to marketing, I am a work in frustration.

Book One -- In the Manor of the Ghost:

With my first book, In the Manor of the Ghost, I sat up blog stops and interviews. I enlisted some influencers and reviewers. I made a book trailer, and had an awesome release contest -- gave away two Kindles and books. I took out ads on Facebook and Google, joined Bookbuzzer. I promoted on FB and Twitter and in all the groups I was a member of.

In the Manor of the Ghost was everywhere for that first month. My contest drew a lot of interest, but all my efforts didn't translate into major sales -- certainly not enough to cover the cost of the Kindles.

Book Two -- Touched By Mercy:

I started promoting sooner, and took all the steps I'd taken with In the Manor of the Ghost and more. This time I gave away framed copies of my cartoons, hoping people would get a glimpse of another side of me -- the lighter side. (As opposed to my quiet "scholar in silent thought" side.) I enlisted more help from influencers and reviewers and set up a better blog tour. I did a trailer.

This time for my contest, (yes, I did another contest.) I gave away a Nook Color. I was certain that Touched By Mercy madness would sweep the net. People would clamor to win a Nook.

Oh yes.

Oh no.

Everyone seemed to be giving away a Nook or Kindle now. Every one needed influencers and reviewers. Every one was having a blog tour. Maybe not. It sure felt that way. I was caught in the circle of writers trying to promote, and was barely making headway. How did I go further?

The contest was dismal at best. The blog tour went well but there was little translation into sales. I'm not even sure there is a translation for my efforts in marketing.

Book Three -- When Shadows Fall:

***NO CONTEST ***

Couldn't stand the thought of throwing away money. (Although I have been considering something on a smaller scale.) I started promoting earlier. Sharing my cover and snippets from my story. Did interviews and blog-toured. Talked it up whenever I could and give away books hoping people will read them, talk them up and that will translate into more sales. I'm inching along.

I have postcards for all my books and pens and mouse pads and such. I happily stick my cards on car windshields. I checked with the library about doing promotions, but they don't. I even worked on a song finished for my trailer. (Which I have not finished.)

I followed what I'd done for the earlier releases, tweaking some things, adding more. While this book did better than the one before, I was getting nowhere fast. People still didn't recognize my name.

Everyone had a gimmick. I was gimmicked out. What was I doing wrong? Doing right?

Certainly I am not the only one in a marketing quandary. Let's see a raise of hands.

I didn't say use them to slap your heads though. Trust me. When it comes to popping my head over marketing, I understand.

Frustrated, I decided to ask some authors, whose efforts had translated into sales, what they did for promotion. What they found useful for marketing and what they had scrapped.

I sent out a questionnaire, expecting to see the magic formula staring back at me form the pages and found myself smiling when they started to come back.

There were points the authors agreed on:

-- You have to get out there. (sometimes that means stepping out of your comfort zone)

-- If you're not ready to market a book, work on your craft. Write and edit.

-- Social Networking is a plus. Don't go to play accomplish reaching a market. I suppose that means scrabble is out. Although some of those games can be beneficial is building up your social network.

-- Giveaways can be good.

-- Join writer's groups, like ACFW and book clubs. And avail yourself of all they offer.

-- Attend conferences and do speaking engagement if you can. Those venues help you reach the reader. But don't forget, you also needed to write.

-- Give back to your readers, help other writers. They remember if you do it with a heart of helping and not just one to build your network

--Choose your marketing venues wisely. Trim your time on the computer. Set aside a 30-45 minutes for promoting online and move on. 80/20 80% writing, 20% promotion. Jeff Gerke translates that time as 30:1. Meaning -- it takes thirty times of promotion to get 1 reward. I felt like smacking my head on the table when I first read that. Was he kidding? I'd never be able to do that. But in actuality, I've been doing it all along. Hearing it put that way was rather freeing. I am not alone in wondering if I'm making a dent, getting somewhere.

There were things the Authors didn't agree on:

-- While one writer loved the library for promotion. One thought it was a waste of their time.

-- Some writers loved book signings, others felt they were a drain on time and expenses and steered clear of them for the most part.

-- Giveaways were a good idea. But several authors said you should make the contestants work for the opportunity.

Marketing, it would seem, is just as different for each writer as writing style. What you do, how you do it, is fashioned and molded by your personality and how it works for you. Yes, try new things, and the tried and true techniques, but just because someone says they have a fail-safe way to get it done, doesn't always mean it true. Doesn't mean it will work for you. So don't beat yourself over the head if it doesn't. Ask for help. Seek guidance. Surf the vaults at Seekerville.

In closing, I want to share something Dan Walsh wrote in his answers. It's pretty simple yet profound in wisdom for someone just starting out and for someone who is an old pro. (And for those somewhere in middle)

"Don't buy into the message that says, 'It's totally up to you.' Because that message is being pounded out there now on a fairly regular basis. Don't underestimate the power of prayer and looking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in your life as a writer. The simple truth is, for me, the best things that have happened, the things that have made the biggest difference in my career so far were not things that I did, or the results of my personal marketing efforts. They have come from me writing the kinds of books people want to tell others about and, as a result, God opening doors for me that I could never have opened myself."

I couldn't say it any better. I am grateful to all the writers who answers my questions: Dan Walsh, Jeff Gerke, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, Julie Lessman, Tricia Goyer, Nikki Arana

Thanks again for letting me visit.

Blessings in your writing endeavors…

ABOUT TINA PINSON: 
Tina Pinson resides in Mesa, Arizona with her husband of thirty plus years, Danny. They are blessed to have three sons, and six grandchildren with another on the way. Tina started her writing in elementary school. Her love of writing has caused her to seek creative outlets be it writing poetry, songs, or stories. Her WWII story Trail of the Sandpiper won third place in the Genesis in 2003.  In the Manor of the Ghost and Touched By Mercy and When Shadows Fall, Book 1 in the Shadows Series are available through Desert Breeze Publishers. To Catch a Shadow the next installment of the Shadow Series about the civil war and the Oregon Trail, will be available, June 2013. To Carry her Cross will be available January 2013 and Then There was Grace, a Sept 9/11 type story, will be available Sept. 2013. Christmas in Shades of Gray, an offbeat Dickens-type tale releases December 2013.

ABOUT THE GIVEAWAYS:
Leave a comment to enter Tina's giveaway of two copies of her newest release Shadowed Dreams, Book 2 in her Shadow Series. Here's a little bit about it:

Shadowed Dreams

Matthew has braved the war and near death with one thought in mind… Rebekah. He won her hand in marriage, and now he has a few short months to make her see how much he loves her. How much he needs her. Given the wall she's put up between them, he prays he'll have enough time.

After fleeing the war, Rebekah is determined to go west to Oregon, only to be turned down when she tries to join the train. Matthew's proposal of marriage, in name only to help her west, becomes the miracle she needs. Loving him as she does, she dreads the idea of letting him go once they reach Oregon, but how can she ask him to stay with her, to love her? How could he love her once he's found out her secret? She must guard her heart and his.


CONTACT TINA:
Website -- http://www.tinapinson.com/
Twitter:@Tina_Pinson
Facebook -- http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=754617103

PURCHASE TINA'S BOOKS AT:

Desert Breeze Bookstore.
When Shadows Fall
Touched By Mercy
In the Manor of the Ghost
Shadowed Dreams

Amazon:
Touched By Mercy
In the Manor of the Ghost
When Shadows Fall

Barnes & Noble
Touched By Mercy
In the Manor of the Ghost
When Shadows Fall

Christian Books Distributors
Touched By Mercy
In the Manor of the Ghost
When Shadows Fall

108 comments:

Terri said...

Tina, thanks for sharing. Marketing is such a tricky business. I admire your efforts and appreciate the advice.

Please enter me in the drawing.

Melissa Jagears said...

I loved Gerke's advice. Just do something once a day and more than likely one of the 30 things done a month will start a small ball rolling...but you'll never know which one it was, so just keep on doing whatever you can think of doing, and then with Walsh's comment, God's blessing is what makes the difference, you just do the best you know how and pray that God uses your efforts in some way to glorify Himself.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Terri,

You're #1. Doesn't that make your day?

Marketing is tricky, I'm still trying to figure out the trick. I have. Learned that if you don't use what works and spread your resources it can get quite costly.

Blessings,
Tina P.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Melissa,

Hermes advice is great and somewhat freeing to those of who keep plugging away. Something has to stick, right.

And Dan words were priceless.

Praying has kept me from pulling my hair out at times.

Blessings

Tina P.

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

I loved this one..."If you're not ready to market a book, work on your craft. Write and edit."

I hate promotion, but it has to be done (SEASON OF JOY, 4 1/2 stars RT review, nominated for 2012 best debut in a series romance!).

Ugh. And a book signing on Black Friday. Oh boy.

But, if I'm not going to do that all the time, I need to be writing and honing the craft.

So, whenever I grumble about promotion, I 'punish' myself by getting out one of my MANY writer's manuals and reading a chapter.

If anything, I'll learn to stop whining.

Loved this post, Tina and thanks for telling us about your journey!
Prayers that this one outsells all the others!!

Cindy W. said...

Good morning Tina. Thank you for sharing your marketing experiences here at Seekerville. I always enjoy it when the blog posting includes advice from other authors as well.

I would love to be entered to win a copy of your newest book. It sounds exciting. I love the period of history surrounding the Civil War and post Civil War. Thank you for your generosity.

Have a blessed day!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Julie Lessman said...

TINA, WELCOME!!! You beat me to the punch, which qualifies as an EXCEPTIONAL guest, my friend, so THANK YOU!!!

I honestly think this is one of the most most important blogs we've ever had on Seekerville -- from the trenches, spilling your guts to help others -- in a marketing war that threatens to take us all down!!

To celebrate Tina's visit, I've got a full brunch spread with honey glazed ham, maple smoked sausage, Colorado hashed browns, chive and cheddar cheese scrambled eggs, warm peach cobbler and hot hazelnut coffee with a variety of teas.

So, DIG IN ... both to the brunch and Tina's WONDERFUL blog!!

Hugs,
Julie

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I agree... marketing is no easy slam-dunk. It's not a gimme "home-run"... or a touchdown in a red-zone offense.

Why am I talking like a sports nut?

I have no idea, but it was kind of fun.

I love Gerke's advice too, because doing something is a big step up from hand-wringing nothingness.

Tina P., so nice to have you and your delightfully witty brain (and to die for good looks, of course!!!) in the writer's chair today! I'm leaving coffee and I'll be by at some point to freshen the table... but did you SEE THE GORGEOUS MUMS????

Oh, be thankful for such color!

I'm leaving a delicious array of Danish and croissants today, including Teeeeena's famous chocolate filled croissants. Which I must make for the upcoming holiday.

Just because.

And maybe with fresh strawberries????

Jackie said...

Hi Terri,

Thanks for sharing. It's a little overwhelming, but right now I'm unpublished and will deal with this later. I hope.

I'll keep your notes handy for that day.

Jackie L.

lizzie starr said...

Marketing can be so overwhelming--when we let it. Unfortunately, I let that little gremlin in way too often. I think I'll work on those 30 things, one a day, and see what happens. Some is better than none in this case. :)

thanks for sharing!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Good morning Tina and welcome to Seekerville. Your message is so right on and reinforces what the Holy Spirit has been telling me all week. LOL.

I just love how He slips in those messages.

Julie what a feast girlfriend. And thanks for bringing Tina in with this message.

Audra Harders said...

Hi Tina, always good to see you in Seekerville.

Marketing...ugh...you touched on so many gimmicks and "techniques" that are really a shot in the dark. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. I'm with you wondering where that magic answer lies...

Dan Walsh summed it up. Nothing beats prayers. Afterall, God gave you the inspiration for the book, let Him in on the selling of it : )

Thanks for your wise words and cute poem : )

Audra Harders said...

Julie, what a spread! Did you really make all this wonderful food, or did you send out??

Hazelnut coffee please to start with...and maybe a dish of peach cobbler, for later of course. No need for a sugar high this early in the morning, LOL!!

Audra Harders said...

Oooo, and Ruthy's been baking pastries...

My diet is doomed.

Bridgett Henson said...

Tina, I was so looking for that magic formula. :)

I guess hard work and lots of prayer will have to do.

Thanks for sharing your marketing trials. It's good to know that I'm not alone.
Love the line. "I'm a work in frustration." *grin

Tina Pinson said...

Virginia,

First good morning.

And then Book signing on Black Friday. Whoa. Although that could be awesome. With all the people out and about your writing hand could get numb.

Are you going to get up about around 3?

:-)

congrats on the review.

And thanks for the prayers.

blessings

Tina P

Tina Pinson said...

Oh and BTW

Earlier my post said Hermes, that was phone correcting my spelling. Should have said Gerke.

Go figure.

Jeanne T said...

Tina, thanks for your frankness in sharing your marketing journey. This is one aspect on this journey that truly intimidates me!

I also liked Jeffe Gerke's thought on marketing. The idea of spending a brief amount of time on "marketing" things and then getting back to the business of writing makes sense to me.

Dan Walsh's words resonated. Thanks for sharing them!

Thanks, Tina!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi, Tina! I totally agree with what Dan Walsh said. It really isn't up to us. I'm not sure what any of us do is really very effective. One thing I am sure of is that if you can get across what your book is about, and if it is a concept the reader is interested in, they may buy it. But if the concept of the book doesn't interest them, forget it. No amount of marketing and getting your name out there or getting your book cover in front of readers is going to translate into sales.
Me, I've never given away much of anything except copies of my books. And I've given away A LOT of copies of my books. I do it to get reviews and to hopefully win fans. I do it to get bloggers to promote my books. (Although I'm sending bloggers and reviewers to my PR person now, because she will, hopefully, send them a book. I still give away a lot of books I pay for myself, though.) And mostly I do it because I want people to read my book! That's the whole reason I wrote it! I may never make much money at it, but to me, it's all about people reading my books and hopefully getting something out of them.

(Hopefully seems to be my words of the day. And I'm not even being grammatically correct when I use it, I don't think.)

I have good friends and other people I love who have never read my books. It isn't because they don't know about it. It isn't because they haven't yet heard about 31 times. It's because they don't have any interest in reading a historical romance set in Medieval times about a teenage heroine who is trapped in her own fairy tale nightmare. And I don't fault them for that.

The thing about marketing is that it is almost impossible to measure whether what you're doing is working or not. So we're kind of like that hamster in the wheel. We keep doing it, not knowing whether we're getting anywhere, or just spinning in circles. But I will keep doing what I'm doing, because it makes my publisher happy, and because I feel like I am engaging with my readers and potential readers, and that makes me happy. :-) Just don't ask me about it in two months when I've done my 500th blog interview to promote The Fairest Beauty at the request of my publisher/PR person and I'm practically in tears because I haven't had time to write anything in weeks. :-)

Mary Connealy said...

I know if I ever do an ebook again I'm calling it Fifty Shades of Petticoats (or something like that)

Is it too late to change the titles, Tina???

Fifty Shades of Shadows Falling. You might be amazed!!!

Tina Pinson said...

Cindy,

Glad I could offer something.

I enjoy the advice that is shared here, sure has helped my journey.

thank you
and
blessings

Tina P.

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Tina P! And thank you for sharing your marketing journey with us.

I have no idea how I'll market my book when it comes out - friends around here have suggested a book signing at Walmart (my reaction is: okay, we could try that), but beyond that I haven't thought about it much.

I agree with Dan Walsh's comment - "They have come from me writing the kinds of books people want to tell others about and, as a result, God opening doors for me that I could never have opened myself."

First thing for me is to write a good story. The story - the open doors - everything ultimately relies on God.

And I'm so glad Julie brought a huge spread! After spending the last two days running around town, trying to get a tire replaced, today is a big writing day!

karenk said...

Tina,

I love your stories :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Tina Pinson said...

Yummy Julie,

Breakfast sounds awesome. And how lovely to share Colorado hash browns and warm peach cobbler. A reminder of home. Grand Junction and Palisade have some of the best peaches.

I'm sure I will get my egg this morning for sure. My granddaughter has decided she loves making fried eggs.

Thank you for the invitation, Julie.

blessings

Tina P.

C.E. Hart said...

Just the word 'marketing' makes me cringe. ha. Thank you for your invaluable tips!

Tina Pinson said...

Ruthie,

you're right marketing is no slam dunk. And just about the time I think I have something great and awesome they change the game.

I suppose that's why big business is constantly bringing out new commercials and gimmicks.

Oh those gimmicks.

But as you can see they have to get more creative and earlier and earlier each year for Christmas.

have to bring out the sales sooner too.

One wonders how much some of those businesses loose on such grand scales.

handwringing sounds like another sport. :-)

You really are in a sporting mood.

I will admit to the witty brain, and to some of the beauty.

thanks so much for the flowers and your wit to brighten the day

and more food.

blessings

Tina P.

Tina Pinson said...

Hi, Jackie,

it does sound overwhelming doesn't. If you get caught up in the wrong stream of marketing you might even get pulled under.

But you have settled on the best plan. Search out some of the ideas for market, but keep at that writing for sure.

We all have to do that. Can't market so much you forget to write.

blessings

Tina P

Tina Pinson said...

lizzie starr,

So understand. You feel like you have to keep pushing to get that book marketed.

And like I said before, when you over do it you want to pull your hair out and your writing doesn't get done.

I like those thirty steps too. makes this inch worm feel like she making a dent on the marketing vine.

blessings

Tina

Tina Pinson said...

thanks for the welcome, Sandra,

Now I'm curious, what has the Spirit been telling you all week?

I am forever amazed at how He manages to set His plan in stone for us.

Of course for some of us he may have to use it over our head.

I feel the same way many times when I come here and have my ah ha moment.

Wow, I almost sound like Oprah.

blessings
Tina P

Tina Pinson said...

Hello Audra,

I did hope all those gimmicks would somehow help, but in the end I realized they don't stack up all the time.

And it is so true, We have to wait for God's design, his plan is the best.

I suppose I fight sometimes though.

Yep I do.

I think sometimes he's not moving fast enough and then I find he got to the point much quicker than I ever could, just by taking a few simple steps.

glad you liked my poem. I shall have to write/kill another

blessings

Tina P

Tina Pinson said...

Bridgett,

You're not alone. all the fairy tales have the magic, why can't we just wake up and snap our fingers and have Genie take care of all the marketing.

I'm all for it.

this round of marketing has been lest costly then trying to promote self published books a few years back, I doubt I'll ever recoup the cost of just making them.

Frustration could be my middle name some days.


blessings
Tina P

Tina Pinson said...

Jeanne,

I believe marketing intimidates more writers than we know so you're in excellent company.

And maybe it does, because we are writers, and when that book comes we have to step out and promote.

I can think of better ways to spend my time.

I love the license to take the smaller steps and free myself from the marketing monster as Gerke's plan would allow.

Dan's word touched a cord with me as well. I have to keep my eyes on one who gave me this desire to write in the first place.

thanks for sharing

Blessings

Tina P

Digging for Pearls said...

Hi Tina.

Thanks for sharing your ideas for marketing. I'm not at that stage YET, but I'm collecting ideas for when that call finally comes. :)

Blessings,
Jodie Wolfe

Tina Pinson said...

Melanie,

You mean you're not giving away a mercedes? that was my next gimmick.

But you're right, if someone is not going to pick up your book plying them with gifts probably won't change their mind.

I've come to the conclusion that giving away a book is pretty much the way to go.

I've changed my mind about the WII game.

Melanie you sound like you're busy.

I'm waiting for your next book, because I do like to read them. although I know how you feel. I tell my family over and over till they run when they see me coming, and you'd think they'd get the book just cause they love me. And while they love me, they don't buy the book, cause they're not into the genre I write.

But your right if you don't get to write I can be discouraging. Glad to know I'm not the only one who feels forlorn when I can't write.

Right now I'm in promotion and editing mode and trying to write on top of it.

I pulled out a picture book I've been working on and found the simple act of drawing has been a wonderful addition to my meager word count.

Here's hoping, hopefully, your book will do well.
and you'll get to write.

blessings

Tina

Myra Johnson said...

Thanks for this insightful post, Tina! I plan to come back later and reread it very carefully. Marketing is SO not my thing! It just doesn't suit my introverted personality at all. Thank goodness for Seekerville--great for developing friendships AND for spreading the word about our books!

Tina Pinson said...

Fifty Shades of Shadow Falling. Huh Mary,

Umm, it could work

I do have a Christmas Book coming next year called Christmas in Shades of Gray.

But it was my name long before the other book came out. maybe I should I seek recompense.

hmmm

And I can see your 50 Shades of Petticoats cover right now. all those colorful petticoats are lined up and each have a pistol strapped to their knickers or are holding a rifle.

Yep, you should get on that right away.

:-)

And then you can have a bunch of female C3PO's talk about it online.

(Private joke, if you haven't seen Mary's latest promotional tool for her Christmas ebook you should)

blessings

Tina P

Tina Pinson said...

Jan,

I would love to do a book signing at Walmart. maybe, but my books are only in ebook form right now.

I often wondered if having a book in my hand would make marketing even easier, perhaps, but the authors I spoke with still had to find their path.

Something to remember along with Dan's words, is that when God isn't moving as fast as we'd like it's still okay.
God does have a plan, and he sees the whole scheme of things far better than I do, he works with the tried and trued. He doesn't just go with the trend of the day.

blessings

Tina P

Tina Pinson said...

Thank you, Karen!!!

those four little words..." I love your stories" just brought the biggest smile to my face.

What a gift.


blessings

Tina P


Melanie Dickerson said...

:-) Thanks, Tina!!! This marketing thing can really be a downer. I'm glad we writers are sticking together and trying to help each other. I do love helping my writer friends, and if I read a book I LOVED, I am so excited to tell everybody! Writers are good about promoting each other. And facebook is my main way of interacting with my friends, other writers, and readers, and I love it. It's all the other stuff that makes me want to cry. But even facebook can be a time drain.

Praying your new book sells millions!!!

Tina Pinson said...

C.E.

Marketing, Marketing Marketing

just kidding.

Don't cringe cause if you do I'll have to join you.

Marketing does seem rather daunting.

That's why I've come to the conclusion that it's far easier to step back and take the baby steps, unless a big step is necessary. And I think if you're taking those smaller steps, with prayer of course, you'll see the bigger steps for what they are and will be more willing to take them.

One really has to be discerning, or they can drive themselves bonkers.

blessings

Tina P

Tina Pinson said...

Jodie,

you have happened on the best of plans, write, wait, wrangle up some wisdom (collect those plans.) then when the time arrives, soon I hope, you'll be prepared to use them.

Prepared. that's an important premise.

Much easier than putting up a dart board with promotional ideas and throwing a dart to choose my next move. Or writer roulette.

blessings

Tina P.

Anonymous said...

Tina, I'm unpublished right now, so I shove marketing to the back of my brain. I could feel my blood pressure rise with each word I read of your article. I really admire your determination.

I'm one of those few authors who doesn't read a lot and who also spends little time on Facebook and none on Twiter. Never been in Pinterest. Don't own a Kindle.

When I think of marketing, I ask myself what make me buy a book? A great title and cover. The author--Take me down a fun journey and I will remember. So I can see giving away copies of books would tend to get to read more than a free Kindle.

Now, I need to go write or I will have nothing to market.

Connie Queen
BTW--I like your cover and am w/Cindy. I love reading during/after Civil War times.

Tina Pinson said...

You are most welcome, Melanie,

Marketing can be a downer, so we do we push ourselves so hard and many times make it worse?

I honestly don't know. Maybe because we get caught up in the excitement for having our book out there and want everyone else to read it.

Or maybe, we see dollars signs instead of heart signs. I can so fall into that category sometimes. Funny though, the harder I push, the more elusive they become, and I feel like I've sold myself out.

Almost like I need a good bath.

I enjoy your books, Melanie. For some reason the whole fairy tale concept has piqued my interest of late. I watch Once Upon a Time. I've read Cameron Dokie.

That's it though isn't we all move through phases, so do our readers.

my next phase might be romance, or horror. Just something to read that grabs my imagination.

Pam Hillman said...

Good stuff! Thanks Tina.

How long before a book comes out would be a good time to start promoting it?

Wouldn't it be best to wait until a book's available for pre-order before doing a big push, or a blog tour, or even a giveaway?

And should ebook marketing be approached any differently? My next ebook from Tyndale comes out January 2013. Unless I'm mistaken, you can't "pre-order" Kindle ebooks, so my limited marketing mind-set is thinking that it's better to wait until I have a live link and a buy button before I do a lot of marketing to readers.

On the flip side, advertising teasers can be a good thing, but in my excitement, I don't want to jump the gun and market too early either.

Tina Pinson said...

Hello, Myra,

Seekerville is marvelous... and how nice that they let me come play.

As for marketing, I'm right there with you Myra.

Most people consider me an extrovert, but when it comes to marketing, I'd say I'm more an innie.

I've fallen off the platform more than I can say.

Put me up to sing and I'm find, Let me talk and watch out, but have me promote my book and...

Well, there you have it. I kind of freeze up.

I told you how I put my postcards on cars... well, what you don't see is me zipping through like some postcard ninja hoping no one will see me and know that I put something on their car.

Mercy, they could get mad and pummel me.

:-)

I suppose marketing might be better if I didn't come across as apologetic when I hand someone my business card.

hmm.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Actually, Pam, you CAN pre-order e-books. People have been able to pre-order my new book on Kindle for at least a month now, so I have already been doing promotion stuff.

Annie Rains said...

Thank you so much for sharing, Tina. I have never done any marketing for my writing--not yet, at least. I'm not so sure I'd be good at it. It's a must in this day and age though. I am saving your list of suggestions for when the time finally comes to put my work out there. :)

Sarah Ladd said...

Great tips, Tina! Thanks for sharing! :)

Tina Pinson said...

Connie,

So true, best to sit back and wait. Formulate a bit of plan and then move out when the time comes.

And what insight for me, because I sometimes forget there are a lot of readers out there who don't social network on the computer.

we talk about using the computer, which is a great tool, but how do you continue to reach those not on the information highway?

Which is kind of ironic, ya know, years back we had no idea how to use social networking, but now we have both. And honestly, social networking can steal a lot of time, too much.

thanks so much for sharing, Connie and reminding me that we aren't all social network butterflies.

blessings

Tina P

Marianne said...

As a reader, and living 60 miles from the nearest bookstore or library, i often wondered how authors get their names out there. (i used to work for booksellers) and i think Dan's advice is a priceless treasure, but also word of mouth is next. i will pick up a book sooner if i see/hear great reviews of it. Thanks for sharing your giveaways.

www.reviewingnovelsonline.blogspot.com

Tina Pinson said...

Hey Pam,

How long before should you start promoting... I started promoting a few months ahead with just some tidbits that my book was coming out, and a few comments here and there, a couple of quotes from the book, Then I got the cover art and was able to share that and a few more teasers.

I don't want to over promote either, especially if my book isn't available. Because I've seen people frown on that.

there is such a balance for each of us.

Ebooks can be tougher to market, because you don't have the book in your hand, although some people prefer to market ebooks. They find all the internet avenues and go with it. And there are gobs so choose wisely.

I suppose it depends on you and what you're willing to do.

the more people have ereaders the easier it becomes, to a point. You still have to get your name out there.

I have four books and honestly, people still think I'm a new name. But therein lies the truth of the matter, there are so many books out there, and with the advent of better self publishing even more. You can lost in all the information.

I haven't ever put up pre-orders but I know some who have.

I myself wait until the book is out and I have the link before I promote too much, but others have started earlier.

I think some of it is a matter of taste, and maybe to some extent what your house is doing too.

hope that helps,

if not maybe someone else can address it further.

I see Melanie has, Thanks Melanie.

blessings

Tina P

Tina Pinson said...

Annie,

your time is coming though right? So glad to share a few tidbits for when it does.

maybe the marketing swell won't pull you under then.

:-)

blessings

Tina P.

Tina Pinson said...

Sarah,

you are most welcome. And thank you so much for stopping in.

It great to see all the smiling faced photos.

:-)

blessings

Tina P.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Tina. Thanks for sharing.
Would love to read your newest release!
campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Tina Pinson said...

Hello Marianne,

60 miles from the nearest library... so you know what you want when you get there! Probably put your books on order ahead of time?

You are like a lot of people, who read the reviews and listen to what others are saying.

That's why it's important for writers to connect on book clubs and get reviews. Although it's not a good idea, as was mentioned, not to join to just get your name out, readers catch onto that.

Still, I've seen people do it and succeed.

blessings

Tina P

Tina Pinson said...

Marketing has to be done if you want your product out there, so they say.

Isn't it nice to know even the big names have to do marketing. Maybe even more, and some of them lament over how much time that takes away from their writing schedule.

I wonder what it costs to take out a commercial TV like I've seen some big named authors do.

Pam Hillman said...

Yay! Thanks Mel. I guess I wasn't aware of that. Cool!

Tina Pinson said...

Hello, Anonymous Campbell


consider yourself entered. And thank you for visiting.

blessings

Tina P.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Tina,

This post gives me cold chills! I'm like the proverbial ostrich, with my head in the sand until the day comes when I need to think about Marketing.

I must say I LOVE your covers! They are so gorgeous. And you are so busy with all those books coming out between now and next year! Wow!

Praying that this blog will spark a new interest in your work and LOTS OF SALES!!

Will any of your books be out in paperback?

Cheers,
Sue
sbmason at sympatico dot ca

Tina Pinson said...

Susan,

thank you, I didn't mean to give you the chills. Even though it looks overwhelming I've known several ostriches who find their marketing niche and do really well.

I love my covers too. Desert Breeze artists have really translated my vision to the book.

In the Manor of the Ghost comes out in paper back in February.

I do have a couple of books that show up in paperback, from my self publishing days, and I try to steer people clear of those because while the stories are great, they are riddled with errors.

I've since reworked them, but can't get them to remove the old ones from the internet.

Boy if that don't put a hitch in your marketing.

Janice said...

Tina, your responses on blogs like this are so important in helping people to know you as a person. Knowing your heart makes people want to read your stories. I think the book giveaways are effective because they can get people on track with an author they like and they will buy future books that come out by the author.

As more people invest in Kindles, etc., there will be more sales of e-books. This is a time of transition so I think there is some suffering on both sides as one draws sales from the other.

With the economy tanking and employees' hours being cut people will have more time to read but less money to buy. They will be more selective so the quality of writing will make or break the sales as reviews become all the more important. I think it is fair that when an author has a giveaway that they kindly ask the winner to put a review out on Amazon, Christianbook.com, etc.

I think your covers are beautiful. Please enter me into your contest.

Blessings, Janice
jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Tina Pinson said...

Janice,

thank you and how very insightful,

we do have to factor in the economy and all the avenues to read from. who knew people would want a story formatted for their phone?

I try to promote or review the books I get somehow.

But I don't always think to ask for that for myself. I just hope they enjoy it and pass the word along.

I'm pleased with my covers. Speaking of pictures, I like your picture by your comment. So peaceful looking.

thank you again

blessings

Tina

Kav said...

While marketing can be overwhelming for the writer, it's also overwhelming for the reader. I can't possibly keep up with all my favourite authors and their blogs and guest appearances and tweets and twitters and facebook pages and...eeeeeeeeekkkkkk! Personally I think it can be too much of a good thing.

My biggest reader pet peeve is when authors don't keep their books up to date on their websites. I like to keep tabs on new and upcoming releases by my favourite authors and you would be surprised at how many websites aren't current. I have to go hunting individual publisher websites and some of them are not very user friendly when it comes to new and upcoming fiction releases!

I'd love to find a single blog or website that's only purpose is to keep readers updated on new books. That way I could check one source for authors on my 'must buy' list and discover new ones without roaming madly through the web or teetering on a blog hopping frenzy trying to find the information.

Does such a website or blog exist? If not, I'd be willing to start one! I know the ACFW site has a list in the book section, but it's incomplete. I think a site like that would be a great marketing tool of writers.

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Hi Tina! Great post on the pitfalls of marketing.

I can't say marketing scares me much, probably because I'm a PR manager who works in the marketing department of my business! Before that, I worked as a newspaper reporter, and studied the media. Through all of that, I've made a lot of contacts in the newspaper business, radio, TV, etc.

While I do a lot of the traditional media, what I've found to be invaluable is social media. I use Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all the time to promote the symphony, my employer. We are a non-profit, so we don't have a lot of money to spend on promotions. This has forced me and the entire department to "think outside the box."

I try to post something on Facebook everyday, something pertaining to music, since we're in that business. It could be something about one of our upcoming artists, funny musical cartoons I've found, trivia, special deals, quotes from musicians, even just news pertaining to music! Like when a composer dies, produces something new, etc. I once heard in a marketing class that social media should be 10 percent marketing, and 90 percent sharing knowledge of your subject. We're in the business of music, so we share information about that, whether or not it relates to something we're directly doing. Through this, I've seen our FB "likes" grow by over 400 since I started in May.

The same can be done for authors and books. Are there cetain things of interest in your story you could segue into featuring elsewhere that's not a traditional venue for books? Does your book feature great recipes? Get those on a blog or Facebook! Lots of Christian radio stations are willing to do promotions with an author in exchange for giveaways on the air for your book.

Find curent events that tie into your book. We're doing a giveaway at a movie theater right now for tickets to our James Bond music show, even though it's not until February, because of the new James Bond movie that just came out.

Get creative! Writers are creative, right? OK, pep talk over. If only I could pour this much enthusiasm into my current WIP.

Have a great day, everyone!

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Having said all of that, to God be the Glory and the Power. He blesses us with ideas, with talent to write and readers to love it.

Missy Tippens said...

Tina, were so glad you joined us today! Thanks for sharing your experience and words of advice. For me, looking for balance is important. I love that 80/20 rule!

Tina Pinson said...

Kav,

You have certainly given me something to think about.

if the circle of blogdom is frustrating for you, then how well is my marketing. I've wondered.

I spend a lot of time trying to get to the blogs, and promote around, but I miss a lot. We all do.

The internet is on constant update and it only takes a couple of minutes to move my tweets and such to cyber space.

Well it feels that way.

No wonder people promote a few times a day. But I still miss a lot. And I don't like to promote so much cause I feel like I'm hounding people with the same thing over and over.

I think a blog like your talking about, Kav, would be helpful. I know some people who try to keep up posting new releases, but the information comes from what they receive and if people don't send in, it doesn't get shared. How would go keep your information current? Would you rely on author input?

I have tabs for my books on my blog, but I must be honest, I don't spend a lot of time at my website. I'm not always certain people go there. I've considered just letting it go.

I so understand the blog hopping frenzy, and have curbed my hopping to a favored few. As I'm sure many people do. Which is why a blog has to really catch the eye.

I think that's why so many people love Seekerville, you get variety and information and more and you share the wealth of visitors.

Many authors are going to group blogs for that reason. My measly count of visitors added to someone else's begins to add up. and I don't have to witty non stop. Cause that gets pretty tiring. They can't keep up with their blogs as they should, but sharing the load on one blog easing their time.

Only one of my books are listed in Fan Fiction. I can't list my others. But even there, the author still has to get there book in. Same at other sites, the information is only current when someone takes the time to update it.

blessings
Tina P.

Tina Pinson said...

What great ideas, Stephanie,

And you're so right. Think outside the box

I have been looking for ways to do that. Trying to put up quotes and things that tie in with my stories. I'm considering a giveaway on interest, still thinking it through. Don't have any recipes. My characters don't eat. :-) I'm sure there's something there.

Social Media is invaluable, you can reach so many people.

10 % marketing to 90% knowledge. Interesting. I think Seekerville does that well.

I'll have to take notes on your comment.

Thanks so much.

blessings

Tina

Tina Pinson said...

Missy,

Seekervillians make it so easy to visit. Thank you.

I like that 80/20 rule too. Don't spend all day on the net. Get some work done. Of course I've sort of blow it today.

but it's okay sometimes right? Like when I play solitaire...

:-)

Megan Parsons said...

I would love to be entered to win! Thanks! makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com

Nancee said...

Thank you for offering these wonderful reviews of Tina's books. I'd love to be entered into your contest.
Nancee
quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

CatMom said...

Thanks for sharing today, Tina! I enjoyed this post and am impressed with ALL you've done to market your books--Wow! I especially like that you reminded everyone of the power and importance of prayer--SO important no matter what we're trying to accomplish.
Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Tina! Thanks for sharing your journey and some excellent tips. I'm not good at promotion so can use all the help I can get.

Your books look amazing! You've been getting the words on the page. Wishing you much success!

Janet

joye said...

Enjoyed reading the comments. Your book sounds really good and i have added it to my TBR list.
Happy Thanksgiving
JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

Terri said...

Being a night owl finally paid off!

Nancy C said...

What? No magic formula? Sigh ... :-)

Thanks for your honesty, Tina, and for sharing what you heard from other authors.

As I read more and more about promoting/advertising, I wonder if word-of-mouth might be most important. When I think of books I've purchased, they were primarily recommended. If I like the author's style, then I'll check out their website and sign up for a newsletter so I'll know when their next book releases. Or, if it's one of the Seekers :-) I know I'll find out about new releases through this blog. At any rate, it seems to me the puzzle is getting to that first reader who will recommend it to the next reader who will recommend it to the next reader ... and that involves zeroing in on exactly where your reader is. Gee, no problem at all, right? :-)

In your experience, is the average reader aware of writer association awards and book publishing industry awards? I wonder if those are more important to writers than readers.

Nancy C

Jamie Adams said...

Great information Tina! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

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Also visit my weblog ; Woodworking

Tina Pinson said...

Back from watching grandkids and running errands.

Megan, hello. Our paths cross again. Nice to see you.

thank you for entering.

blessings

Tina P.

Tina Pinson said...

Nancee,

thanks for stopping by. Consider yourself entered.

have a lovely evening

Blessings

Tina P.

Tina Pinson said...

Hello Janet,

You're not good at promotion. I wouldn't have thought so. But then there are a lot of people who are and they plug away hoping they'll get somewhere and no one will notice they have no idea what they're doing.

Thanks for the good wishes

blessings

Tina

Tina Pinson said...

Patti Jo, (Catmom)

thanks. I know I've done some things to market, but then I still wonder if I've done enough. the circle of strife huh? But then that's when I know I need to step back and breath and Let God be God.

Appreciate your comment.

Where are you from in Georgia? That's where my hubby hales from.

blessings

Tina P.

Tina Pinson said...

Thank you for adding me to your TBR list, Joye. I am honored. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving as well.

Blessings

Tina P.

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

TIna, you're awesome for tackling such a huge subject! If we only had the answers :)

Tina Pinson said...

Nancy C

I wished I had a magic formula. A genie in the bottle that did all my PR for me. Or maybe I could be a Genie and do all my own just in case the Genie got temperamental.

I think word of mouth is very important. I've read books because someone said they really enjoyed it. Although I have read some where I disagreed with the glowing review too. And there are some people who will buy something if the word is bad too.

it is important to find that first reader who shares. However, I have some readers who tell, and give a glowing report, but they don't go near a computer and since my books can't just be passed along it makes it harder.

I like the idea of sharing the books on readers, has anyone done that?

I don't know about the awards and whether or not it really matters to the a reader, but it does give recognition, in the writing circle and outside of it. If a book is highly acclaimed and you tell someone that and they continue to see that, they might be more apt to buy it.

Look at what happened with the Shack, or With 50 Shades of Gray, though I think more people or reading the book because it's so controversial. And I've heard several people say they wonder why they ever picked it up, it wasn't what they thought.

Who knows?

Seekerville does an excellent job at sharing. that's why I've visited with them for years.

thank you so much for sharing as well, Nancy.

blessings

Tina P.

Tina Pinson said...

Jamie,

pleased to be able to share. and hope you find it helpful. Appreciate your comment.

blessings

Tina P.

Tina Pinson said...

Anonymous,

So you enjoy woodworking? Thank you so much for coming by.

I think the beauty of sharing is we all continue to learn and as we go. Reading some of these posts has shown me even more. It's wonderful. I'm already thinking of ways to use the info.

Hope you have a lovely evening

blessings

Tina P

Tina Pinson said...

Terri,

Now I'm curious. have you been staying up late?

:-)

I used to stay up till the wee hours of the morning to write. So I can see where it's worth it sometimes.

thanks

Blessings

Tina P

Tina Pinson said...

What Eva? You don't have the answers. Or that magic formula?

But what's so funny is, I hope when I did the survey with the author's that I'd find the formula there. And some of it is, it just has to be tapered to who each of us are as a writer, as a personality.

It is a lot of trial and error. A lot of patience and a bunch of prayer.

and I will continue to watch what others are doing and see if what they're doing will fit.

Right now I joined a group of about ten people who have promised to promote each others books on Twitter. We wrote up our tweets for each book and gave them to one another to use.

Hoot suite has been very helpful with marketing too.

blessings

Tina

Tina Pinson said...

I sure hope I answered everyone's questions as well as possible, and just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed myself here, and thank everyone at Seekerville for letting me come visit once more.

And thank all of you who commented for making my day with interaction and more information for me to glean from.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Hope you have fun at the Market...

CatMom said...

Just now read your question to me, Tina P. but you've probably signed off by now. But just in case I wanted to go ahead and reply*smile*. I'm southeast of Atlanta--the McDonough/Stockbridge area. When we moved to this area in the 1980s it was quite rural, but no more *sigh*.

Tina Pinson said...

Catmom,
I just stopped into check one more time. Hubby comes from Gainesville.

Christina said...

Really late today, so late it's almost tomorrow.

Great post, Tina. I see some authors come up with new, creative ways to market. The thought of marketing scares me.

Tina Pinson said...

Christina, you are late!! but that's okay. better late than...

there are so many marketing ideas out there. But I'm with you, I'm scared to do some of them. it's a lot to take on those I have.

That's when you really have to seek the Lord's wisdom and trust that He'll steer you in the right direction.

thanks for coming by, even if it is late or early, depending on where you're at.

blessings

Tina P

Mary Preston said...

I think that any marketing that brings an author & their work to my attention is a positive.


marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Tina, You did great yesterday with all the responses. Thanks for contributing to Seekerville.

The Holy Spirit has been telling me what He told you. Stop trying to do it myself, but pray and rely on what HE says. When will I learn?

Don't underestimate the power of prayer and looking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in your life as a writer. The simple truth is, for me, the best things that have happened, the things that have made the biggest difference in my career so far were not things that I did, or the results of my personal marketing efforts. They have come from me writing the kinds of books people want to tell others about and, as a result, God opening doors for me that I could never have opened myself."

Anonymous said...

Terri,
I finally figured out your second comment Duh, you were first in. And you left your comment way
early.
Double Duh
it's a good thing I have somewhat of a brain I might never have gotten it.

;-)
Tina P

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that, Sandra,

Amazing how he touches lives, and when I do leave it with the Lord, my spirit is much calmer for it, I'm not so frustrated, and that encompasses every aspect of life beyond writing.

I deeply appreciate everyone at Seekerville for opening your hearts and giving me and everyone else a cyber home.

In His love
Tina P.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mary,

Lovely to have you stop in. And thank you for your comment . Writer to Author is the necessary step.

And sometimes the toughest.

;-)

Have a lovely day.

Blessings

Tina P.

Deborah Dunson said...

Tina a like your comment: "God opening doors for me that I could never have opened myself."

This is true. We must trust and rely on Him.

Lisa Godfrees said...

Tina, I hope I'm not too late. They don't publish the feeds to feedblitz until midnight so I'm always a day late and a dollar short.

BUT I wanted to ask about your beautiful cover art. Your books are just gorgeous! Who did your covers?

I wouldn't mind winning a free copy of one of your books either. :)

shelia hall said...

Would love to win your book,Tina!

Edwina said...

Tina,
Thanks for sharing your marketing experience and wisdom. Love to win one of your books!

Edwina

Tina Pinson said...

Lisa,

Thanks for coming in even if it's late.

the Artist's at Desert Breeze Publishing put my covers together using a sheet I send to them telling them of my vision, and they have done a beautiful job. I am pleased.

Tina Pinson said...

Debbie,

that is very true. God has a future and a plan for us, one of my favorite verses btw, I have to trust he knows the steps to take.

Cause I don't always seem to do so great.

;-)

Tina Pinson said...

Edwina,

you are on the list. Thanks for stopping in to say hello.

Tina Pinson said...

Sheila,

I hope you'll have the opportunity to read my books.

appreciate your interest.

Veronica Sternberg said...

Your books sound great and I love giveaways! shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com