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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Neworking on a Budget (Part 2) by Tara Fox Hall


Following Jenny Twist's interesting post last week on free promotion and the value of networking, it's now the turn of Tara Fox Hall.  Over to Tara for her wise advice.

Tara Fox Hall
Thank you to Manic Scribbler for having me here today to talk about book promotion! Jenny Twist's excellent post on 3-17-13 covered many of the bases which are definite musts for promoting your book. I offer the following tips to build upon her thoughtful pointers. Some are free, and some are low cost.

***I want to add here that to successfully promote a book using her tips and/or mine will take significant amounts of time. Please be aware as an author you will spend as much time promoting as you do writing. There is only so much time, so budgeting your time well must be your first step of promotion!***

Top 4 paid promotions:

 1 – Cover Ads. A fabulous cover goes a long way toward snaring a reader. It’s the first thing a reader sees. When you can get your book covers out there in front of your audience, they are more inclined to pick up your work. The majority of the ads I buy are cover ads. Ads can be very expensive, but some sites like The Romance Studio have very good deals, such as the buy 1 get 9 Free cover ad deal they did for St. Patrick’s Day. This site also has other good promo opportunities like:

 2 – Being a featured author or other promotion at various review sites. Usually this is a small cost for a large return, in terms of blog parties you can join, live chats, or other perks you are given, like interviews, free ads, etc. I have met many of my fans at 24-hr Coffee Time Romance chats, or through daily book giveaways, and doing this will help you get a mailing list started. Be warned thought that some sites charge very high fees, so make sure you know what you are paying for is worth your money. Web hunts and parties are also great to be involved in, as they last for over a month and there is a lot of time for fans to stop in and enter, versus a contest that lasts only one day. I recently participated in The Romance Reviews 2nd Anniversary Party (free) and gave away a print copy of Promise Me. The winner got the book last week, has already read it, and just gave me a 5-star review on another review site!

 3 – Blog Tours. When I have a new book coming out, I normally book at least a few dates on various blogs. To launch my Promise Me series, I did intense blogging, where I was someplace new each day for 2 months. This really helped my series get off the ground. Blogging is a great tool, but it will eat up time quickly when you do everything yourself. There are companies online that cater to authors, like Heartfelt Promos, that will set you up for a very small fee with blog hosts for a tour. There are bigger companies that will not only book the tours, but also create prizes to give away, organize reviews for you, and create spotlight posts, so you will have to do even less of the work for a tour. Again, know what you are getting before you buy! Get feedback from other authors before booking. Blog posts must be creative, short, and adding a giveaway usually boosts hits/participation.

4 - Putting up a print copy of your work on Goodreads. I’ve done that for some of my books (such as the first and second in my series), and those books have gotten attention. I don’t do it for all books, as Goodreads does not let you contact those interested in your book in any way, or let you send anything to the winners except the book.



Top four free promotions: Jenny already touched on these, so I’ll be brief!

1 – Blogging and more blogging. Note that some bigger blogs like Night Owl Reviews are booked well in advance. Today is 3-17-13, and I just booked a day in late August, 2013, as they are already booked up until late summer. 

2 – Reviews. Get to know the major review sites, and make sure to follow all of their rules in correspondence. Be polite and respectful. Manic Readers is a good place to start: request reviews, book a blog, ask for an interview, etc.!



3 – Book signings. These are more about getting awareness of your book than moneymaking. Make SURE to put up signs that your books are available online as e-books, as many people think since they see you are there selling print books, you only have print books to sell. Have promo items like pens and bookmarks to hand out. (Vistaprint and 4Imprint are great places to get promo items as reasonable cost, but you can also create your own promo items, if you are crafty)

4 – Facebook, and other social media sites. All authors need a FB page, a website, a blog, and other ways to connect online with their fans. These take probably the most work of all, both to create and maintain, even if they are simple. Websites can be free, or you can go all out with major graphics. But there had to be something out there where people looking for your work can find it. Ideally, they should be able to Google your name and have your website come up first on the list. At least, they should be able to get some hits with your book titles together with your name. Goodreads and Manic Readers are also sites you must maintain an author page at, as well as a current list of all books. Goodreads will also give you a blog for free. 

Now get out there and PROMOTE!

Thank you, Tara - there's a wealth of really useful information here.

About Tara Fox Hall

Tara Fox Hall is an OSHA-certified safety and health inspector at a metal fabrication shop in upstate New York. She received her bachelor's degree in mathematics with a double minor in chemistry and biology from Binghamton University.

Tara Fox Hall's writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, action-adventure, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal action-adventure Lash series and the vampire romantic suspense Promise Me series, as well as other novellas. She also co-authored the essay The Allure of the Serial Killer, published in Serial Killers - Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).

Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.

For more information about Tara's literary works, click on: 

27 comments:

Tim Greaton said...

All great advice. Thanks, Tara!

Jenny Twist said...

Pretty comprehensive! Well done, Tara. And thanks, Lyn, for hosting us again.
xxxx

Nancy Pennick said...

Great blog, Tara! Thanks for sharing. So many good ideas.

Linda Acaster said...

Thanks, Tara - and Jenny, too - for a couple of really helpful blogposts.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Thanks for the great advice, Tara. Not sure I'm up to a two-month blog tour at this point though. Baby steps!

Tara Fox Hall said...

Good to meet you, Tim. I'm glad to be of help! I would not have gotten anywhere without a lot of help from Jenny T. when I was first starting out!

Thank you, Lyn, as always for hosting us!

Good to see you, Nancy. Give a holler if you need anything...

Good to meet you, Linda. Good luck on your next project! :)

Julie Flanders said...

This advice is so helpful to me as my debut novel was just published and I'm learning the marketing maze as I go. Thank you for sharing these tips!

valclarizio said...

Thanks for the information, ladies. Though it's time consuming, utilizing social media is such a quick and easy way to reach a lot of people.

Tara Fox Hall said...

Hi Linda M. :) Yes, I can't recommend a 2 month blog tour. It nearly did me in, and planning it/executing it successfully took my entire summer. I'm trying for ten stops from here on out. LOL Thanks for commenting!

Hello, Julie. congrats on your debut novel, and good luck out on the internet!
Hi Val. Yes, social media is invaluable. I wouldn't have 95% of my fan base without it, as they'd never have known about my books. Take care!

CH said...

Excellent advice! Thank you for sharing this information. Carlene

Tara Fox Hall said...

You're very welcome, Carlene :) I'm glad to help! Good luck!

Karen Cote said...

Very nice Tara! Thank you for this and I absolutely agree about Coffee Time Romance. My site stats show them as extremely influential to my blog traffic and the price for their promotion/ads are designed for struggling artists on a budget. Thanks for mentioning them and these other resources as well.

Rose Anderson ~ Romance Novelist said...

Excellent post. I wear myself out sometimes trying to figure out what to do next. Thanks for sharing. :)

Rose

Joy V. Smith said...

Thanks for the info! I've already added Available Online to the flyer I'm making for a book signing.

Gemma Juliana said...

Very informative, Tara. Lots of great tips. I just dove in to the indie pool recently and am trying to wrap my mind around the promo. I'll try several of your tips. Thanks for sharing!

Rosemary Morris said...

Excellent advice about promotion. My biggest problem is not allowing the promotion to take up so much time that I am not able to write.

S.C. Dane said...

This is very helpful information, both from Tara Fox Hall and Jenny Twist. Thank you.

ManicScribbler said...

Wow, Tara - it's great to see so many people appreciating your helpful post. It's a pleasure to host you here and you are welcome any time.

Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting as this helps us to see how useful such posts are. I think it's important for indie authors to build a strong and helpful network and I hope we can do more of this sort of thing on this blog.

Charmaine Pauls said...

Great and comprehensive advice! Thank you.

Tara Fox Hall said...

Hi Karen :) Yes, the CTR staff are a pleasure to work with, and they have something for every budget! I'm glad you found the post helpful :) Have a fab week!

Tara Fox Hall said...

Hi Rose :) It is easy to burn out on promo. There is always another blog post to do, or some last minute detail. My best wishes for keeping sane amid the craziness! :)

Tara Fox Hall said...

Hi Joy :) Very wise of you! I assumed that everyone would know (somehow--maybe mental telepathy....:) ) that my books were all available as e-books, too, because of all the links and reviews I had on my table that were online. Then when a person asked me if my books could be bought as e-books, I was mortified I hadn't thought of it! I went home that night and made several laminated signs for the next signing. :) Take care!

Tara Fox Hall said...

Hi Gemma :) Congrats on your indie publishing, and best of luck out there online! :)

Tara Fox Hall said...

Hi Rosemary :) I have that same problem, as I suspect most small press authors do! Its one of the reasons I have tried the book tours and other paid promo, because as much as I love to save $, I just can't do everything myself...and write anything new. It's a very hard balance to strike. I wish you luck, and thank you for taking the time to comment :)

Tara Fox Hall said...

Hello S.C.Dane. Glad to help! I hope some of my recommendations work for you, and good luck in 2013. :)

Tara Fox Hall said...

Hi Charmaine :) Thank you for the accolades! :) I'm glad to be helpful, and thank you for commenting! Have a wonderful week! :)

Tara Fox Hall said...

Thank you again for having me, Lyn :) You're one of the sweetest persons I know. Hugs! :)

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