marketing / publishing

#IWSG–How Do I Market My Upcoming Thriller?

writers groupThis post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out). The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

This month’s insecurity – I spent years (close to a decade) writing my almost-completed fiction. I’m ready to self-publish, but don’t really know how to get the word out. I have a few go-to bloggers who I’m relying on for a template–Rebecca Bradley and Medeia Sharif–but that means I see how they do it, not necessarily what could work for me. That doesn’t sound terribly organized or logical or even well-thought out.

For example, as I finish up final edits, getting a cover, and pinning down publishing options, I bet there are wheels I should be setting in motion so in a few months–when my ducks are all lined up–I simply push the marketing Go button.

What my ducks look like:

ducks not in a row

What they should look like:

ducks in a row

What have you-all done that has worked for your new release? Thanks so much for taking the time to share your ideas with me!

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of dozens of books on integrating tech into education, webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. 

40 thoughts on “#IWSG–How Do I Market My Upcoming Thriller?

  1. Pingback: How I’m Doing on ‘To Hunt a Sub’ | WordDreams...

  2. You’ve gotten excellent advice from your many accomplished followers, great ideas here. I’m excited to welcome your new book and wish you the best of all adventures with it.

    Also, don’t feel stressed about Monday night. Overall we loved your book, and I remember one of the final reviewers saying how good a storyteller you are. You are, and you must remember that. Think how many times you’ve been selected for your excellent wordcraft – you were chosen by Richard Bausch, after all, one of only ten.
    And you did have the attention of an agent though that didn’t come to the fruition you’d hoped for.

    Honestly, I think this group would criticize Shakespeare. Maybe one too many “To be’s.” HA!


  3. Ps don’t forget to offer it to a few people you trust who are published Authors they can review it for you on goodreads etc. If you self publish make sure you have days where is on special so we can buy it and review it for you. At the moment I have about four friends books I am reading to review.


  4. Jacqui make sure you share your book with us here when you are ready to get the word out. We can all share it through different sites. I am reading the comments with a lot of interest and wish you every success in this exciting venture.


  5. Thank you for the mention. 🙂 I’ll check out Rebecca’s blog.

    I’m still learning a lot–and not marketing as much as I really should, but I do my best with my time constraints. I’ve definitely improved in marketing these past two years.


  6. Oh, Jacqui, I’m a terrible self-publicist! I wish I knew, is the only reply I can offer. As for having all my birds lined up and then pushing the ‘go’ button: exactly how DO you get birds to form a line, let alone stay there?


  7. Jacqui,
    I’d be happy to promote on my blog for you even tho I have a small readership . . .

    I have no personal experience but bloggers I’ve followed who have self-published have ASKED their readers to pre-order before it hits Amazon et al. which seemed to position some of their books on the “Best Sellers” lists. They also ask for “likes” on their Facebook pages.

    A big key seems to be asking your followers/friends/family for help.

    From everything I’ve read the social-media seems to have the most bang-for-your-buck in terms of time and outreach.


  8. There’s a marketing “go” button? LOL! For my second release, I ordered postcards and bookmarks…about a month before my release, I sent the bookmarks to every bookstore, library, and school in the area and then I started sending bookmarks to the main ones. Now I’m doing contests and giveaways, but I also lined up a blog tour about a month before my book release and it went live the week my book came out. You could also start lining up events if you plan to do those–although you may find bookstores are reluctant to schedule more than a couple of months in advance.


  9. I ask people to help me get the word out. I ask my mailing list (readers). These days I’m looking into paid tours/advertising. Thunderclap is new for a media campaigns. You get people to commit to sending tweets/FB psots.


  10. I’m willing to put a mini version of your cover on the sidebar of my blog with a link to the page where you’re selling it. Mind you, I won’t keep it there for ever, but 6 months should help and I will do it for free. When I put it on my blog, I will also tweet it and put a notice at Google+ and Goodreads.


    • I would love that–and will return the favor, Glynis. I had a set-back yesterday, so I’m at least a couple of months away, but I can see the finish line this time (unlike five years ago).


    • I would love that, Ankur. My email is

      BTW, I’d like to reblog your post about grammar faux pas to a writer’s collective I blog for (Today’s Author) and to a non-fiction book I’m writing. Do I have your permission to do that–with proper attribution, of course. It’s a great opportunity for writers to see how poorly-punctuated sentences are quite confusing. Thanks, Ankur!


      • Will send that doc.
        By all means Jacqui. They were not created by me. The first set was sent to me by a friend Jagatjit Singh, on email. The second set is a collection of contributions made by my readers.


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