This 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 optional question — If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?
I’m going to skip the question this month though I encourage you to visit other posts on this blog hop. Participants always have interesting ideas on Alex’s questions.
How’d my Virtual Book Launch Go?
I have launched each of my six fiction books virtually with a blog hop. Blogging is the social media that works best for me. Each year, I tweak how I do the book blast. Here are my thoughts on this year’s efforts:
- Social media links–I wanted to do more to give back to those willing to support my marketing efforts. To that end, besides my usual links to each participant’s blog and their latest book, I also provided links to their social media and encouraged visitors to click these.
- Writer’s network--By visiting these links, new/experienced writers can build their network with what I know to be a great group of folks who have proven they are willing to support each other.
- Share posts on SM--I shared the participant posts to my social media–Twitter, FB, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. I noticed a lot of folks did the same. That’s a great way to make the social media giants think the Universe is talking about our books!.
- Prep took longer than I expected–I work from home and often spent much of the day (with the usual interruptions) shining up my launch, articles, social media, marketing materials, outlets, and more. I kept a ToDo list that seemed never to run out. Sigh.
- Not only prep but participation once the tour launched took longer than I expected--My routine is to reply to posts on the host’s blog (of course), visit whoever commented, and get to know them a bit by replying to one of their posts on their blog. This took a lot of time–3-4 hours a day–but I met some amazing writers and readers. I’d highly recommend this to anyone relying on word-of-mouth as their main marketing strategy.
- Provide more guidance–Some authors want to help but don’t understand how a virtual book launch works. A few didn’t even know they were supposed to post an article. Every year this happens and every year, I ignore it. Next year (for the launch of Laws of Nature in Fall 2021), I need to put together a video showing how a book launch works and what a participant’s part in it is. My goal is to not only promote my new book but everyone who agrees to help me. That does take work on both sides but is well worth it.
- Blog required–My virtual book launch really requires a blog. Lots of authors don’t do blogs. I’ve had participants post to their FB page but those are often private so it doesn’t work. Twitter–it just gets lost in the noise. Any suggestions?
- Confusion with the table–I didn’t realize until I was a few days into the book launch that embedding a Google Doc into a WordPress blog caused it to open within the host blog. Which wasn’t good. The viewable section was too small. That’s why I added the note. I need another solution.
- My TBR pile exploded--I mentioned that I always visit people who comment on host blogs. Often, I end up buying their Indie books. I now have a huge backlog of novels to read and review. Stay tuned for those in the near future.
Question: I included social media links in hopes that efriends would connect. Were they useful to you? Did you click through and add any of these folks to your network? Just curious to see if I should include them next time.
BTW, I took a poll of Indie authors to see what you do to market your books. I reviewed the results here. They were pretty interesting!
A side note: Somehow I lost my writer’s newsletter (don’t ask me how because I just can’t explain it). If you had subscribed to that, would you mind re-subscribing by clicking this link? Thanks so much.
More on marketing your books:
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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, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature Fall 2021. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning