Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Authors, part two

Last post, I explained my marketing push that started with authors, and how Catherine Ryan Hyde and Cheryl Kaye Tardif came on the first day to claim their Author Account and cast their works. But they were joined over the next two months by a host of others, twelve in May, either as referrals from other authors, or from contacts through MyBookTheMovie; then five in June, some of whom found the site on their own and joined as regular members, but then indicated that they were authors and wanted to get their own books on the site. Three in July, four in August, and now we’re getting a steady run of authors who either came on as members or found us first as authors. I still have a backlog of people to contact from Marshal’s blog, and a bunch more whose works have been suggested for inclusion on the site and thus get informed and invited that way. I haven’t even tried to contact the “first tier” authors, the Stephen Kings and the John Grishams of the world, simply because they have no trouble getting the attention of the studios if they want to, whereas most of our authors, although published, are still actively writing and promoting their own works, and we can work together more easily, since they know what I’m going through.

The biggest effect of supportive authors has been Google links I could have had no other way. As soon as the site went “live”, I created a Facebook and My space page for it, and whenever I saw a site or blog with a book-related “fantasy cast” on it, I commented and pointed to the site. Those posts are all visible on Google – but those are nothing compared to the comments, posts, links, and pointers provided by our authors. Some have just a web site and a blog, but mention us several times; some have three blogs of their own, and contribute to another three or four, and they have mentioned us on all of them. We’re the first reference on the first Google page, perhaps because we own the domain name. But almost every reference on the next eight pages is also a link to us, primarily because of all the posts by our authors.

The other outcome of helpful authors has been collaborative promotion. Stella and Audra Price write a series of “hot supernatural romance” books. At one point, Stella pointed out that she was always on a book-signing tour somewhere, and was always looking for some kind of interesting “freebie” to give our at signings and events. Could I come up with something? I don’t know which one of us suggested the bookmarkers, but after I saw how inexpensive they were, I agreed to print some up and send them out free. Over a dozen of the authors immediately requested some to give out from now to Christmas – I have commitments for 2900 of the first buy of 3000, so it’s already time to order some more. They just came in from the printers on Saturday, and we’re spending the next day or two to package and ship them. I have posted a photo of the front and back (thanks Malcom and Gary for the graphics work!). Getting ideas from authors who already have a feel for promotion in the book world really helps! That’s why I’m really glad I started promoting to the authors, and let them help drive traffic to the site.

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