August 5, 2016

My Book Release Tricks . . . This Time

By C. Hope Clark

Echoes of Edisto releases today, August 5. The third book in The Edisto Island Mysteries, it’s special to me with its daring twists and turns taken with characters my readers have come to love. Therefore, I did not want this book just to be the next in the series. So I stepped up my marketing savvy a bit.
Marketing a new release doesn’t have to be pricey, but what you choose not to do in terms of money, you make up for in sweat and entrepreneurial spirit. You don’t just want to be yet another author shouting, “Buy my book!”

Frankly, I refuse to use the word BUY in any of my efforts. I am an author. My books are posted on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. What about that doesn’t already say the book’s on sale?
So what have I done to promote Echoes of Edisto that didn’t cost thousands for a public relations guru?

Facebook headers. Prior to release, I created unique photos to insert every couple of days as my Facebook cover pic. I designed pictures using simple sites like that made it appear my cover was on billboards, at bus stations, outside downtown high rises, and on theatre marquees. No text. Comments went wild. 

Pre-order copies. I purchased 100 copies of my own book. While pre-orders were available on Amazon, I offered my own via social media, newsletter, and website. I sent autographed copies out early to very excited readers.

Review copies. I announced on social media the need for 30 dedicated souls willing to read and post a review on the August 5 release date. Rather than professional reviewers, I wanted passionate people eager to snatch the book out of its envelope to read it. A hundred dear, sweet people begged me to choose them. Those not chosen often pre-ordered.

Pre-releasing parts of reviews. Some reviewers contacted me after reading only the first few chapters. I posted that feedback on social media to spread excitement.

Appearances. I appeared at libraries and book clubs in the two weeks ahead of release. And I offered to sell early autographed copies out of my own stock.

Guest blogging. Several weeks ahead I wrote guest blog posts for any of my fans willing to post them the week before and after release date.

Release day event. Since my series is set on a real island on the South Carolina coast, I worked with the Edisto Bookstore for a signing event on the release date.

Other books on special. The publisher offered to reduce the price of an older book in July and a second one in August, appearing on Amazon next to Echoes’ pre-order.

A feature magazine piece. The closest major city to Edisto Island is Charleston, SC. I pitched local publication a feature piece about the series. It came out August 1, telling thousands that my signing would be at four PM on August 5th on Edisto Beach.

Podcast with the state library. The state capital library had a fledgling podcast, and we aired a session about me the week of release.

Marketing a new book can be exhausting but exhilarating. Pre-release promotion is a matter of choosing to think creatively, invest the effort, and remain open to opportunities. Have fun with it. Be excited about your upcoming day. Show people that your life as an author is amazing and that you would not have it any other way.
C. Hope Clark has written six novels in two series, with her latest being Echoes of Edisto, the third in the Edisto Island Mysteries. Mystery continues to excite her as both reader and writer, and she hopes to continue as both for years to come. Hope is also founder of FundsforWriters, chosen by Writer’s Digest Magazine for its 101 Best Websites for Writers. /

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