I wrote most of The Sacrament of the Goddess at a Starbucks. Click here to learn about the people you meet at Starbucks.
Pre-Publication activities for The Sacrament of the Goddess
So it’s about a month until The Sacrament of the Goddess is released. It will be available via Amazon (more on this later) and it will be simultaneously released in softcover and e-book format.
It’s nice to have a “date certain” for this. It allows a run-up to publication and we can develop specific marketing efforts centered on the date.
Here is my strategy. First, we designed the book cover first and got the ISBN number so it could be listed on Amazon in a pre-publication page. The book cover features a beautiful woman. Hey, if it works for bodice-ripping romance novels, it will work for me!
The image serves as a logo for all book-related activities.
The pre-pub page allows us to link all subsequent announcements back to that page and direct readers there. You can order a pre-pub copy, and once the pre-pub orders pile up, the sales position on Day One will be automatically higher.
Social Networking is the main venue
I already had several blogs on wordpress and a FB fan page for my prior book (about 5,000 fans). For The Sacrament of the Goddess I set up a FB fan page and a wordpress blog with the book title, and started adding things to those pages. It’s an eclectic book – I admit I have struggled finding a single unifying theme upon which to base blog entries. I have experimented with FaceBook ads, test marketing some phrases to see which ones are most likely to draw clicks to the Amazon page.
Third, I am contemplating meta-data. Yes, the same meta-data that the CIA and NSA are using to spy on the world ( and my fellow citizens). One thing I have learned from my blog Nursing in Hawaii is that well-thought-out tags, ones which can be picked up on search engines, can draw a lot of search result queries to my site. So I have analyzed the keywords and revisited the tags to find those words and make sure that each blog entry is tagged in an appealing way. To the newbie, this may seem like a trivial exercise, but it’s not.
I have asked some of my beta-readers to write reviews of the book, and posted them on the Goodreads site. I am running a Goodreads book give-away contest (five copies)
Many books get reviews in newspapers tied with the release. I found that most papers will accept a bound galley proof in lieu of a finished book. I have sent fifteen such bound galleys. We’ll see if these amount to anything. I would love to get this reviewed in the New York Times, NPR, or Los Angeles Review of Books. fingers crossed!
Tweet tweet tweet
Twitter is new to me. On @ccnepal2013 I am entering the brave new world of twitter. This is bewildering until you get the hang of it. First I found a bunch of feeds I wanted to follow, and followed them. Next, I discovered the hashtag (“#”) and it is now my best friend. I also found some twitterfeeds specialized in nursing, surgery and medicine – ones which have as many as 20,000 followers. I contacted the owners and asked them to be reviewers, then sent out some more review copies. Oh, and on every tweet I link back to the pre-publication page.
I will send out a daily tweet about the book between now and the publication date. I suppose it will annoy some of my present followers – hopefully not too too much!
These are all behind-the-scenes activities that the industry insiders call “building the platform.” A well-built platform can overcome the lack of New York-based marketing clout. With enough pre-publication orders I have a chance to hit a best-seller list at the very beginning of publication.
I should add, I plan to publish this book in Nepal as well, in summer 2014. This is completely separate from the USA publication date. I have a very good chance of being the number one best seller there. Why not?
When I get around to it, I will record a “book trailer” and put it on YouTube.