WRITERLY WISDOM: Donna L Martin

 

crayons.jpg

 

October is just around the corner and my historical fiction chapter book series, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES is almost a reality. So many things to cover before the big day. Getting the word out about my book is just one of them. Marketing comes in many forms and sometimes you need to get really creative to make sure your story isn’t lost in a sea of new releases. So I put together a list of some offbeat ideas for book promotions. It takes a little bit of moxie or gumption or assertiveness or whatever you might want to call it to approach some of these venues about doing a book event…i.e. reading, book signing, party, etc. You might have to help educate individuals on the benefits of allowing you to come into their establishment. Remember, it’s not about YOU and YOUR BOOK. It’s about THEM and WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM. The easier you make it for them to say YES, the more eager they will be to help you make your event a success. I like to call this my:

 

THINKING OUTSIDE THE CRAYON BOX MARKETING LIST

 

Teacher’s guides

Create your own set to post on your website and bring on school visits or hire someone like the talented Marcie Colleen (http://www.thisismarciecolleen.com/) to do it for you.

Hallmark stores

Why not offer to do a reading during the holiday season for free in exchange for being able to hand out bookmarks?

Street fairs

Check your city’s website for upcoming events and see if you can participate in any of them.

Farmers markets

Maybe they will allow you to set up a booth or hand out flyers

Gyms

Some facilities have a children’s room and some have monthly promotions for their members. Maybe you can work out a deal to do a children’s activity during a monthly membership drive?

Airports

Many airports have retail stores in them. Why not see if there is one carrying books and set up a time when you can be available for impulse buys and a book signing?

Art stores

Your book will have illustrations. Why not offer to do a reading and maybe even a coloring contest where you provide your book cover as the pages?

Art museums

Same as above or even have a contest where kids can interpret your book in some other art form? Have a contest, offer some small prizes and then do a reading/book signing afterwards.

Craft stores

Like the art stores or art museums, you could have a craft party where you tie in some simple craft with some aspect of your book. Make simple puppets, make a cool picture frame and color a copy of your book cover to place inside. Do a reading/book signing afterwards.

Church bazaars

Make up a basket for the silent auction, ask for a booth space, offer to provide a simple craft in exchange for handing out your book’s swag items

Community youth sporting events

Ask if you can hand out flyers, offer to volunteer a couple hours in exchange for being able to hand out bookmarks at the concession stand.

Coffee shops

If the coffee shop is inside a bookstore or places like Walmart, maybe you can create a giveaway like for every cup sold the customer gets their name added to the drawing. Hand out a two part entry form where they fill out the bottom but keep the top with your book information on it.

Special interests groups

My HISTORY’S MYSTERIES series will resonate with both middle elementary readers as well as people interested in historical events or even a little mystery.. Find professional groups in your city that might allow you to leave information about your book for their clientele.

Radio stations

Offer a coloring prize pack to the first ten people to call in. Oriental Trading (http://www.orientaltrading.com) has a great selection of inexpensive items for prize packs. Don’t forget to include your bookmark and business card.

You Tube online video contest

Have a contest where kids act out your story or tell why they like your book. Post the top five on your website and promote others through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. to vote on their favorite. Winner gets a prize pack including an autographed book.

Book pairing on website or Amazon

If you have more than one book, see if you can bundle them together and offer a discount for the package. Create a collection of 3 or 4 short stories or maybe a short Ebook on how kids can become writers and offer as a freebie with every purchase through your website.

Mail Chimp Newsletter

If you haven’t set up a link for visitors to subscribe to your blog, do it now! I use Mail Chimp (http://www.mailchimp.com). Not only is it simple to use, it offers an easy newsletter template where you can keep in touch with your subscribers.

Fast food restaurants

Where do you see a lot of kids? McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys! Why not chat with the manager and offer to host a little party at their place? It can be a tea party, an ice cream party, a coloring party, etc. They supply the food and maybe offer something like a free cone or drink to the first 50 kids to come in on that day.

Local kids events

Check your city’s online website for local kids events. Make contact with whoever is in charge and see if you can participate. Some of them will allow you to join for free if you offer some kind of door prize or incentive they can give away. It’s how I’ve gotten into the Children’s Festival of Reading for the past ten years for FREE and been in front of more than 12,000 people each year!

Daycares

Think of the number one place you will find kids outside of school? Daycare and afterschool visits can really boost the opportunities to get your books in front of your targeted audience. Suggest acting out your story, coloring contest, and don’t forget the flyers going home to parents announcing your upcoming visit. Offer a way to preorder your book so you can sign them the day of your event.

Cub Scouts

Look online for the different badges cub scouts can earn. Create a 90 minute “lesson” where scouts can participate to earn their badge. Call your local organizational leader and offer to visit any pack in the area who would like a free author visit. Break up your “lesson” into three parts…part one is where you read your book to them and answer questions, part two is where you do your main activity (scouts could have completed other parts of the badge requirements prior to your arrival) and part three is where YOU present the scouts who have completed all the requirements with their activity badge (provided by the den leader). Send flyers home prior with pre-order info and hand out bookmarks, autograph sold books, etc. after the event.

Girl Scouts

Same as the Cub Scout lesson details listed above.

Festivals

Neighboring towns might have festivals where the cost of gas might put you in front of hundreds of potential readers of your book.

Civic organizations

Think of how your book might tie into their interests. Since my series will focus on historical events and little mysteries, I will look for those groups to see how I might be able to participate in some of their events. Maybe they will allow my bookmarks to be handed out at their meetings. Maybe they will promote my book on their company blog or website. The worst they can say is no.

School carnivals

Don’t forget the annual school carnivals, health fairs, book fairs, etc. where you can possibly have a booth or at least hand out flyers about your book.

There are literally thousands of opportunities out there to market your book. If you can be creative in your stories, then surely you can be creative in the ways you promote them?

Let me know if you have tried any of these ideas before? What worked? What didn’t? What do I need to add to this list? Comment below…

 

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HM-SHIP-OF-DREAMS (cover)     HM The Chocolate Train Wreck front cover

SHIP OF DREAMS COMING IN OCT! CHOCOLATE TRAIN WRECK COMING IN NOV!

 

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donna - Copy

 

Best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, will be available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers on October 14th, 2019.

WRITERLY WISDOM: Donna L Martin

HOW KROGER HELPED MY MARKETING PLAN

by Donna L Martin

 

I woke up this morning wondering what I would write about today and for some reason my grocery shopping trip this past weekend popped into my head. I don’t know if you have a Kroger where you live, but it is one of the largest grocery store chains in my town. Over the years I’ve shopped at different stores depending on my mood and what sales were running. I’m not one of your “brand” shoppers. Or at least I didn’t think I was until it dawned on me this morning how subtle Kroger’s marketing plan has been to win me over and yet so “in my face”.

 

1. OFFER SOMETHING CONSISTENT

 

Kroger sends me an email every week tempting me with their latest specials. They aren’t shoving their wares down my throat but every week I know I can depend on that little email saying “hey, come take a look at what’s happening over in my corner of the world”. A writer serious about expanding their fan base can learn from that. If you have a blog then have a regular posting schedule and stick to it. It doesn’t matter what goes into that post as long as you are consistent about it. If your blog is a writer’s blog then don’t start writing about how you are crocheting your dear aunt a sweater for Christmas…unless of course you can tie that back to writing somehow. My blog has always been aimed at writing/seeing the positive side of things so I always make sure whatever I write falls under one of those two categories. I’ve written many blogs and if you look at any one of them you will find that is the driving theme in all of them.

 

2. OFFER SOMETHING TEMPTING

 

Every week Kroger offers a Free Friday coupon. They send me an email on Wednesday to tweak my interest about visiting their website on Friday to discover what the free coupon might be. The item doesn’t usually cost much…this week is was Marie Calendar’s Breakfast Pot Pie. Some weeks I’m not interested in picking up their free coupon but EVERY week I make sure I visit Kroger’s website because I don’t want to miss out on the possibility of treating myself to something free. Kroger doesn’t bang on my door and yell at me to buy their stuff. They simply send a friendly reminder saying, “we want to show our appreciation for your loyalty by offering you a gift as a way of saying thanks”. I don’t HAVE to take them up on their offer but in this day and age of rising costs and diminished customer service, even one small gesture like Kroger’s Free Friday coupon subtly reminds me why I like shopping there in the first place. I’m going to continue tweaking the look of this blog in the next few months and will be adding some free things as MY way of showing my appreciation for all the wonderful visitors who take a moment out of their busy days to stop by. Yes, it’s smart marketing but it also ties into the caring and sharing person I am so I’m excited about being able to do this for my readers.

 

3. OFFER A “BRAND” TO IDENTIFY WITH

 

There are many other grocery stores in my city…just now I thought of about six other companies offering basically the same thing…but when I need a loaf of bread I immediately think Kroger. For me, they have managed to capture my attention in such a way that their BRAND is seared forever into my brain when it comes to grocery shopping. I will still look at the other store’s ads but unless there is a HUGE difference in pricing, Kroger will see my smiling face every Saturday morning for many years to come.

I’ve been working on creating my own “brand” and the title of my books makes it somewhat easier. To me, Story Catcher Publishing is who I am…a writer trying to catch the right words to tell an engaging story. My new business cards show an open book…hopefully inviting future readers to stop by and take a peak.  My Facebook fan page is titled Story Catcher Publishing. I even have magnets on my car doors announcing I’m associated with Story Catcher Publishing and directing them back to this website. I’ve had those magnets on my car for about a year now and I’m many double takes and passing looks. People are pausing to read my sign and last week a server at the Burger King drive thru stopped and asked me about my sign. She told me her granddaughter loves to read and I told her about my book. Maybe she will pick up a copy of my latest book, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, coming out October 14. 2019 and maybe she won’t, but I know if she sees my “brand” enough, she might decide it’s a brand worth being loyal to in the future…**

 

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HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams (Paperback)

Ten-year-old Margaret can hardly wait to see the largest ship ever built visit Southampton! Life is already hard for her family in the spring of 1912, but the coal workers' strike could turn a bad situation into a deadly one. Margaret hopes to see the great Titanic leave on its maiden voyage, but will the strike prevent it from happening?

$10.00

 

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donna - Copy

 

Best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, will be available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers on October 1th, 2019.

AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: Author Visits

Story Catcher Book Signing.jpg

 

I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route but I’ve decided to take a different path.

 

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It’s been a while since I’ve made my round of book signings. I had a book released last year which actually became an international bestseller. That same publishing company, Expert Insights Publishing, will be releasing another book next month and I’ve contributed again. But now, with LUNADAR released last week and MY JOURNEY, MY JOURNAL releasing next month, I’m really going to have my hands full trying to promote TWO BOOKS at once…lol.

In my mind, book promotions are done for two main reasons:

 

BOOK SALES

 

 

Yes, it’s great to have that tangible book in your hand with your name embossed on the front, but any author will tell you it would be nice if that book sold a bunch of copies and made them tons of money as well. But those sales won’t ever happen without the other reason book signings are done.

 

NAME PROMOTION

 

 

The more people who know who you are, the greater the chances they will become an avid reader of your work. In my case, I have a two-fold issue. First, I have to promote myself as Donna L Martin…author of LUNADAR: Homeward Bound and next month author of MY JOURNEY, MY JOURNAL. Secondly, I have to promote myself as editor and publisher of STORY CATCHER PUBLISHING.  Multiple hats call for multiple strategies to promote oneself.

Here are some of the promo items I’m bringing with me as I make my rounds in promoting all the different hats I wear:

 

Lunadar and Chicken Soup books.jpg

 

Plenty of current and prior books. I have to establish myself as a well-seasoned author with more than just one title to my name so new potential readers will realize I’m not just a one-hit wonder.

 

SCP business cards.jpg

 

Business cards to promote my publishing company. I have big dreams for the direction of my new company and the networking I do now will help me in the future.

 

Lunadar map.jpg

 

Book promo items like bookmarks, postcards, and a framed copy of my LUNADAR map. I have two upcoming book signings…one on October 26th at the Book Market in Sevierville, Tn and then on October 30th at McKay’s Bookstore in Knoxville, Tn. I’m dressing up in a costume based on a character from LUNADAR, and have pencils and other swag items to tie into my book.

I’ve also spent a total of $50 this past week on three book promotions vias email, Facebook, and Twitter that put my book in front of more than 600,000 young adult readers. I think that a great use of my marketing budget, don’t you?

Let the marketing fun begin!

 

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***WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!***

***WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!***

 

I’m happy to announce the winner of week four of my TWELVE WEEKS OF LUNADAR free giveaway! Another mystery follower who didn’t leave their name, (kiousfedra@AOL.com) has won the $20 Wendy’s gift card. Thanks for following this blog! Congratulations! Look for my email on how to get your prize…

 
Week Five

 

***DON’T FORGET! It’s week five of THE TWELVE WEEKS OF LUNADAR giveaway and this week you get a chance to win a beautiful moon and stars necklace shown above! Just click on the pile of presents to the right of this post and choose how you would like to enter the FREE giveaway. Winners will be announced every Monday in my INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY post, so enter the FREE giveaway and check next Monday to see if you’ve won!

***ALSO…it’s not too late to tell all your educator or school librarian friends about their chance to pick up a FREE copy of LUNADAR: Homeward Bound during my LUNADAR Pay It Forward FREE giveaway! I’m giving away THOUSANDS of ebook copies between now and Friday, November 2nd, in exchange for an honest review on Amazon. All they have to do is send me a Facebook message or email with their valid email address and I will send them their FREE copy, along with a copy of the LUNADAR map I sketched. Hurry and share the good news about this FREE ebook giveaway before time runs out!***

 

LUNADAR cover jpg

 

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne.

But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song.

With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

 

donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in ebook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: 25 Free Or Low-Cost Book Promo Sites

promo.jpg

 

I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like CreateSpace or Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route, but I’ve decided to take a different path.

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I am giddy beyond belief! Only seven more days until LUNADAR: Homeward Bound becomes a reality! I have worked on this novel since October 2015. That’s three long years of pouring heart and soul into the world of LUNADAR.

As every author knows, promoting a book is sometimes harder than the publishing of it. It’s like throwing spaghetti against a wall and waiting to see what sticks. Some authors have almost unlimited financial resources to try various things and then wait to see which marketing trick does the job.

This poor gal has extremely limited funds, so I have to be very diligent in my research and select marketing options within my budget as well as ones I determine might help me the most in spreading the word about my latest book. 

As a member of SCBWI, I am participating in their BookStop promotion running October 23rd through December 7th. For $25 they will help promote my book to THOUSANDS of potential readers. Here is the link to my promo page anyone can access starting on the 23rd…https://www.scbwi.org/scbwibookstop-display/?id=541915

I’m also going to look into more promoting on the low-cost sites listed below. Some are FREE, some cost $10, some $25, but all will promote my book to literally HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of potential readers. I think an investment of about $100 or less will be worth it for that kind of exposure, don’t you think?

 

25 Free Or Low-Cost Book Promo Sites

 

http://www.bargainbooksy.com
http://www.ebookshabit.com
http://blog.booksontheknob.org/
http://www.bookloversheaven.com
https://www.choosybookworm.com/
https://theereadercafe.com
https://www.ereaderperks.com
https://www.justkindlebooks.com
http://www.peoplereads.com
http://readcheaply.com/
https://readingdeals.com
https://bookgoodies.com/
https://www.thefussylibrarian.com/
http://www.ebooksoda.com/
http://www.ebookbargainsuk.com/
https://ereadernewstoday.com/
http://kindlebookpromos.luckycinda.com
https://www.facebook.com/ebookpromos
http://ebookstage.com
https://bookclubreading.com/
http://efictionfinds.com
http://everywriterresource.com
http://ereaderutopia.com
https://www.instafreebie.com/
http://www.readfree.ly.com

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***WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!***WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!***
I’m happy to announce the winner of week two of my TWELVE WEEKS OF LUNADAR free giveaway! Sherry Hudson has won the fairie house for following this blog! Congratulations Sharon! She should be receiving her fairie house soon…

 

***DON’T FORGET! It’s week three of THE TWELVE WEEKS OF LUNADAR giveaway and this week you get a chance to win the audiobook DARK CURSE by Christine Feehan shown above! Just click on the pile of presents to the right of this post and choose how you would like to enter the FREE giveaway. Winners will be announced every Monday in my INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY post, so enter the FREE giveaway and check next Monday to see if you’ve won!***

 
***ALSO…it’s not too late to tell all your educator or school librarian friends about their chance to pick up a FREE copy of LUNADAR: Homeward Bound during my LUNADAR Pay It Forward FREE giveaway! I’m giving away THOUSANDS of ebook copies between now and Friday, November 2nd, in exchange for an honest review on Amazon. All they have to do is send me a Facebook message or email with their valid email address and I will send them their FREE copy, along with a copy of the Lunadar map I sketched. Hurry and share the good news about this FREE ebook giveaway before time runs out!***

 

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LUNADAR cover jpg

 

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of Lunadar. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne.

But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song.

With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of Lunadar at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

 

donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), ebook edition, is now available from Amazon, with the print edition coming October 15, 2018

 

AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: Book Marketing, Phase Two

book marketing.jpg

 

I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like CreateSpace or Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.
There’s nothing wrong going that route, but I’ve decided to take a different path.

**************

 

I’ve had a number of accomplishments this past week. Here are a few:

  1. I reached the magical double-digit book reviews on Amazon for LUNADAR: Homeward Bound. This allows me to work on rolling out Phase Two of my book marketing. Many of the low-cost book promotion sites I plan on using require at least ten Amazon reviews before participation is allowed.
  2. My ebook can now be found all over the web in places like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million and Google books, but also on Itsi.com (an educational store), Book Shout, Booktopia, Goodreads, Basic Books, TygPress, and dozens of international online retailers. It’s kind of amusing to see LUNADAR: Homeward Bound listed in so many other languages.
  3. With the official print release set for October 15th, my book is available for pre-order right now through most online retailers. 
  4. My LUNADAR Pay It Forward FREE Giveaway for educators and librarians is in full swing with a number of schools around the country already participating, with a chance of their schools winning one of five autographed copies of my book as well as maybe one of my FREE school visits! To learn more, click on the link.
  5. It’s week two of my TWELVE WEEKS OF LUNADAR. Last week’s winner of a set of cool bookmarks is Ariel (aka author R M Archer). She will be receiving her prize sometime next week. This week’s FREEBIE giveaway is a faerie house. To enter the TWELVE WEEKS OF LUNADAR giveaway, just click on the pile of presents to the right of this post.
  6. I have a few author events in the works such as a costume themed book signing at the Book Market in Sevierville, Tn on Saturday, October 27th from 11-4 pm; McKay’s Bookstore on Tuesday, October 30th from 9-11:30; and I’m finalizing a possible book signing at Barnes & Noble in December by partnering with one of my local elementary schools. 

 

Next week I will share my list of 25 free or low-cost book promotion and marketing sites any poor gal should use when trying to get the word out about her latest book…

LUNADAR cover jpg

 

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of Lunadar. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne.

But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song.

With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of Lunadar at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

 

donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), ebook edition, is now available from Amazon, with the print edition coming October 15, 2018.

 

AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: Book Marketing Phase Two (Book Reviews)

kindle.jpg

 

I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like CreateSpace or Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route, but I’ve decided to take a different path.

 

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Last week I talked about phase one of my book marketing plan. If you missed it, you can read about it here.

In phase two, I’m focusing on creating a list of potential online book reviewers to add to the other reviewers currently reading my book. While I hope to never receive a negative review, the reality is that not everyone who may read my book will like it. If it is an honest review then I welcome ALL reviews because it legitimizes my work. If I get a negative review and it’s just a spammer, then no matter what I would say or do, the spammer will still have put that negative review out there for the world to see and I give my future readers credit for not being taken in by spambot reviews.

With just a little bit of target research, I came across over 300 book reviewers covering everything from children’s picture books to adult genres. I’ve listed a few below and if you only have a little bit of time, make sure to check out the first two as The Indie Review blog lists 294 book reviewers in all genres and Urban Epics lists tons of young adult fantasy book reviewers that I can pitch LUNADAR: Homeward Bound to.

http://www.theindieview.com/indie-reviewers/

http://urbanepics.com/best-ya-blogs-bookreviewers/

http://www.twochicksonbooks.com/p/review-policy.html

http://darkfaerietales.com/review-policy

http://www.forestofwordsandpages.com/review-policy-2/

http://eaterofbooks.blogspot.com/p/review-policy.html

http://www.thebookrat.com/

http://www.dowiesplace.com/p/review-policy.html

http://www.yabookscentral.com/

http://booksandpals.blogspot.com/

https://www.indiereader.com/indie-book-reviews/

I’m still working on the Twelve Days of Lunadar (based on the Twelve Days of Christmas, but on a poor gal’s budget) contest and hopefully I will be able to reveal all the wonderful details shortly. In the mean time, check out this funny version of the Twelve Days of Christmas to help get you in an early holiday mood.

 

LUNADAR cover jpg

 

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of Lunadar. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne.

But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song.

With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of Lunadar at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

 

donna

 

International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), ebook edition, is now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, Goodreads, and other online retailers.

AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: Book Marketing, Phase One (Snail Mail)

LUNADAR snailmail campaign

I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like CreateSpace or Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route, but I’ve decided to take a different path.

*************

Now that the finishing touches on the actual production of LUNADAR: Homeward Bound is finalized, I can turn my attention to the marketing side of things. I know a lot of authors who really dread this part of the publishing business for various reasons. Either its too expensive or it’s too time consuming or the authors just aren’t skilled enough to put together a smart marketing plan.

In various jobs I’ve held over the years, I’ve always managed to dip my toes into the marketing side of things as I looked for ways to help promote whatever business I was working  for. I am NOT a marketing expert but I LOVE researching and learning so when I was waiting for  the release date of my LUNADAR print edition to be determined, I took the time to give some serious thought to how am I going to promote this new book of mine on a poor gal’s budget?

 

thinker

 

I have come up with several marketing ideas…some little, some big, some FABULOUS…that I will be trying out over the next 90 days to help get the word out and will then look at my results to see what worked and what bombed.

The first thing I did was create a book trailer and had it uploaded to YouTube:

 

lunadar book trailer.jpg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVUOuctv3WI

Today I’m going to talk about my SnailMail Campaign.

Yeah, EVERYONE is on the internet and phone with texting, instant messaging, chatting, and posting. But part of me is “old school” and nothing says it better than a hand delivered letter with a postcard, business card, and mini “sell sheet” inside, hand addressed to the receiver.

 

LUNADAR sell sheet

As a writer, you are supposed to know your audience and for LUNADAR: Homeward Bound, I had many targets to look at :  

 

  1. Teenagers 13-18 years old
  2. Book Clubs who read YA fantasy
  3. Middle Schools
  4. High Schools
  5. Bookstores
  6. Libraries
  7. Video Game Stores
  8. Comic Book Stores
  9. Trading Card Stores
  10. Homeschool Groups

 

That was a good start. I then started making an actual mailing list of names and addresses covering individuals or businesses in any of these categories within a 50 mile radius of my home. I came up with 142 different locations to send my book info to. They break up into these various groups:

 

  1. Bookstores  36
  2. Specialty stores  4
  3. Libraries  33
  4. Newspapers  8
  5. Middle Schools  21
  6. High Schools  22
  7. Private Schools  18

 

If I go with the “six degrees of separation” theory, then just think of all the possible future readers of my book being created by sending these little packages of book love out into the world?

 

book love

Crossing my fingers while I work on the next phase of marketing, I like to call “The Twelve Weeks of LUNADAR”…based on the theme “The Twelve Days of Christmas”…

**************

 

lunadar

(Amazon)

 

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of Lunadar. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne.

But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song.

With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of Lunadar at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

 

donna

 

International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), ebook edition, is now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, Goodreads, and other online retailers.