Monthly Archives: July 2013

Occasional Marketing for Authors – what is it? [Marketing Mondays]

1052586_balloonToday for my Marketing Mondays post for authors, I’m talking about Occasional Marketing. No, this isn’t promoting your books occasionally as in here and there, sometimes, when you feel like it…etc, it is about using special occasions to help market your books to potential readers, or linking your book to an occasion that matches the themes or feel of the story.

Do you have a book about babies or royalty? Then I hope you took advantage of the recent birth of the royal baby and did a spot of promo relating to it! This is what I’m talking about… taking something in the media, or using an established special occasion or event to ride on the hype and make your marketing more targeted and relevant. For example, if you did happen to have a book about babies or royalty, then on twitter you could tweet something about your book in relation to the royal baby and add the hashtag #royalbaby – this means anyone clicking on or searching for this hashtag can see your tweet, along with all the others who have tweeted using the same hashtag. (For more on hashtags and using twitter, see this post). See what hashtags are trending on twitter in the side menu… do any of them relate to your book? Most of the time probably not, but get used to keeping an eye on the trends and if they do, tweet!

Apart from royal babies, what other occasions can you link to in your marketing? Here are some ideas:

  • The popular occasions that occur on specific dates like Christmas, Easter, Valentines’ Day, Australia Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve/Day, Queen’s birthday…etc.
  • Other occasions and events like political elections, celebrity romances, The Oscars, The Emmy Awards, The Golden Globes, media scandals, and certain news stories in the media (be tactful and appropriate though, and choose these carefully). If your book is wedding themed, keep up to date with celebrity weddings and engagements and get in on the fun with social media.
  • Even seasons of the year, months of the year, days of the week…etc if they relate to your book. Eg: my book The January Wish is releasing in—you guessed it—January. 😉
  • If your book has medical themes you can even utilise certain awareness days for health conditions that are held throughout the year, and maybe link to charities or helpful advice as well, so you are being useful and not just promoting your book.
  • Have a book about a reality show? Promote (especially using twitter) during the time a related reality show airs, and tap into the crowd of people already discussing it. Use the official twitter hashtag of the show, but remember; interact as well, don’t just think about promoting. Get some discussions happening.
  • What about popular conferences and conventions? If they relate to your book and you’re not attending, look at ways you can still make use of the power of occasional marketing.

Here are some ideas on how to make use of occasional marketing:

  • Blog posts – create an interesting title to catch people’s attention and discuss something relating to the special occasion, and filter in bits and pieces about your book.
  • Share short excerpts of your book at regular intervals throughout the day on facebook, during the day of a particular event or occasion (eg: New year’s, The Oscars…etc).
  • Post pictures relating to the event on your facebook page and encourage sharing.
  • Find & share pictures on Pinterest for the occasion, including your book, and put everyone who repins your pictures into a draw for a prize.
  • Hold a contest (blogs are good for this) relating to the occasion and your book. Eg: In hindsight, a good contest revolving around the royal baby would have been to get people to guess either the sex of the baby and put all correct answers into a draw for a prize, or guess the name of the baby, and whoever guesses correctly wins a copy of one of your books, or a gift card, or another prize of your choosing. What about a contest to guess which movie will win best picture in the Oscars? Think about the various special occasions on throughout the year and how you could make it fun for people. You don’t have to have giveaways, it can just be for fun, but giveaways do attract more people.
  • Tweet with related hashtags during events and think up interesting, funny, or helpful tweets that help promote your book or your blog posts or attract new followers…etc. Not sure what hashtags to use? Search for a few variations and see which ones get the most action.
  • Hold a facebook event. This could be a virtual way to enjoy an event that you can’t attend live, along with other likeminded people, and give exposure to you and your books at the same time, especially if you have a giveaway for all participating attendees.
  • You could even hold a reader appreciation event in your local area with the theme of the special occasion and have your books available for signing, swag to give away, do a reading…etc.

Are your marketing juices flowing? To take action and utilise the power of occasional marketing, create an ‘occasion calendar’ and jot down different strategies you could employ around the time of each occasion. What occasions suit the themes of your book? Maybe brainstorm with some friends and help each other come up with ideas. Also, keep your eye out for popular topics in the media and be ready to pounce! (in a totally helpful, useful, ethical and appropriate way of course!).

Remember, occasional marketing is a way to connect with people who are more likely to be interested in your book, as opposed to more general one-size-fits-all marketing.

Have I missed mentioning any popular occasions? Let me know in the comments, and tell me your ideas for your own occasional marketing, or if you’re stumped, mention your book and the themes in it, and I (or another blog visitor) might be able to help. 🙂

 

Tweet this post by copying & pasting any of the following into a tweet:

What does the #royalbaby have to do with book marketing? @Juliet_Madison explains: http://wp.me/p1jJti-j9 

What is Occasional Marketing? Advice for #authors via @Juliet_Madison http://wp.me/p1jJti-j9 

How special occasions can help you sell more books, via @Juliet_Madison http://wp.me/p1jJti-j9 #writers 

Marketing idea for authors at @Juliet_Madison’s blog: http://wp.me/p1jJti-j9 #bookmarketing #authors #marketing

Authors, stuck for blog post ideas? Here’s some, via @Juliet_Madison http://wp.me/p1jJti-j9 #blogging 

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Elise K. Ackers answers my Ten Awkward Questions

In this segment, authors will be subjected to a list of awkward questions that may reveal more about themselves than they really wish to share, and they will receive a score on the ‘Braveometer’. If they choose to answer only five questions, they are a ‘Brave Author’, if they answer 6 to 9 questions they are a ‘Mega-Brave Author’, and if they answer all 10 questions they are an ‘Ultra-Brave Author’! 

Please welcome Elise K. Ackers! Elise is a finalist in this year’s RUBY award for the romantic elements category, with her Destiny Romance title, Small Town Storm. The winners will be announced at the RWA conference in Fremantle this August. Good luck, Elise!

 

Elise K. Ackers1. If only one of your books could have been / could be published, which one would you choose? (C’mon, I don’t want to hear ‘Oh, I love them all, there’s no way I could choose.’ Time to be ruthless, these are the Ten Awkward Questions after all!)

My romantic suspense title, Small Town Storm. As hard as it is to choose one over others, it feels like this book has always been in me. It’s a big, complex plot full of characters I adore, issues I’ve wondered about for a long time, and a love I would want for myself. I wrote it over a few years – there were many iterations of it, and it was my debut title with Penguin’s Destiny Romance.

It was published as an ebook last year, and is available as a print book from certain Australia Post shops. I still feel a swell of pride and comfort each time I look at it, and I still think about the characters often – the way one might recall old friends.

 

2. Okay, now which one of your children/family members would you… nah, just kidding! Which of the following words most accurately describes your best personality trait (you must pick only one!):

Punctual. Good listener. Neat.  Graceful. Generous. Cheerful.

I’m very generous with my heart, my time and my forgiveness. Probably too generous with forgiveness, but most days I’m zen about that.

 

3. Which of the following words most accurately describes your worst most challenging personality trait (even if you’re perfect, you must pick one):

Always late. Blabbermouth. Slob. Complete klutz. Scrooge. Grumpy pants.

Complete klutz. It’s inevitable considering the crazy things which happen around me. A window once fell out of its frame, on top of me, for example. And I bruise like a peach, so I keep finding new bruises almost every morning.

 

4. Have you ever had a romantic crush on one of your characters? Who and why?

Absolutely. All of the guys. If I don’t fall for them, how can I expect a reader to? They each have qualities I esteem in a partner, values I share or respect and they fight for what they want and who they love. None of them are perfect – they’re flawed, but that’s what makes them real to me, and hopefully real and wonderful to a reader.

 

5. When writing an important scene, do you act it out to allow you to better describe what’s happening?

I’ll sometimes mimic an expression I’m writing about, or gesticulate similarly to a character, just to check I’m getting it right. This probably makes for interesting viewing for those sitting around me on the morning commute.

 

6. Do you talk to yourself when writing or coming up with plot ideas?

No, but I do talk to other people. My parents and I often talk about my characters like they’re real people and we’ll brainstorm for hours. I’ll start to talk faster, my words will squash together and then I’ll completely space out, because I’ll start writing a scene in my mind.

 

7. Who would be ideal to play YOU in a movie of your life?

Emma Watson. Seriously, does anyone in the world have anything against that woman? She’s gorgeous, talented and full of substance. I would cheerfully be represented by her. Cheerfully, of course, being an enormous understatement.

 

8. If you could be any book character for one day, who would you be and why?

Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series (preferably not a day she’s fighting for her life), because I’d get to be a witch for a day and wander around Hogwarts! Magic!

 

9. You’re about to be left on a deserted island for a year, and while your basic food and water needs will be met, you can only bring one extra thing from the following. Which would you choose?

a) A pen and notepad that never runs out

b) An unlimited supply of books

c) An unlimited supply of chocolate, coffee, or alcohol (your choice)

d) A gorgeous man/woman depending on your preference

I’m going to pick D, despite the concerning lack of all-important supplies. I’d have to make sure the conversation kept me amused for as long as possible…

All I can think is that two would surely become three over the course of the year, which would complicate an already – there I go, adding drama to the story again!

 

10. If you had the attention of the whole world for two minutes what would you say?

Be kind to one another. I could expand, but that’s my core message.

 

Thanks for taking part, Elise, you have been awarded Ultra-Brave Author status on the Braveometer!

Ultra-BraveAuthor

Visit Elise at her website, blog, facebook, and twitter.

Ask Me For More cover>>Buy her new release, Ask Me for More, here.

When Olivia Law returns home for her best friend’s wedding, it stirs up a lot of unexpected memories – not all of them good ones. Liv has a history here she’d prefer to forget, and a life in the city she wants to get back to. She certainly doesn’t expect to find herself attracted to the bride’s elder brother, Cal O’Hara.

Cal remembers Liv as the trouble making friend of his little sister. He doesn’t expect to be faced with an incredibly sexy grown-up version. But Cal has been hurt in the past and is not prepared to risk his heart again. Certainly not for someone who is leaving town in a few days.

Nothing is certain in this delicious tale about escaping the past. Ask Me for More is a poignant story about finding love where you least expect it. 

Have you heard about the Three Wishes Blog Blitz?

On 2nd September at 12pm (Sydney Aus time) I’ll be hosting the Three Wishes Blog Blitz, and over 40 blogs will be participating in a whole lot of fun and giveaways! The blitz will run from 2nd-6th September 2013, and you have a chance to win some fab prizes at each of the participating blogs, as well as mine.

BlogBlitz-logoOn the day I’ll post a link to all blogs taking part so you can not only enter my giveaway but enter theirs as well, so you could potentially win a heap of prizes! (and discover some great new authors and blogs too).

The blog blitz is to celebrate the release of my new novella, I Dream of Johnny, released 1st September, and yes, it is a story about three wishes 😉

Here are just a few of the awesome bloggers and authors that have registered to take part so far (and if you’ve registered, you’ll be receiving an email from me very shortly with all the details, so let me know if you don’t hear from me!):

Daystarz books, Nicola Moriarty, Coleen Kwan, Kate Belle/The Ecstasy Files, Jennifer Scoullar, S.E. Gilchrist, Monique McDonell, Mochas Mysteries & More, Tea Cooper, Lily Malone, Nicole Murphy, Alissa Callen, and more!

>>If you have a blog and would like to participate, it’s not too late! Fill out the registration form here. And you can read the details of what’s involved in taking part here.

If you’re not taking part as a blog but would like to enjoy the blog blitz and win prizes, make sure you come back here on 2nd Sept. You might wish (ha!) to subscribe to the blog via email on the right hand menu in order to be notified on the day so as to not miss out!

See you back here in 7 weeks, and remember… be careful what you wish for! 😉

Ten Awkward Questions with Sarah Belle [Plus Giveaway!]

In this segment, authors will be subjected to a list of awkward questions that may reveal more about themselves than they really wish to share, and they will receive a score on the ‘Braveometer’. If they choose to answer only five questions, they are a ‘Brave Author’, if they answer 6 to 9 questions they are a ‘Mega-Brave Author’, and if they answer all 10 questions they are an ‘Ultra-Brave Author’! 

Sarah BellePlease welcome my fellow Escape Artist author, who also writes romantic comedy with a dash of magic, Sarah Belle!

 

1. If only one of your books could have been / could be published, which one would you choose? (C’mon, I don’t want to hear ‘Oh, I love them all, there’s no way I could choose.’ Time to be ruthless, these are the Ten Awkward Questions after all!)

HINDSIGHT  is my first, so I’ll go with that!

 

2. Okay, now which one of your children/family members would you… nah, just kidding! Which of the following words most accurately describes your best personality trait (you must pick only one!):

Punctual. Good listener. Neat.  Graceful. Generous. Cheerful.

Hmmmm…judging my bruises and scars, it’s not graceful! I’d like to say generous – I like to help out.

 

3. Which of the following words most accurately describes your worst most challenging personality trait (even if you’re perfect, you must pick one):

Always late. Blabbermouth. Slob. Complete klutz. Scrooge. Grumpy pants.

Oooh, these are hard, but refer to Q2 and I’ll have to go with a complete klutz. I can trip over thin air (or thick air).

 

4. Have you ever had a romantic crush on one of your characters? Who and why?

Not yet. In the next book there are some pretty gorgeous, sexy men, so I’ll save my crush for them!

 

5. When writing an important scene, do you act it out to allow you to better describe what’s happening?

It plays in my head like a movie, complete with varying camera shots and angles.  My writing process is very cinematic.

 

6. Do you talk to yourself when writing or coming up with plot ideas?

Yes, and there are many arguments! I also write them down on a whiteboard, complete with arrows all over the place, pointing to alternate outcomes. My brain works better when it’s less cluttered.

 

7. Who would be ideal to play YOU in a movie of your life?

Oh my god! These are really hard, Juliet! Ooooh…ummmm…I’d go with Asher Keddie. She does confused and foot in mouth really well.

 

8. If you could be any book character for one day, who would you be and why?

I’d be Lisbeth Salander from the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and others), because she’s incredibly intelligent, resourceful, kick ass and usually brings down the bad guy by herself as well as outsmarting every other character in the book. Oh, and she gets to shag Daniel Craig too.

 

9. You’re about to be left on a deserted island for a year, and while your basic food and water needs will be met, you can only bring one extra thing from the following. Which would you choose?

a) A pen and notepad that never runs out

b) An unlimited supply of books

c) An unlimited supply of chocolate, coffee, or alcohol (your choice)

d) A gorgeous man/woman depending on your preference

Wow, that’s really hard!  I could go without c) and d), ( I can hear my husband crying in the background!),  but a year without reading or writing? I think I would choose an unlimited supply of books because I can always write in my head, but I can’t go without reading other people’s words.

 

10. If you had the attention of the whole world for two minutes what would you say?

I’d tell the corporate fat cats and many governments not to be so greedy. It is greed and a desire to make money that has resulted in devastation of formerly pristine environments, the extinction of many beautiful animal species, the ruination of native cultures and the starvation of millions of people. Greedy people either exploit the natural resources and people of certain countries, because they are of monetary value (gold, oil, diamonds), or turn their backs on them because they lack monetary value (East Africa, Senegal). It’s just not right.

 

Thanks for taking part, Sarah, you have been awarded Ultra-Brave Author status on the Braveometer!

Ultra-BraveAuthor

Visit Sarah online at her website, blog, facebook, and twitter.

>>WIN an ebook copy of her debut novel, HINDSIGHT, by commenting below and answering the following question: If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be? (Open Worldwide, winner announced Wed 17th July)

Or, don’t want to wait? Buy it now here! 

9780857990587_Hindsight

HINDSIGHT blurb: 

Humour, wit, and just a touch of humility: the swinging 60s as you’ve never seen them before.

The universe has sent Juliette a sign. She wishes it had been an email instead…

Juliette’s career is on fire, her marriage and family are in melt-down, and a red-hot goddess wants her husband. But those are the least of her worries when she wakes up on her lounge room floor in the year 1961.

Without any of her modern conveniences — nanny, housekeeper, surgically attached mobile phone, designer wardrobe, and intravenous lattes — Juliette is just over fifty years out of her comfort zone. But as she takes on the role of a 1961 housewife, with gritted liberated teeth, she discovers an unexpected truth: slower doesn’t mean boring, at home doesn’t mean dull, and priorities don’t mean sacrifices.

As she finds unexpected friendships, a resuscitated love life, tragedy and triumph, Juliette begins to wonder if she really wants to return home after all.

Cover Reveal! – I Dream of Johnny

And…drumroll….ta da! Here is the cover for my contemporary romantic comedy with a magical twist – I Dream of Johnny!

idojI Dream of Johnny is a story about three wishes, a high-tech genie in a lamp, and one very unfortunate typo…

 Getting three wishes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when an unfortunate spelling error in Mandy’s high-tech magic lamp changes her wish for a Greek God to a Geek God. His fashion IQ is in the negatives, he’s clingier than cling wrap, and he has a penchant for breaking into song at inappropriate moments. Before Mandy can request a replacement wish, she has to put up with him for twenty four hours, and the timing couldn’t be worse — it’s her friend’s wedding day, her ex will be there, and the God of Geeks insists on coming along for the ride!

I Dream of Johnny is a novella, partly inspired by the television shows I Dream of Jeannie and The Big Bang Theory, releasing worldwide on 1st September 2013 from Harlequin Australia’s Escape Publishing. 🙂

>>Add this book to your Goodreads shelf here.

Invitation to join my Street Team!

1061611_45489307You may have heard the term ‘street team’ before, or maybe you haven’t. In any case, what my street team will be is a fun group of like-minded readers who want to be the first to hear my latest news, read excerpts, see covers, and win prizes.

Many street teams require you to write reviews of the author’s books and help promote them… in my street team there are no obligations and no pressure to do anything, however, using word-of-mouth to spread awareness about my books is of course appreciated and will not go unnoticed, and if you do decide to write a review, that is great, but it is not required. I want you to want to spread awareness, not feel you have to.

So what is the difference between being part of this and being a fan on my facebook page or a newsletter subscriber?

The street team will be my first port of call, it will be my ‘inner circle’; an exclusive group for interaction, fun, and friendship. I will share things with my street team I won’t be sharing elsewhere, and I will reward members with regular giveaways, freebies, and competitions. I may also invite other authors over for a private online chat with us. [You can read more about the concept of street teams here.]

The only requirements to join are that you like interacting with others online in a friendly and supportive way, you enjoy discussing books with others, and you have read and enjoyed any of my books. If you’ve enjoyed my writing and look forward to more, then you’re welcome to apply for the street team (otherwise, why would you want to? lol ;))

Bear in mind this is a street-team-in-progress. If you’re accepted I will invite you to join a private facebook group.

The name of the team is Juliet’s Jewels, because who can resist a bit of colourful, sparkly fun?! You’ll even have the opportunity to give yourself a special ‘jewel name’ if you wish, such as Radiant Ruby, Dazzling Diamond, or Quirky Quartz…etc, just for a bit of fun! 😉

Sound interesting? If you’d like to apply to become a member of Juliet’s Jewels, please click on this link and fill out the form.

I’ll let you know if you’ve been accepted and will send you a link to join the private facebook group.

Thanks for your interest and I look forward to having you on my team! 🙂

 

P.S – any questions, leave them in the comments below…

Book Club LIVE CHAT about Fast Forward

Later this month I’ll be participating in a live online chat with the Harlequin Junkie HEA Book Club! I’d love for you to join in the fun 🙂 Do you have a burning question you’d like to ask me or would you like to discuss Fast Forward with myself and the book club members? I hope to see you there!

It’s on Thursday July 25th at 6pm PST/9pm EST, which if my calculations are correct should be around 11am Fri 26th in Sydney, Australia time.

You can see all the details here, where you can also read 5 Fun Facts About Fast Forward, and you can join the book club here.

See you soon … I can’t wait!

P.S – If you haven’t read Fast Forward yet and would like to before the book club chat, it is available from all online e-tailers. Here is a link to the publisher’s page which has all the buy links. 🙂

 

HEAbookclub