Friday, November 9, 2012

Guest Post | Deanna Proach

Hello my lovelies!
As you can tell from the title of the post I have a guest on the blog. She is author of Day of Revenge as well as To Be Maria. She hijacked (haha!) my blog for the day to talk to you about, (drumroll please):

Bookmarks: An Effective Tool for Self-Promotion?

Deanna ProachBookmarks are an excellent tool for self-promotion; a must for every author. But are they an effective method of marketing? Yes, if handled properly, and in the right situation.
In the summer of 2011, I had organized two book signings for Day of Revenge--my first novel--in Penticton, British Columbia. The first signing was at the Chapters bookstore in the mall; the second signing was held at the Saturday morning street market in front of Hooked-on-Books, an independent bookstore located in Penticton's city core. Since Day of Revenge was self-published and I was my own publicist, the managers didn't organize an in-store reading and book signing. They did provide me with a table, which was set up outside of the store, for no cost.

I spoke to several people about my book; sold close to a dozen copies and gave out many more bookmarks and business cards. I ended up returning home from that holiday with very few bookmarks and no business cards. One month later, I found out that, in the month of August--the month I held those two book signings--several copies of Day of Revenge were sold. The bookmarks and business cards were the direct result of this success.

To be MariaIt demonstrates that book signings are the best place to give out bookmarks to interested readers. However, when you're starting out, it's highly unlikely your publicist will set you up on a book tour, unless you make the effort to connect with bookstore owners and managers. So, is there another way you can utilize bookmarks to gain book sales? Yes, but there is a technique to it.

Since my second novel, To be Maria was released, and because it's currently available only in electronic format, I haven't hosted any book signings. I'm also the kind of person who won't talk about my books unless someone asks me how my writing is going, or what I do for work. Even then, I don't hold out a bookmark, saying why To be Maria (and/or Day of Revenge) is worth a read. Neither should you.
Interacting with people you don't know can be tough, especially if you're a shy person. Regardless, you need to get out there and mingle with other people. That's the only way--other than the internet--you're going to build your platform.

Day of RevengeHere are seven tips to keep in mind when you interact with people you don't know.
1. Introduce yourself and shake the other person's hand.
2. Strike up a conversation. This can be about anything that first comes to mind: keep it simple and light-hearted. Never speak negative about anything or anyone you know as that will harm your cause, not advance it.
3. Listen. Don't just talk. Listen to what that other person has to say, and look at her while she talks.
4. Ask questions. While you don't want to come across as a nosy parker, it is okay to ask the occasional question. In doing this, you direct the conversation away from yourself, which shows the other person you're genuinely interested in her and her story. When that person feels appreciated, she will reciprocate. That is when you tell her about what you do: write books.
5. If the person expresses interest in your book(s), give her a bookmark.
6. Don't stop after you hand out a bookmark. Invite your new acquaintance to exchange contact information.
7. Keep in touch. That's how you build friendships, but also a fan base.

Not every person you meet will become your friend or your fan. They may not even read your book. 

However, if you follow these seven tips, your bookmarks as a marketing tool will pay off in the long run. 
Eventually, your fan base will expand, which will lead to more book sales.
To find out more about Deanna Proach and her books, To be Maria and Day of Revenge, visit her Blog. You can also check out her new blog, http://crusadesandcrusaders.wordpress.com and her Twitter, @deannaproach


These are all very useful tips to use, especially for authors who are either starting up on their own or want to meet some of their fans. Personally I love bookmarks. If I get a bookmark from a book I know nothing about I immediately look it to see if it's something that would pique my interest if it is I usually and up either buying it or adding it to my TBR list (if I have no money at the moment). I like to share them too. After I know about the book and bought it or added it to my list I then hand it off to someone else who knows nothing about the book.
What about you guys? Do you think Deanna's tips are useful? Will you be using some of them?

-Martha

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