As you know, when I see good marketing happen, I like to get very analytical and dig into it to discover how it happened. My writing friend, Mary DeMuth (a Christy Awards finalist), just launched a successful new book called Daisy Chain. This fiction book addresses a topic close to my heart-abuse by leaders in the church. It was riveting.
Julie- Thanks for meeting with us, Mary! I have seen a social marketing tour, a trailer on YouTube, spots on your site dedicated to the book and your blog for Family Secrets where people can post their family secret anonymously. Why did you choose these options for marketing the book?
Mary– Thankfully I received a marketing scholarship via Cec Murphey, which allowed a new connection with an outside PR person and an outsourced marketing expert. They really helped start all the balls rolling on several fronts. The marketing guy, Jim Rubart, helped me with the My Family Secrets idea. Twila Belk is doing Texas-specific PR for me. Also my friend Tina at did an excellent job on my social media/blog tour as well as the You Tube video. The team at Zondervan has been amazing as well, sending books hither and yon, helping with the launch party in a local independent bookstore, and securing interviews. It does take a team to launch a book! But if this were just me by myself, I’d probably be limited to a blog tour.
Julie- What avenue (so far) for sales has been the most effective?
Mary– Probably the most effective thing I’ve found is to send requests to my email list (sparingly), letting folks know about Daisy Chain and how they can help. Today my Inside Renewal ezine releases (sign up in upper right corner on my website). There I highlight a really cool idea a friend of mine devised. Here it is, for those of you who want to try it with your books: Pay it forward!
Here is the great marketing experiment, concocted by my friend Pam. She felt she couldn’t write a review for “Daisy Chain” because she was intimidated by all the writers who had written reviews here. So she said, “Mary, here’s what I’m going to do. I have three books. I’m going to give them to friends with this caveat: If you like the book, you can have this copy for free, but I’d like you to pay it forward by buying a book for a friend who you think would like it. If you don’t like the book, just return it to me.”
So you can accomplish this by:
* Giving the book to a friend.
* Saying it’s free (but if she doesn’t like it, she returns it to you)
* If she likes it, she keeps it, then agrees to buy another copy for a friend.
* She tells her friend the same thing. And the Daisy Chain begins!
If you do this, let me know. I’d love to somehow track this.
Julie- What avenue helped to connect you the most with readers of the book?
Mary– Right now it seems to be My Family Secrets. Recently I had a reader thank me for putting up the site. He/she didn’t say why, but I sensed there was something in one of the stories from the site (and there are many!) that resonated and perhaps started healing.
And this weekend I learned about another Christian leader arrested for being abusive to his wife (very similar to what’s going on in Daisy Chain). So the fact that the book exposes a very real issue makes it connect with people.
Julie- In this economy, more and more authors are implementing their own marketing and PR. How did you decide what to run yourself versus sourcing out?
Mary- Again, I have to say a huge thanks to Cec and his nonprofit foundation for selecting me (and others) to be recipients of the marketing scholarship. I couldn’t have done it without that. If I didn’t have that, I would do everything on my own, as I am not rolling in the money (It makes me laugh when folks assume authors are rich!).
Julie- You’ve mentioned meeting with a marketing person to help you hone your mission and methods. Can you tell us more what this accomplished for you?
Mary- I worked with Wildfire Marketing for several months in their mentoring program. This was amazingly helpful. Rob helped me understand the business aspect of being an author, and he helped me develop Turning Trials to Triumph, which really is my life message. I became a lot savvier, more focused, and I started making more steady income as a result of my time with him.
Julie- Thanks Mary!