The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to book marketing

It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that you’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that your book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes your book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that you become a part of your readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to try and sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. Let the madness begin…

Day 8 of 365

In this issue:

  • Pictures hopefully get a thousand hits
  • News Releases the David Meerman Scott way
  • You gotta love the book clubs

Pictures hopefully get a thousand hits

So I got a pic that Mark Harrison from Ourgreatcity.com took of me at my book signing on Saturday.

Mark Fadden, author of "The Brink", signs a book for Rachel Curry, CHHS Junior.

Mark’s gonna run it on his site and I sent it out to the local paper, the Colleyville Courier, too. Again, my somewhat wet-behind-the-ears advice is to try and milk every signing for everything it’s worth. The signing may be over but the pic and the news release I whipped up (see yesterday’s blog post) might just nudge someone into making a trip into the Borders store and pick up a signed copy left over. Again, as rookies, we’re trying to sell one book at a time here, so this work is necessary.

News Releases the David Meerman Scott way

 And speaking of necessary work, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve heard me preach the message of DMS – David Meerman Scott. He’s my social media GOD, and his book The New Rules of Marketing and PR has made this blind man see. You must read it, and start right now. Seriously, if you’re reading this, then you’re on your computer, so order it and pay for the overnight Fedex delivery. Knowing what’s in this book, I would and I’m one of the cheapest bastards you’ll ever come across.

I just finished chapter 17 and I’m a bit flummoxed because he recommends that we write press releases for everything, (even, I assume, if we have an impressive bowel movement) and that we pay for a press release distribution platform. I’ve been looking at the ones he mentions in his book and the one that makes most sense for writers is prweb.com. But, taking into consideration my aforementioned cheapskatedness, each release that you send out through that service is $80!  Not exactly a bargain if you want to tell people about the gout that may be forming in your foot from horking down cheeseburgers as you finish your Great American Novel.

 So, does anyone know of a more budget-minded PR distribution service for writers?  

 You gotta love the book clubs

 At the Colleyville Borders signing, I met a couple ladies that were in a book club. They live in different cities in Texas, but they hook up with their club through thereadingroom.com. They invited me to be a part of the discussion when they review my book, and we’ll do so online. How cool is that! Another group is girlsinthestacks.com. Although they didn’t make it to the signing, my Border’s staff liaison sent me an email telling me that they wanted me to email them about The Brink being one of their selections. Furthermore, the girls in the stacks are pretty keen on technology – they do podcast interviews with the authors they select for the club!  So I’m delivering their president a copy of The Brink tomorrow.

 But think of it, book clubs are a great way to sell books. There’s a group of them, usually around 10 or 15, they love discussing books and would love to have the author there as part of their discussion. I mean, who better to explain what the writer was thinking than the writer himself? In fact, I just Googled “Dallas Book Clubs” and got a bunch of hits from clubs that have their info online. So, can you guess what’s first on tomorrow’s book marketing to do list???

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