A place where everyone could know your name

 

It’s here! Finally! Publishing PFriday! This is the day when we discuss all things related to the publishing industry. Today, I thought it would be cool to talk about meetup.com. Meetup.com is, “the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 2,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities.

Meetup’s mission is to revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize. Meetup believes that people can change their personal world, or the whole world, by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference.” (cited from their website)

There are literally THOUSANDS of groups on meetup with topics that range from Craft Beer Fans of North Texas to biking to movies (those are three subjects that I happen to like). And guess who else is on meetup? Writers and readers!

In the Dallas Fort Worth area, I’ve contacted over 20 book clubs and have scheduled appearances with 4 of them so far. Each group averages between 15-20 members, so that’s around 60-80 books sold, and more importantly, 60-80 new fans (hopefully) that will be asked what they did this week by their friends some time in the near future. “My book club met and the author came to the meeting!” Now, in a perfect world, the 80’s-Heather-Locklear-shampoo-commercial-phenomenon takes hold and those friends tell 2 friends, and they tell 2 friends and so on and so on until Boom! You’re staring at John Grisham and Stephen King type sales numbers. And it all started with you typing in “book clubs” in your meetup search engine and contacting a few organizers of those clubs.

So take a few minutes this weekend and check out meetup.com. Here’s to you building your readership one fan at a time. And here’s to an awesome weekend. Mine is about to begin with a ice-cold Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA, perhaps the best beer I’ve ever tasted. Cheers!

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Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author. Bestselling author Sandra Brown recently had this to say about Mark’s latest novel, The Brink: “[The Brink] is a hell of a read. The chemistry between [the main characters] Danny and Sydney is terrific. The action sequences were heart-pounding, and I was left feeling that you have a sequel in mind!” Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at www.markfadden.com.

You had a book signing where? Finding book fans in unusual places

A book signing is the best way to meet readers and turn them into your book fans. While bookstores and libraries are great places to have a book signing, they’re also the most obvious. I mean, of course readers are there because that’s where the books are. That’s like going to the hospital for a doctor. But, you know what really makes you memorable? Having a book signing outside of the usual places. I mean, would you ever forget a doctor that was able to remove your ruptured spleen in the middle of the woods with one of those all-purpose tools and some fishing line? Of course not! Change the venue and you might not only freshen up your book signing, but you might just make more lifelong fans.

Book fair – it’s not just one store full of readers, it’s now an entire street, or even an entire downtown area filled with readers! You’ve just increased your exposure many times over. Grab your box of 2,000 bookmarks and work the crowd!

Chamber of Commerce/Community Group presentation – I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me and told me that either they wanted to or know someone that wanted to write a book. But they didn’t know the first step about getting it published. Chambers and community groups are always looking for presenters for their meetings. Call up your local groups and get on their schedules with your own, “How to get published” presentation. Pass around an email sign-up list, hand out more free bookmarks and have a box of books ready to sign at the end of the meeting.

Local book clubs – Club members love, love, love it when the actual author can stop by during the meeting when they review your book. Plus, book clubs always have a pretty good food/drink spread. Just no double-dipping the chips. Major faux pas.

Cooking classes – My local grocery store, Market Street, has a “Pots & Plots” class. For their class in January 2011, we will be making crab cake sandwiches from my latest novel, The Brink, and also talking about the book. Again, call your local grocery stores to see if they have such a class and see if they’ll host you. Again, free food here. Do you see a trend?

Have you ever had a book signing in an unusual venue? Where? How did it go? To the keyboards!

As always, I’ll be taking the weekend off, so we’ll pick it up next week with more about search engine optimization and online book marketing. Until then,

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

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Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

“I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

“He’s the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

“Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

Order a signed copy of The Brink as a keepsake for yourself or as the ultimate one-of-a-kind gift at http://markfadden.com/buyabook.html

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???