Press Release – Pots n’ plots with a dash of the author thrown in

Lisa Panno, David O'Briant, Kay Adams, Rosemary Kayem, and Mark Fadden cook food featured in Fadden's latest thriller, The Brink, at Colleyville Market Street's Dish culinary school.

Authors are like most entrepreneurs, they are always on the lookout for new ways to promote their books. That’s why Colleyville author Mark Fadden jumped at the chance to appear at the latest Market Street cooking school event. 

“I’ve had many book signings and given several lectures about writing, but I’d never done anything like this,” said Fadden about the recent Pots n’ Plots class where attendees cooked several dishes from his latest suspense thriller, The Brink. “But I figured if it combined reading and eating, two of my favorite things, then that’s the definition of win-win.” 

Judy Waitkus, Culinary Manager at Market Street grocery store in Colleyville, led attendees as they first made fruit salad with honey, crab cake sandwiches and even a dish called, “Eggs Carver” that one of the characters in the book had named after himself. Attendees clustered in small groups as they cooked the various dishes, and then got to eat them while they discussed Fadden’s book with him. “I had an absolute blast,” Fadden remarked of the laid-back evening that included sipping on Shiner Bock beer, which was also featured in the book, as he answered questions from attendees. “It was totally different from sitting behind a table signing books or standing at a podium speaking. To be able to cook a meal with everyone and then sit around and eat while talking books with what I consider a group of new friends, well life doesn’t get too much better than that.” 

The Brink is Fadden’s third suspense thriller. Not only does it feature a lost Constitution article, it uses real-world economic numbers to weave an intricate conspiracy tale that takes up where the recent financial meltdown left off. Published in May 2010, it has already won two awards and has been nominated for a third. Readers can find out more about Fadden, his books and future appearances at www.markfadden.com.

 The Dish culinary schools are located at two of the Dallas-Fort Worth Market Street locations, in Colleyville and McKinney. The Dish culinary school offers classes, like “Making Seafood Easy” and “Bacon, Bacon, Bacon!”, for all level of cooks taught by their own chefs as well as leading experts from around the country. For more information on the Colleyville Market Street Dish Event Center call Judy Waitkus at (817) 577-5047 or visit www.marketstreetunited.com.

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

July 16, 2010

Day 32 of 365

Books sold so far (as of the end of May 2010 – sales reports in this industry lag big time!): 157

In this issue:

  • FB ad round-up – a new Borders coupon means a new ad for this guy        
  • Having fun with Girls in the Stacks.  

FB ad round-up

You gotta love the big bookstores. Like waves rolling into the beach, one sale ends and another is right behind it. Borders has been good to me, letting me sell myself at their stores around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, so I’m sticking with them for the Facebook ads. Here’s the new one I created as part of their July 16-19 25% off sale. It incorporates last night’s video interview with the Girls in the Stacks (GITS):

Need a good book?

Check out Mark Fadden’s latest interview about his new award-winning thriller and get the promo code for 25% off his books.

I’m keeping my $20 a day budget and I did a $.49 bid CPC (cost per click).  By the way, the 25% off promo code for Borders.com is BHN7798F. Enjoy! But hurry, sale ends 7/19.

Having fun with The Girls in the Stacks

When doing an interview, you couldn’t ask for a better duo than Stacy and Nancy. The Girls in the Stacks (GITS) asked great questions and the Colleyville Borders bookstore was extremely generous in letting us use their store for the venue. Plus, Stacy used a Flip camera to film us, a way cool little gadget. If you’re not familiar with them, it’s a plug and play video camera – just record your video, flip out the USB adapter and voila! Your video’s on the Internet! Okay, there’s a few steps between those, but if I went into them, I couldn’t have used voila! Here’s the link to the video:

While we covered the items that I suggested in an email prior to the interview, they also wanted to know what’s in my “stack.” I am currently reading Heat, an awesome book about a guy who spends a year being a cook (read “slave”) in Mario Batali’s Babbo restaurant. He also tells the stories of some of the other cooks and how they dedicate themselves to their craft, (i.e. spending 6 months at a restaurant in Italy for no pay just to learn how to make pasta the right way) Anyone who cooks would love this book.

But back to the interview. Stacy sent it to me this morning and I put it up on my website ASAP. (As you’ll see, I also changed the headline of my site to reflect the new Borders coupon.) Video is extremely important, and an interview shows a more human side to you. The more people that watch you on video and see who the human is behind the name on the book cover, the more likely they are to buy a book.  Unless you come off like a complete ass, so don’t do that.

By the way, how’d you do on your homework assignment? Did you do your list of 5 uses for videos to sell your books? Did you get 10?  Nice work!

I also emailed the video to my contact at Good Morning Texas. In a previous post, I mentioned how I’m trying to get on that show, hopefully on the same day I’m doing a signing at the Dallas Uptown Borders store (can’t you just smell the cross-promotion?) Why did I do that you ask? I wanted to show her that I wouldn’t crash and burn in front of a camera.

By the way, the interview cost me nothing to do. As Stacy remarked, GITS is a “labor of love” for them. God bless ‘em.

As always, I hope I’ve presented information today that you can use. If you’d like more, or have a question, by all means send it to me at mark@markfadden.com. 

Have a great weekend. No signings this weekend, but next weekend I’ll be busier than a cow’s tongue in a salt lick. We’ll talk on Monday. Till then…

 The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…  

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

July 15, 2010

Day 31 of 365

Books sold so far (as of the end of May 2010 – sales reports in this industry lag big time!): 157

In this issue:

  • FB ad round-up – is it getting ‘chilling’ up in here? 
  • Getting ready for the podcast, which is now a video interview 

 FB ad round-up

I think I need a jacket, ‘cause the “chillingly current novel” campaign is charging ahead like gangbusters. And yes, you do have to monitor your bid numbers, because they can change.  I had only 3 hits yesterday, but then I noticed the bid range changed from $.49-$.59, to $.72-$.92. So, when I changed it from $.50 to $.72, the number instantly rocketed up! Again, here’s the “CCN” ad:

 Chillingly current novel

Preview the year’s most controversial thriller and get a 40% off coupon at your local Borders bookstore good through July 15th.A

 So here are the numbers from the campaign:

Date Imp. Clicks CTR (%) Avg. CPC ($) Avg. CPM ($) Spent ($)
07/15/2010 154,824 27 0.02 0.70 0.12 18.94
07/14/2010 157,660 31 0.02 0.65 0.13 20.00
07/13/2010 132,073 46 0.03 0.43 0.15 20.00
Lifetime 444,557 104 0.02 0.57 0.13 58.94

104 clicks over 3 days isn’t bad. I just wish I knew if those folks bought books.

 Along those lines, I’m going to contact outside help to see if I can track down that info. More on that in tomorrow’s post.

Getting ready for the podcast, which is now a video interview

 The lovely and talented ladies from girlsinthestacks.com informed me today that the podcast is really a video interview. So I’m off to take the hedge clippers to my eyebrows in a bit. To get ready for the interview, I sent them a few suggestions of the topics we could cover. (As a freelance reporter, I find it very nice when your subject does this) I also spent some time doing research online about those topics.  So, tonight’s homework is to learn how to embed a video into tomorrow’s blog.

 Last night, we talked about how you can incorporate podcasts into your blog or site to get book sales. Well, videos are an even better way to do that. On my site, I have a book trailer on the home page that starts automatically. While it’s pretty basic, the music is really cool, very ominous and gets people in that thriller mindset.

 Try to make a list of 5 uses for videos to sell your books. Then expand that to 10. It’ll be easier than you think. Then all you need is a 17 year old to tell you how to edit and embed the thing into your blog and website and you’re good to go!

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…  

 

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

July 9, 2010

It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our 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 we become a part of our 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 sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the book marketing madness continue…

Day 25 of 365

In this issue:

  • Today’s FB numbers
  • Reminding folks about tomorrow’s signing
  • Giving blood and feeling woosy

 

Today’s FB numbers

 Numbers didn’t budge since yesterday. The ad “US Const. Article Found” didn’t “click” with people. And I haven’t had a click on the Lewisville Borders signing since I changed the ad pic from the cover shot to my ugly mug pic. I changed it back and am letting it ride until tomorrow afternoon.

 If you’re in the Lewisville, Texas area tomorrow between 1pm and 3pm, come give us a kiss.

 Reminding folks about tomorrow’s signing

 I spent about 30 minutes today reminding my FB friends who live in the area as well as the folks I sent invites to (the library staff, area media contacts) about the signing tomorrow. One of the library staff folks mentioned that their mystery book club will be doing The Brink in September and they bought 6 copies for those folks. DON’T FORGET about the book clubs in your area. They can help BIG TIME to spread the word about your book!

 Giving blood and feeling woosy

I gave blood today and then had a few cocktails to kick off the weekend. Not the best deicison, but a fun one. Salud!

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…  

 

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

June 30, 2010

 It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our 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 we become a part of our 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 sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the book marketing madness continue…

 Day 17 of 365

 In this issue:

  • MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #3 of 5
  • Getting ready for Stop #3 on the book tour – the store visit
  • Get The Nightstand Diaries emailed directly to you!

 MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #3 of 5

 I’m doing a 5 day Facebook ad campaign. I started with an ad that read “The Brink by Mark Fadden. Uncover the most staggering conspiracy of our time and discover an electrifying new voice in suspense fiction.” There was also a cover pic. I set my budget at $20 day and chose the Cost Per Click (CPC) option and sent it out to the “Political thriller” interest group, which there were around 1,200 on Facebook. With that ad, I had 15 clicks out of 19,858 impressions, which translates into a Click through rate (CTR) of .08%. So I chanTime to change the ad! I changed it to read “The Brink by Mark Fadden. Uncover the most staggering conspiracy of our time. “A masterful storyteller” – Writer’s Digest. Here’s a screenshot of the ad in the right hand column:

 

I also changed the interest group to ‘author James Patterson’ rather than ‘political thrillers.’ Here are the new numbers:

Date Imp. Clicks CTR (%) Avg. CPC ($) Avg. CPM ($) Spent ($)
06/30/2010 94,052 25 0.03 0.80 0.21 20.00
06/29/2010 54,210 29 0.05 0.69 0.37 20.00
06/28/2010 7,555 4 0.05 1.08 0.57 4.32
Lifetime 155,817 58 0.04 0.76 0.28 44.32

 As you can see, the Click through rate (CTR) is still pretty low, but that’s to be expected. I’m now going to change the interest group to “Conspiracy Theory”, which there are 16,280 people and see what happens.

 I’ve also signed up for Google Analytics of my website. It’s relatively simple to navigate through the process and, most important, its free. Hopefully, it will tell me where my website visitors are coming from and, more importantly, if they are buying a book so I can see if the Facebook campaign is worth it.

 With Facebook ads, it seems that people either love them or hate them. They either work really well or not at all. Again, if you want another in-depth story of doing Facebook ads, here’s a great account of another first time Facebook advertiser: “My First FaceBook Ad Campaign: The Good, Bad, & The Ugly.”

Getting ready for Stop #3 on the book tour – the store visit

Man, do I love Borders. I hope they don’t close their doors like this story on MSN.com says they will.

Anyway, I took my two posters…

 

 flyers and bookmarks by the store today. They had 40 copies of the book ready to go for the July 10 signing, so I signed a few in case they had some folks in who wanted a signed copy but couldn’t make the signing (always carry a black Sharpie marker, like a college freshman with a condom, except you’ll actually use the Sharpie.)

 I got an email from the store manager later saying because I gave them all that loot, he’s going to make a special end-cap display to help with in-store promotions. Viva La Borders!

Get The Nightstand Diaries emailed directly to you!

 Lastly, I added an option if you want this blog emailed directly to you. If so, please look in the right hand column and submit your email. Hopefully, you’ll start getting it emailed to you tomorrow, if I don’t jack something up, or I’ve had a beer or two to kick off the holiday weekend early.

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

 June 29, 2010

 It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our 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 we become a part of our 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 sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the book marketing madness continue…

 Day 16 of 365

 In this issue:

  • MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #2
  • Getting ready for Stop #3 on the book tour

  MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #2

 With the month of June coming to a close, thus ends my stint on the barnesandnoble.com Rising Star award winner page. The buyers at B and N use the results to see what books they will give store book shelf space to, what I like to call “the most expensive real estate in the world.”

 Therefore, as a last ditch effort to pump up my numbers, I am doing a 5 day Facebook ad campaign. Yesterday, my ad read “The Brink by Mark Fadden. Uncover the most staggering conspiracy of our time and discover an electrifying new voice in suspense fiction.” There was also a cover pic. I set my budget at $20 day and chose the Cost Per Click (CPC) option. I only pay when someone clicks on my ad. With that ad, I had 15 clicks out of 19,858 impressions, which translates into a Click through rate (CTR) of .08%. Time to change the ad! I changed it to read “The Brink by Mark Fadden. Uncover the most staggering conspiracy of our time. “A masterful storyteller” – Writer’s Digest and I selected people interested in ‘author James Patterson’ rather than ‘political thrillers.’ Hope my CTR will rise. Stay tuned.  

 I checked in with my publisher, iUniverse, to see if there’s a way to see in real time if the ad led to more people buying the book online, but there’s no way to do that. In fact, I won’t know any sales #s until the end of July due to paperwork processing times. Holy $#(%$#  *&#!!!!

 With Facebook ads, it seems that people either love them or hate them. They either work really well or not at all. Again, if you want another in-depth story of doing Facebook ads, here’s a great account of another first time Facebook advertiser: “My First FaceBook Ad Campaign: The Good, Bad, & The Ugly.”

 Getting ready for Stop #3 on the book tour

 With a little less than 2 weeks to go before my 3rd signing event at the Lewisville, Texas Borders bookstore, here’s what I did today to get ready for  it:

  1. News release (please see below) sent to the following: Dallasnews.com (Dallas Morning News online portal) Guidelive and metro desk, Lewisville Leader , www.hellolewisville.com
  2. Okayed postcard invitation proofs (to be sent to Lewisville City Council) and picked up signing posters at my local FedEx Office. They’re fast, open late, and super nice staff.  That place rocks! 
  3. Contacted Lewisville Chamber of Commerce about putting news release in their weekly enewsletter.
  4. Contacted Lewisville book club members. 2 groups have Facebook pages!
  5. sent email to Friends of Lewisville Library & Lewisville library staff members inviting them to the signing
  6. sent event info to Dallas Observer through their event posting site.
  7. sent Greater Lewisville Newcomers Club an email about the event. Why? I saw on their site that they sponsor a book club.

 Kenny Green, the Lewisville Borders Sales Manager, said the 40 books he ordered are already in, so I’ll see if I can drop by tomorrow with posters, flyers, bookmarks, and see if I can sign some books to maybe do a little pre-sales.

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

June 27, 2010

The Nightstand Diaries1 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 we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our 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 we become a part of our 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 sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the book marketing madness continue…

Day 12 of 365

In this Weekend Edition issue:

  • Is the Internet Destroying Our Brains? Novels to the Rescue?
  • The real story behind The Brink’s villainous Group – video
  • Local news is more than just the community newspaper

Is the Internet Destroying Our Brains? Novels to the Rescue?

If you believe this NYTimes article, then yes, it is. The Internet is sucking dry our creative juices and, um….what’s the word I’m looking for….something bad about what it’s doing to our ability to focus and concen….look out the window! A squirrel on the fence!

Where was I?  Oh yeah, here’s the link to the GOOD blog: http://www.good.is/post/is-the-internet-destroying-your-brain-try-this-test/?gt1=48001 It includes a test you can take to see just how much the Internet has sucked your brain’s abilities out through your eyeballs.

So how does reading novels help to counteract this phenomenon? Here’s a blurb from an article on what Dr. Brian E. Walsh explains in his book Unleashing Your Brilliance, what reading fiction does in terms of mental stimulation:

Walsh says that mental stimulations make brain cells generate new extensions, resulting in richer information processing. He explains, “Reading fiction, especially ranging across authors, pushes our boundaries as we vicariously experience fresh scenarios and identify with the characters. No wonder they call them novels.” Forcing us to create the scenes, the look of the characters, the smells, and the sounds, and prodding our emotions, reading fiction stimulates all of our senses and tweaks our brain. Reading does this so much more than does simply watching someone else’s interpretation on film or in a play.”

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/self-help-articles/reading-fiction-how-it-enriches-brain-functioning-37992.html#ixzz0s66D7f2F
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Who would have thought that we writers could save the world!

 The real story behind The Brink’s villainous Group – video

 In The Brink, the ruthless organization referred to as “The Group” is based upon a real life secret society that is made up of some of the world’s most powerful politicians, international financiers, and monarchs known as the Bilderberg Group. Some journalists and conspiracy theorists say they are the ones secretly running the world’s economies and determining our collective destiny. They get that name because they supposedly first met in 1954 at the Hotel Bilderberg in The Netherlands. Whether this group is real or not is still up to for much debate. Watch this video and decide for yourself:

Local news is more than just the community newspaper

As David Meerman Scott advises in his social media bible, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, we should be issuing news releases all the time. When doing so, you’ll want to focus much of your effort on the local news outlets, since local media likes to do stories on local people and events. In your hunt for these outlets, you will probably come across your local TV stations and newspapers, but there is a whole other faction of news outlets you need to remember: bloggers and websites devoted to your community.

Case in point is www.ourgreatcity.com. Mark Harrison of OurGreatCity.com not only posted the news release I sent him before my book signing at my local Borders store, he came out and took pictures for the website and turned it into a second awesome news release! So when you’re sending out news releases, don’t forget to do a search for bloggers in your area and other folks that run community websites. As social media only gets bigger, more and more people turn to sites and blogs to stay connected to their communities, and find local events like book signings!