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 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 

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 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 madness continue…

 Day 11 of 365

 In this issue:

  • Working the phones with Borders turns to working the email, and time ain’t on my side

 Working the phones with Borders turns to working the email, and time ain’t on my side

So I might have undershot my budget on how long it would take to schedule up these signings at all the area Borders stores. In last night’s blog, I figured it would “probably take me another hour to customize those packages for each store and then another 30 minutes to call the other stores back and schedule signings so let’s call it 4 hours worth of work to hopefully schedule signings at every Borders store in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.” Oh how frickin’ wrong I was. I wanted to follow up with Kenny Green, the nice man at the Lewisville Borders who agreed on the spot to have me, and email him a marketing plan including a news release, flyer and poster examples. That took an hour. Then I’ve spent the last two hours working on two other marketing packets for two other Borders stores. So that’s 3 hours so far, and I’m not even halfway through the 10 Borders stores within the 50 mile radius of mi casa. But the Borders people are awesome and I want to give them an informative marketing plan so that both sides can benefit from the signing. (I’ve included the intro and marketing plan I emailed to the Borders store in Dallas on Preston & Royal, which is one of their Big Daddy stores, below)

So, the blog tonight is short and sweet. And the weekend is packed, so I’ll just tell you now that I hope to get some more marketing kits out tomorrow and finish up over the weekend and I’ll talk to y’all again on Sunday night with the Weekend Edition. Who knows, I might even get in a thought or two about the next book…Just kidding. The next one is already in the can and ready to go. 

Email intro and marketing plan for Borders Dallas-Preston & Royal store


I spoke to one of your associates yesterday and he mentioned that you manage the events for the Dallas-Preston & Royal Borders store. I did a signing this past Saturday at the Colleyville Borders store and it was the most successful signing they’ve had all year. I would love to do a signing at your store as well. I’ve included a marketing plan for a book signing event as well as the news release from my signing at the Colleyville Borders below. I’ve also attached examples of a press release, flyer, and poster that could be used to publicize the signing. I have several available weekend and weeknight times in the coming weeks that would hopefully work for you.

If you have any questions about the marketing plan or attached documents or would like to discuss the best time to do a signing, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime at the number below.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you soon about this exciting event!




 The Brink


Mark Fadden

“This story has everything – it hits the ground running with an ingenious and timely plot, the sharp dialogue produces megawatt size tension between the characters and the superb pacing and breakneck twists deliver a knockout ending.” – author Mark Graham

“Mark Fadden’s novel is a gripping tale filled with mystery, romance, and suspense. The story literally grabs the reader by the throat and doesn’t let go until the final page. The Brink is a page turner that even a seasoned reader will have trouble putting down.” – film producer Don Phillips 

“A masterful storyteller.”  – Writer’s Digest

“Action and heroism keep readers turning pages. A nicely crafted thriller.” – ForeWord Clarion Review

Marketing Plan for Dallas-Preston &Royal Borders Book Signing

  • Press release sent to local media including Dallas Morning News, Dallas Observer, Fox4, NBC5, ABC, CBS, CW 33, UPN 21, D Magazine,,, and Dallas Chamber of Commerce two weeks prior to the event (example attached)
  • Posters to be hung in store before and during event (example attached)
  • Flyers available before and during event (example attached)
  • 100 bookmarks available before event (Posters, flyers and bookmarks to be delivered to store one week before event)
  • “Evite” sent to subscribers of Dallas-Preston & Royal Borders email mailing list (to be done by Borders staff – if possible)  
  • All local friends, colleagues, and acquaintances will be invited – 200+ people 


The Brink is the winner of its publisher’s Editor’s Choice Award.

Mark has also been awarded his publisher’s Rising Star Award.


ISBN13: 9781450210478

ISBN: 1450210473

BINC: 3186840

Colleyville author breaks record at Borders bookstore

Many local fathers got Mark Fadden’s latest political thriller for Father’s Day this year. Fadden signed copies of The Brink, which takes readers on a perilous race from northern Mexico to Washington, D.C. as the hero and heroine try to thwart a global financial conspiracy, this past Saturday afternoon at the Colleyville Borders book store. “Being a local author, Mark generated a lot of pre-signing interest,” said Lori Lortscher of Borders. “He also interacted well with our customers during the signing, which boosted the sale of his book. It was our most successful book signing of the year. I hope we are lucky enough to have him back again.”

Mark Fadden, author of "The Brink", signs a book


Fadden is also chronicling his effort to sell 5,000 copies of The Brink over the next year in a blog. “Whenever I talk to people about my books, many of them know someone or they themselves have either toyed with the idea of writing a book, or are in the process of writing one. I wanted to keep track of what I’m doing on a daily basis to market the book so I could offer some inside information about what works and what doesn’t.” Fadden’s blog, titled The Nightstand Diaries: 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to marketing, can be read at