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

July 13, 2010

Day 29 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:

  • Hello, my name’s Mark, and I’m a FB ad-dict
  • Changes to the website 
  • Double-dip recession – will it make The Brink prophetic?  

Hello, my name’s Mark, and I’m a FB ad-dict

My day started with creating two FB ads. By tonight, I got 6 hits on one (The next James Patterson?) and zero on another. So I took out the dead weight and changed back to my most successful ad so far (Read a thriller anywhere!) and created another one. So, I’ve got three running currently. Here they are:

Chillingly current novel

Preview the year’s most controversial thriller and get a 40% off coupon at your local Borders bookstore good through July 17th.

Read a thriller anywhere!

Get the most controversial thriller of the year delivered to your desktop, laptop or smartphone in seconds for $7.13. eBooks rock!

 The next James Patterson?

“Action & heroism keep readers turning pages.” – ForeWord Review. Uncover the most staggering conspiracy of our time, & get it 28% off.

 The James Patterson ad is targeted at people that like James Patterson, about 360,000 people. The other two are targeted at people who like to read, about 4 million each.

I went on my godaddy.com (my web host company) account and tried to look at the site analytics to see if the facebook people are buying books once they leave my site, but I have yet to find information on that. UUGGHH!  Does anyone know how to get that info?

Anyway, all told, I’m in for about an hour on jacking around with these ads today, which includes creating them as well. Budget is $20/day for each. I promise I’ll let them ride until tomorrow’s post so we can analyze the numbers.

Changes to the website 

I also visited my godaddy.com search engine optimization page last night and today. What a butt whoopin’. 3 hours of slogging through the steps to get the right keywords associated with the site so that search engine “spiders” will recognize them when people search for books. You might say 3 hours seems like a lot for just coming up with keywords, but I’m old and I have to learn what the heck I’m doing before I actually do it.

I also made some changes to the site, mostly the home page to make it more like my personality. I reread some of David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR last night and today and he said that you should put some of ‘you’ into your site. So I did. Check it out and let me know what you think.   

Double-dip recession – will it make The Brink prophetic

Take a look at this recent article from Robert Reich about the probability of a double dip recession. If that happens, it will cause the U.S. government to come to the rescue with more bailouts, and that means more deficit spending and more debt.

Without giving too much away, (I already gave a huge hint as to who’s involved in the conspiracy in the book on the front cover) the double-dip resembles the ‘event’ the bad guys in the book use to begin their plan to take over the world. Funny how life resembles art, right?      

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 12, 2010

Day 28 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:

  • Recap on the Lewisville Borders signing
  • A new FB ad with a new angle
  • Good Morning, Texas!  

 Recap on the Lewisville Borders signing

 First, the numbers:

2 hours (1-3pm) – time spent at the signing

# of books sold – 10

# of stars of the restaurant where I could take my wife for dinner with my profits from the signing – 3, but we went to Twisted Root Burgers instead and saved the rest for running shoes to run off the fat-tastic calories of said meal.

But, here are arguably the most important numbers:

# of bookmarks handed out – 38

# of news outlets that got the following news release after the signing – 4:

 Lewisville is on ‘The Brink’

Lewisville Borders hosts local author for a book signing

 

Stephanee Talley of Lewisville with Mark Fadden

Even though there’s already a copy of Mark Fadden’s latest thriller in his house, Bret Talley had to buy his own copy. “My wife already read it, and has been on me every day, telling me I’ve got to read this book, but she keeps lending it out to other people,” Talley said. “So I came here to buy my own copy.”

As part of his summer DFW book tour, author Mark Fadden stopped by the Lewisville Borders book store on Saturday to talk about and sign copies of The Brink. In it, a fugitive cop and a brilliant beauty must race from Mexico to Washington, D.C. to stop a secret society’s plan for global financial Armageddon. The plot, which relies on real-world economic theories and financial numbers, took Fadden over a year to research before he started the rough draft. “I wrote the book a few years ago after I began listening to economic experts telling us how dire our country’s financial condition is. It’s truly frightening how some of the aspects of the book are actually coming true as the condition of the world’s economy gets worse.”               

The Brink, which is Fadden’s third published novel, is not only enjoying stellar reviews from critics and readers alike, the book has won two awards from its publisher and Fadden has been called a “masterful storyteller,” by a Writer’s Digest reviewer.

 “The signing went really well,” said General Manager Marion Orso. “Mark sold several copies and brought in a lot of traffic.” During the Lewisville Borders visit, Fadden talked with several customers about the writing process. He also got many questions about what he’s doing to market the book, a subject that he covers in his blog The Nightstand Diaries, which can be read at www.markfadden.wordpress.com. “While getting a book published is an enormous achievement, it is only when our books become part of our readers’ lives, when they enjoy them during their commute or read them as part of their ‘me’ time ritual before going to bed, that we as writers have truly reached our goals.”

The Lewisville Borders staff already invited Fadden back during the month of October, when people begin shopping for Christmas. Fadden has several more stops throughout DFW on his book tour, including The Book Carriage in Roanoke and the uptown Dallas Borders store. Readers can log onto www.markfadden.com for tour dates and to preview Mark’s books.  

And let me share a little nugget here. A few years back, I attended an evening with James Patterson at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. One of the stories he told is about one of the first signings he ever did at the World Trade Center. He was sitting behind a table in the middle of the busy hallway with books stacked around him, and not one person stopped. And speaking of zero sales, my mother clipped an article for me about book marketing. Leon Hale, a long time writer for the Houston Chronicle recently shared this memory of signing of similar success:  “I appeared for a book signing and two people came, and one of those was the publisher’s rep. And the other one didn’t buy a book.” Hale’s blog is at www.blogs.chron.com/leonhale.

I see signings as a way to reach people with more information through 2 ways: one, through news releases and two, periodically wandering through the store and handing out as many bookmarks as you can during the event. Not only can you get coverage from local papers and PR wire services alike before the event, the real money shot comes after. A signing gives you a chance for a photo op with a fan and a quote from the book store manager, which is PR gold. Plus, I updated my FB wall with the news release and had one person buy an ebook from that and it reminded a friend of mine to buy a couple of books as well. The news release is my favorite marketing piece because it works on so many levels.  

All told, I spent around 8 hours on the Lewisville signing, which is broken down as follows:

  • Scheduling the event (time on the phone)
  • Creating the news releases (pre and post event)
  • Creating and getting in-store posters printed
  • Contacting local news outlets and sending them the releases
  • Taking the posters to the store and meeting the staff before the event
  • The book signing itself

 Just remember. The signing isn’t just about the signing. It’s another way to get your name out there in media-world.

 

A new FB ad with a new angle

As July is my Facebook ad month, I ran an ad for the Lewisville signing. And while 62 people clicked on it, not one who was there mentioned anything about the ad. I might try one more for the Borders signing I’m doing in Allen, Texas on July 30, but if that doesn’t hit, then ads for signings are done.

I also changed the “US const. article found!” ad, which went nowhere fast, with the following one:

read a 5-star thriller!

Get Mark Fadden’s latest, a 5-star customer reviewed thriller, in eBook for $9 or get a signed copy at markfadden.com.

 It’s still being reviewed, but it should get some significant #s by tomorrow.

 

Good Morning, Texas!

 A little birdie told me that she and her business partner got on Good Morning, Texas, a TV show on our local ABC affiliate. The birdie’s name is Alicia Segal and their business is called Simply Done Gifts. Anyway, here’s the email I sent to the GMT contact (for the sake of brevity and your eyeballs, news releases are not included, you’ve already read them in previous blogs):

 I’m a local author (Colleyville resident) who is currently in the midst of a book tour in the DFW area. Alicia Segal of Simply Done Gifts has been on your show and gave me your email as the person to contact about coming on Good Morning Texas.

 My latest political thriller, The Brink (published in May 2010), follows a fugitive Texas Ranger as he helps a brilliant beauty race from Mexico to Washington, D.C. to stop a secret society’s plan for global financial Armageddon. While I began the novel over three years ago, including completing a year’s worth of research into economic theories and real-world financial numbers that I use to make The Brink more realistic, the financial firestorm that continues to sweep across the planet dovetails almost directly with the plot. Chillingly current to say the least.

I have a signing coming up on Friday, August 13th from 5-7pm at the Dallas Uptown Borders store and I thought an appearance on GMT that morning would be perfect way to promote it. To get a better feel for an angle you might use in a segment, I’ve included a few recent news items below:

  1. The press release for the Uptown Borders signing.
  2. The latest news release from a signing I did on Saturday at the Lewisville Borders bookstore.
  3. An article about me winning Saks Fifth Avenue’s “Father’s Day Honors” Award in 360 West magazine.

 I’d love to visit with you about a possible appearance on the show. You can check out more about me and even preview the first 22 pages of The Brink at www.markfadden.com. Please let me know if I can provide you with any more information.

 Thanks so much for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

 Best,

 Mark

 The email took me about an hour to put together, so not much time for what could potentially be a huge ROI. It would be awesome to get on TV. I just hope I don’t puke on the set from nerves…

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

July 6, 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 23 of 365

 In this issue:

  • A Facebook 4th
  • The Lewisville media showing the luv 
  • May 2010 sales report

 A Facebook 4th

I sincerely hope everyone’s 4th was a wonderful celebration of friends and family. We have some really cool 4th of July fireworks show in the Dallas area, with Addison’s Kaboom Town! being named one of the best in the country. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I used to work with those wonderful people and they do put on a kick-ass show year after year.)

The plan was to take the entire holiday weekend off, but I continued tweaking my Facebook ads and discovered I could “invite” people to the Lewisville Borders book signing coming up on Saturday, July 10th.

 Here’s the screenshot from FB that includes the budget info and an example of the ad itself:

  

 

You’ll notice the ad is titled “Lewisville Borders Book signing.” It was first titled just “Book signing,” but I changed it to catch people’s eye who live in or around Lewisville, Texas. On that note, I also started targeting the ad to people who live within 10 miles of Lewisville and that was going to only approximately 2,400 people. I just changed it tonight to 25 miles of Lewisville, and the audience exploded to approximately 1.4 million. With the low CTR (click through rate) percentages that FB ads typically get, it’s important to keep your audience as large as possible. As you can also see, I have yet to have anyone “RSVP” for the event, but hopefully that will change by tomorrow night.

One thing I’ve been forgetting to add on these postings is the amount of time each project takes. To find and then create the book signing invite ad took around 2 hours total. And so far, since no one has clicked on it yet, costs is 0, but I did give myself a $20 daily budget over the course of the 5 days the ad will run.

The Lewisville media showing the luv

I’ve talked before about using Google alerts to show when your name has been mentioned anywhere in cyberspace. Last week, I got three Google alerts about the Lewisville signing. Among the several news outlets I contacted about the upcoming signing, I wrote and emailed news releases to the Lewisville Leader newspaper and Dallasnews.com, which is the online version of the Dallas Morning News. They have a “GuideLive” entertainment section that gives information about all kinds of events around the DFW area. While I didn’t send a news release about it to the local TV stations, our NBC affiliate must have picked up the Dallasnews.com link, because they had it listed on their site as well.

If you haven’t signed up for Google Alerts, open up another browser window and do it now. It takes two minutes and it’s priceless. No really, it’s free. I would have never known about the three news outlets publishing my news release, and I wouldn’t have known to thank the editors responsible for doing so, if it wasn’t for Google Alerts. 

May 2010 sales report

One of the frustrating things about the book publishing business is that sales numbers lag so far behind. For example, it takes my publisher, iUniverse, a month to post sales figures. This means I just got my sales numbers from May 2010, which was my first month of sales for The Brink. The numbers are as follows:

Hard covers:                                        43

Paperbacks:                                         114

eBook version:                         didn’t come out until June 2010

 Total:                                                    157

 Total left to sell to reach 5,000:             4,843

 As far as tracking eBooks go, I may have found a way to track those in near real-time, but I’ll save that juicy morsel for hopefully tomorrow’s post as I’m waiting on some information.

 By the way, if you’re wondering how much money each sold book represents, while I can’t speak for all authors, iUniverse authors receive 20% of each hard cover and paperback sale, and 50% on eBook sales. So, based on May’s numbers, if this was my only gig, my family and I would be living under a highway overpass. But the good news is that we wouldn’t have far to commute to our jobs begging for money at the street corner.

This is another perfect example of perception. We writers tend to think of ourselves at artists. While we are, if we want to put food on the table by writing as a job, we must think of our passion as our business as well. I am, and if you have written a book and out there selling it, you are as well, starting up a business. It takes months, even years for some businesses to make money; even longer to turn a profit. 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 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!

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 10 of 365

In this issue:

  • Say this 5 times real fast…would Wikipedia work well?
  • Editor? I don’t need no stinkin’ editor.  But, yes, really, we all do
  • Working the phones with Borders

Would Wikipedia work well?

Another idea from David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR (By now you probably think I get 50 cents every time I mention his book, but I don’t. I just think it’s one of those genius things that takes something complex, like social media, and makes it simple to understand), why not use Wikipedia to get your message out? For those of you who don’t know, Wikipedia allows regular folk like us to go in and update the entries if we see something missing or wrong. Now, I say get your ‘message’ because you can’t put in an ad or any direct marketing into your Wikipedia edit, but I wanted to at least show that, as a writer, I am associated with a certain Wikipedia subject.

Case in point, in my book The Brink, the secret society that’s causing all the chaos is known as The Bilderbergers. There’s a Wikipedia page on them, and one of the content chapters in the entry is titled, “Conspiracy theories” and it read as follows:

Because of its secrecy and refusal to issue news releases, the group is frequently accused of political conspiracies. Critics include the John Birch Society, an American economic nationalist advocacy group,[21] Canadian writer Daniel Estulin, British writer David Icke, American writer Jim Tucker, politician Jesse Ventura and radio host Alex Jones. The Bilderberg Group was the topic of a 2009 episode of the TruTV series Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura truTV – List of episodes for Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura.

I went in and added a sentence about how I’m tied to that subject. Again, it’s not an overt sales pitch to buy my book, but rather letting folks know that I used the Bilderbergers as a conspiratorial group in my book. Here’s the new entry (I put my addition in bold):

Because of its secrecy and refusal to issue news releases, the group is frequently accused of political conspiracies. Critics include the John Birch Society, an American economic nationalist advocacy group,[21] Canadian writer Daniel Estulin, British writer David Icke, American writer Jim Tucker, politician Jesse Ventura and radio host Alex Jones. The Bilderberg Group was the topic of a 2009 episode of the TruTV series Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura truTV – List of episodes for Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura. American novelist Mark Fadden also uses the Bilderberg Group as the sinister secret society that is planning global financial Armageddon in his latest book.

It was up for less than a day, and I got a message in my Wikipedia account stating the following:

Welcome to Wikipedia. If you are affiliated with some of the people, places or things you have written about on Wikipedia, you may have a conflict of interest. In keeping with Wikipedia’s neutral point of view policy, edits where there is a conflict of interest, or where such a conflict might reasonably be inferred, are strongly discouraged. If you have a conflict of interest, you should avoid or exercise great caution when:

  1. editing or creating articles related to you, your organization, or its competitors, as well as projects and products they are involved with;
  2. participating in deletion discussions about articles related to your organization or its competitors; and
  3. linking to the Wikipedia article or website of your organization in other articles (see Wikipedia:Spam).

Please familiarize yourself with relevant policies and guidelines, especially those pertaining to neutral point of view, verifiability of information, and autobiographies.

For information on how to contribute to Wikipedia when you have a conflict of interest, please see our frequently asked questions for organizations. Thank you.   — Jeff G. ツ 04:13, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Markfadden

Hidden categories: User talk pages with conflict of interest notices

Oops. So I guess I messed up with my little blurb and that it’s a conflict of interest. I’ll look at some other Wiki pages and continue to research it, because the other names I see in there are all selling things associated with their critique of the Bilderbergers. But all of their links go to their Wiki pages. Maybe I need to create a wiki page for myself and go from there.  Any ideas from you guys?

Editor? I don’t need no stinkin’ editor.  But, yes, really, we all do

I’ll be brief with this point for two reasons: one, the first point in tonight’s blog was so damn long and two, the most important thing I learned from my editor is that brevity is essential to a good read. Everyone needs an editor. So, donate your plasma, cut some neighbors lawns on the weekends or do whatever you can to get the money together for a good editor. Because while we think everything makes sense in our mind, it’s just that, it’s in our mind and only in our mind. We need someone to take the manuscript for a spin and let us know what the thing needs to get it running on all eight cylinders. The editor that I used, who my agent Tris Coburn recommended, is Mark Graham. He’s edited it all – novels, screenplays, non-fiction – and he’s a ghostwriter as well. Plus, he’s extremely intuitive about what you’re trying to do. He whittled The Brink down from a 670-page retired heavyweight sucking on Krispy Kremes to a lean, 425-page middleweight contender with lighting in his fists. Plus, and this is a big part of it, he’s a likeable guy. He truly loves words and truly wants to help you get your best effort onto the page.      

Working the phones with Borders

After the success of my signing on Saturday at my local Borders, I took about 2 hours today and contacted every other Borders within a 50 mile radius (there are 10 of them) to schedule a book signing. I was able to schedule two over the phone on the spot, several of them told me the event person was not working that day and to call back and the rest need me to email them a marketing package (examples of all docs in that package are in blog post #2 dated June 15, 2010). It’ll 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. Well worth it since signings are where we get to sell to book lovers face to face. Again, if you became a writer to hide behind a computer screen all day, then you’re in the wrong business. Writers need to talk to people, because that’s what fans are…people. And without fans, writers can’t put food on the table.

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 9 of 365

 In this issue:

  • Email signatures – short, sweet, and selling your book
  • Food books to read – as selected by the bad boy chef himself
  • Do secret societies exist? A poll

 Email signatures – short, sweet, and selling your book

 I had actually decided to go all in on the shameless self-promotion a long time before I read David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR and use my email signature to let anyone and everyone know about my book. Here’s the latest version of my email signature:

 Best,

 Mark

817-504-3886

 My latest novel, The Brink, is a Barnesandnoble.com Rising Star Award winner!

 Other reviews:

“{Mark Fadden] is a masterful storyteller.”  – Writer’s Digest
“Action and heroism keep readers turning pages. A nicely crafted thriller.” – Foreword Clarion Review of The Brink.

 Preview the first 22 pages and order your signed copy at http://www.markfadden.com

 And I change it based upon what’s going on with the book. I just inserted the “Other reviews” section, where before my signing at the Colleyville Borders there was a blurb about that in it giving the date and time – and it was the most successful signing of the year, maybe in the history of their store! Remember, it’s easy as ABC – Always Be Changing your email signature depending on what’s going on with your book – new reviews coming in, new signings, etc – keep it fresh!

 Food books to read – as selected by the bad boy chef himself

While I don’t necessary like the term “Foodie”, it sounds like you should be dressed in a cute sweater your mom knitted and shaking broccoli pom-poms as the school lunch ladies review the Food pyramid, I am a man who likes to eat. One of my favorite celebrity chefs is Anthony Bourdain. Not only did I really enjoy reading Kitchen Confidential, and I love his attitude, what draws me to him is his philosophical musings on how food should be related to in our lives. It is vital to us, but not just in the nourishment for the body sense. It can, and should be, an essential piece of our well-being, nourishment for the individual soul and the collective heartbeat of a society, no matter how big or small. We certainly have lost that sense of what food can and should do for us here in America. We’re just so damn busy trying to fit in every bleeping thing into our schedules, that the simple joy of preparing a meal for family or friends has been lost, or has never been something experienced altogether by masses of people. Sad.

Anyway, here’s a link to the Goodreads site that has an interview with AB and he shares his top 5 food books. Heat is listed as one of them. I wanted to read it when it first came out, but life got in the way, and I forgot about it. I just put it in my iPhone scheduler to pick it up on Thursday during the “Snake Dude” show at the library. Yup, slithery snakes will keep about 300 kids glued to their seats for an hour, a feat not easily attained. Did I mention the Colleyville library rocks???

 Do secret societies exist? A poll

 Dan Brown made his mark with secret societies. My new book, The Brink, also has this secret society as the bad guys. What do you think? Do you think sinister secret societies exist?

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???