Today I have independently-published author S.R. Johannes (aka Shelli Johannes-Wells) on the blog to discuss her publicity technique for her YA thriller, UNTRACEABLE.
Publicity For Untraceable
First of all I don’t like to call it “publicity” or “marketing”. Because I honestly care and appreciate everyone who has supported me. So I don’t want my contacts to seem impersonal, because it isn’t.
I guess that is part of my “publicity” is getting to know people, build relationships, and be appreciative (not expectant) of great reviews and supportive posts.
To me, when you are doing publicity for a book, bloggers are the best way to get started. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of bloggers and I love meeting them online. They read books and do reviews on their own time. They don’t ask for anything in return. They do it because they love books and they love to talk about the ones they love to their readers. I think we, as authors, are lucky to have them put that time aside for us. I never understand when authors are jerks to bloggers or reviewers.
For Untraceable, I really wanted to build a grass roots effort and get directly to readers and see what they thought about the book. So I offered anyone who signed up or emailed me a free ebook. They only had to post an “honest and constructive” review – good or bad – online at Amazon, Goodreads, and B&N.
I also offered to do interviews, guest posts, or anything they felt was fun on their blog. I never turned anyone away and I always made sure I cross-promoted his or her blog as a reciprocal.
I did do some official PR and marketing stuff. I did a press release drop on PRWeb - but saw little results. I did a sponsorship in Kindle Nation, which was a wonderful way to reach ebook readers directly. And I submitted my book to places for formal reviews – Indie Reader, Kirkus, and some smaller sites.
But in the end, bloggers were my priority over anything else. I’m hoping for word of mouth over time. That a buzz will build about Untraceable. My book is a contemporary thriller. I hope it is good and different enough to stand out in a YA world dominated by paranormal and dystopic books.
But in the end publicity is not about just selling books. It’s about building relationships and being courteous.
S.R. Johannes lives in Atlanta Georgia with her dog, British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world. After earning an MBA and working in corporate america, S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. You can find her hanging out online and visit her at srjohannes.com