Monday, December 24, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Week Two Recap: Marketing

I've still been trying to find new ways to promote First Sight.  I signed up for GoodReads again (I used to be a member years ago) and was trying to figure out how to add my book to their database.  Lucky me, another reader had already added it!  I don't think they necessarily would have found it so soon without the Amazon promotion, so I'm excited that worked in other ways as well.  I've been adding it to the Listopia lists.

I also noticed when googling my book that it now shows up as a recommended book on Amazon.  For instance, if someone looks up a Chick Lit book similar to mine, First Sight will appear as one of their recommendations.  Pretty cool!  That is more free advertising, and hopefully someone who might not otherwise have discovered it will find it this way.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Recap of Amazon Promotion

I've read that offering your book for free on Amazon is a great way to get free publicity, new readers, and eventually more sales.  I decided rather last minute to offer a two-day promo on my book.  Upon doing my research, one person noted that for fiction books, selling 1,000 free books during a 5-day promo would be a good goal.  With that in mind, I was surprised when I surpassed the 1,000 mark on day one of my free promo.

As far as I know, only one of the websites that I submitted promotional information to posted First Sight.  Of course, once it reached the bestseller list, it "sold" itself.  It was exciting to watch my novel move up the Amazon bestseller list, even if it was the separate bestseller list for free Kindle books.  My book was around 55,000 in the Kindle Store after week one.  I wish I would've written down the exact number before I started my free promotion, but it didn't occur to me at the time.  On day two of my promo, my novel was listed as #109 Free in the Kindle Store.  It's also in the Top 10 Free Bestsellers in Contemporary Fiction! 

I've downloaded free Kindle books before, but I only download those that appeal to me.  Assuming other readers think like me, they only download books that they have an interest in and want to read.  If each of the people who've downloaded my book recommends it to just one other person, I'll have reached an amazing number of people who have never heard of me before and possibly never would have found my book otherwise.  I'm hoping the publicity from this free promo and word-of-mouth will boost sales in the days and weeks following.  If it is successful, I'll look into doing this again in the future.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Favorite Chick Lit Books

I've loved reading Chick Lit since college.  As an English major, I read plenty of books for English Lit classes and wrote research papers on many of them.  I love reading all kinds of books though, and sometimes you just want something fun and entertaining--not a classic piece of literature that you have to carefully examine.

Sophie Kinsella's Confessions of a Shopaholic is one of the first Chick Lit books that I remember reading and thinking, Hey, I could write something like that!  How fun!

These are some of my favorites:
  • Sophie Kinsella Confessions of a Shopaholic series and I've Got Your Number
  • Emily Giffin Something Borrowed and Something Blue
  • Lauren Weisberger The Devil Wears Prada
  • Jennifer Weiner In Her Shoes
If you've found your way to my blog, I'm sure you're familiar with all of these authors.  In the future, I'll list some of my favorite lesser-known Chick Lit authors as well.  Happy Reading!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Week One: Publicity Through Social Media

First Sight has been live on Amazon for one week now.  I've submitted information on First Sight to a variety of websites for multiple reasons: asking for a review, suggesting it as a book of the week, mentioning an upcoming promo, etc.  (I should note that I have not spent a massive amount of time doing this.  I've probably sent information to fewer than ten websites to see how successful that was before devoting hours and hours to this task.)

I've gone back to many of the websites to see if my book was listed.  Eventually I decided it would be faster just to google "Laura Donohue First Sight."  Imagine my surprise that websites I'd never even heard of had posted about it.  One blog about romantic comedy listed it as a new release.  Another website had the promo in their discussion forum. Someone I don't even know posted about it on Twitter. 

This is free publicity!  I'm kind of amazed that I haven't even done anything to get mentioned on these particular sites, but it's up there anyway.  Thanks to all those who have included it!  I'd love if new readers found my book this way.  If you've read First Sight and somehow made your way to my blog, please recommend my book as well!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Writing First Sight

First Sight is the first book that I've published, but it wasn't the first book that I ever wrote.  I started my very first novel about six or seven years ago.  I had a great idea, excitedly told a few people about it, created an outline, starting writing...and never finished it.  I still have my first draft, but I just couldn't get the storyline to go where I wanted it to.  I plan to revisit it someday, because I still think it'd be a fun Chick Lit book to read. 

When I had the idea for Maddy and Travis's story, I started writing and couldn't stop.  I'd come home from work and write late into the night.  I'd spend time on weekends, vacations, and even occasionally my lunch break if I had an idea that I just had to get down on paper.  I started writing First Sight more than three years ago.  I stopped working on it for a period of time after my daughter was born, and I've spent most of this year rewriting, revising, and editing it.

Some of my friends and family remembered that I was writing a book, some I'm sure forgot over the years, and some had no idea that I was ever interested in writing a novel.  I was a technical writer and editor for ten years before publishing First Sight, and my English degree has a nonficiton writing and editing concentration.  I'd always planned to write a novel someday though and am happy I continued to pursue this dream until the right idea for a story came along.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kindle Revolution: Independent Publishing

I'd always planned to publish First Sight the old-fashioned way.  I bought books listing names of agents and book publishers, I subscribed to writing magazines, and I faithfully read the blogs of my favorite authors.  I had a query letter drafted, potential publishers in mind, and excerpts ready to go to grab an agent's attention.

Then I purchased my Kindle Fire a year ago.  It was my first introduction to the world of e-reading, and it changed the way I think about books.  I found books and authors that I otherwise might never have discovered who had self-published in the Kindle store.  I could find and connect with other writers in a way I hadn't imagined.  And I learned that I could self-publish there--I didn't need a book contract; I didn't need an agent.  But my book would be out there for people to read.

I started researching publishing on Kindle and was surprised to discover that other authors were not only self-publishing there but also turning down offers from traditional book publishers to do so.  That piece of information further encouraged me to try this path.

Of course I would love for every book I write to become an instant bestseller.  I'm sure most authors would.  But even a publishing contract doesn't guarantee that kind of success.  As a first-time novelist who is just venturing into the publishing world, I'm excited that I wrote a novel and want people to read my book.  It seems like a big risk to potentially just let it sit on someone's desk for months never getting read or quickly get tossed into a rejection pile. 

My simple goal as an author is for people to read my books.  I want to connect with other writers, readers, and fans of Chick Lit.  Self-publishing seems like a great way to start.

Monday, December 3, 2012

First Sight is Now Available!

Maddy Smith writes for a trendy website in Washington DC, has two fabulous best friends, and her own apartment.  When her handsome new colleague Travis Emerson moves to town, Maddy soon finds herself wishing for something more.  After a misunderstanding between them occurs, not only is her hope for a relationship ruined, but their friendship is in jeopardy as well.
Is any chance that Maddy had with Travis over?  Or could he possibly be what she’s been looking for all along?

First Sight is now available on Amazon's Kindle Store!