Five Book Marketing Tips You Can Try Today

We’re talking marketing for April and I immediately panicked and flailed. Then, I decided to consult an expert. When I think of YA authors who’ve done marketing well from the ground floor, I think of THE YA GIRL, Jennifer Bardsley.

I asked her for her 5 best Marketing tips… And as luck would have it, she was happy to share!

Five Book Marketing Tips You Can Try Today By Jennifer Bardsley
It would be fun to have a bank account stashed with cash, a nanny at the ready, and a private jet to shuttle me off to book conferences all over the world, but the reality is that when it comes to marketing my books, I need to concentrate on free things I can do on my phone while my kids are taking swimming lessons. Here are five strategies I’ve learned to help connect my books with readers:

Start a Facebook Page
Here’s how.
Post a couple of times a day.
Be brief and witty.
Provide entertainment and encouragement.
Don’t constantly sell yourself or your book.
Only do a “buy my book post” once every twentieth post.
Respond to every comment.
See my article in SCWBI: Tips for Building up your Facebook Author Page.
Read my article for Adventures in YA Publishing Facebook Rules are a Must Read for Authors.
Join the Bookstagram Community on Instagram
Heart as many posts as possible.
Leave as many comments as possible.
When a new account follows you, give that person lots of hearts.
Tag your location in every picture.
Watch for new hashtag trends.
Don’t share another account’s photo without permission!!!!!!!!
Read my article for Adventures in YA Publishing: Great tips for writers using Instagram.

 

Join the #YAlit Community on Twitter
Post a few times a day.
Retweet to make friends.
Only use two or three hashtags.
Organize your followers in lists.
Uses lists to engage with targeted audiences.
Use Manage Flitter to unfollow people who don’t follow you back.

Build a Newsletter Mailing List
Have a sign up form on your website.
Include a sign up at the back of your book.
Run a Rafflecopter to encourage subscribers.
Stay with MailChimp until you hit 2,000 followers.
Switch to Mailer Lite when your list grows beyond 2,000, because it’s cheaper.
Shoot for a 50% open rate.

JB

 

About the Author
Jennifer Bardsley writes the column “I Brake for Moms” for The Everett Daily Herald. Her novel “Genesis Girl” debuted in 2016 from Month9Books, and the sequel “Damaged Goods” came out in 2017. “Genesis Girl” is about a teenager who has never been on the Internet. Jennifer however, is on the web all the time as “The YA Gal” with over 21,000 followers on Facebook, 19,000 followers on Instagram, and 11,000 followers on Twitter. Jennifer is a member of SCBWI, The Sweet Sixteens debut author group, and is founder of Sixteen To Read. An alumna of Stanford University, Jennifer lives near Seattle in the United States of America.

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Website Twitter Instagram Facebook Goodreads

 

I love these tips and can’t wait to try them out! Thanks so much for visiting today!!

🙂

Beck

beck nicholas_ bec sampson

I always wanted to write. I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.

Interviewing Stacey Nash

This month here on the blog we’re celebrating having two fabulous new members with a series of interviews and today I’m super lucky to be chatting to Stacey Nash.

Stacey Nash

You’ve written both sci-fi (can I say I adored the Collective books!!) and contemporary – which is your favourite to write and why?

Aww, thanks! The Collective series in many ways was the story of my heart. But, I do love writing both genres and I can’t say that I prefer one over the other. I tend to switch back and forth between the two, depending on whichever takes my fancy.

 

Similarly, do you prefer YA like your sci-fi or NA like the Oxley College series?

There actually isn’t a lot of difference between my NA and my YA. That’s because I write to a sweet heat level (no shown sex scenes) and my young adult characters are in the upper age bracket and my new adult characters are in the lower age bracket. This makes the categories blur and become quite similar.

It’s great to find those sweet stories with characters a bit older and thinking about post-school type issues. 
You’re from the gorgeous Hunter Valley region – how important is where you come from to your writing?

I do love my local area, but I have actually never set a story here. Most of my stories are set or based loosely around other places I’ve lived. I would be lost without the beauty of my surrounds though. It inspires me daily.

I’d love to travel there one day. My only trip was a whirlwind science conference which didn’t give me much time to appreciate scenery.

I got to know you through RWA (Romance Writers of Australia) – how important is the balance of romance in your stories?

RWA has connected me with so many wonderful people. Thanks RWA! Umm, as far as balance goes it’s very important to get right. Too little it doesn’t have the power to pull the reader through the story. Too much and it becomes a yawn-fest of ‘are these characters going to doing anything else but make eyes at other?’ That’s purely my opinion though. As both a reader and as a writer I prefer the romance to be a strong subplot. I always need something a little more adventurous to keep me entertained, but I do need a little love thrown in to make me swoon.

I love a meaty plot too!
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?

The first draft is for telling yourself the story. Subsequent drafts are for perfecting it.

Favourite childhood story?

I’m going to complicate this because it depends on what age we’re talking about. During my early years it would have been the BFG, but by the time I was 10 it had changed to Anne of Green Gables (the entire series) and stayed at that until I was around 14 when I discovered Tomorrow When the War Began (again, the entire series).

We seem to have similar tastes. I think TWTWB was a huge influence for me too.
What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a few things at the moment. I’m rewriting a YA sci-fi that once again blurs the magic/tech boundaries and I’ve just finished editing another NA contemp with a rural setting.

I can’t wait to read them!
Fast five questions:

Pantser or plotter? Both

Vanilla or chocolate? Vanilla

Novella or full-length? Full length

Series or standalone? Series

Day writing or Night? Day

 

BIO:

Writing for the young and new adult market, Stacey’s books are all adventure filled stories with a lot of adventure, a good dose of danger, a smattering of romance, and plenty of KISSING! Hailing from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, she loves nothing more than immersing herself in the beauty and culture of the local area.

Her debut novel, FORGET ME NOT was released as a three book series (Collective Series) through HarperCollins Australia during 2014 / 2015. And her Oxley College Saga is out now.

Twitter / Facebook / Website

🙂

Beck

beck nicholas_ bec sampson

I always wanted to write. I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.

 

 

What do you love?

This month, we’re talking about love. Today I’m caught up in the idea of bringing what I love into my writing… and what I hate I guess.

The things I love certainly influence my reading. I love an element of romance, I love Aussie settings, I love exotic settings, I love friendship and I love to have a good cry. These things all work together to influence which books I buy. The people I love do too, if a friend or admired blogger/author LOVES a book then I will try it even if it doesn’t have any of the elements I love personally.

My characters often share elements of what I love (or hate to mix things up). If I feel strongly about something then I know I can write a character who does too.

gringotts

I loooovvvveee all things Harry Potter

Right now I am madly in love with my new puppy Harriet Hermione Potts (so named from my love of Harry Potter). And I’m finding my new main character has a puppy. I ran the New York Marathon and found my character running to clear her head. Sometimes my characters love things that I specifically don’t however because they’re all different. For example, it’s fun, while I write, to be an amazing singer who wouldn’t make the audience wince in pain when they got up on a stage.

Do you look for elements you love when choosing a book to read/write?

 

🙂

Beck

beck nicholas_ bec sampson

I always wanted to write. I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.

 

Begin Again

I know she’s not for everyone but I’m a bit of a Taylor Swift fan. I’ve seen her in concert twice and she was all of the awesome. I adore the song ‘Begin Again’ as it’s a story in itself about beginnings and can even be used to examine story structure (see Jessica Brody’s great blog here).

And I’m thinking of it this month as I start a new year and a new story (two swirling in my head).

Today I wanted to talk about not simply beginning, but beginning again.

At the same time as beginning a new year and new story, I have a new puppy. THAT is a lesson in starting again. Harriet Potts chews, she nibbles, she’s adorable and hard work.

hp-ball

Kind of like my story… lol.

This isn’t my first story which means I’m bringing lessons from before

  1. What worked well last time?
  2. How cam improve my process?
  3. How can I get batter?

All of these questions need to be addressed as I begin.

Then there’s the baggage…

  1. What if it takes longer?
  2. I’ve done one, doesn’t mean I can finish again.
  3. What if that last story doesn’t sell and I’m wasting my time?

I try to take the good lessons (I wrote 50k in Nov, I can write faster than I thought) and not get dragged back by the doubts (this is a fresh start, anything is possible).

Do you have any tips for beginning… again…?

 

🙂

Beck

beck nicholas_ bec sampson

I always wanted to write. I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.

 

 

Celebrate the End

We’ve just about hit the end of the year. I’ve just finished writing a book and I’ve just had to say goodbye to my beloved 17yo dog Matty. Lots of ending happening here.

Matty.jpg

I tend to find endings bittersweet as an author and reader. Saying farewell to the characters (forever or for now) can be sad. Like this year, I tend to race to get to the end then wonder where the time/book went.

So today I wanted to share five awesomeness things about book endings (and hope you guys can help with more):

  1. The chance to reflect on the story as a whole as the author intended instead of only seeing a fraction
  2. The satisfaction of knowing who done it/how the character got out of or not the messy situation. Hopefully there’s that sigh as I close the final page…
  3. The ability to once again visit (briefly) the real world (I tend to get a little book obsessed)
  4. No one can spoil it for you anymore
  5. THE NEXT BOOK (of course)!

Any other thoughts on why we should like endings?

🙂

Beck

beck nicholas_ bec sampson

I always wanted to write. I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.

How to Grab an Editor’s Attention and other Unexplained Mysteries

I’ve been following Aussie Owned and Read for some time now, so when they approached me to guest blog, I jumped at the chance. This close to the end of the year, most people are thinking of beach holidays and Christmas shopping. But as much as the year is winding down for me, it’s also revving up. You see, I’ve received an early and much longed for Christmas present: my first publishing contract!

While everyone else is pulling boxes of baubles and tinsel out of storage, I’m embarking on the first round of edits for my debut novel, a YA Paranormal Romance to be published in 2017 by Entangled Teen. To be honest, I’m still in shock, and it’ll take more than one serve of Christmas pudding to process it all, but in the meantime I thought I’d share what it was that propelled my editor to pull the story from the slush.

 

  1. The title: The first thing that grabbed him was the title (which, unfortunately, I’m not allowed to reveal as yet). This surprised me. Since titles are often changed after submission, I didn’t think they carried much weight. But the title really resonated. So think of a killer title!
  2. A well crafted query letter, including a solid pitch: Now, this one’s a no-brainer. If you’re a pre-published author, you’ll have had the importance of a polished query letter rubber-stamped onto your brain. If you’re rusty on how to craft one, check out Rebecca and Heather’s post here for tips https://aussieownedandread.com/2016/08/11/the-dreaded-query-letter/ What clicked for my editor were an interesting story arc, an intriguing MC and voice. It’s not easy, but see if you can infuse your query with a taste of your writing voice.
  3. Pace, tension and great storytelling: Okay, so you’ve hooked your editor with your title and query. They’ve started reading (yay!). They’re pulled into the story (hoorah!). They still like the voice (phew!). How do you keep them turning those pages? Pace and tension is what carries them through to the end. Make sure every scene has some form of tension and / or story question to push the action forward and keep up the pace. In a Christmassy nutshell, good storytelling is the key.

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Now, no two editors (or agents) are the same, so they won’t all be looking for identical things in a manuscript, but it can’t hurt to shine up that title, polish your query and ramp up the tension and pace J

 

So, what makes you pick up a book and keep turning the pages?

 

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Kat is a Sydney-based Young and New Adult author and teacher librarian who writes coming-of-age stories with a healthy dose of humour and heart. She speaks German and hopes to, one day, read one of her novels in Deutsch.

 

Anything but cleaning

Here at AOR this month we’re talking spring cleaning. This would not count in my top… billion… fun past times. Although I do love a clean house/workspace.

Instead I present to you, 5 things to do instead of clean:

  1. READ – this one might be obvious but I’d hate for it to get lost. Think of all the pages to be read instead of bathroom tiles scrubbed
  2. Buy books – this helps with point 1 but might actually add to the mess (e-books?).
  3. Write a story – I know I’m struggling with my story when I clean instead of writing (then it can help clear my head and make me wish I was writing)
  4. Order your bookshelf – this is like cleaning, I admit but it’s fun and you could happily get side-tracked by a fave book
  5. Meet a friend and talk books – this gets you away from the mess and has a fun social element that’s good for your soul

writing socks.jpg

Anyone else got a good way to avoid cleaning?

🙂

Beck

beck nicholas_ bec sampson

I always wanted to write. I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.