3 Easy Steps to Getting Your Book Picked Up by Book Clubs

bookclubIt’s what every author dreams of: her book getting picked up by a book club. Everyone in the club reads it … and starts talking about it. Then they tell their friends about it … and they tell their friends. The rest is bestseller history.

But how do you get your book in the hands of book clubs in the first place? Here are three steps to getting started:

Step 1: Set up the incentives.

Before you even start reaching out to book clubs, you need to figure out what you’re offering them to sweeten the pot. A good starting point is a downloadable discussion guide (available via your author website). Other possible incentives can include a few free copies, autographed copies, or the offer for you to chat with the book club (either in person or via Skype). The more incentives you offer, the more likely someone is going to bite.

Step 2: Locate relevant book clubs.

This takes a little bit of time and research, but it’s totally worth it. Scour the web to find book clubs — both online and offline — that regularly read books in your genre. If you can find ones that are local, all the better. But don’t limit yourself. Make a long list of relevant book clubs and the contact information of the person who leads the club. If you don’t want to invest the time and energy, there are plenty of people out there willing to do the work for you. Then…

Step 3: Reach out to the book clubs.

Once you have your list of clubs and you have your pitch, it’s time to reach out. Customize your letter to each book club, ensuring that you touch on all the relevant points to that club. If it’s local, make sure to mention that you’re local as well. If it focuses on your genre, point out how relevant your book is to their readership. Don’t hesitate to include relevant materials in the email, such as a press release about your book, photos of you and your book cover, or the discussion guide we mentioned. This is your chance to “sell” your book, so don’t skimp.

You may reach out to 100 book clubs. If you’re lucky, a few will pick up your book. But those few could turn into hundreds — or even thousands — of copies of your book sold. Put in the thought, time and energy and your book will be the next must-read.

3 Benefits to Reading (and Recommending) Other Books in Your Genre

If you’ve written a  science fiction book … or a military history book … or a chick-lit book (you get the point), then this is obviously a genre that you enjoy and that you’re familiar with. In this post, I will explain why and how you should utilize that knowledge and interest to help promote your own book.

Image courtesy of Evan Animals/Flickr

Image courtesy of Evan Animals/Flickr

Strategy #1: Review Other Books in Your Genre
People love reading book reviews. After all, they want to know that other people have enjoyed a book before they invest the time and money to read it themselves. So build a blog in which you review other mystery novels … or self-help books … or whatever genre you’d categorize your writing as. Once you start building a following, people will start valuing what you have to say. And if they agree with you about various books, they’re much more likely to take the plunge and read your book as well.

Strategy #2: Offer to Cross-Reference Other Books in Your Genre
At the end of the day, other writers in your genre aren’t really your competition. They’re a potential source for finding new readership. So reach out to other writers who talk to the same audience. See if they’re interested in sharing blog posts with you (and vice versa) or reviewing/recommending each others books (and vice versa). Remember: authors aren’t like accountants. Most people have more than one that they are loyal to at a time. So take advantage of the following that another author has, and offer the same in response.

Strategy #3: Write Round-Up Articles
This idea comes courtesy of one of my favorite people in the field, Sandra Beckwith of Build Book Buzz.com. She recently wrote an interesting post about how authors can get their books out there through round-up articles. Here’s a summary of her recommendations.

Step 1: Define your roundup
A “roundup” article usually gathers up the best, worst, most, least, newest, top, funniest, etc.

Step 2: Figure out your roundup topic
For example, “Best business books of 2013” or “Best beach reading for the summer”

Step 3: Create your list
Your list doesn’t have to just include books, either. Think outside the box. For example, your book could be part of a “best Father’s Day gifts” list or a “Fun things to do while your spouse plays golf.” Then figure out what — besides your book, of course — will comprise the list itself.

Step 4: Pitch your list to the press
Write a press release announcing your list. Make sure to present it as identifying a problem that your list can solve.

Voila! Three reasons you should seriously consider reviewing and recommending other books in your genre. As always, think outside the box, and feel free to share any good ideas with the rest of us!

Book Giveaways: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Authors are willing to try a lot of things to promote their books. Giving copies away for free is one of them.

That’s not to say that free book giveaways are a bad thing. In fact, there are some significant benefits to doing so.

Here’s what you need to know about the potential positives and negatives of free book giveaways:

Photo credit: Jessica/Flickr

Photo credit: Jessica/Flickr

The Positives
It’s pretty simple. Giving your book away for free will significantly increase its reach. After all, who isn’t willing to accept something for free? And when they get it, then they’re likely to read it. And when they read it … well, maybe they’ll love it. Maybe they’ll tell their friends about it. Maybe they’re rave about it on Amazon. And maybe … just maybe … you’ve built a fan for life. When your next book comes out, you’ll have a loyal reader. And then, they’ll be willing to actually pay whatever you charge for your new release.

The Negatives
Let’s start with the simplest of the negatives: there’s no money to be made when you’re giving something away for free. In fact, you are likely taking a loss when you do this. That’s especially true if you’re giving away print copies of a book. But even with electronic copies (which cost nothing to actually create or give away), you’ve still invested a whole lot of time, energy (and possibly money) in the giveaway campaign.

But, apparently, that isn’t the only drawback to giving your book away for free. As I discovered in a recent conversation on LinkedIn, there’s another, more obscure problem: a de-valuing of your product.

The conversation started with this post:

This is a question I pondered in my last blog post, after I’d received a one-star rating for my blog anthology, “Out Where the Buses Don’t Run.” It then occurred to me that the person that gave me the one-star rating won my book via a Goodreads giveaway.

Has anyone else encountered something like this, where they’ve given copies of their books away, either as a promotion or as a way to garner reviews, only for that to turn around and bite you? I’m beginning to think a book giveaway wasn’t such a great idea to begin with.  

And the responses seemed to back up this claim. Here are some of the highlights:

It’s true people devalue the free. When I was a stage performer, free shows would end up badly promoted and lacking tech support. — John Kulm

Yes, especially with Amazon’s free books. My worst reviews came from giving my book away. Most people connect free to garbage, so I’m sure these readers (the ones who left the bad reviews) were already biased to think the book was no good.  —Richard Houston  

There is definitely a correlation in marketing that goes something like, “In the absence of other signals, the buyer equates quality with price.” —Lucy Gold (500+)                      

So maybe there is something to be learned here. Maybe free book giveaways have a certain caché that come with them. This is something all authors should keep in mind before launching such a campaign.

But before you get too down on book giveaways, I’m going to include a quote from one last comment in that same conversation on LinkedIn:

I think giveaways are a great way to promote your book, but they are more effective if yes, you have a larger number overall, but also if it is part of a promotional event where people realize you are giving away a few number of books for the purpose of promoting it, not necessarily because you just want to give them away — which, unfortunately, can sometimes SEEM to be the case, even if it isn’t.

I’d say keep doing it, but maybe on a smaller scale, and only as promotional ventures that truly make sure people are aware they are being blessed with a free book instead of being given “just” a free book. —Jessica DuBois


So there you have it! All you need to know about the potential benefits and drawbacks of a book giveaway. Make your choice wisely and best of luck!

5 Common Social Media Mistakes Authors Make

social media mistakesI seem to spend a lot of time discussing social media lately. That’s because … well … it has become a crucial part of an author’s online marketing plan.

And yet, many authors continue to avoid social media at all costs, or worse, make some serious mistakes while investing their time and energy in social media.

With that in mind …. presenting, five common social media mistakes authors make.

1. Being too promotional. It’s social media. It’s not a commercial. If you make the mistake of treating it like an advertisement — and only talking about your product — people are going to treat your social media presence like they would treat any other advertisement: fast forward through it.

2. Not interacting with readers. Part of why social media has spread like wildfire is because people love that it truly is a conversation. An author website is a place where authors can talk and readers can listen. Facebook, Twitter, etc… is where readers can communicate with writers as equals. So make sure to pose questions to your followers, respond to questions and comments, etc… Remember: it’s a conversation.

3. Posting too infrequently. In this way, social media is much like a blog. People are only going to follow you if you post in a timely and frequent manner. That means that you share your opinions on news and events as soon as they happen (not weeks later), and you respond to questions and comments while they’re still fresh in the minds of the people who posted them. Just take five minutes a day to pay attention to your social networking profiles and it can make a world of difference.

4. Confusing professional and personal.
I’ve had many authors ask me if they need to create a separate professional profile on Facebook. The answer is a resounding “yes,” and for a multitude of reasons. To begin with, what you want to share with your readers is probably very different than what you want to share with your second cousin. The latter may care that your toddler was picking his nose yesterday, but the former probably doesn’t. In addition, it’s important that you remember that your professional profile is just that: professional. I recently was reading a conversation on LinkedIn in which someone was talking about how an author had linked her professional profile as a children’s author and her personal profile, in which she was venting about her own political beliefs. Sure, she has the right to talk about whatever she wants. But why alienate readers when it’s completely unnecessary?

5. Not measuring results. I say this all the time about websites. The same is true with social media. If you’re not paying attention to which posts are getting read/liked, and which Tweets are getting retweeted, then you’re working blindly. Pay close attention to what’s working — and what’s not — and alter your social media strategy accordingly. If you don’t know how to do that, you can find plenty of tutorials online about Facebook insights and the corresponding tools on other sites.

Sure, social media can be a pain. It can be a time suck. And you probably would rather spend your time … well … writing. But do social media right and you can see a hefty reward.

5 Ways to Integrate Social Media Into Your Author Website

You might love social media. You might hate social media. But there’s one thing you can’t deny: it’s practically a necessity in today’s world of author marketing.

So how can you integrate social networking tools into your author website without creating even more work for yourself? Here are some ways to do just that…

icons1. Links to your social networking profiles. This is practically standard nowadays. On just about any author website, you’ll see little buttons that represent Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc… Most people understand exactly what those icons mean and know that if they click on them, they will be taken directly to your profile on the corresponding site.

2. Like buttons. Have you ever seen that little thumbs up sign with the word “like” next to it? That’s a Facebook like button. That allows site visitors to tell all of their Facebook friends that they “like” your website. Plus, Facebook will keep track of how many people have “liked” your site, and even show the faces of those who did. See our example on the left.

3. Blog-post-to-tweets. You’ll be happy to know that there’s a relatively simple way to set things up so that every time you post a blog entry on your site, Twitterfeed automatically takes the first 140 characters and “tweets” it out to your fanbase. That tweet then ends with a link to read the full post on your site. Again, this is a great way to get your message out through multiple channels without having to do any additional work.

4. Share buttons. In today’s social media world, there’s no better way to get more eyeballs on your site than to have readers “share” your articles, blog posts, etc… with their friends. It’s the equivalent of a personal recommendation. Make sure that every piece of content on your site includes share buttons that allow readers to spread the word about your good read through their social networking site of choice. See the example on the right.

widget5. Widgets. I just love Facebook and Twitter widgets on author websites. These little snippets of code that you can embed on your site mean that your latest posts, comments, pictures, etc… on your favorite social networking channel will automatically feed into your website. Put this on your homepage and you’ve got a site that always looks fresh and up to date … without your having to even touch it. See an example on the left.

Remember: every one of your readers has a preferred way of staying on top of what you’re doing. Some prefer to visit the site. Others prefer to follow you on Facebook or receive your Tweets. By seamlessly integrating all of these methods, you’re allowing your readers to follow you in the way that they like best. And that can only be good for you.

To (Give It Away for) Free or Not to Free? That Is the Question

Okay, I apologize for the tacky play on words in the title. I just couldn’t resist.

Anyway, I came across a conversation on LinkedIn this morning about the benefits (and arguments against) giving away ebooks for free.

The post that started the conversation certainly grabbed my attention. It read:

We authors needs to band together and say “NO MORE FREE BOOKS.” Does a CEO offer his services for free? Does an employee tell their boss “This week I’ll work for free?” How do we solve it?

The responses were  … well … quite mixed. I thought I would pull out the most interesting quotes from the arguments on both sides so that you can help form your own decision about whether or not to offer your book for free as part of a promotional package.

The Pros

The Baen Free Library has demonstrated that free books increase sales of backlist titles. I am putting another of my books up there soon. I also “snippet” — post chapters of — forthcoming books for free, up to about half the book’s contents.
Ryk Spoor

My sales were increased tremendously by using the program on Amazon. At the start my sales were up over a thousand percent over the pre program sales figures. And now, at the end of nine months with the program my sales are consistently two hundred percent over pre program sales.
Michael “Duke” Davis

“Free” is not a new concept. Free attracts people who might pay for your stuff in the future. Think of a free e-book as your loss leader.
Susan Wenger

I find it works extremely well when you have a series. I gave away book one of my vampire series and book 2 sales soared. Giving books away is a long term investment and the more books you have published, the better it will pay off!
Janiera Eldridge

When I started this writing gig, I questioned the “free” thing as well. Then I was picked up by a small press who absolutely does not agree with “free”, but does encourage giveaways. On the release of my debut novel, I was provided with 25 free Smashwords coupons to use for reviews, promos, etc. I’ve used them judiciously, and have seen some good return. I agree with others here, “Free” is a marketing decision, and is typically for a limited time. Ever hear of “buy one, get one free?” This has been used by some of the world’d biggest retailers and suppliers for years, because it works.
Debbie McClure

The Cons

Since I signed up for KDP which locks you in for 90 days, I’ve learned that it’s almost a game with many to dowload as many free books as they can – many times in the triple digits. And, they don’t read them, they just collect them. If it were mandatory that there were no free books online ever, the good, the bad and the ugly would be weeded out fairly quickly. With 1300 downloads, I’m think Wow! People will review and the word will get out. Not true. I’ve had l7 reviews in a month (since it was printed) and most of these people have written me via my website and paid for the book. Fifteen five-star and two four-star. As far as I can tell, the free downloads did not help my sales. Maybe they will eventually, but not yet.. If you pull a book up on Amazon or B & N and read the first page, you know whether the book is worthy enough to read. I’m not saying mine is worthy or better than others, I feel that a book should be purchased because it’s a good book,not because it’s free.
Kimberly Shursen

Some authors choose to put their ebooks up on sites like Smashwords for free. That is a personal choice, although it’s been argued that a lot of these are worth even less than the asking price. Some writers do this because they simply want their books to be read and don’t care about bringing in money. Others are looking to create a following as they develop their talent. Either way it would be very rare to hear someone say: “wow this is such a great book I would have paid to read it!”
Gordon Williams

Just remember if you sell yourself cheap why should a reader value your book more than you do?
Ron Mahedy


In summary, I think the pros outweigh the cons. But what really came through in the responses to this original post is that it’s up to each and every author to decide whether this is the right form of marketing for the book in question. As one person so succinctly put it: I don’t see anyone forcing authors to give away their books for free.

Should Self-Published Authors Take Advantage of the Kindle Select Program?

Nearly every new author today is opting to self publish. Okay, not always opting. Often, it’s their only choice. But regardless, there are thousands of authors out there self-publishing their books, and each of them is looking for a way to make their book stand out. Enter Kindle Select.

In case you haven’t heard of it, Kindle Direct Publishing Select (KDP Select) is a program that Amazon offers to their self-published authors. According to Amazon, here are the benefits of such a program:

  • Earn higher royalties Earn your share of the KDP Select Global Fund amount when readers borrow your books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Plus, earn 70% royalty for sales to customers in Japan, India and Brazil.
  • Make your book free to readers worldwide for a limited time The Promotions Manager tool will allow you to directly schedule and control the promotion of free books.
  • Reach a new audience Distribute books through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and reach the growing number of Amazon Prime customers on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de and Amazon.fr.

But, as with anything, there is a drawback. As Amazon explains: When you choose to enroll your book in KDP Select, you’re committing to make the digital format of that book available exclusively through KDP. During the period of exclusivity, you cannot distribute your book digitally anywhere else, including on your website, blogs, etc. However, you can continue to distribute your book in physical format, or in any format other than digital.

So how does an author know whether Amazon Select is the right option for their newest release? Well, they turn to other authors, of course. I came across a conversation among authors on LinkedIn this morning about just that, and I thought I would include some excerpts so that you can make an informed decision for yourself.

Here are some of what the authors had to say:


The Positive

I have eight books in the Select program and think it has been the greatest thing since sliced bread,

I use the give-a-way program carefully. The first month I was in it I gave away about 2200 books for free, However, I also raised my sales over 1000%. After that for the next five months it dropped down to where I was giving away maybe twenty books a month but still selling about an average 200% above my starting sales numbers.

I am now going to drop out of the program and put my books back into all the markets and see how I do. I am quite happy with my six months results and would recommend it to anyone. But my name and books are much more well known now and I am getting a nice little following. So it’s time to spread out.

When I say I use it carefully here are some of the things I learned. If you are only going to try one book in it, don’t waste your time. You only get five days in three months to use the free book bit. Of course that isn’t going to get any notice. Eight books worked out wonderfully for me. What I found worked best for me is I give away a different free book every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I start the rotation with one of my best books. The second book is also one of my best, the third (or Sunday book) would be one that wasn’t doing so well, and I just keep rotating them in this order through the ninety days. I don’t give away any books om Monday thru Thursday. I found the response to be very low on those days.

Some people have told me that I would have still had a lot of sales for that period if I weren’t giving away the books. I guess that could be true, but for the two years leading up to that point my sales were poor so what else could have jump started my income?

A lot of the success still depends on your marketing. There is no substitute for good marketing. I am learning all the time…

Michael “Duke” Davis “The Dukester”

I gave away a lot of free books, but I’m not sure how much it helped my sales. But as a new novelist, I felt it was more important to get the first novel out rather than try for a big profit.

From the standpoint of getting my name out there, the select program worked. I’ve recieved lots of “fan mail” via twitter/facebook/email and have to field daily questions about when the next book will be out. So it looks like I’m on my way to a loyal following.
Alex Reissig

The Negative
This issue has been fully debated on various blogs, forums, and especially the Smashwords blog and on Mark Coker’s updates. Coker makes very strong points that it’s not good to have books exclusively on one site since you’re sacrificing sales at all other sites, i.e., iTunes Store, Nook, Sony Reader, and smartphone apps. Amazon may still be the largest seller of ebooks, but their share of the market is declining.

You’re giving readers more places to find your books if you have them distributed widely across all tablets, readers, smartphones.
Jack Erickson


Not a lot of comments, but some insightful ones. If you have any experience with Amazon Select that you would like to share, do so in the comments box below.

And for the rest of you … good luck making your decision!

Why (and How) Authors Should Build LinkedIn Profiles

I know. You’re probably cringing. Because after all this advice that you’ve been getting about blogging and building presences on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, etc… the last thing you probably want to hear is about why you should dedicate a little time to LinkedIn. But that’s what I’m about to tell you.

Now, LinkedIn isn’t necessarily for each and every author. But if you fit into one of the following categories, you should seriously consider it:

1. You’re a nonfiction author. Yea, that’s about half of you. If you’ve written a nonfiction book, then you’re an “expert” in that field. So it’s important that you build a LinkedIn presence that establishes you in that genre. Because when the media is looking for someone to interview on the subject, LinkedIn may be one of the first places they go.

2. You’re looking for a book deal. Okay, that’s a lot of you, too. Unless you’ve self-published your book and are dedicated to doing the same going forward, you’re probably open to inquiries from agents and publishers. In that case, creating a professional author presence on LinkedIn will help you get noticed by those in the publishing field.

3. You want to build connections. Well, who doesn’t? The truth is that there are tons of other authors (or people in the field that you write about) who may be very good people for you to know professionally. LinkedIn is all about these professional connections … and those are hard to make without a professional profile.

Okay, so are you convinced? Now that you know you should create your profile, here’s some advice on exactly what (and what not) to do, courtesy of Social Media Today

  1. Make sure that your profile is “complete.” This means adding (at least) your industry, location, special skills, education, a summary, and two past positions.
  2. Make sure that your headshot is a good one! Don’t just crop a picture out of a recent family photo. Make it friendly, appealing, close range (filling the frame), and professional.
  3. Add “Author” and the name of your book to your work experience. Be sure to include a description of the book, and a link to purchase in the work history.  …  Also be sure to upload your book cover image and if you have a book trailer, add that as well. You can even offer a sample chapter here as well.
  4. Create a vanity URL. People won’t remember the system-generated URL, but they may remember your name.
  5. Connect your author website and/or Amazon page to your profile. LinkedIn lets you connect three other URLs to your profile. If you have an author website, always use that one. Other choices include your Facebook page, your author page on Amazon, or a glowing book review.
  6. Write your background summary in a conversational style. I use first person. Making your summary conversational demonstrates that you’re accessible and easy to communicate with.
  7. Think keywords! Make sure that the summary includes keywords related to your topic of expertise. Keywords for LinkedIn profiles can be sprinkled throughout the profile (in the headline, job descriptions, summary, etc.), and should be done without naturally.
  8. Add your book titles to the Publications section, as well as any guest posts you’ve written. Consider this an opportunity to showcase your work beyond what they can find on your website.

And I would like to add another tip to this list. Join author groups on LinkedIn and chat with your fellow authors about what they’re doing, what’s working, and what they feel is a waste of time. I belong to about five such groups and I find the advice extremely useful. Heck, I get most of the ideas for blog posts from those conversations.

In short, take a few minutes and set up your LinkedIn profile. It’s a lot less time consuming than Facebook, and may be a whole lot more helpful.

3 Websites That All Authors Should Know About (If They Want to Sell Copies of Their Books)

We’ve talked at length about the need for authors to create presences on Facebook, Twitter, etc… But there are some other, lesser-known sites out there which can provide a great service to authors who are looking to market their work.

Without further ado, here are three that I’ve heard authors raving about…

1. GoodReads. You’ve probably heard of it. What you might not understand is how it works and what its benefits are. Here’s how the site is described: “The Goodreads Author Program is a completely free feature designed to help authors reach their target audience — passionate readers. This is the perfect place for new and established authors to promote their books.” And some of the features that GoodReads offers authors includes the ability to promote upcoming events (like signings/speaking), a place to share book excerpts, the ability to post videos, and the ability to lead a discussion group or list a book giveaway. In other words, GoodReads is a great place to find your target audience and speak directly to them about why your book should be next on their reading list.

2. Novelrank.com. Have you ever wondered how many copies of your book have been sold on Amazon? Probably, because it’s nearly impossible to find out … or so you think. Somehow, the experts at Novelrank.com have solved the mystery. According to the site’s homepage: “NovelRank is a completely free website for tracking books or other product’s Amazon Sales Rank on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.fr, Amazon.de (Germany), Amazon.co.jp (Japan), Amazon.cn (China),Amazon.it (Italy), and Amazon.es (Spain). NovelRank is the best free resource for self-promoting authors to track their print and ebook sales and Sales Rank on Amazon with charting, RSS feeds, and real-time data.”

3. ReadersCircle.org. Ah, book clubs. They’re the target of many authors’ marketing efforts, but to no avail. Thankfully, we now have Readers Circle, where book clubs around the world form and gather. “Each year Reader’s Circle serves 90,000 inquires for local book clubs in 5 countries,” according to the site’s homepage. And as some savvy authors have discovered, Readers Circle is a great place to find and target book clubs specific to their genres. Through Readers Circle, you can get the names and contact info of book club organizers, and send them emails offering a free copy of your book, a discussion guide, the opportunity to have you meet with the group via Skype, etc… It’s a win-win.

If you’re an author who is working to market your latest (or future!) book, all three of these sites are worth visiting. And if you know of any others that have been helpful to you, share them with us in the comments field below!

How These Authors Took the Bull By the Horns (and How You Can, Too)

Photo: Angela Mann, Kepler's

I came across an interesting read on PublishersWeekly.com this week. It’s about four YA authors who got together and organized their own book tour.

Here’s a summary of the article:

  • The touring authors – Martha Brockenbrough (Devine Intervention, Scholastic/Levine), Sean Beaudoin (The Infects, Candlewick), Kevin Emerson (The Lost Code, HarperCollins/Tegen), and Cat Patrick (Revived, Little, Brown) – are friends who met through the Seattle writing community.
  • The “You Are Next” tour, a nod to what the group calls “the next generation of books for the next generation of readers,” launched in January, with visits to schools and bookstores in Las Vegas, and San Francisco, and Portland, Ore.
  • To chart their itinerary, the authors brainstormed about West Coast cities they’d like to go to and bookstores they’d enjoyed visiting in the past. They contacted booksellers to arrange store and school visits, and circulated flyers announcing the tour.
  • The tour will next touch down in greater Los Angeles, where the quartet will make several store appearances during the week of March 25.
  • Capping off the week is a visit to Disneyland on March 30, when they will be joined by several other YA authors, plus bloggers, librarians, booksellers, and fans for a day of play.
  • At each stop on the You Are Next tour, which the authors are publicizing through its Facebook page and through their respective Twitter feeds, the authors offer a panel presentation that involves significant audience participation.
  • The authors show embarrassing photos of themselves (“including but not limited to prom photos,” she says), read from their books in voices mimicking those of celebrities, and give kids prizes if they guess correctly which “fun facts” pertain to which authors.

What a brilliant idea! These four YA authors came up with an innovative way to get their books in front of their target audience … and have fun all the while. I’m not sure who is paying for this trip — or how much the total cost will be — but this should be a model for authors everywhere.

Communicate with other authors in your genre. Think of them as idea-generators, not competitors. Together, you can think outside the box and come up with creative ideas like these four women did.