Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mailing Lists

November 6th 2014

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how important mailing lists a.k.a. newsletters are to marketing. Of course, this makes sense. Once upon a time MySpace was the the social networking stream, now it’s Twitter and Facebook. In five years it could be HighFive (I just made that up). But email and a website are pretty much longstanding. At least, I hope. If I have a mailing list, I can always email readers to tell them about a new book or project or sale. Whereas, let’s be real, Facebook is hit or miss. Mostly miss since little of what I post makes it to fans.

Here’s the problem with a mailing list, I can’t figure out how to get people on it. Granted, I only have one book out. I’m sure in time, with more books under my belt, I’ll gather more readers. But seriously, I have four people on my mailing list and half of them are me and my dad (who I signed up on his behalf). I don’t want to be all ‘give me your email address’ but I’m not sure how to get people interested without being annoying.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can increase interest in my mailing list? Do you have a mailing list? How often do you send out emails? What do you email your readers when you don’t have any news?

Here’s a link to mine if anyone is interested in signing up.

Signature

My first ever author event!

October 24th 2014

Tonight was my first ever author event. I did a book reading and signing at my local public library. It went really well. I had a blast hanging out with my friends and a fan! talking about books and writing. Especially since my kids were left at home with their dad. Ahh…the sweet sound of adult conversation. It also felt so narcissistic. I mean I spoke about myself and my work for nearly 2 hours. And yet it was so cool to be able to share tidbits about my writing process and how books get published and where my characters’ names come from. Stuff I tell my husband, but rather than getting a obligatory ‘uh-huh’, the audience seemed interested. It really was a stellar evening. It made me feel like an author and not just a mom parading as a writer.

Author Event! Dingman Branch of Pike Cty Public Library

Author Event! Dingman Branch of Pike Cty Public Library

But the best part of the night was meeting a fan. If you’re reading this, Kelsey, I mean you (you totally made my night!) Kelsey is a 19-year-old with dreams of becoming a writer. She was excited to meet me. I was just as excited to meet her. Kelsey said she had never met a real author before and her giddiness at meeting me is the same giddiness I feel when I meet an author I adore. It’s like meeting a rock star.

Me and Kelsey -- I totally have her permission to post this.

Me and Kelsey — I totally have her permission to post this.

Friends and family are my first line of support. They’re the ones who bought my book the day it came out; who championed my work to others. It’s unreal to think of strangers reading my book, but Kelsey, up until today, was a stranger who read my book and came to meet me. It was truly an honor.

I also signed a copy for a sweet 8th grader. I hope she likes GG&G too. My next book signing is on Dec. 13th in Hawley, PA. A girl can get used to this.

Signature

Elixir Bound Book Blitz (say that 5x fast!)

September 16th 2014

Blitz Banner

Katie L. Carroll’s YA book, Elixir Bound, is on sale! She’s a mom to a toddler and a newborn, like moi [Anyone who is breastfeeding and trying to market their book deserves a friggin medal. (Is all I’m sayin)] so send her some love and get her book. It’s 99 cents on Amazon. (I just bought my copy!) You can’t go wrong. Also, enter to win a signed copy of Elixir Bound on Goodreads!

Elixir BoundElixir Bound by Katie L. Carroll

Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.

It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.

Katie L. Carroll began writing at a very sad time in her life after her 16-year-old sister, Kylene, unexpectedly passed away. Since then writing has taken her to many wonderful places, real and imagined. She wrote ELIXIR BOUND and the forthcoming ELIXIR SAVED so Kylene could live on in the pages of a book. Katie is also the author of the picture app THE BEDTIME KNIGHT and an editor for MuseItUp Publishing. She lives not too far from the beach in a small Connecticut city with her husband and son. For more about Katie, visit her website at www.katielcarroll.com and follow her on Twitter (@KatieLCarroll) or Tumblr.

Teaser 1 Guardian

Signature

Win 8 YA books!

August 15th 2014

It’s been so cold in Northeastern PA, it feels like September is here already. How about easing into the new school year with EIGHT awesome YA novels? One winner gets them all. Click HERE to enter.

Win all 8

Win all 8

Signature

So…marketing

August 8th 2014

Grunge Gods has been out for two months and the sales and attention, along with momentum, has dropped off considerably. I’m pretty sure every family member and friend and friend of a friend has bought the book by now, so I find myself suddenly running out of people I know to keep that Amazon sales rank afloat. And while I am crazy grateful that so many of my friends and family have bought the book, it’s time for strangers to read it. And for that to happen, I need to market.

Ugh. Marketing. I mean, I wrote a book. It’s a good book. Why can’t people just read it without me having to do anything? Especially since I don’t like to be pushy. Funny thing is when I was a librarian, I was a book pusher. If you were a teenager in my neck of the stacks, I stalked you until you left with a handful of new reads. Libraries live and die by their circ stats. Just sayin’. But it’s different when it’s my book. I don’t know if it’s my Jewish guilt or what, but it sounds braggy to tell people that I wrote a book. It’s a big accomplishment, but for some reason, I hear my grandma’s voice saying, “No one likes a show off.”

Truth is all authors must market themselves whether they like it or not. Once upon a time, publishers did the marketing for their authors. Now, publishers will only go so far to help them. My publisher does a lot, maybe even more so than some Big 5 pubs. I get a blog tour. Down the line, I might even get a Book Bub ad. But making sure my book gets into the hands of readers comes down on my shoulders.

I try to do everything right. I send out personalized review requests to bloggers. I don’t spam. I aim to be interesting on Twitter. But I’m 35 with three young kids. My days are about potty-training and tantrums and spit-up. No one, not even me, finds that interesting. Unless you enjoy irate tweets to my local politicians, you may not find me all that interesting on Twitter.

I’m grateful for the advice of my dear publishing sister, Katie. The girl has been pushing her book for two years and getting her cover and her brand in front of as many people as possible. And it has paid off for her. She is a New York Times Bestseller! Her nugget of wisdom (that I think she stole from our other publishing sis, Mary): it’s about brand awareness. Not sales. You need to get your book cover in front of a person 8-10 times before they buy it. That’s a lot of hustling for that one sale. But that’s what you do. You hustle. So far my marketing plan has consisted of a Goodreads giveaway, which got my book added to 600 shelves; a meager $50 Facebook ad; and getting some local press. I can only hustle so much with three kids.

My latest marketing strategy is a collective giveaway with other YA authors. In fact, this networking has been my favorite part of marketing my book. I really love connecting with other YA authors. It’s like being in an exclusive club, but with nice people. Nothing like high school. We’re all in this together. Since leaving my librarian position to raise my kids, I haven’t worked outside of my house and it gets lonely. There’s no professional camaraderie during a playdate. But collaborating with other authors on this giveaway has been so much fun. It validates me as an author and makes me feel like I’m part of something bigger than my book. Let me tell you, I can’t wait until I can attend writers conferences and conventions. I just have to wait for my baby girl to be a little bit older. But then I am so there. Wherever there is. While I don’t love marketing, I do love that I have written something in which to market. I’m trying to sell something I made (kinda like Etsy) — something I am passionate about — something that is truly good. Hopefully readers will agree and buy my book. Until then…here’s a virtual bookmark. Now, tell your friends!

Signature