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Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Marketing Self-Published Books: More Advice From Joy Wooderson

Last week, we talked with Joy about her self-publishing journey for her memoir, Finding Joy. If you are struggling with whether or not to invest in self-publishing, her interview might give you some answers you've been looking for.

In this segment, Joy discusses how she is marketing Finding Joy: One Woman's Journey Back to Faith. As we all know whether you self-publish your book or publish at a small or large house, the marketing falls on the author. So, grab a cup of tea, and take a few minutes to learn some tips from Joy.

Margo: Welcome back to The Muffin, Joy. We learned a lot from you last week about self-publishing and the choices you made. Today, we're exploring marketing your self-published book. What types of marketing are you doing for Finding Joy?

Joy: It had become increasingly clear to me that authors are now pretty much on their own when it comes to marketing their books, whether they are self-published or not. So I began by creating postcards on my computer, showing the cover, and “I’m pleased to announce . . .” on the front with distributor and contact information on the back. I mailed these to friends and other parties whom I felt might be interested. I also e-mailed the information to everyone on my contact lists.

I had compiled a list of people to whom I wanted to send a copy of the book in addition to close friends, relatives, and those individuals who had played a major part in the development of the book. My hope is that these people will be willing to read it and share their comments.

I also created bookmarks on my computer, showing the cover, a brief synopsis, distributors, and contact information on the front. On the back, I listed excerpts from two or three reviews. I included several copies of the bookmark as handouts with each sale.

A neighbor organized a community book-signing which was not only enjoyable but highly successful. I also participated in the Author Open House at the library. I joined Facebook, SheWrites, Women On Writing, and other social networking websites in order to spread the word through these avenues.

I contacted two independent bookstores and placed copies on consignment in each.
My package with BookSurge included a review by Kirkus Discoveries, which was forwarded to their distribution listings. Regrettably, most newspapers will not review self-published books.

Margo: WOW! You gave us a lot of great tips here. I like how you've tried many different types of marketing ideas, and you are getting out there and meeting people. You're not waiting for people to come to you! What are you finding to work the best?

Joy: What I knew would be the best avenue for Finding Joy: word of mouth. My top sales have come from people who know me and who, in turn, have purchased copies for others. I knew going into this project it would not be a speedy process, given the nature of the book. However, I feel I have planted seeds and now wait for them to germinate and grow.

I am grateful for the excellent review on A Book A Week Blog, for this interview opportunity, and the positive comments I continue to receive from readers.

Margo: Your attitude is so awesome! I love how you are being patient, as hard as that is (I'm sure), and continuing to pass the message on about your book. What are future marketing ideas you have or would like to try?

Joy: I’m feeling my way in this new venture and am open to any and all suggestions. I am exploring meeting with small church groups, donating to the local library district, setting up additional book signings, and taking advantage of whatever opportunities may arise.

Margo: Those all sound like great ideas. Hey, maybe a church group could even Skype you into discuss your book with them! I've heard of some authors using Skype to visit with book groups and school groups that are reading their book hundreds of miles away. So, update us: besides marketing Finding Joy, what are your current projects you are working on?

Joy: At the end of the section on “Self” in Finding Joy, I write: “My daily prayer for wisdom led me to the inescapable conclusion that, like it or not, I was going to have to delve into my emotional and psychological background, to examine the developmental rings of my own ‘tree.’ I had no idea at the time that this exploration would be so wide-ranging it could fill another book.”

I’ve decided to complete the manuscript for Recovering Joy: One Woman’s Journey to Personhood and Place.

Margo: A sequel of sorts! That's great. Good luck to you while you market your current book and work on another.

Here's more information about Joy Wooderson and her book, Finding Joy.

Ladies, if you have any questions for Joy, please feel free to leave them here. We hope you have some new ideas and/or inspiration for marketing your work. Also, if you have a great marketing tip for us, please leave it in the comments below.

Margo Dill

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Blogger Loren Christie said...

Thanks for the self-publishing advice. I went over to A Book a Day and read the review. I really like the cover design and I love faith journey types of memoirs. I've added your book to my reading list. Thank you Joy.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Joy Wooderson said...

Thank you, Loren, for your comments. I would love to hear from you again once you've read the book.


1:03 PM  
Blogger Cozy in Texas said...

Thanks for the ideas. I too made bookmarks for A Graceful Death and put one in with each of the Christmas cards I sent out this year. Can you give me some more info on leaving books on consignment. Who sets the price that the bookstores retain? Great blog - thanks.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Joy Wooderson said...

Hello Ann,
I wandered into the bookstores and asked if they would take 3-5 books on consignment. They agreed to the standard discount for distributors of 40% off the list price. We completed some basic paperwork, and I left the books there. Will follow up with them this month.

Good idea to include the bookmarks in your Christmas cards - I did the same.


12:36 PM  
Blogger nissa_amas_katoj said...

Very useful information for writers whether self-published or not.

I also think it's useful to give out 'free samples' of your book by putting up the first chapter or so on a blog or website. So many people are reluctant to read a self-published book, but if you can direct them to where they can read the first chapter for free, they might just get hooked.

nissa-amas-katoj from READ ME! Blogging to Promote your Fiction

6:09 PM  
Blogger Joy Wooderson said...

Thank you for the suggestion to put the first chapter on my web site and promote it as free reading. Excellent idea.

1:55 PM  

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