Today I'd love to introduce a good buddy of mine to the blog, SHARI MAURER!
Her debut CHANGE OF HEART was published by Westside this year and it's an absolutely fabulous read!
JKB: I know that everyone says it's not fair to just expect your pub to market your book. Did you do anything special to your books subject matter in terms of marketing?
SM: I tried to supplement WestSide's efforts with a big blog tour and have been coordinating signings, book festival appearances, etc with a publicist who I have hired on my own.
When I started to think about marketing, I realized that I had the chance to spread the word about organ donation (Emmi, my main character is waiting for a heart transplant). Since my husband is a cardiologist who cares for people waiting for hearts, he was pretty excited about the idea, too. I approached the New York Organ Donor Network about working together--they'd talk about my book and I'd talk up organ donation registration. They were wonderfully receptive, even offering to print bookmarks that had Change of Heart info on one side and Donation information on the other.
For more information on how to become a donor visit: http://donatelife.net/
JKB: I saw you all over the blogosphere. When did you start to prepare your blog marketing for your launch?
SM: About two months before launch.
JKB: How did you approach your blog visits? Did they give you a theme to talk about, or different questions right up front?
SM: It varied from blog to blog. Most provided me with a list of questions. And when possible, I asked them to give me an opportunity to talk about the organ donation.
JKB: What were you particularly wanting to answer but didn't get asked?
SM: I've done so many interviews I feel like there was no Shari Maurer stone left unturned!
JKB: How would you handle being given the same three or four questions? Do you recommend any ways to keep different interviews separate?SM: It's funny, the question I've gotten the most is "Where did you get the inspiration for the book?" And I didn't mind answering it, though felt like I was repeating myself a lot. That said, now that I'm conducting interviews on my own blog and thinking about what I want to know, it is the thing that makes me the most curious--what was the genesis of someone's idea?
I've been trying to read the books of the authors I am interviewing so I can ask questions that are more tailored to each book. But I also like to throw in a few standard "fun" questions, too.
JKB: I know you've done a couple very successful signings. What makes a good one, do you think? And how did you get the word out?SM: It's very difficult. I've had some really good ones and some "lightly attended" ones. In places where I really don't know anyone, I still put the word out via Twitter and Facebook. And in places I do know someone, I reach out and personally invite them to join me. It's been nice because I've gotten to see some people I don't ordinarily see.
JKB: what do you think of twitter as a marketing source for your book? Do you have a facebook author page? Do you prefer one form of social media over the others?
SM: I'm not sure what I think about Twitter. And I'm not sure I'm using it very successfully. It's very hard to tell what works and what doesn't.
For Facebook, I have my personal page "Shari Berger Maurer" where I have reconnected with old friends, interacted with local friends and met new reader/writer friends. But I also created an author page, "Shari Maurer." This was mainly to give the teens (particularly my kids' friends) a way to follow me, without them feeling like I was monitoring them by getting their updates and being able to see their pictures, etc.
I find it easier and more interactive on Facebook. But that's just me--I know lots of people (yourself included) who have such wonderful Twitter presences, it's fun to follow them.
JKB: what is the best piece of marketing advice you've learned so far?SM: I like to think of marketing a book like investing. You want to have a diverse portfolio, made up of blog tours, personal visits, standard press (if you can get it), social networking and whatever else you can imagine. I'm not sure which thing is the thing that's working, but I feel like if I cover lots of bases, I have a better shot at reaching people. You never know what little thing you do is going to be the thing that finds someone.
JKB: What a brilliant interview, Shari! This raises some seriously valid points, and only will help everybody stopping by today (and in the future) I am totally positive!
Thank you so much for stopping by!
>> Question for you, dear reader: What marketing question would you ask an author if you could?