Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How I Market My Novels

by Molly Noble Bull

Don’t you just hate those maddening telephone calls from telemarketers?
I do. But as authors, we must market out books. Otherwise, nobody will read them except our moms, siblings, aunts and high school English teachers.
What I Did
My marketing plan starts with the basics, and I do some of the same things that most authors do. I have bookmarks and other such advertising materials printed and distribute them. I attend writers’ conferences and have book signings. I send out letters or emails to people I know from high school, college, family gatherings, work, and in my community and tell about my newest novel or novels. Whenever possible, I include photos of the covers of my books. I take part in interviews. In other words, I answer questions about my books and my personal history via blogs, newspapers, radio and/or television interviews. I also send out copies of my books to be reviewed and enter contests for writers.
Besides these activities, I had articles on fiction writing published in the Christian Communicator magazine. At the end of each article, I added my personal bio that included information on my books as well as my upcoming ones.
I had a short story, “Getting It Right,” published in an anthology, and it was reprinted in a Chicken Soup anthology. Therefore, I was paid twice for about a 1000 word story. What made the short story especially fruitful was the fact that my bio and book information was published each time my short story came out.
I thought of it as being paid to advertise my books.
Finally, I write a monthly hardcover column, “Books That Inspire,” that appears in a local magazine called South Texas Living. In my column, I inform readers of all my books as well as the books of fellow authors, and at the end of each article, my web address appears under my byline.
You might be thinking. “Okay. We know what you did, Molly. Now tell us how you did it.”
How I Did It
To answer the “how I did it” question, I must stress the word bold. Waiting for these opportunities to fall into my lap is not my style. I seek them out. I make the first move. For example, I phoned my local Christian radio station and asked for a radio interview. I noticed the local magazine and called the publisher, asking if she might like a monthly column on books. I also contacted a Christian television station and asked the same thing. All three were interested.
Though I still refuse to phone strangers as telemarketers do, I am open to most other marketing ideas. I hope my marketing ideas will inspire you to come up with new ways to market your books, and don’t forget to be bold.

Sanctuary by Molly Noble Bull won the 2008 Gayle Wilson Award and tied for first place in the 2008 Winter Rose contest, both for published inspirational authors.
Click below to hear a two-minute excerpt from Sanctuary.
Proverbs 30: 4

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