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Book Promotion Strategies — That Actually Work

What’s the best book promotion strategy you’ve ever seen?

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian took to Reddit to seek promotion advice for his new book, Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed.

He asked the network of loyal readers: “What are some of the smartest things you’ve seen people do to promote a book? … I’d like to make the most out of all this time I have to do some awesome stuff for the fine folks who’d pre-order/buy a copy.”

We’ve collected ten reader responses below to help you plan your own book promotion.

 

Book Promotion Strategies That Actually Worked

1. oguerrieri wrote: “Definitely offer free e-book with purchase of hard copy! Something I wish every book did.”

2. JoanofLorraine wrote: “My favorite example is the writer who opened a storefront in Brooklyn that sold only copies of his own book.”

3. josephflaherty wrote: “The little things Field Notes does, like putting in a themed patch or button goes a long way to making their books feel more like cultural artifacts than indie Moleskines.”

4. HAGOODMANAUTHOR wrote: “Advertising on Reddit has increased my Kindle sales exponentially”

5. josephflaherty added: “Put it in a crazy package: Seth Godin put copies of his books in Milk/Cereal boxes which made them really stand out and feel more like limited edition products than books.”

6. Davytron wrote: “when i worked at a book store, these ladies gave every employee a copy of their cook book. A bunch of us used the recipes and ended up telling customers and family about them. It was very nice but also a clever way to get us to promote their book.”

7. Thestom wrote: “Free book of equal or lesser value with the purchase of the author’s book.”

8. josephflaherty also added: “I’m sure you’ve got the book tour part dialed in, but treating them more like concerts would be fascinating … Would be fun for a tour to host a few local entrepreneurs who have succeeded without permission.”

9. Ms Adler wrote: “doing a discount on ebooks will often get you more readers that may not otherwise purchase a hard copy, and signed first editions are prized by collectors.”

10. Ginroth concluded: “Writing a good book.”

 

Reblogged in full from Jason Boog at Galleycat

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Joss Whedon takes on Shakespeare

The following post is reblogged in full from GalleyCat here.

The Avengers director Joss Whedon adapted William Shakespeare‘s comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, as a modern-day retelling. The trailer is embedded above–what do you think?

A limited release date has been set for June 07, 2013. The film has already screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Glasgow Film Festival. As previously reported, Whedon shot the entire movie at his own home in 12 days. Here’s more about the film from NPR:

As I watched Much Ado About Nothing, I had the distinct thought, “I wonder whether this is the future.” Not the future, of course — I don’t believe we’re anywhere close to the end of the blockbuster, nor do I believe we’re necessarily entering a new age of Shakespeare — but a big piece of the future. Big films have gotten so big, expensive films so expensive, that all of the risk has to be drained out of them, which often leaves behind a dried-out version of whatever was originally intended.

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Literary Mixtape: What’s Happening This Week

#10

What do we make of Marcel (Proust)?

#9

More children are using libraries

#8

Self-Publishing 2013 with Catherine Ryan Howard

#7

The Book Thief film adaptation

#6

Sylvia Plath: Reflections on her legacy

#5

The National Emerging Writer Programme

#4

A new look into Jane Austen

#3

On Richard III being found in a Leicester car park.

#2

How much should you budget to self-publish your book?

#1

Get a free copy of Poetry Magazine!

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Week Round-Up

A lot has been happening in the literary world this week, so here’s a Top 10 Hot Spot list of all the latest news & views.

cassettetape

# 10

Most overlooked books of 2012 – a literary mixtape 

# 9

Jamie Oliver and JK Rowling battle it out for Christmas top spot

# 8

Overwhelming response to Foyle’s revamp plans

# 7

The Casual Vacancy as BBC show 

# 6

Self-publishing case studies

# 5

Angela Carter named best writer of a century

# 4

What writers can learn from Literary Death Match

# 3

Mo Yan delivers Nobel Prize Speech (with some controversial notes on censorship)

# 2

NaNoWriMo churned out 3 billion words this year

# 1

Book-scanning robot coming to a library near you?

 

~Bonus~

Book Christmas Trees 

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Looking over the last week…

Spoilers from JK Rowling’s upcoming novel are released, a guide of London from NW by Zadie Smith is printed, new life is breathed into Moby Dick with the help of well-known celebrities, a new biography exposes John Keats as an opium addict and Stephen King reveals the publication date for his sequel to The Shining.

This is all too much news for one blog post, so let’s focus on the first piece of literary fact.

According to the Guardian, JK Rowling’s first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, draws on her own experience of living on the margins of society and satirises a political landscape in which the poor are regularly cast “as this homogeneous mash, like porridge.”

The idea for the novel, her first since the Harry Potter series that made her the world’s first author to become a billionaire solely through her writing, came to her on an aeroplane. “I thought: local election! And I just knew. I had that totally physical response you get to an idea that you know will work. It’s a rush of adrenaline, it’s chemical. I had it with Harry Potter and I had it with this.”

Set in the fictional West Country village of Pagford, which bears a passing resemblance to Rowling’s own childhood home in the Forest of Dean, and telling the story of a parish election triggered by the death of councillor Barry Fairbrother, The Casual Vacancy investigates the agendas and infighting that fuel local politics, and the class divisions that rive even the most picturesque English communities.

The election ultimately turns on the fate of Pagford’s grotty council estate, the Fields, embodied in The Casual Vacancy by the wretched, wrung-out Weedon family: mother Terri, struggling to kick her drug addiction, three-year-old son Robbie, under threat of social care, and teenage daughter Krystal.

“So many people, certainly people who sit around the cabinet table, say: ‘Well, it worked for me’ or ‘This is how my father managed it’,” Rowling said. “The idea that other people might have had such a different life experience that their choices and beliefs and behaviours would be completely different … seems to escape a lot of otherwise intelligent people. The poor are discussed as this homogeneous mash, like porridge … They talk about feckless teenage mothers looking for a council flat. Well, how tragic is it that that’s what someone regards as the height of security or safety?”

The stratospheric success of the Harry Potter franchise has placed her in the enviable position of being able to do “whatever the hell I like”, she said. “I am the freest author in the world. My bills are paid – we all know I can pay my bills – I was under contract to no one, and the feeling of having all of these characters in my head and knowing that no one else knew a damned thing about them was amazing … Pagford was mine, just mine, for five years. I wrote this novel as exactly what I wanted to write.”

The Casual Vacancy is released this Thursday. To see a (rare) interview with JK Rowling, click here.

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Sock-puppet reviews condemned by authors everywhere

Last Thursday, on our Facebook page, we posted a link from GalleyCat explaining fake Amazon review charts and how to spot them.

The whole debate began when the New York Times wrote an article on August 25th this year exposing the ‘book reviewers for hire’ industry. How do authors get away this? Essentially, “The Federal Trade Commission has issued guidelines stating that all online endorsements need to make clear when there is a financial relationship, but enforcement has been minimal and there has been a lot of confusion in the blogosphere over how this affects traditional book reviews.”

Just two days ago, the Bookseller reported that writers including crime writer RJ Ellory, John Locke and Stephen Leather all admitted to giving their own work 5-star reviews and slamming rival authors on Amazon — a practice damningly referred to as ‘sock puppetry’. The Guardian reported the practice in more detail.

The entire controversy was heightened after Ellory was exposed by rival penman Jeremy Duns on Twitter. Ellory’s publisher, Orion, declined to comment.

On its website, the Crime Writers Association states: “The CWA feels [sock puppetry] is unfair to authors and also to the readers who are so supportive of the crime genre. […] At present we don’t know how widespread the practice is. However we will be taking steps to set up a membership code of ethics, and considering if other steps may be necessary from us as an authors’ organisation.”

The Guardian and The Bookseller described the denunciation of sock-puppetry from other authors, of which a large group (see below) have signed up to a group statement condemning the practice.

The group statement from the authors states:

“These days more and more books are bought, sold, and recommended on-line, and the health of this exciting new ecosystem depends entirely on free and honest conversation among readers. But some writers are misusing these new channels in ways that are fraudulent and damaging to publishing at large. […] Your honest and heartfelt reviews, good or bad, enthusiastic or disapproving,  can drown out the phoney voices, and the underhanded tactics will be marginalized to the point of irrelevance. No single author,  however devious,  can compete with the whole community. Will you use your voice to help us clean up this mess?”

The signatories are: Linwood Barclay, Tom Bale, Mark Billingham, Declan Burke, Ramsey Campbell, Tania Carver, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, N J Cooper, David Corbett, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Stella Duffy, Jeremy Duns, Mark Edwards, Chris Ewan, Helen FitzGerald, Meg Gardiner, Adèle Geras, Joanne Harris, Mo Hayder, David Hewson, Charlie Higson, Peter James, Graham Joyce, Laura Lippman, Stuart MacBride, Val McDermid, Roger McGough, Denise Mina, Steve Mosby, Stuart Neville, Jo Nesbo, Ayo Onatade, S J Parris, Tony Parsons, Sarah Pinborough, Ian Rankin, Shoo Rayner, John Rickards, Stav Sherez, Karin Slaughter, Andrew Taylor, Luca Veste, Louise Voss, Martyn Waites, Neil White and Laura Wilson.

These authors warn that Ellory, Stephen Leather and John Locke have all made use of “sock-puppet” or paid for reviews. They state: “These are just three cases of abuse we know about. Few in publishing believe they are unique. It is likely that other authors are pursuing these underhand tactics as well. We the undersigned unreservedly condemn this behaviour, and commit never to use such tactics.”

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Bin Laden book to come out early

Only five days ago this blog reported that Mark Owen’s account of his Navy SEAL mission to capture Osama Bin Laden was a bestseller, due to be published on 11th of September. However, Penguin’s Dutton imprint has moved up the publishing date.

GalleyCat says: “Originally slated for an October release, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden was then supposed to come out on September 11th, but will now be out on September 4th.”

Publishers Weekly has more:

Dutton announced the additional publication change. In a statement, the publisher said the publication was moved up “in response to the overwhelming excitement in the marketplace,” and Dutton “now feels it is important to put No Easy Day on sale and let the book speak for itself.”

The book is getting coverage all over the country for the new details it reveals, including that Bin Laden was already dead when the SEALs entered his bedroom in the compound. The publisher and author have also been criticized for not providing the government with a copy of the book before announcing it on August 22.

The first printing of the book is now 575,000 copies, up from the original 300,000.

The book is still No. 1 on the Amazon Bestselling Chart.

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