Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Book Buzz!

What's the best thing that can happen to a book?


Many a small title has burst onto the best seller list because of a groundswell of interest. How does that happen? An outstanding book? Inspiration? Perspiration? Luck?

Recently 15 authors from Beaver's Pond Press met at the Edina Public Library to share ideas for generating groundswells of interest in our books.
Several suggestions emerged:

  • Always carry copies of your book with you. Hold one in your hand whenever possible, for example, as you wait to board an airplane. Ask the flight attendant to show it and announce that the author is on board with signed copies. Sales can happen anywhere. And once you're in the air, you don't have to charge sale's tax!
  • Contribute to blogs.
  • Check out on-line resources for Building the Buzz, e.g. Writing-World.com.
  • Contact local newspapers and cable TV to pitch a story idea. They want more than just "local author publishes book." They are looking for an interesting or informative angle to snag readers.
  • Send review copies to the media. Alternatively, you can send sell sheets or postcards asking if they would like a review copy so you don't waste freebies on people who aren't interested.
  • Set up an appealing website and maximize traffic to your site. This is a whole topic in and of itself... especially important for those who are not tech-savvy.
  • Set up readings and presentations at bookstores and libraries. A marketing rep can help you, or you can do it on your own by calling and visiting bookstores that might be interested in your book. Try to get media attention before the event.
  • Think outside the bookstore! Give presentations to organizations connected to your topic. The people who attend are more likely to buy your book.
  • Write articles for magazines (paper or on-line) and get magazines to excerpt parts of your book.
  • Be generous in giving away copies to people who could be good promoters of your book.

Meeting with other authors is a great way to get ideas and support. Once a book is in print, don't put up your feet and wait for readers to discover your title. The ongoing creative work of creating buzz has just begun!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

On the Move!

A literary agent has agreed to represent Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully to mainstream publishers. We are honored and thrilled by her belief that Diane's story deserves a larger publisher and a national audience. She advises waiting a few months until the economy starts to move in a positive direction before making any moves. Like most businesses, publishers are hunkering down right now.

Meanwhile, we continue to promote the book. We recently shipped a boxful (52 count) to Michigan psychotherapist Susie Symons, whose story about after-death communication with Diane appears in Chapter 19 of Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully. She will give the book to friends and patients as appropriate. We are grateful for Susie's continuing support.

Nancy has been on the phone and emailing up a storm trying to set up presentations in the Washington, D.C. area for our visit in April and early May. Thanks for Bill, we have arranged with the American Holistic Medical Association to deliver books to their spring conference at the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) center in Virginia Beach, home of the Edgar Cayce Institute. We are excited to get Diane's story into the hands of integrative physicians and people interested in metaphysical studies. The huge A.R.E. Bookstore has agreed to carry Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully.

Our application for a booth was accepted by the Bloomington Art Center's annual Writers' Festival and Book Fair on March 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival will have lots of authors, books, and workshops. It's a chance for the public to meet and talk to authors and to get signed copies at a good price. We look forward to being there and doing a ten-minute reading. You are all invited!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sharpening Our Focus

When we set up this blog over two years ago, we envisioned it as a place to share what's happening with our book, Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully: A Journey with Cancer and Beyond, as well as issues and ideas dealing with end of life and green burials.

Over time, the blog has morphed into more of a personal journal with occasional references to our book and end-of-life issues. While straying off the purpose has its merits, we feel it is time to refocus.

Therefore we have decided to use a second blog--nanbec.blogspot.com--to share our travel stories, musings, and personal adventures.
We'll keep this blog for more book-related topics, including reports of what's happening with the Minnesota Threshold Network, a group of people interested in family-directed, natural, end-of-life transitions. We'll delete the more personal entries from this blog, but they will be available on the nanbec blog.

For those of you who receive this blog automatically via email, we will add you to our nanbec blog email list. We'll keep you signed up for this blog, too, but let us know if you prefer to receive just one or the other. We are sensitive to bulking up your email box and will be happy to delete you from the email list if you so desire.

So, without further ado, we invite you to read the first new entry in the blog, nanbec@blogspot.com!