Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Welcome to guest author Marilyn Meredith, an expert at promoting herself and her books

Planning Promotion for a New Book

Marilyn Meredith

Though writers (at least those who write for small publishers) know that besides writing and editing a book, just as important is planning the promotion for that new book.

For all my last few books I’ve done mostly the same things. In the past, I’ve hired a blog tour company to plan a blog tour for me. They found the blogs and I added some, they figured out the dates, contacted everyone, let me know what was required from me and took care of the rest. For No Bells, I planned the tour myself. It wasn’t easy.

I’m not going into what all it takes to do that as I’ve written about the subject for another blog. What’s important during the tour, and too many writers don’t do this, is to promote the blogs each day, visit them, read the comments and respond to each one. Yes, it takes a lot of time, but that’s what makes a tour successful.

Every author should be on Facebook and post regularly. Don’t just promote your book or blog stops, but let your “friends” know what you’re doing during the day. I’ve become known for what I cook for supper—in fact, people ask me about the recipes. (Not so easy since I mainly make them up as I go.)

What not to do on Facebook is air your political rants—half the people may agree, but the other half might hate you. This goes for anything controversial.

I have my own personal blog and since I ask people to let me visit their blog, I love to reciprocate. My blog is a bit of this and that. Sometimes I give writing and publishing advice, I talk about my family—it’s a big one, I post reviews of books I’ve read, and about anything I can think up. My blog automatically posts to Facebook and Twitter, but I still let both know what my latest blog subject is.

I use the site to post things to all the sites I’m on all at once. Saves time.

When I’m on a tour I let people on the lists I’m on know about my stops.

DorothyL is one of the best places to promote there is if you’re a mystery writer, but you need to post on there at least occasionally about the books you are reading and what you think about them. It’s even better if you can get someone else to post about your latest book on DorothyL. About 3000 readers are on that list—people who love to read, love books, and love to talk about them.

In person, I always do a book launch at our only little used bookstore. They’ve been good to me and have a special bookcase with all the local authors’ books for sale—and my books take up a whole shelf.

Book and craft fairs are something else I go to, and I have my favorites. I do events at libraries, will give talks on writing and my books to any group that asks, and I love being an instructor at writing conferences.

I also attend mystery conventions and writers conferences, though I’ve cut down on how far I’ll go to attend one.

Though all this takes away from writing, it is fun to get out and talk to readers, the people who buy and read books.

If anyone can think of other promotion ideas, please do add them in the comments section.

Thank you, Morgan, for hosting me today.

No Bells Blurb:

Officer Gordon Butler has finally found the love he’s been seeking for a long time, but there’s one big problem, she’s the major suspect in a murder case.


F.M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of over thirty published novels—and a few that will never see print. Her latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series, from Oak Tree Press, is No Bells. Rocky Bluff P.D. is a fictional beach community between Ventura and Santa Barbara and F. M. once lived in a similar beach area.

No Bells
F. M. (Marilyn) is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves as the program chair for the Public Safety Writers of America’s writing conference. She’s been an instructor at many writing conferences.

CONTEST: The person who comments on the most blogs on my tour will win three books in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series: No Sanctuary, An Axe to Grind, and Angel Lost. Be sure and leave your email too, so I can contact you. 

  No Sanctuary                   An Axe to Grind                Angel Lost


  1. Again, thanks for hosting me today, Morgan. It was so much fun spending time with you at Left Coast Crime.

    The book I'm promoting on this blog tour is No Bells, the latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

  2. Morgan, thanks for hosting! Marilyn, thanks for another interesting post. I don't think most people realize how much work goes into promoting a book, and how time consuming it all is. They think authors sit at home all day in their PJ's eating chocolate and writing! HA! I am impressed with all the ways you have found to promote yourself, I can't think of anything to add to your list. I am enjoying your tour becuase I feel like I learn more about you with each post. Many writers have a canned post or two that they repeat at stops and it gets old to read that. You have really mixed it up, some posts about the book itself, some about you, some about the business. It makes it fun for us readers, so thanks! Please enter me in your contest to win your books at scrapgirl1467 (at) yahoo (dot) com.


  3. Hi, Maureen. I tried really hard to make each post different and mostly include a different photo of myself too.

  4. Always happy to hear your views regarding publishing. At least when you set your own tour you know what to expect from writers you know. Enjoying your tour which has been educational. Also being introduced to several new writers to add on reading list. Thanks for your efforts.

  5. There is one word to describe Marilyn--amazing! Her energy and savvy about publishing are equally terrific. I had a good time with her at LCC as well. If we as authors had 36 hours in a day, by the time we were finished promoting our books we would still wish for more. Writing is the easy part although it might not seem so to some. Promoting is a whole different animal, but the benefits are meeting some super people and learning along the way.

  6. Hi, Jake, glad you made it. I'm enjoying my tour too, thanks for letting me know that you've enjoyed it.

    And yes, as Morgan said, I've had a great time meeting all sorts of folks as I've promoted here and there.

  7. Wow, you sure do a lot of work. And, I am enjoying your blog tour.
    This book series has certainly caught my attention.


  8. Janet, I hope you'll have the opportunity to read this series. And thanks for your loyal following along of my tour.

  9. Since you like to read, I wondered if you might be interested in learning more about cryptic crosswords. If so, this is a link to a post I did recently on cryptic crossword clues that involve anagrams. Cryptic Crossword Clues - Anagrams

    1. I'm afraid I've never been any good at any kind of cross word puzzles.

  10. I love doing crosswords. However, some of the themed ones are so goofy, even if you're a wordsmith it's hard to figure out what the clues mean. Then when you look at the solution the next day, it's head slap time. Give me a regular crossword, and I'll ace it.