Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Meet Joyce Anthony & see what she has to say about marketing and promoting your book
Katie: I'd like to welcome guest author, Joyce Anthony, to my blog today. Joyce lives in Pennsylvania, homeschools, and is a children's mental health advocate, among other things. "Storm" is her first book; she has finished a second and is now working on a third.
Joyce, welcome to my blog. Rather than simply talking about the book, I would like to look at the process that brought your book to publication, and the marketing and promotional work you've done. Please give us a brief synopsis of "Storm."
Joyce: Storm begins with finding a boy on a deserted lighthouse island, identity unknown. It ends on a note that sees a change in the entire world. In between, the boy Storm meets with many of today's forgotten people--a hooker, an abused child, a PTSD-suffering Vietnam vet--and many more. He manages to change each day of their lives (or be changed by them). With the help of Maggie, an amethyst-eyed mystery dog, his journey becomes something much greater than a mere search for identity.
Katie: How long did it take you to write and edit "Storm?" Did you experience any writer's block along the way?
Joyce: From beginning to end, it took two years. I can't exactly say I experienced writer's block, but Dan, the Vietnam vet, would not open up and tell me his story for eight months--and I was stuck on that chapter long after the rest were completed.
Katie: Since "Storm" was your first book, what were some of your immediate challenges regarding marketing and promotion?
Joyce: I knew absolutely nothing about marketing and promotion. I couldn't even sell Girl Scout cookies back when they were a dollar a box. I've had some wonderful help from people like Janet Elaine Smith, who shared advice with me. I have been extremely lucky to be surrounded by many more seasoned authors who have gladly shared what they know.
Katie: Many first time authors feel overwhelmed by marketing and promotion. If you felt this way, what did you do to overcome that feeling?
Joyce: My greatest mistake was not having a platform and brand in place before my book came out. Nobody knew who I was or what I was about. I have since joined more groups online--both writing and related to my subject matter. I've started and grown a blog that has a large readership--it took over a year, but persistence is your greatest asset when trying to get your name out there. I had someone tell me not long ago he "Googled" me and I was "everywhere!" Two years ago, nobody knew me. Never give up an opportunity to get your name out there.
Katie: Please share the most important marketing tool you learned to use. Why do you choose this tool?
Joyce: My earliest and most fun marketing effort was to buy two t-shirts. One has "ask me about my book" on it and the other has a picture of my dog wearing that shirt and "holding" a copy of "Storm." These have gained a lot of comments on the street and have allowed me to open up conversations I may have avoided otherwise.
Katie: Now that you've got a book under your belt, what will you do differently in marketing and promoting your second book?
Joyce: I have already started building a platform and trying to establish a brand--two things I didn't do before my last book. I have a better idea of places and people to contact for reviews. I feel I'm making a name for myself in the area that will see the best market for my next book.
Katie: Check out Joyce's book on her website and can be purchased at Amazon.
Posted by Katie Hines at 7:00 AM