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.


Vivian Zabel said...

Thanks, Katie, for sharing this interview with Joyce.

Barbara Ehrentreu said...

Great interview.:) Joyce had some wonderful tips for marketing herself and her book.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Enjoyed the interview. I like your t-shirt idea. I have an 'ask me about my novel' shirt. Guess I should wear it more often.

Jane Kennedy Sutton

Joyce Anthony said...

Thanks for hosting me Katie! Vivian, always glad to see you :-) Thanks, lionmother-I've ben lucky to have some people around who knew what they were doing! Jane, it amazes me how many people actually do ask!

Unknown said...

I've seen both shirts and know this lovely lady. I also know the book. It is now and will always be, my favorite. I tell everyone I know about it. She is a warm, yet shy, individual. But, she is passionate about her writing, and her son.

Lynn McMonigal said...

LOVE the t-shirt idea, Joyce!! My husband has offered to wear one that says, "My wife wrote a novel...ask me about it!" Such a sweetie!! I will have to look into getting a couple of shirts pretty soon.

Katie, wonderful interview. Thank you for taking the time to share it.